7 Tips For Thought Leadership On A Startup Budget
This summer, I recently participated in a thought leadership workshop for Arizona CEOs (from which I was inspired to write an article for Upstart Business Journal on “3 Lessons Startup Founders Could Learn from Corporate America“). Molly Castelazo of Castelazo Content led this event at the annual Arizona Technology Council’s CEO Retreat. The audience was comprised of mainly well-established companies. However looking around the room, I thought of how thought leadership can still be achieved on a shoestring or startup budget.
Here are seven components to advance your thought leadership early on:
1. Use HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
HARO is an awesome tool that makes it easy to include your company’s ideas or opinions in someone else’s story. It is free—a clear appeal for startups—and only requires time to prepare the pitch. The trick is to be very succinct and answer the reporter’s query precisely.
In our early days, we answered the queries of others and successfully used HARO to appear in Entrepreneur several times. Today, we are posting our own queries on HARO as a way to gather IP Horror Stories from others (a big thanks to Stephanie Burns from CHIC CEO for that tip). There is a prerequisite that you have to have a top million ALEXA rating and we are finally there!
2. Enter Contests
Enter early and often. Honing your pitch is critical to your success and winning some cool prizes along the way is not bad either. Contests or competitions often require support and can be a good way of spreading your name around. We gained momentum from winning a few contests early on and this helped us to refine our message.
3. Use LinkedIn
Do not sell your business on LinkedIn. Period. End of story. Your LinkedIn posts should be informative or educational only. At the top of my list of pet peeves are those who post spam on LinkedIn as if it were something we all need to read. We used posts that prior to our software launch as a way to spread the word on our company and provided education on the value of IP.
4. Blog Regularly
Some sites blog daily and others blog weekly; more posting is definitely better but regular posts are best. Pick a cadence and stick to it. We learned this first hand when our website traffic fell when we stopped blogging.
To shake things up a bit, we like to exchange blogs with other sites and invite guest bloggers to write relevant content to share with our readers. We have found that sharing quotes and linking to others is great for raising our profile and providing legitimacy.
5. Social Media Strategy
Like blogging, it is important to be consistent with social media posting and follow-up with engagement. Re-purpose and recycle old blogs by linking to new articles and sharing on social media. Ask others to share your content. It can lead to guest blogs and that help establish you as an expert.
Chect this Out.. 6. Read, Write, Read, Write