Jason Travers, Dr. Willow Hozella, Amiris Dipuglia, Ami Klin, Barry Morgenstern, Mike Miklos, Heather Thompson, Melissa Nosik. Do any of these names ring a bell? These people are considered thought leaders in the field of autism treatment.1
If you don’t recognize many, or even most, of these names, that’s all right. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to have the influence of Oprah to be perceived as a thought leader.
But those mentioned above have worked hard to develop reputations as individuals with important insights into autism therapies and care. Today, each one is seen as an authority on autism.
What is Thought Leadership?
Most people believe thought leadership means achieving expert status in your industry—literally becoming a leader from whom people seek thoughts. That’s true, but there’s more to thought leadership.
Thought leadership is actually a content marketing strategy. When someone wants to achieve thought leadership status, they create loads of high-quality, original content and build their brand accordingly. Collectively, this content shows their audience just how much knowledge they have. Influence and authority come when that expertise is acknowledged.
From your perspective as an autism treatment marketer, the prospect of thought leadership should be appealing. There’s so much conflicting information about autism, effective therapies and care options, and the future of autism diagnoses and treatment. The need for public education about autism spectrum disorders is tremendous.
Thought leadership lets you fill those knowledge gaps while establishing your own voice and enhancing your content marketing strategy. But who can actually be a thought leader? Is it possible for anyone to be perceived as a thought leader? Can you?
Who Can Be Seen as a Thought Leader?
Joel Kurtzman, editor-in-chief of Strategy+Business magazine, originally coined the term “thought leader” in 1994. He believed that a thought leader was anyone with “business ideas that merited attention.”2
Interesting take. But once again, this definition points to the reality that thought leadership isn’t an exclusive, unattainable goal. Anyone can evolve into a position of thought leadership. In fact, you have the potential to be a thought leader in any discipline you’d like. You just need the wherewithal to devise a strategy, take action, and follow through.
And that achievability is one of the reasons thought leadership is so interesting. With a great deal of determination, an optimized digital marketing strategy, a thorough content plan, and heaps of dedication to learning and sharing, you can go from knowing nothing about a subject to establishing yourself as a bona fide expert in just a few years.
Of course, you want to specifically impact those working in autism treatment, which is a lofty goal. Despite the relative newness of this area of medicine, many individuals, including those we listed above, have risen as thought leaders in this sector.
Why is Thought Leadership Important?
Thought leadership has emerged as a leading content marketing strategy. So much so that LinkedIn and Edelman have partnered since 2017 to write a global impact report on thought leadership trends worldwide. The most recent edition reported that 65% of people improved their opinion of an organization after reading thought leadership.3
But why is this approach so effective? Because thought leadership builds authority and trustworthiness. These characteristics are extremely important to consumers today, even more so for patients and their families seeking autism treatment.
Almost all consumers consider authenticity before deciding which brands and organizations they’ll support. And four out of five people simply won’t engage with an organization they don’t trust.4 Fortunately, thought leadership is one of the best ways to demonstrate just how trustworthy you are.
As a byproduct of demonstrating your genuine concern and trusted expertise on the path to thought leadership, your patients and their families will feel emotionally connected to your treatment center. When people feel emotionally connected to your treatment center, they’ll recommend you 71% of the time.5
Ready to make thought leadership a priority in your digital marketing strategy? Dreamscape Marketing can help. Schedule a strategy session by calling 888.307.7304.
For a list of references, please contact us.