People use thought leadership to take ideas to scale and produce impact. But here’s the challenge. It’s almost certain that we can’t achieve scale on our own. And that’s true whether we’re an individual, a team, or even the head of an organization. People first need to become aware of our ideas, and then, they need to engage with them. If we’re lucky, they will then take ownership of the idea and help us scale them by becoming activated. Content marketing may talk about reach, followers, and likes. But in thought leadership, it’s a bit more personal. I want to introduce the concept of allies and ambassadors.
Allies open doors for you. They have embraced the idea, and they’re willing to make an introduction on your behalf. They will help get your idea in front of an influencer or decision maker. Ambassadors will speak on your behalf. That might be a formal presentation to an internal group, an external audience. But an ambassador may also be someone who simply takes your message and posts about it in their own words.
Allies and Ambassadors are critical for thought leadership, whether you’re practicing thought leadership as an individual or on behalf of your organization. When you have allies who will open doors for you and ambassadors who will speak on your behalf, your ideas have greater reach and quicker impact.