When it comes to business development and seeking out leading ideas, the key thing that decision-makers are seeking is genuine education on how to solve big problems.
High-level executives who make decisions for their businesses are mostly looking for valuable information that can guide them towards solutions to problems that they have not thought of before or have not heard of anywhere else.
As a business, your key value proposition is to provide content and information that solve problems. This is the only way to remain at the forefront of our field.
True thought leadership involves fresh ideas, forward-thinking qualities, and innovative, solution-oriented thinking. More importantly, true thought leadership is action-oriented and provides evidence that proposed solutions for specific problems can actually work.
In fact, research has shown that the most important thing that decision-makers and companies are looking for when assessing thought leadership content is whether the ideas being put forward actually work and whether there's evidence of their success. This is key.
The depth of knowledge about specific problems and ideas for how to solve them comes second.
Therefore, it can be deduced that what clients are truly looking for from businesses offering thought leadership-type advice are proven solutions to problems causing them distress. It is for this reason that successful businesses are able to demonstrate the capability to consistently provide high-level educational content that tackles the heart of the problems faced by the industry they are advising.
High-level educational content provided by businesses should be geared towards not just discussing the problem but actually providing clear and concise, workable solutions that can inspire their target audience to improve the status quo. Moreover, it should be something that executives and decision-makers in the field have perhaps never considered. In other words, it should be fresh and innovative, yet informed.
In addition to having actionable insights that can solve real-world problems businesses face at a high level, decision-makers also look for timeliness in the advice. This means that thought leadership content should address current or emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities in their specific area of business, along with practical solutions that are relevant to the times.
Thought leadership content should be delivered by a source that has proven to be consistent in its output of valuable content and has established trust as an authority in the field. The insights offered should come from a unique perspective, referring to new concepts and out-of-the-box approaches while remaining on top of the latest trends. In addition, the business should still rely on the citing of reputable sources, practical experience, and the leveraging of data and evidence-based insight.