You would think the one sector in promoting Thought Leadership would be in higher education. There are so many important events, trends, practices in higher education and training that can help a student or business in the present, offer perspective and provide actionable (a call to action) advice that can have a significant impact on our everyday lives.
Thought Leadership in action can help to communicate actual experiences in the classroom in providing insights to future students and customers about how to overcome their most pressing problems. When you solve problems in the classroom, it enables you to communicate these valuable experiences to your prospects and customers.
How does Thought Leadership bring you new opportunities? The science to attract students and business can also be a great benefit for your college. A reputation of being a “thought leader” means more potential learners and businesses will look to you first, people will find you! Your programs and services can compete on more than tuition or price – your expertise and brand acts as a differentiator. It also encourages more interaction with your new and current students in solving new challenges, creating new opportunities and develop new educational products and services.
How do you get started? It really just starts with a thought. Think of a classroom situation, a success story, an interesting topic, an experience, an observation or intriguing research. Write about it on your website blog and start sharing on social media to promote and build influence. If you want to get sophisticated, hyperlink something you offer that relates your article and your audience. Create an optional lead form, score it and have someone from your organization (or ours) follow up and measure your success (i.e. website traffic, inquiries, conversion rate). Bottom line: Thought Leadership can be the basis to help you to start a “warm” relationship that can lead to a valuable appointment and project!!!!
Build a Communication Strategy by getting a team (yours or ours) of trained content provider and be consistent by setting content calendars weekly. This provides you a great forum of what other people say about you, what you say, what you write and getting found when students are looking.
Interesting and current topics on your website will always depict you as an agent for change in higher education, what’s hot, what’s not, what’s new, what’s exciting, what’s significant and being a problem solver. Thought Leadership also serves as a learning tool in guiding students and customers to diagnose problems and situations from symptoms and helps them to prevent problems from occurring. As a result, they will look to you first for their high value problems or needs.
Being a Thought Leader in higher education brings value to your college and university. Your student and customer audience learns and respects you, you get called first, you compete on more than price, it provides you new opportunities, you become more interactive, and you learn more about new offerings. Try it and watch it work!
Jeff Roth @The Learning Strategy