How to Build Your Brand When You Have No Time: Introducing Our Lean Thought Leadership Program for Busy Founders
Have you ever come across a piece in an industry publication that perfectly describes the problem your startup solves – only to realize it’s bylined by the CEO of one of your competitors?
Or maybe you’ve seen your ideal customer sharing a piece on LinkedIn about the kind of solution you provide – and it’s from a competitor’s blog!
Maybe you kicked yourself: that could’ve been your thought leadership getting attention.
But you might not have a choice. Maybe you don’t have time to write. Maybe you don’t know how to find a writer who can turn your ideas into a quality article. Maybe you’re not yet in a position to afford a full-scale PR program that would land your ideas in the media outlets your customers trust.
If any of this sounds familiar, our newest program is for you: Onward.
Onward is a hybrid thought leadership program that combines PR and content.
Read on to see how this thought leadership-focused program can help your organization build the authority and credibility required to sell to the most discerning B2B buyers.
How it Works: We Get Your Best Ideas in Front of Decision Makers
In a full PR program, we do ongoing outreach to editors and reporters, pitching your story and your executive team as thought leaders. We might help you apply for awards or speaking opportunities. We secure contributed articles that we then ghostwrite for your thought leaders to be published in outlets your target audiences read. In a full content program, we act as the outsourced editor-in-chief for your company blog.
In our pared-down hybrid program, we focus on just contributed pieces, and we limit ourselves to placing two per month. Here’s what that looks like:
- We develop timely ideas for newsworthy articles.
- We share them with a curated list of media targets.
- If a publication expresses interest, we interview your SME, draft the piece to your liking, submit it, provide you with text for sharing on LinkedIn, and advise whether to repost the piece on your blog.
- If no publications express interest, we write the piece regardless and advise whether to publish on your blog or the thought leader’s LinkedIn page. Then we share the piece with our media contacts to spark new conversations.
The monthly time investment we need from you is minimal:
- Time to approve our ideas (~1 hour)
- Two 30-minute interviews with SMEs (~1 hour)
- Review time for each article (~1 hour)
- A monthly check-in call (30 minutes)
As we get to know your company and SMEs, review time will shrink so that you’re able to maintain a steady drumbeat of thought leadership while barely disrupting your executives’ schedules.
Just as compelling: the financial investment for our hybrid program is much lower than, say, paying for two sponsored posts at target industry publications. At one outlet where we regularly place client articles, for example, a sponsored article starts at $8,800; at another, the starting price is $10,000. And those pieces have the “sponsored” tag, meaning they instantly lose credibility for savvy readers.
Who It’s For: B2B Tech Companies with Long & Complex Sales Cycles
This program is ideal for startups whose products or services have longer sales cycles that involve multiple decision makers on the client end.
In these situations, we’ve found that contributed articles and blog posts featuring meaningful thought leadership...
- Fuel sales conversations and give salespeople a reason to follow up with prospects.
- Boost credibility, thanks to the publication’s implicit seal of approval.
- Spark conversations among members of leaders’ networks when they share publications on LinkedIn.
Why It Works: 83% of B2B Buying Happens Without Salespeople
A few years ago, Gartner published research about how digital content has changed B2B buying. The biggest takeaway: only 17 percent of B2B buying involves talking to vendors. The other 83 percent of the time, decision makers are researching, meeting with other decision makers, and doing other tasks that don’t involve your sales team.
What does their research look like? Edelman found that 54 percent of B2B decision makers spend an hour or more per week reviewing thought leadership content. And that content has an impact. After consuming it…
- 42 percent of B2B buyers seek bids from a company that wasn’t initially in their consideration set.
- 48 percent sign a contract with the organization behind the thought leadership.
- 53 percent increase the amount of business they do with the organization and 54 percent purchase products or services they weren’t otherwise considering.
In other words: your customers are actively seeking information about industry trends and ideas to make them and their organizations better. If your organization’s leaders aren’t regularly sharing their thoughts publicly, you’re missing opportunities.
Want More Information? Get in Touch
If you’re eager to grow brand awareness and credibility but you don’t have the time or budget for traditional PR and content, a hybrid approach may make sense.
Not sure where you stand? Feel free to send a note to set up a conversation. I’d love to hear where you are and what you’re trying to achieve.