Statistics don’t lie. Ninety percent of startups fail. 100 million startups launch every year—and despite the $48.3 billion being invested in the U.S. market alone, failure rates remain high, leaving savvy founders working hard to beat the odds. In a marketplace saturated by products, startups and ever-evolving ideas, it’s becoming more difficult than ever to connect with customers, investors and teams in a way that creates a sustainable business environment.
When it comes to succeeding at the startup game, it’s about more than product market fit. People crave unabashed stories, motivational inspiration and solid leadership. That’s why it’s more essential than ever for founders to share their expertise and develop their personal brand. How? By becoming thought leaders. (And no, we’re not talking about Twitter storms a la Elon Musk.)
Here are 3 reasons you should start connecting your brand, your expertise and your industry insights in a bigger, more public way.
Being a thought leader improves the customer journey by bridging the gap between your followers, your personal brand and your business. Start listening for pain points, and think about how you can connect your expertise with market needs. Get people excited. Launch a movement. Show your honesty, passion and ethics in every word and action. And get published—often. By staying ahead of the curve through continuous learning and listening, you’ll be able to provide informed insights that your followers know they can trust.
Position yourself for investments
Investors are more than a pocketbook. They’re people, and humans want stories. They want to be inspired. They want to know that you don’t only have the skills to build a company, but that you’re the only leader who they can trust to do so. Products and companies fail, but ideas are the driving force that create history. Develop your public thought leadership to show that you’re a leader who can inspire a following and change the world. (Bonus points if the content you develop showcases your leadership philosophy. By doing so, you’re reinforcing not only your own expert abilities, but the reputation of all the ventures you lead.)
Recruit top talent
Every savvy founder knows that the team is the backbone of a company and the momentum that keeps it moving forward. Building the right team of creative, vocal individuals with a spectrum of perspectives is crucial to building and sustaining a company. By connecting with your audience and becoming the voice of expertise in your industry, you can attract the brightest tech talent looking to work with a successful company and forward-thinking leader. Companies with a strong brand get more qualified applicants, hire faster and spend less money doing so. In today’s digital landscape, a company’s leadership is a key avenue for strengthening its brand presence.
Take the plunge. By developing, fine-tuning and sharing your expertise with wider audiences, you’re taking the first major step toward driving the conversation in your industry.