• Make sure you are getting the right H.E.L.P.: This is an acronym Levy uses when evaluating a company; it stands for Healthy following, Execute well, Leadership and Proven platform. A healthy following means overall respect and esteem, both from colleagues in an industry and from customers. Increasing visibility online, utilizing social media platforms, blogs, search engine optimization (SEO) all contribute. Execute well and Leadership are self-explanatory. Proven involves utilizing a marketing platform that allows you to reach your intended audience.
• The world seeks brands. People listen to and buy from people they know, like and trust: As consumers ourselves, we are all familiar with the visceral reaction we have to strong brands, everything from the Apple logo to our favorite paper towels at the local grocery store. Building your brand involves making sure that you’re recognized in multi-sensory ways, and that customers associate what they hear, see and read with a very high rate of customer satisfaction. This means establishing a visual and interactive presence, and addressing any customer dissatisfaction.
• There is one reason thought leaders make it look so easy: they work at it all day, every day. Speaking of Apple, it would be an understatement to call the late Steve Jobs a perfectionist. The man who said, “My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better,” was never one to assume good things will happen on their own. Likewise, if an organization is to be at or near its best, leaders need to be “on it” 24/7 – knowing what to focus on and what to ignore.
• Thought leaders create trends and influence the industry: In business as in most areas of life, there are innovative leaders and those who follow them. The perceived brilliance of an idea is not just in how good it is, but in how bold it comes across. Of course, a bad idea will show itself in time. A leader cannot be afraid of stating his or her position clearly, or of thinking outside the box.
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