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| 2 minutes read

How to Identify your Future Thought Leaders

When promoting your content programme and trying to identify fee-earners to get involved, the following question should be your starting point:

"Do you want to be seen as the 'go-to' experts in your space?" 

No one wants to be the invisible expert! And if they do, then you can move swiftly on to the next group.

'Selling the Vision'

It shouldn't be a burdensome feat to find the 'right people' to engage in your content programme. The key lies in selling the vision of success. A prerequisite to adoption then, is motivation. The understanding that investing time in creating content is seen as something of intrinsic value to the individual and conducive to the success of their practice. 

Herein lies the challenge. Communicating the why. Selling the story of success. Of course you need to have a plan, easy to understand & actionable workflows, as well as leadership-backing to ensure that the initiative lands. 

Where action Fails

When it comes to driving behaviour and prompting action, the tipping point rests in motivating at the individual level. The Fogg Behaviour Model (1) is a helpful framework for understanding why behaviour doesn't occur. It will be because one of the following is missing: 

  1. Motivation 
  2. Ability 
  3. Prompt

If you already have a proven and easy to execute workflow for creating content; have mapped out how you are going to prompt action (for example reminding fee-earners during internal meetings, sending content suggestions, or communicating success stories from other experts); then the final (or indeed starting) piece of the puzzle is to motivate them to take action.

What to do & How to Motivate 

It is worth noting that you are not going to get 100% of your experts creating content, and nor should you probably want to do so. 

Those to engage, have to come to the conclusion through their own volition. It is not sustainable to lead with the stick, and in doing so will only turn more people off the idea in the first place. 

Therefore, when identifying your future thought leaders you have to get them to agree this is something that they want to do. Our suggestions for framing your content programme as a net positive which drives long-term success for each individual include:

  • Opening up the initiative beyond the most senior people in your organisation - some of the most motivated to build their brand and be seen as the 'go-to' experts are your future leaders. Do not keep the initiative exclusive to the top grading in your company. 
  • Selling success - coming back to the question at the beginning, this is one of the easiest ways to motivate by selling the outcome & long-term product of their labour.
  • Leadership-backing - it is important that the leaders are seen backing this initiative so that the wider-team know there is psychological safety associated with investing time in sharing their expert insights (2).
  • Making the opt-in easy - once you have fee-earners sold on the concept, make sure the call-to-action is easy and remove any barriers to entry.
  • Continuing to prompt - once you have done all of the work in getting people signed up, creating their first insights, and understanding of what success looks like, you need to have a plan to communicate results. Whilst repetition makes the behaviour easier to do when repeated, closing the feedback loop using prompts will drive long-term action. This can be as simple as a monthly results email, or more considered agenda item for internal team meetings, and then further still, building content creation into the incentive plans for your team members. 

Bibliography & Further Reading 

  1. What causes Behaviour Change? - Dr. BJ Fogg
  2. High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It - Laura Delizonna
  3. Behavioural science & getting your experts to create content for their clients - BJ Fogg - David Kirk
  4. Material Motivation: Designing a Workplace Competition which Drives Immediate Results - Freddy Dobinson & Sarah Strachan


content marketing, b2b marketing, e2e, thought leadership, future leaders, leadership