This article originally appeared in the June 2023 issue of Security Business magazine. When sharing, don’t forget to mention Security Business magazine on LinkedIn and @SecBusinessMag on Twitter.
The importance of thought leadership in the evolving security integration industry cannot be overstated, as the industry relies on the valuable insights and guidance of industry leaders to shape its future.
This was particularly evident at the recent PSA TEC event, where subject matter experts took the stage to lead engaging discussions on systems integration, security technologies and the current state of the industry. Assembling leaders at the forefront of their fields and with diverse perspectives evoked healthy conflicts and the opportunity for thought leaders to emerge. It became evident that exploring the ubiquitous role of AI and the evolving role of manufacturers were topics that warrant more discourse in the industry.
Thought leadership surpasses mere expertise and knowledge of industry best practices. It entails insightful analysis and compelling content that resonates with the target market and positions individuals as leading authorities within the industry. By intentionally increasing the visibility of a specific expertise, industry influence can be elevated and marketing objectives such as building brand awareness, establishing credibility and generating new business can be realized. Importantly, thought leadership requires adopting a fresh and insightful perspective on everyday challenges, predicting emerging trends or boldly challenging conventional wisdom.
It is important to note that not every subject matter expert is considered a thought leader. Those who are recognized as such possess a combination of expertise, impact on their industry and in the verticals they serve. They are both experts and influencers, leading the thinking of their field; however, more than having great insights alone is required. Expertise and insights must be widely visible, setting them apart from those with quiet expertise.
Four Steps to Becoming a Security Thought Leader
In the words of Albert Einstein, "The leader is one who, out of the clutter, brings simplicity... out of discord, harmony... and out of difficulty, opportunity."
There is an opportunity to become a thought leader in the security industry, but what is your niche? Becoming a thought leader requires more than expertise; it requires a deliberate effort to position oneself as a visible and influential figure within the industry. By consistently following certain strategies and providing valuable insights, individuals can establish themselves as thought leaders who not only shape the future of the industry but also turn their unique perspectives into tomorrow's best practices. Here are four steps to developing a thought leadership strategy in the security industry:
1. Identify and research the target audience: Understand who you are trying to reach with your message. Identify key decision makers, influencers and leaders who can benefit from your insights, and understand their concerns, challenges and pain points. This knowledge will enable you to position your message better and provide valuable solutions.
2. Define your areas of expertise: Rather than attempting to cover every aspect of the industry, focus on specific areas where deep understanding and unique insights exist. Individuals can establish themselves as go-to authorities in their chosen niches by narrowing the focus.
3. Develop a content strategy: Craft content that is compelling and offers a unique and thought-provoking angle. Thought leaders establish themselves as trusted experts who provide actionable insights and solutions by creating valuable resources that the audience can use and recommend.
4. Determine a visibility strategy: It is important to consider the who, what, when, where, why and how of delivering content. That means understanding the target audience's preferred communication channels and selecting the mediums to share insights most effectively. This may include securing speaking opportunities at industry conferences, publishing articles in trade magazines, leveraging social media platforms, and actively participating in online industry communities.
Building strong relationships within the industry and collaborating with other thought leaders can also increase visibility and influence.
Kristie Kidder is Director of Marketing for PSA Security Network. Request more info about PSA at www.securityinfowatch.com/10214742.