Monday, September 2, 2013

The Science of Thought Leadership

By Mark Helfen

The words “thought leadership” may be overused, even cliché.

But Mitchell Levy has elevated the idea to a science as the first Thought Leadership Architect. In short, he is a thought leader on thought leadership.  Creating thought leaders in your business can help advance its marketing goals, increase ROI, and help compete effectively in a crowded market. Levy has the tools and strategy to help you become one.

Levy will be the speaker at the next SVForum Marketing and Social Media SIG meeting, Monday, September 9 speaking on Learn How to Turn Yourself from Expert to Thought Leader/Guru! The meeting will begin at 6:30 at our regular location, the Citrix Startup Accelerator, 4555 Great America Parkway 3rd Floor, Santa Clara. He commits that everyone who attends will gain at least on “aha moment” on promoting their business, or them self.

Mitchel is CEO of both ThinkAha, a consulting firm focused on thought leadership, and Happy About, a book publisher. The two activities are related, since publishing a book is one of the tools that he promotes to be recognized as a thought leader.

According to Levy, before your prospect ever contacts you, they have put 60 to 80 percent of their effort into internet research. There are a huge number of messages out there; a thought leader draws attention in a crowded space. They become the “go-to guy” (or girl) for reliable information, and show your business as the source of expertise.

His consulting focus is creating thought leaders larger businesses. Employees are going to be on-line anyway. With some training, they can become “activated” to be evangelists for the business. In addition to promoting your brand, you can use the thought leadership of some part of your key people to promote the company. The combined efforts of several employees will have a greater effect than just brand promotion.

Of course, not everyone can take this role. Only a selected subset of all your people might be thought leaders. But it’s also a valuable role to power other people to get recognized as experts.

Levy has several tools in his kit to get this done. Writing books, video, and blogging are three ideas. He is a big fan of LinkedIn (his profile is here: Also Google+ seems to be a rising force. 

You may not be part of a large organization, but he commits that everyone will get an “aha moment” during the evening, and come away with two or three ideas to put to use, either for themself or their business. If you want an early preview of his thinking, download a free copy of his ebooks on his web site,

In our conversation, Levy had an interesting take. “The thought leaders of tomorrow are curators of the data we are browsing today.” Come by on Monday and hear more.

Be sure and sign up at the Marketing and Social Media Meetup site:


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant.

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