Thought Leader Life with Laura Mackey (@laurasmackey) #005

In this episode of Thought Leader Life, Michael and I share insights with guest expert Laura Mackey on finding and developing thought leaders within an organization and matching them with future advocates. Laura leads a team of social media experts working to nurture thought leadership within their company (Fortune 100 firm) in order to establish an advocate base.

Laura talks about using specific tools to build up or create thought leaders and evangelists who are then matched with future advocates their company is trying to reach. For Laura, thought leadership is a natural ability of someone who is ready to send their message across, and this is something that she and I will discuss further in a future Google Hangout episode (since we don’t share the same view). Thought leaders are those who have a point of view and are not easily swayed by the tide. In an organization, a thought leader should have an authority level so people would want to listen to them. They need to be outgoing, be willing to make presentations, and build relationships.

The interview touches on the Thought Leadership Funnel developed by THiNKaha in which the process of awareness, engagement, being an advocate is presented visually. Laura expressed her excitement over this visual presentation as she says she is now in the middle-narrow part of the funnel which is the decision making point when people who become engaged turn into actual advocates. And that is what she and her team are doing – posting blogs and videos of their company’s thought leaders and evangelists and then filtering the reactions or comments of readers and viewers to determine who to follow up.

Finally, Laura shares some metrics for success. One unique tool their company is using internally to measure performance is a dashboard that tracks how much advocates are mentioning the company and are speaking on their behalf. Ultimately, it is about having advocates who share the voice of your thought leaders.

Here are a few “‘aha’ moments” from the episode. See more in the upcoming book, soon to be a part of the THiNKaha app-only book series and watch the interview below!

Not everyone can be a thought leader. Thought leaders are people who have natural talents & gifts. #tll @laurasmackey

There’s nothing that will solidify a thought leader’s point of view on something than writing it out. #tll @laurasmackey

Social media tools are used to not only to find folks to talk to, but to turn them into future advocates and advocates. #tll @happyabout

Learn more about Laura at her LinkedIn profile and follow her on Twitter @laurasmackey.