Peter Winick here with Thought Leadership Leverage, and today I want to talk to you about academic research. When you’re working in the idea space people are constantly going to ask you why. “Why does your idea work?” “Why should I change?” “Why should I listen to you?” You’re selling them something, so of course they’re not gonna trust you.
But people trust experts.
So much so that in a January 2014 Nielsen study, unbiased, expert endorsement showed to increase a consumer’s likelihood of purchase by 67%. (find that report here) Chances are you’re not the only person interested in leadership skills or productivity or whatever your specialty is—there are volumes of academic research, research done by people with lots of fancy letters after their name, that you can use to strengthen your content.
There are two key ways I like to use academic research. The first is as a sort of logic check for content. If your vision is clashing with what the research says, then it might be time to step back and reevaluate your idea. On the other hand, if the research supports your ideas then you can find away to work that into your content.
The second way I use research is as a marketing tool. So you’ve done the research, everything checks out, you’ve applied it to your content— now you can approach potential clients with your product and say, “Don’t listen to me, listen to the experts.” Independent research is unbiased. They aren’t getting paid by your organization, aren’t trying to sell anything to anyone, they just want to know.
So when an expert in your field says your ideas check out, it lends a bit more substance to your product. So that’s how I like to use academic research to strengthen my clients message. And I get it, research isn’t for everyone. If academia isn’t your thing, there are plenty of people out there that would be happy to dig around in a library and translate that information for you. Thank you.