We saw over the last few years how Mark Suster and Fred Wilson became investor celebrities by blogging consistently on startup topics. They have both build a large follower base, and industry wide respect due to openly sharing the knowledge they have.
There is nothing more important than consistency of sticking to one core subject and blogging at regular intervals (one or few times a week) more important than anything else. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to know something about the subject matter. However, you do not need to be an authority when you start, but you will surely become one if you build a large enough fan base.
When I started blogging in 2006, my blog became the most read blog on EIPP and electronic invoicing, not because I knew more about the subject than anyone else, but because I blogged on regular basis and stuck to the subject matter. I was also building an EIPP/e-invoicing startup, and I used the blog to publish my research into the subject matter including writing extensively about my competitors. This resulted in organisations such as Citibank asking for advice.
Today, the new thought leaders are using multiple of channels including the traditional blogging. But the new tool in their arsenal is fast becoming Quora. I myself have started to use Quora, as it is vital that we build thought leadership around edocr.com’s core value proposition, the Document ROI.
Among the new thought leaders emerging is none other than Jason Lemkin, who co-founded and steered Ecosign to its eventual exit to Adobe. I am a big fan of Jason. I do not agree with everything Jason posts, but he is sharing significant insight which is helping me with my own entrepreneurial journey.
Another thought leader is Christoph Janz, who I call “the chap who funded Zendesk” in early days. Christoph has gone into fund many of the cool SaaS players in Europe from FreeAgent to Geckoboard. I live in hope that one day he would take an interest on what we are trying to achieve.
There are others who have also detected the power of Quora, but these two stand out for me. Jason is more aggressive in use of Quora, as he is building thought leadership whilst no doubt exploring the next gig.
In addition to answering questions, the next step in your use of Quora is to setup boards, as Jason has done with SaaStr. I have also setup few boards to capture interesting Q&A from Quora, and you might be interested in following one or two.
Quora is certainly becoming an addictive place, especially after the demise of Focus.com. Currently, there is significant knowledge on startups and less on marketing. By contributing, you can help Quora build the knowledge base, and in the process self-help to become a thought leader.
So if you have not tried or have given up Quora in the past, I would suggest you take another look.