How to Become a Thought Leader
Are you seen as a thought leader or a business trailblazer in your industry or niche? Or are you happy to be just one of the crowd?
Thought leaders are those we recognise as a foremost authority in their area of expertise, whose views are seen as authoritative and influential, making them the go-to person for comments, interviews and, of course, business. A thought leader has a powerful and visible personal brand, often built over time.
9 tips on how to become a Thought Leader
1. Become an authority
Select a particular topic or niche. Ideally, you will already have some experience in this area. Be well informed by reading everything you can about the topic and stay constantly up to date on it – BE THE EXPERT.
2. Love your topic and truly believe in it
Demonstrate your passion for your area of expertise by writing, speaking, doing interviews and making videos about it. Always be looking for new ideas related to your area of expertise. Your passion and belief will shine through if you’re truly authentic with your message. Most of us can spot a fake at twenty paces – don’t be that fake!
3. Engage with people
Whether you’re speaking at an event, doing face-to-face networking, interacting on social media or meeting a potential new client – be pleasant, be present and take the time to show an interest in other people, not just yourself. Once you’ve established rapport with the other person, they’re much more likely to show an interest in what you have to offer.
4. Share your expertise
Thought leaders into their experience and share it – you can do this too. Why not write social media posts, articles, fact sheets, guides, ebooks, books – or record videos if you prefer that medium?
5. Write a blog
Blog posts are the ideal platform to share your expertise, thoughts and ideas while positioning yourself as a thought leader. As the content is kept on your own website, you have total control over it, unlike what you post to social media.
Consistency is the key. If you say you’re going to post weekly, do it. If you think you can only manage one post per month, commit to it, choose a date and ensure that blog post is live on that day.
Blog posts can be repurposed as content for your client newsletter or as a guest post on another website or in on industry blog. A blog post which receives a lot of attention is the ideal topic to expand into an eBook, lead magnet or perhaps a complete book on the topic. If you’re not a writer, this task can be outsourced to a professional.
6. Leverage social media
Choose no more than 3 social media platforms and focus on being active on them. Choose your social media channels according to your audience – be where your people are.
Plan your posts and topics ahead of time. Be sure to post regularly and consistently. Be active in groups where your followers hang out and add value by answering questions. Interact with other leaders in your industry, as well as social media influencers and thought leaders.
7. Harness the media
Media and the public look to thought leaders for their input on changes, updates and fresh ideas. Offer to provide your expert commentary to media outlets – they love a great story and are constantly seeking the advice of experts in their field.
8. Nominate for awards
Winning an award is a fantastic way to boost your profile and become known in your local area, your industry, across the country or even worldwide. There are a multitude of industry awards, those run by your local business networking organisations or Chamber of Commerce, or high profile national awards. Using the services of an established awards nomination writer can assist in presenting the best possible submission and boost your chances of standing out from your competition.
9. Form your tribe
Surround yourself with people who complement your strengths, inspire you and support your efforts. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others, most people are happy to assist where they can. You can do it all alone – it takes a support team behind you.
One final tip … be patient. Becoming a thought leader takes hard work, dedication and creativity – and time. All the effort will be worthwhile when it pays off with huge benefits for those who are willing to stay the course.
Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, business owner and chief word wrangler at The Professional Writer. My team and I write content dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. This includes website content, capability statements, company profiles, team bios, business award nominations, blog post packages and more. We happily work with clients all over Australia. Email us to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project.