3 Min Read
Becoming a thought leader means more than just posting regular blogs on industry news. In fact, you can’t even really declare yourself as a thought leader; it has to come from your peers and those within your industry. Having this title has to be earned, by building up a reputation and proving yourself to others who are at the top of their field. Thought leaders are often innovative and speak out on new ideas, and are even trusted authoritative figures who command an audience whenever they speak on a topic.
The point of being a thought leader is to help and inspire others, as well as even benefitting your brand and bringing in results. After all, if you’re deemed to be an expert, then people will do business with you too! So, if you’re looking to be an authoritative voice within your industry, how do you go about it?
If you work within a competitive industry, or it’s saturated with experts already sharing their opinions and advice, it’s important that you hone in on a smaller niche. Position yourself as the boss of one aspect of your industry, and make it your focus. Not only will this present you with less competition, but you’ll also be able to really specialise your knowledge.
Most will choose the same industry they work in, but you can even pursue your interests outside of work if you wish. So, whether you’re the CEO of a high flying company, or you have a huge passion for photography, you can position yourself to a be thought leader if you choose a unique approach and know what you’re doing.
The most important thing is that you love your niche and you have a real passion for it; this will shine through in anything you do.
Building a personal brand is so important as it helps to frame who you are and what you’re about; it gives you a foundation to market yourself and make sure you’re getting the right exposure. Having a personal brand also means you can differentiate yourself from others within your industry.
Build your brand and people will have a face to put to a name, and a set of values to make sense of. It allows people to understand you a little better, making you automatically more approachable. Alongside your brand, you should also be building your voice. Establishing your voice within your niche is the beginning of it all; start publishing thought-provoking and insightful content, allowing your personality to shine through.
Writing unique and interesting content, peppered with your own opinions and predictions, can put you in a great position to start with.
It’s important that you create an audience that believes in what you’re saying. To do this, you need to network. Mingle with those who move in the same field as you, including those who have already achieved great success; you’ll be surprised how much you can learn from them.
Attend events, participate in speaking opportunities at conferences and build online contacts who are genuinely interested in what you have to say. This can give you an air of authority, giving you credibility and pushing you further into a thought leader.
You should also make sure you’re contributing with guest posts too; write your inspiring thoughts for other publications and get your name out there. Speak to other industry leaders; you could even interview them to create some great content.
Above all, make sure you’re getting plenty of experience in your field, write plenty of fascinating content and be authentic.