Some Thoughts on Becoming a Thought Leader

Everyone wants to be a thought leader these days. At least, that’s what other thought leaders tell us.

Whether you call it thought leader, subject matter expert or some other buzz phrase, being highly regarded in your field is a great way to not just get noticed yourself, but to also attract new clients for your product or service.

Tips for Becoming a Thought Leader

Not sure how to position yourself as a thought leader? Here are some tips to get you thinking:

  • Know your industry. If you work in your industry, that’s a given. But also be aware of new, bleeding edge trends. Be willing to share those trends. After all, your customers come to you because you know your industry.
  • Form opinions on new trends. People look to you for guidance. Just don’t be too definite about new ideas. Some of your predictions or opinions may turn out to be false. If you positioned yourself as having all the answers, you might end up hurting yourself. People don’t expect thought leaders to be right 100% of the time, but it’s important to strike a balance between being opinionated and bombastic.
  • Share useful articles on social media such as your Twitter and Facebook accounts. If you don’t share your wisdom, no one will benefit from it.
  • Write useful, informative content in your blog. This might be the most important part of being a thought leader, since a blog allows you to develop and explain ideas.
  • Answer questions whenever and wherever you’re asked. LinkedIn Groups, LinkedIn Answers, and other social networks like Quora are a good place to start.
  • Consider giving talks to local business and trade groups. If you do, post your PowerPoint slides on SlideShare and bring print-outs of the slides as handouts.
  • If you have the capacity and the demand exists, consider giving a webinar.
  • Release a white paper on industry trends once a year. Make it available on your company website in exchange for visitors’ contact information.
  • Publish a regular email newsletter about your industry.
  • Follow other blogs in your industry and participate in the comments section.
  • Publish guest posts on industry blogs.

It will take some work, but with the help of social media, you might even make yourself a hot commodity with the mainstream media, who will may seek you out. When that happens, you know you’ve arrived in the thought leader stratosphere.

Don’t think it can happen to you? Read more tips from someone who put her mind to it and became a thought leader in just six easy steps. Well, maybe not that easy, but well worth the effort.


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