The term thought leader gets thrown around a lot these days. You may be thinking it is just another corporate buzzword. However, becoming a thought leader can be invaluable to your business or career.
According to an Edelman-LinkedIn study, more than half of people said they use thought leadership to vet organisations they may hire. Quality thought leadership provides value to your customers. You help them develop and learn, giving them valuable insights into your industry and facilitating the growth of communities, connecting your audience.
But how do you become a thought leader? Let’s be honest. It's not easy and can't be done overnight. But it can be done. In this article, we cover some top tactics you can put into place to start your journey into becoming a thought leader.
Before we get started on how to become a thought leader, we should clearly define what a thought leader is.
A thought leader is an informed person within an industry that others will make their go-to source of information around a topic. They are a trusted source to who others look for inspiration, ideas, and insights.
Over time a thought leader will also build a dedicated group of followers and this group will often turn into a community within a specific industry.
Examples of thought leaders you may have heard of include:
Thought leadership takes time to establish. You can’t build credibility from one blog post, so don’t expect immediate results. Thought leadership is a long-term strategy. However, for it to be successful you need to get started on the right foot. Here are some top tips to get you started as a thought leader.
Consistency is key to thought leadership. Your audience needs to know where your area of expertise is. If you try to cover too many topics, it will be hard to establish yourself as an expert in any of them.
Focus on the area of your industry you know best. For example, if your industry is marketing you will want to nail down a specific area and not be too general. You can narrow it down to social media marketing and then Twitter marketing if that is where most of your knowledge is.
We are living in times of constant change. No matter the industry, new ideas and technologies will be constantly emerging. You want to establish yourself as an expert and thought leader. All the experts know that they can never know everything. You need to keep learning as your industry evolves.
You need to have the disciple and time to continue to learn. Read articles, subscribe to publications, take courses and keep expanding your knowledge so you have new insights to share with your audience.
Part of being a thought leader is building a personal brand. You need to create an online and social media presence with a loyal following.
It can be difficult to do this if you are starting from zero but there are some great ways you can establish a greater presence in your industry.
See inspirations here:
Thought leaders should also look to share content from others in their industry, not only publish original content. Stream’s new tool helps you find trending and relevant content to share with your audience to add value to their social feeds because no one has the time to consistently post original content. Sign up for a 14-day free trial today!