It appears that many business leaders and executives have in the back of their minds that one day they would like to become a Thought Leader in their field. After they have put in many years in their industry, they find they know it as well as – if not better than – just about anyone else. Why not share this expertise with others?
However, becoming a successful Thought Leader can be a slow process. Along with patience, it requires strategy, passion, and what might be the most essential component, a genuine desire to help others. These others may be individuals, small businesses, or even major worldwide organizations.
While Thought Leaders are certainly not all the same, most do share some similarities.
Among them are the following:
- They have established themselves in their fields long before they become industry Thought Leaders. In other words, they have made a name for themselves in their industry over time. They have become known as a reliable industry insider, and their insight, experience, and credibility serve as their foundation for becoming an industry Thought Leader.
- They are forward-thinking and encourage their clients to be forward-thinking. For example, they are often the first to recognize trends in an industry. Because of this, they are frequently hired by clients to help them better realize and understand these trends, how these trends may impact their client’s business, and most importantly, what steps the client must take to ensure they come out stronger as these trends evolve.
- Using their experience, knowledge, and passion, they encourage others to move forward, focus on opportunities, and overcome any immediate challenges. People and organizations can become “stuck.” They are retained to help these individuals or organizations become “unstuck.” Doing so allows the client to move ahead and reach new heights.
- Along with helping others become unstuck, confident and influential Thought Leaders often help their clients “think differently,” even if it may sound a bit crazy at the time. Steve Jobs is the perfect example of a Thought Leader who thought differently. In fact, he established an entire advertising campaign for Apple in the 1980s based on thinking differently. At the time, many others in the computer industry thought he would fail; history tells us they were very wrong.
At this point you may be thinking that becoming a Thought Leader sounds pretty good. However, to be successful, Thought Leaders must know how to promote themselves.
Just because an individual wants to be a Thought Leader, is well-known in their industry, is considered credible, and has proven their capabilities does not mean becoming a successful Thought Leader is certain.
Instead, it takes an ongoing commitment of promoting their expertise to others within their industry. There are many ways to accomplish this, but it typically involves words – publishing in major trade publications as well as online platforms – that help build the foundation for success as a Thought Leader.
Yes, videos can be very effective too. But invariably, prospective clients need words to learn about a Thought Leader, recognize their skills and insights, and realize how this Thought Leader might help them or their organization.
We are fortunate that along with trade publications, LinkedIn provides one of the most important venues for sharing knowledge. However, all too often, it is underutilized or not utilized at all.
Although simple LinkedIn posts are not that effective at building a reputation, publishing articles on LinkedIn can be very powerful. Today, LinkedIn is where professionals find other professionals. Publishing content two or three times per week helps increase your influence and authority, which is key to becoming a Thought Leader – and that is where we can help you.
Watch this 40-second video to learn more.