A thought leader is very innovative, respected and well connected. Given the fact that thought leaders’ views are influential and authoritative, it makes sense that most freelancers and business owners can benefit from taking on this role.
The best thing about thought leadership is that you don’t need to go to school to become a thought leader or earn any special credentials (although having certain credentials could work in your favor).
Here are 5 quick ways to reach thought leadership status and enjoy benefits like increased brand awareness, profitability, value, and even a competitive advantage in your industry.
1. Determine What Your Brand Will Reflect
If you want to build a solid reputation as a thought leader, you’ll need to establish what you want your brand to represent. Most thought leaders specialize in industries they do most of their work in so it shouldn’t be hard to narrow down your specific brand.
Whether you coach other business owners, design websites, or run a retail store, determining your brand is important so everything you do can reflect it.
Your website, content, and social media accounts should all reflect your brand.
2. Stay On Top of Industry Trends
The next thing you want to do is stay on top of news and trends in your industry, so you can be one of the first people to report the information to your audience and clients. You can use Google Alerts and Google Reader to set up alerts for specific keywords and phrases so you can see them earlier.
You can also attend online and offline events in your industry to learn new tips and trends that you can share with your audience to enlighten them.
3. Get Published on Reputable Sites
To expand your reach and demonstrate your credibility, you’ll want to get published on reputable sites and do a few media appearances. This may not happen overnight, but you can start by building up your blog and guest posting on other sites.
Then, share the content on your social channels and schedule more social promotion for your content. This can all be done in a week.
Over time, you can pitch bigger sites and media outlets to score interviews and guest post spots to build up your portfolio.
The more eyes that land on your content, the better.
4. Partner With Other Influencers
As the popular saying goes, you are the average of the top 5 people you spend the most time with.
Network regularly so you can meet other influencers in your industry as you build up your brand. You can co-author a book with someone, speak at someone’s event, or help out with a campaign.
Establishing partnerships with others allow you to reach more people and learn first hand from the influencer you’re working with.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Yourself
Thought leaders are original and creative. In order words, one of the easiest things you can do is be yourself.
Share your opinions and your wisdom. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through, takes risks, and develop new solutions that can help people.
Whether it’s been done before or not, you can always put your unique spin on things.
Summary: Be Innovative and Stand Out From The Crowd
Becoming a thought leader has become easier thanks to the digital society we now live in. If you have something important or groundbreaking to share and wish to influence others, you can create and launch the platform you need to do so.
You can automate alerts and announcements to stay current, promote your content like crazy, and partner with other influencers, websites, and brands to build up your credibility.