How To Become A Thought Leader In Your Industry
Do you want to become a thought leader in your industry? It’s easier than you can imagine. In this article you will learn how to become a thought leader in your industry by following some simple steps.
What Is A Thought Leader
I have some good news for you. You are already a thought leader. A thought leader is anyone who has a perspective on a topic or something of value to share with others. You don’t have to have a Masters Degree or know how to fly to the moon to be a thought leader. You just need a willingness to share and put yourself out there.
This is a very important perspective because many people overthink what it means to be a thought leader. They think that some how they aren’t “good enough” or they need to reach a certain level of success and that is not the case.
Share Your Expertise
Once again, the most important part to being a thought leader is having a willingness to share your knowledge and what’s on your mind. This lesson really hit home for me when I was the emcee of a marketing conference in New York. We were doing Q&A with the audience and a woman in the crowd stood up and asked, “why would anyone care about what I have to say on a podcast?” The answer was, “because if you have something inside of you that can help even one person then it is your duty to share it.”
We all have so much knowledge and insight and goodness inside of us that can help others, so SHARE IT! Don’t discredit yourself because you think there are already a ton of people in your industry who are sharing their thoughts or you’ve never done this before. Those are all self limiting beliefs that belong in the trash. You have a unique voice and no one is you. Becoming a thought leader is your opportunity to shine and to help others and do it in your voice. What anyone else is doing is irrelevant.
Benefits of Becoming a Thought Leader
There are so many good things that come from becoming a thought leader in your industry. By sharing insights you’ll gain credibility & trust and become someone others look towards when they have questions or are looking for someone to provide a service. When you rinse and repeat your thought leadership consistently it will increase your awareness and become a driver of revenue. It will also increase your engagement, which will help you create new relationships and deeper existing ones.
As you share thought leadership more you’ll also feel satisfaction and fulfillment because you know you are doing things that help others. As if that’s not enough, your thought leadership will help you become recession proof. Because those who invest in giving to others, increasing their brand awareness, and and building more relationships have a stronger foundation.
Creating Thought Leadership Ideas
One of the most common questions I get is, “What do I even talk about? I don’t know where to start.” The solution is simple. What I want you to do is remove all distractions and give yourself the gift of a brainstorming session. Set a timer on your phone for 30 minutes. Grab a pen and paper or your computer and start writing down ideas. Ask yourself, “what would I love to talk about?”, “what do I know or have learned that could help others?”, or “what topics in my industry do I have an opinion on?”. Whatever comes to mind I want you to write down. Let it flow. Enjoy this. Once you are done with this congratulations. You now have your thought leadership list of things you can share. Go through each of your ideas, pick the ones that resonate that most with you, and then go share them!
Create Your Thought Leadership Platform
There are a lot of ways you can share your thought leadership. It can be written (blogs, newsletters, social media posts, other people’s publications/platforms, white papers), it can be videos (which you can share on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, webinars, live streams), it can be audio (create a podcast, speak from stage),or it can be visual (create images). The good news is you get to choose which platform(s) you want to share your thought leadership on.
If you look at that list and say, “I’ve never done any of that before” then it’s all good. We all start at zero and it’s not hard to learn. You can also hire someone to help build your brand and do the things you don’t want to. This will accelerate the speed in which you execute and guarantee it gets done. The key is you must be willing to take action.
Promote Your Expertise
One of the common objections I hear from people who who are just starting out in building their brand and sharing thought leadership is, “I don’t want to come off as overly promotional.” While I understand where they are coming from they are missing one key element: VALUE. When you are sharing value with your thought leadership you create by design it is not overly promotional. In actuality it is the opposite. You are creating as a way of helping others. Because of that do as much creating as you want. The more you can create and share the more impact that will be generated.
The next question I hear often is “what are the best places to promote my content?” The answer is everywhere. One of my favorite quotes around brand building is “everything you do is an opportunity to create a positive brand interaction.” Because of that anything you can think of is an opportunity for you to promote what you are creating. “But Rob, that seems like a lot. I don’t want to get overwhelmed.” Remember, you are in control. Just because you can share your thought leadership on a myriad of platforms doesn’t mean you have to. What’s more important is that you take action on one thing. Once you get that going then you can open up to other platforms when you are ready.
Becoming a thought leader in your industry is a game changer. When you step into it you’ll open up new doorways that you didn’t even know were possible. You’ll have people reaching out to you thanking you for the value you delivered for them. You’ll also feel fulfilled knowing that you are a positive force for good that is helping make the world or your industry a better place. The key is you have to be willing to put yourself out there and live in action. When you do good things will come your way.