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Becoming a thought leader is a great way to increase brand awareness and boost your career. However, it takes time to establish yourself as one. Here are a few tips when starting your journey to becoming a thought leader.
To become a thought leader, the first thing you need to do is pin down the niche you're going to focus on. You might already be working or involved in a particular industry, but to establish yourself as a thought leader, you need a specific area of expertise — something that you know better than anyone else.
Consider your talents and strengths. What are you passionate about? Not only do you need to know your niche inside out, but you should also be enthusiastic and continually develop your knowledge and expertise.
Set yourself up with a blog and start writing in-depth, valuable content that demonstrates your knowledge. It's an excellent way to establish yourself as a thought leader and develop a unique voice to help you stand out in your niche.
Make sure that the content is full of valuable insights that are going to be relevant to your niche's audience. And don't just repeat content that's already out there — provide a different angle, new information, and actionable advice. You need to be sharing content that highlights why people should listen to you and follow what you're saying.
To build up your credibility as a thought leader, publish new posts to your blog regularly and build up a sizable archive of content. For resources on getting started and building up a successful blog, take a look at ProBlogger.
You should also find other relevant sites and blogs and contribute guest blogs to increase awareness of your expertise.
For tips on starting your blog:
Stay up to date with the latest industry news and trends, attend relevant events, and network with other experts and thought leaders in your industry. Conferences, seminars, and courses are all great ways to get to know people in your industry, and you'll be able to learn more about the industry itself and the topics and issues that your peers are interested in.
Try to meet as many people in your industry as you can and get to know other thought leaders, experts, and businesses. When you attend events or presentations, reach out to the speakers and give them your thoughts and feedback and how you'll apply what they've shared. You should also sign up to speak yourself to share your insights with an engaged audience.
Getting involved in your industry and connecting with others will also help you build up your reputation, and people will start to recognize your expertise.
For more information on how to build your community with content:
Another good way to boost your reputation as a thought leader is to share your expertise through an online course. Narrow down a specific topic or area that people want to learn about and create a course that shares your knowledge on the subject.
It's easy to set up an online course, and you'll be able to prove your expertise by teaching others and providing valuable insights and tips that people can use. Take a look at sites like Learning Revolution, which provide reviews of different platforms for creating online courses, as well as the equipment and software you need, plus tips on how to get started.
Once you've created a course, you'll have something to promote and share with your target audience. Ask people who take the course to give you feedback and share it with their network to increase your reach.
Social media is also going to be vital to boosting your online presence and becoming a thought leader. Set yourself up with an account on the leading platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Ensure your profile details are complete with relevant information about yourself and a link to your website, and use a professional profile picture.
Focus on growing your following on social media by regularly posting relevant content and utilizing hashtags on your posts to help you reach the relevant audience. LinkedIn is one of the best places to share blog posts and news to establish yourself as a thought leader. You can easily target relevant professionals and businesses in your industry.
You should also make sure to engage with others on social media by commenting, linking, and resharing others' posts. Use resources like these Sprout Social guides to learn how you can build an effective social media strategy that will help you to become a thought leader.
For more information on social media resources:
As a thought leader, be clear about focusing on sharing your knowledge and insights. Try to avoid talking about yourself too much, as it will come across as self-promotional. You can highlight your qualifications and experiences, but don't spend too much time telling people you're an expert; instead, show them that you are through the knowledge you share.
It takes time to build yourself up as a thought leader — it won't happen overnight. You need to be consistent in your approach and plan out a strategy to provide valuable insights regularly. Publish new blog posts weekly or monthly, engage on social media every day, and attend events as often as you can. You also need to be up to date with the latest news and developments and constantly bring fresh ideas and innovative approaches to stand out in your industry.
Whether you want to become a thought leader to advance your career or promote your business, these tips will help you share your expertise and engage with your audience.
Originally published on April 7th, 2021, last updated on June 16th, 2022.