Let me be clear from the start; you can’t just declare that you are a thought leader, that’s up to other people to say.
A thought leader is a person or organization that is a recognized authority in a particular field and whose innovative ideas influence and guide others – and that doesn’t happen overnight.
Thought leadership is not just about being known – it’s being known to make a difference. Here are 3 steps you can take to gain credibility, influence your industry, and be recognized as a thought leader.
1. Be genuine
Build your personal brand by being genuine. The world is filled with copycats, and you’ll stand out when you’re being authentic as you let your unique qualities shine. So be true to who you are.
This means not watching what others are doing and trying to copy, compete, or one-up them; instead, do things your way. Take the road less travelled and inspire others to follow your lead.
2. Share your opinions
Find your voice and create pivotal content that is part of your mission. Your content should not only peak interest, but it should also provoke thought and lead others to where you want to lead them.
What you say and how you think draws people to you. So think bolder. Be specific. Ditch the platitudes and speak/write on purpose. One great word can replace 20 words of drivel. Say something worthwhile!
You want your content to be talked about and shared. What do you stand for? What does your business stand for?
And don’t be afraid to share your personal wisdom – the struggles you’ve endured and the lessons you’ve learned. No one else shares your stories so you stand apart when you share your personal experiences – they can’t be copied. And everyone loves a great story.
3. Be visible
You must be consistent with your message and committed to sharing it. Blog regularly. In addition to posting on your Web site, post your articles where your tribe will see it. Be strategic in how you share your content through guest blogs, social media, live events, public speaking, etc.
Look for and work with other influencers and connectors in your industry. As you develop your personal brand, they’ll be more than willing to share what you offer to their followers. This builds your credibility, expands your visibility, and opens the doors for more people willing to pay for your services.