Thought leadership: the term’s become inescapable in marketing circles. You might have read my article, “7 Things Thought Leaders Don’t Think.” It invoked a lot “hell yeahs” here at our blog, The Point, but caused a bit of a commotion in a LinkedIn group where I apparently teed-off a few thought leaders (or wanna-be’s). For the record, I want to make my position clear:
I do not have an anti-thought leadership stance.
My aim was to say that calling yourself one is a turnoff.
Striving to be a thought leader is a solid marketing strategy.
By building authority in your industry and earning recognition as an expert (especially from those with influential voices), you’ll effectively expand your audience. More—and greater—opportunities will follow.
The strategy surfaces more often than ever before for a couple of reasons. One, this is the age of specialization. Identifying and pursuing a niche can be a highly effective way to speed your path to success. Secondly, marketers, personal branders, or anyone aiming to establish a reputation as an expert, has more chances to do so. The publishing doors have all swung wide open. If you have advice and innovative ideas to share on your subject, nothing should stand in your way. The web is yours. Start publishing.
The Prezi presentation above from “open publishers” Lulu.com lays out a thoughtful plan to build authority as a thought leader, which I endorse. The steps recommended in the animated presentation include:
• Define your audience
• Produce content via a blog
• Extend your reach with social media
• Contribute interviews to relevant media and guest blog
• Conduct webinars
• Create a variety of content across a variety of media types
• Publish eBooks
• Use modern tools such as apps and Prezi (a great video is embedded on the tool)
• Participate in events where you can share your ideas
More great resources.
Stephanie Chandler, an established author and speaker I happen to know and respect, uncovers a great list of ideas for you in her Forbes article, “Experts Rule: 15 Ways to Establish Authority in Your Field.” If you want to really dig into the topic, you’ll find Stephanie’s book extremely helpful. Get a copy of: Own Your Niche: Hype-Free Internet Marketing Tactics to Establish Authority in Your Field and Promote Your Service-Based Business.
Another goldmine of a book is “Branding Pays” by Karen Kang, who I had the pleasure of getting to know at a marketing conference. Karen details a five-step system to reinvent your personal brand, which has become the de facto name for what we’re actually talking about here.
I can help you too.
I haven’t written a book expressly on the subject, but offer strategies and creative services, which can help you accomplish all of the marketing tactics covered here. I recently published “Enlarge Your Digital Footprint for More Effective Online Marketing,” an article that includes a long list of suggestions for ways you can be discovered online and build your authority.