#003 | 5 Ways To Build Your Thought Leadership OnlineSep 17, 2022
Thought Leadership and the attention a strong online presence garners isn’t just flattery. It helps to establish your reputation, earn trust and respect from your peers, initiate and solidify relationships that will help grow your business and your career.
If you don’t know where to get started and feel uncomfortable putting yourself out there (on Linkedin), you’re not alone. Creating a thought leadership presence puts fear in the hearts and minds of many talented professionals. What will I talk about? What if people don’t like it? Who will care? And, more importantly, how will I find the time to write thought-provoking content or respond to comments?
Why You Should Build Your Thought Leadership Presence
Let’s put it this way: your thought leadership is about cementing your position as a trustworthy authority and the go-to expert in your field.
Many professionals, executives and even entrepreneurs recognize the importance of establishing a presence within an industry as a leader rather than a follower. Consequently, establishing thought leadership can be an incredibly useful means of building both a personal and professional brand reputation.
In this newsletter, I’ll share 5 ways to build your Thought Leadership and how you can use it to your advantage. Let’s dive in.
1.Clarify your area of expertise (and stick to it).
You need to be clear and consistent with your insights within your area of expertise. Creating a niche market or specific area of expertise can help you build your brand and establish credibility in your field. Don’t attempt to be a thought leader in every area related to your industry. Instead, focus on what you know best and hone in on that message repeatedly. It’s more effective to go deep on a few topics than to spray across too many complementary topics. If you try to speak to everyone by covering too many topics, you’ll likely speak to no one.
2.Review Existing Thought Leadership
Do some research and see what kind of thought leadership already exists in your niche. This includes analyzing both you and your competitors.
Explore various communication channels in your industry like:
- Online forums and communities
- News resources (online and offline)
- Trade publications and journals (online and offline)
- Personal brand platforms, such as LinkedIn and Medium
- Company blogs
- Social media
- Webinars and conferences
Increase your knowledge of what the current thought leadership trends and ideas are. This will help you get a better understanding of the main issues in your industry.
It will also allow you to familiarize yourself with who its primary thought leaders currently are.
3.Provide unique value
The core of thought leadership is about having the answers to the questions that your target audience finds most important. However, just having the answers isn’t enough. Wherever appropriate, you must also be able to provide unique insights and perspective to the topic that is distinct from those offered by your competitors. Effective thought leadership occurs when your distinctive expertise and passion align with the interests and needs of the audience that you are making an effort to engage. Your content should inform and educate. Ultimately, you should be helping your audience identify or recognize their problem, needs or requirements, and pointing them toward a solution.
If you're going to be a thought leader, people have got to remember you. They won't if you're not publishing content on a regular basis. Even if you provide a few strong, memorable posts, it won't be enough to establish you as a thought leader. You've got to commit to consistency and consistently create content. The goal is to stay on top of people’s minds.
5.Don't limit yourself
You don’t have to be serious in all your posts. Really. People will get bored. Don't limit yourself to one type of content. Based on what you feel the most comfortable (to start with) you can try articles, videos, podcasts, infographics. Ultimately, you need to find what's best for you, your message and your audience. Once you find the sweet spot, it will be more of a collaboration between you and your audience as opposed to just you creating content. Your audience will engage, ask questions, share their insights, etc.
When it comes to Thought Leadership, you can blow smoke or be the real deal. I really hope that you’ll start implementing those tips. They are just a starting point but the payoff can be huge.
See you next week again.
With your success in mind…Darine
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