There’s tremendous value in establishing yourself as a thought leader. Not only does it mean a higher profile for your personal brand, but that influence feeds back into any business venture you touch, giving you an essential advantage.
People will recognize you as an expert in your subject. They will trust you—and be willing to buy from you—on the strength of your authority.
So, how do you gain the title of “thought leader?” Start by building your platform and gaining name recognition using these simple tips:
#1. Constantly Publish Quality Content
The first step is your personal blog. If you think of your profile or personal brand as a campaign, then your blog is the linchpin that holds the entire campaign together. Your target audience are the people you’re eventually trying to sell to. So, the best way to attract them is posting quality, well-written content that offers genuine value, free-of-cost.
Long-form, in-depth blog posts are a great way to demonstrate that you know your stuff, and should be taken seriously as an authority on the subject. Podcasts are another great option, both of which you can host from the same place. You should also post regularly—at least once a week, if not more—to maintain your following and give the impression that you’re active and involved in the industry.
Then, punctuate these regular blog posts with occasional high-level publications as well, such as eBooks, guides, and video tutorials.
#2. Engage on Social Media
Your content is not going to go viral on its own. You need to share it, and get followers and other industry figures to share as well.
Remember: social media is a reciprocal game. To gain traction, you first need to provide value to others, which means sharing others’ content, commenting on posts, and joining the broader conversation underway in your industry.
The goal is to try and build yourself up on social media as both an active member of the community, as well as a credible resource. You can achieve this by answering peoples’ questions; if you can provide answers to problems that stump others, they will automatically acknowledge your expertise. A great place to start here is Quora, which is a site that allows users to ask questions, as well as answer other users.
#3. Publish Guest Posts
Always be on the lookout for a soapbox to stand on.
The best and most immediate place to start here is by publishing guest posts. Look for sites that either cater, or which are at least related, to your niche. Try to find if the site has published guest post guidelines; if not, hunt for email addresses or other contact information that you can use to reach the editorial team. Pitch them your best idea—or ideas—in a simple and concise paragraph of text.
Not the greatest writer? Don’t worry; hiring a ghostwriter to create and shop-around content on your behalf is easy.
#4. Land Speaking Engagements
Now you’re getting to the big time: proposing a speaking slot at an industry conference, tradeshow, webinar, or other important event.
C-level executives and other thought leaders, like Chargebacks911® CEO Gary Cardone, leverage their personal brand capital to land speaking engagements. This allows them to directly address their audience from a position of authority; it says, “I’m the one with the info, you’re the one who’s here to benefit from it.”
This is the toughest part of the process, though. You need to leverage all the clout that you built up through blogging, sharing, and guest posting to land these spots. After all, event organizers don’t give these seats to just anyone; you need to demonstrate why you’re worth investing the time and space, and why only you can provide the insight event attendees want.
Once you’ve perfected the fourth step…congrats! You can now justifiably count yourself among the vaulted, highly-sought-after ranks of the true thought leaders.