In today’s competitive market, where businesses are competing for customers not only on a local level but international level, anything you can do to stand out will help. One of those is to become a thought leader in your industry, opening up opportunities for sales and revenue diversification. Below, we’ve rounded up our advice on how to become a thought leader….
Why would you want to become a thought leader?
Before we get started, let’s answer this question: why would you want to become a thought leader?
The truth is that not everyone can become a thought leader. There are too many people vying for consumers’ attention. Naturally, B2B and B2C consumers only have so many hours in the day to devote to social media, watching videos, and reading blogs. Once they’re “full up” with content, they move onto another task. Therefore, you’ll need to do everything you can to show people your voice is one that’s worth paying attention to.
And that’s exactly what thought leadership is. You can open up new opportunities for your business. It can help you overhaul your business. It can reposition your brand and allow you to win over new clients. Share your thoughts with the industry and make a genuine difference. Open doors and meet people who could change your fortunes. Spin-off into other avenues, like writing your own book or giving conference speeches.
Blogging can help you become a thought leader
One of the easiest ways to become a thought leader is to start writing content regularly. Both for your own blog and for third party websites, too. You should work hard to develop a voice for yourself that not only represents you in the best possible light but your business, as well.
Sharing content on the web certainly isn’t a new thing. But with so much content on the web nowadays – almost 4.5 billion blogs are published a day – you’ve got to go above and beyond to really impress. Your content shouldn’t just display your knowledge of your industry but a unique spin. It’s no good rehashing information and ideas that are available more in-depth elsewhere. You need to “level up” content and add more value than has ever been added.
Typically, that means long-form content. You can add in engaging elements like videos and infographics to make your content more sticky. And you can build credibility by writing new material every day. Your company blog should be updated weekly. You should also guest blog on third-party websites as often as possible. This will raise awareness and build links.
Have your thoughts published by others
As we’ve just touched upon, guest blogging is a great way to become a thought leader – and fast. Guest blogs offer long-term exposure for your brand, build credibility, drive traffic, and help you earn those all-importance backlinks which are essential for ranking high on Google.
Reach out to bloggers and ask them if they’re currently accepting content. Let them know that you’re an expert in your industry, and back up your claims with your own blog content. If you manage to build up a portfolio before you start pitching, you’ll find it much easier to score placements and blogging opportunities. Be persistent and ask bloggers, journalists, editors, and advertisers if they’d be willing to publish your thoughts. The more avenues you try, the better – but be ready for rejection. Most blogging requests are point-blank ignored.
Every time you score a guest placement, share it with your audience. If you want to become a thought leader, you need to convince your followers that you’re active and engaged in your community. Join LinkedIn, Medium, and Twitter to expand your reach and grow a following.
Become a thought leader on social media
The chances are that you follow fellow entrepreneurs on LinkedIn and Twitter. Ask yourself this: why did you follow them? What are they doing that you’re not doing? Why is their social media content more successful than yours? That will help you forge your own strategy.
Nowadays, everyone is on social media. To truly amplify your voice and thoughts, you need to have a presence. Sign up to all of the major networks and post as often as you can. You cannot afford to disappear from Twitter for six weeks.
Followers will forget about you, and perhaps even unfollow you in favor of another influencer. Schedule content in advance if you don’t have the time to be online. Ask a marketing team to manage your profiles for you.
Share not only your own content but articles from relevant sources and players. You can add commentary to those posts, asking your followers for advice. An estate agent, for example, might share an article on the COVID-19 crisis. T
hey could share their thoughts on the housing market and ask others for their opinions. This sparks debates and makes you the thought leader – you were the one who encouraged others to engage. It’s really that simple.
Network, network, network
The only way to make any meaningful impact is to network. With the right connections, you’ll find it much easier to become a thought leader. Head off to networking events, join forums and communities virtually, and host your own webinars to meet like-minded entrepreneurs.
Take the time to get to know other players in your industry. Don’t consider them a threat or the enemy – consider them friends and colleagues. They might be able to put you in front of one of their clients. Or offer you a spot on their roundtable or conference. Keep an open mind and always give back. Advice and time are free, so be generous when networking.
You can also use platforms like Meltwater, Newswire, and Help a Reporter Out. These are platforms that allow you to respond to journalists’ requests for comment. They might pitch an article on skincare. You can tell them the best products to use for the time of year. In the process, you’ll be featured in their magazine as a thought leader, and boost your reputation.
Become a speaker
If you’re looking to become a thought leader, you’ve got to have the confidence to speak. It is a good idea to pitch for conferences and events, where you can put yourself in front of warm leads who want to listen to what you have to say. Being on the bill as a speaker is good for building your persona – people will think you’re more credible if you’ve spoken on a subject.
Just starting out? Host your own conferences and talks. Webinars are a good way to find new leads and develop your skill as a performer. Whether you’re speaking to two people or two hundred, always give it your all. And repurpose your speeches for YouTube and Twitter.
Though it’s impossible to become a thought leader overnight, following the guidance we’ve offered will have you well on your way. If you need help building a personal brand, depend on the team here at Biz Online Marketing. We specialize in online public relations, guest posting, and social media. Our team can help you become a thought leader within your field.
While you’re on your journey, check us out on social media: we’re on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We regularly share advice on becoming a thought leader that you might find informative. Whatever your goals or strategy, we wish you the very best of luck.