5 Tips for Becoming a Thought Leader
You've heard thought leadership mentioned before; it's one of those things that people reference along with SEO and content, but what does it really mean to become a thought leader? A thought leader is someone that has demonstrated expertise on a particular subject or an entire industry segment. If you practice family law, for example, you'd become a reliable source for information, opinions and even insight as it relates to this area of law.
Naturally, it doesn't happen overnight; and I won't lie—it isn't easy. But if you commit to it, you'll be able to reap the many benefits that come with being recognized as an industry expert, a thought leader. By following the tips below you'll be able to achieve much success.
Your target is looking online for answers, insights, information and overall guidance for their existing problems. To serve as the solution for your target audience, you have to rank high in their search results. If you do, they will ingest your content and will view you as a thought leader.
How: To ensure that your content shows up high on the search results, you must have a good amount of searchable content available throughout your site. Begin by creating one weekly blog post; then supplement your content by adding downloadable PDFs, white papers, videos, infographics, and more. This is the best way to show that you are an expert in the industry.
2. Be Credible
Above all, a thought leader ought to be credible and in the know. Whatever information you are providing to your audience must be accurate, and at the helm of the newest tools.
How: Show that you know the latest trends, insights, data, and other forms of useful information. This means you must always be learning. This adds to your credibility, making you the most reliable source for your target audience.
3. Be Active
Once you've produced the content, you'll want to promote it on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or on any social media platform that is relevant to your audience. This is another way of sharing valuable information.
How: Once you've created content, be sure to share it via email and on social media. Via email, you should have a regular newsletter that you send to your niche. Additionally, you should make sharing your content part of your social strategy. This means thoroughly understanding what time your audience is most receptive, and where and how to best relate to them.
Online communication, unlike print, isn't one-sided; it involves engaging with the people that are actively looking to you as a thought leader. This gives provides the perfect opportunity to answer questions, offer greater insight, and give additional information.
How: Respond to comments on any of your published content, answer questions on social media, and always keep the lines of communication open. Make sure you don’t keep your audience waiting, so actively monitor your online presence and be available to share valuable information and insights. Also, find those topics of discussion that will place you in the ideal spot to offer your expertise.
As an expert or authority in your field, you'll be able to offer coveted insight to reporters. Reading the news is a great way to figure out where your knowledge and expertise might be both relevant and timely and offer it to local reporters.
How: Consistently read the news, follow industry trends and take advantage of the opportunity to share your competence. Reporters will want to quote you as part of a story, and if convinced of your aptness will begin to use you as their go-to source. Alternatively, pitch the right journalist on a story that might not already be on the news but has local or even national interest.
While becoming a thought leader won't happen overnight, if you follow these steps you’ll be well on your way. Keep in mind that consistency is the key to success when it comes to marketing, and success is the key to a more profitable business.