A thought leader is someone who has developed expertise, tribe, and networks over a period to influence a specific audience in a particular demographic. This means that an influencer cannot be a generalist in a field.
Be it is marketing (Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk) or investments (Mahesh Murthy, Dave Ramsey, etc.), there are many influencers who have worked hard to capture the attention of their audiences and reaped the benefits.
In his perennial article titled “The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership,” influencer Brian Solis has enlightening words of wisdom for his peers.
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“Thought leadership is one of those things that’s easier to talk about than it is to achieve. I see it as a state, something earned, and not necessarily something you simply do. Smart thinking or communication or publishing does not necessarily equate to thought leadership. Its own people value it on the other side of your work that sets the stage for something great.
Thought leadership is an essential part of any successful content marketing strategy. Both B2C and B2B companies can benefit from the many advantages of thought leadership to build a more competitive reputation and ultimately drive more revenue.”
- Create content (15 minutes a day): create micro-content related to your industry, whether it’s a short post, or collecting a bunch of articles or controlling a section of a trend, etc. You can quickly use some great online tools to figure out what content works in your industry and replicate or build upon that content quickly. When you have your setup in place, you can automate it by keeping images, links, important points, etc., ready when the idea strikes you. Spend 15 minutes to start writing, sharing, posting, etc., to keep your audience engaged
- PR/outreach (10 minutes a day): for the next 10 minutes, reach out to influencers, media journalists, trend authoritarians or gatekeepers in your industry. Then, send them a personalised email regarding you and your content. Always remember to say thank you at the end.
- Community development (five minutes a day): reply to comments, comment on other blogs and pages, and become an active part of the community. Share valuable insights from your specialisation and make it about them and not just you. Reply to the comments you find most interesting with value and clarity. Most online influencers have created a massive following by mastering the first two ways.
It’s simple to become an industry expert. Just spend 30 minutes a day and get your message seen across the world with some simple tips on content, outreach, and community. While many leaders in the space are too busy to create good content and PR, you can quickly gather a sizeable audience by enlightening your audience in your own unique way. You can light a spark in your industry with just a few content pieces and make waves that put you at the centre of it all.