You've seen them: thought leaders. These are the people who have mastered the art of helping others with their careers, their businesses, and even their personal lives. They're often looked up to by people as an expert in what they do and receive referrals from other professionals in their field because of how knowledgeable they are about a topic. With so many benefits that come with being known as a thought leader, it's worth considering how you can become one yourself—and how you may already be on your way there! Here are some steps you can start to inculcate today to begin your journey to thought leadership.
Start with a niche within your industry.
You might think that being a thought leader means having to be an expert in every aspect of your field, but this isn't the case at all. In fact, it's often more helpful if you specialize in one area and become known for it—and then use this expertise to branch out into other areas over time.
For example, if you're a social media consultant who specializes in helping small businesses with their online marketing efforts, start by focusing on this niche and writing about it regularly so that others can learn from what you do. This will help you build up your reputation as an expert in this field.
As you become more known for your expertise in this area, people will start to notice and ask questions. From there, you can branch out into other areas of social media marketing or online business-related topics that are relevant to your niche—and then write about these as well. The key here is to keep the focus on what you do best and use it as a way to branch out into other areas where you can offer value.
Follow leaders in your field.
If you want to be an expert in your niche, then it’s important that you follow the leaders in your field. Keep up with their latest news and ideas so that you can stay on top of what’s going on. This will help keep your mind fresh and allow you to continue learning from those who have come before you—and who are doing it better than most. It can also be a great way to get inspired by some of the things they do or say.
Find gaps in thought leadership and fill them.
It's important to note that not all gaps in thought leadership are created equal. You should be creative and think outside the box when considering how you can fill a gap in your industry. For example, a popular way to fill a gap in thought leadership is by creating an industry report or white paper that analyzes the current trends in your field. This can be a great way to educate customers on what they should know about the industry and how it affects them.
Speak at industry events.
Speaking at industry events is a great way to start building your thought leadership brand. While speaking at such events will not get you thousands of followers overnight, it will give you the opportunity to connect with people who are interested in your area of expertise and they may even become loyal readers of your blog or newsletter.
If you aren't comfortable speaking in front of large crowds, it's important to consider taking an active role at events like these that don't require public speaking. You can still be recognized as a thought leader by helping organize a panel discussion or hosting an informal networking event where people can meet one another.
Publish thought-leading content on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is one of the most popular platforms for sharing content, and it's also a great place to showcase your expertise in your industry. As a thought leader, publishing articles on LinkedIn can help you build credibility and gain exposure for both your personal brand and your business.
LinkedIn has over 400 million users worldwide, so there's an audience out there waiting for you to share your knowledge with them. As you publish content on LinkedIn, be sure to include a link back to your website or blog. This will help drive traffic and increase your overall brand awareness.
We hope you enjoyed learning about the steps to becoming a thought leader in your industry. If you’re ready to get started, we recommend starting with finding gaps in thought leadership within your industry and filling them!
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