A thought leader is often someone within a specific industry that’s known for having innovative ideas and solutions. These leaders are considered as experts in their field of specialisation and would often have their opinions sought by others in the same industry.
You might wonder what makes a thought leader different from any other expert in the field. Well, for one, they’re recognised by companies, journalists, and other experts to be the thought leader within that industry. No, it’s not because they’re advertised as such but simply because they’re known to be the people with innovative ideas and solutions coupled with a deep understanding of the business. These thought leaders are often advertised and recognised through word of mouth from peers within the same industry.
If you’re interested in becoming a thought leader in today’s ever-changing world, then you’ll first have to embrace being generous. This is because to become a thought leader one has to be open to the thought of sharing one’s knowledge, expertise, and time for free to anyone who seeks it. Next, you’ll have to make sure you keep yourself open to change in your niche or industry and openly recognise it even before others see it.
Then you have to make sure you have a good idea of the journalists and editors who write about your industry. Meet with them and help them to get leads ,knowledge and information that they can use in their articles and publications. This will contribute a great deal to having your words and insights published and quoted in magazines that people in your industry read.
While having the press quote you and print some of your thoughts is great, you should make sure you continually put pen to paper and your thoughts to words. Create commercial white papers that highlight your expertise and innovative ideas. Come up with articles that show your unique insight into the industry. These documents will immensely help in solidifying your spot as a thought leader in the industry you’re in. Don’t be afraid to write about topics that others might think of as unusual; remember that being a thought leader means recognising trends or changes in your industry before others do.
After creating your articles and papers, do your best to get them published in industry-related magazines and blogs. This will help get the word out and show companies and individuals what you can offer. As much as possible, make these articles free and easily accessible to anyone who wants to read them.
In connection with getting your thoughts easily accessed, make use of your website to showcase your articles and papers. Make your website the foremost resource or knowledge base for companies, organisations, customers, and other leaders in the industry. This will greatly help cement your position as a thought leader and the go to person for ideas and unique solutions. Don’t forget that the easier people can access the information on your website, the more they’ll be back to read more and quote your ideas and link back to your website. In short, by having the information in your website in an easy to access way you’ll have more people making use of it and making your thoughts and your name known.
While offering up ideas for free for others to read and consider is one aspect of being a thought leader, it doesn’t mean that an individual or company cannot get money from it. In fact, once the position of being a thought leader in an industry is cemented, profits will come pouring in from many various, diverse and different channels. These can be consultation jobs, speaking engagements, or book deals. The short of it is that a thought leader is valued in whatever industry they’re in.
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