The foundation of thought leadership is content, knowledge, and experience.
As Matt Church, founder of Thought Leaders, says, ‘Subject matter experts know something, and thought leaders are known for knowing something.’
So you can have a whole journey from ‘giving examples’ to ‘becoming an example’.
It can be anything that you are focused on and have knowledge of or everything that you want people to know more about.
With that let’s see how we can define thought leadership.
- What is Thought Leadership?
- Authority Marketing VS Thought Leadership
- Importance of establishing thought leadership in your industry
What is Thought Leadership?
A formal definition is:
It is the ability to provide valuable insights and position yourself as an expert in your industry.
A thought leader becomes a trusted source of information that others in your industry turn to for guidance as well as inspiration.
Expertise comes from learning and for that reason, you have to be a student forever in your area of interest to be a thought leader.
Authority Marketing VS Thought Leadership
Authority marketing and thought leadership are like two peas in a pod – they’re different, but they go together so well.
While authority marketing is all about positioning yourself or your organization as a trusted source of information, thought leadership is about sharing your unique perspectives and insights on a particular topic.
Together, they can help you become a respected and influential figure within your industry or market. So whether you’re looking to build your authority, share your ideas, or both, these two concepts are definitely worth exploring.
And today we are gonna focus on- how you can position yourself as a thought leader?
Importance of establishing thought leadership in your industry
These days thought leadership content is as crucial as a product or service is for a startup; without which your business cannot exist.
And, it also takes time in setting yourself as a thought leader as it comes with experience and working in the industry.
You cannot have unique thoughts and opinions about something you haven’t tried yourself.
So to be recognized as a genius, do you know how to start with this compound marketing approach?
1. Have a knack for evolving
When you want to become a leader you have to fall in love with the process of developing yourself with day-to-day changes in the industry.
Because when you stay up to date then only you can help your audience by sharing your views on it.
So let’s see how you can do it.
How to become a master?
By following the 10,000-Hour Rule, one popular belief is that to become an expert in any field, devote at least 10,000 hours to study and practice that subject.
You can start with consuming content in your niche.
In the form of-
- blogs, social media posts, newsletters
- videos, reels,
- podcasts, music
- series, shows, movies
- attending webinars
That’s all, you can choose whichever kind suits you best but start consuming today.
Oh, you are already doing it but look for more niche specific.
2. Become a content creator
Now if you will be uploading so much content in different forms in your mind, you also need to process and download your version of it.
Yes, you have to.
So start with sharing your learnings and then views and opinions on different topics which the audience in your industry would be interested to hear and learn about.
How to create content?
It is simple. Stop overthinking, and start creating.
It’s not easy but you’ll have to commence. Have a thought leadership strategy in your mind, to begin with that goes well with your routine.
You have a number of options to choose the best platform where your audience hangs out and kick off your content creation ride.
And when you follow the first point accurately you won’t ever run out of ideas.
To help you ease in choosing the type of content
According to Mantis Research, the top three effective content associated with thought leaders included:
- Educational and how-to content (cited by 70%).
- Identification/evaluation of trends (67%).
- Research reports (60%).
- Interviews, opinions, and inspirational content (cited by fewer than 50% of respondents)
3. Turn followers into fans with meaningful engagement
Now, if you enjoy reading and consuming content, it’s time to engage and marry it. (pun intended)
Simply to get to know your followers and build a strong bond with them. Even before creating content, you can start to engage with other thought leaders in your industry by commenting on their posts and sharing your views.
Likes also count as a form of engagement but comments help you in building thought leadership better.
Right way of commenting
Are all examples of what to avoid on your journey of establishing thought leadership.
Just remember one rule; “If your comment is not adding value or showing your views on any subject, it’s better for that comment to not exist”.
4. Now you have a personal brand
If you are unaware of the term—personal brand, you can check our blog on the same.
You see how by creating content and engaging with your audience regularly you have created your brand too.
This will help you stand out from the crowd.
Opening gates for you to make an impact on your audience.
But still, if you are confused between both of these terms like I was, here’s how they differ and you can choose to omit one.
Personal Branding vs Thought Leadership
Personal Branding is for an individual to promote themselves and their career through social media platforms.
Whereas, thought leadership is about sharing your views and learnings about your industry and influencing people on different platforms.
Both of these terms have different focuses but when combined can help achieve long-term goals in a shorter span.
5. Team up with other thought leaders
Another main step you can take after implementing all the above is collaborating with other thought leaders.
This relationship-building can be fruitful as you will learn more from like-minded people and also it helps you create credibility faster.
Their authentic audience will be interested in you as well to get more pieces of information on relevant topics.
How can I collaborate?
You can collaborate on the content of course, and share ideas.
But way before that, you have to start networking with them on a regular basis to nurture your relations and make them know about you as someone in the same industry having independent views as them.
This can increase your chances of getting a positive response when reaching out to co-create with them.
Here are some examples of thought leaders experts:
- Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur, author, and social media specialist. He is known for his skills in digital marketing and has authored several books, including “Crush It!” and “The Thank You Economy.”
- Ratan Tata is a thought leader who is known for his expertise and experience in building businesses and enterprises. The chairman of Tata Group is known for making noteworthy global acquisitions, the popular ones being Jaguar and Daewoo Motors.
- Neil Patel is a digital marketing guru and founder of several successful startups, including Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics. He is known for his proficiency in SEO and content marketing and has authored several books on these topics.
Now after all is done and set, consistency will be the key to unlocking success. Being consistent in your efforts should be your goal.
Publish and post regularly.
Figure out your niche and platform first and then follow these steps, remember to enjoy the process as it is a long one and be veracious.
You can share your thoughts on leadership and take the first step today.