When you’re a thought leader, consumers in your industry look to you for educational opportunities and advice because you’re a trusted expert. You’re trusted because you have proven not only that you know what you’re talking about, but that you think differently and “think ahead” of the competition, with innovation, influence and exceptionalism. You’re unlike any other. You lead.
And it doesn’t end there. Thought leaders enjoy lots of extra perks, too. They:
- make more money
- enjoy more word-of-mouth advertising
- fill events and sell products with less effort
- enjoy enhanced visibility
- have more influence in their industries
- forge more valuable business relationships
- strike better deals with affiliates
And that’s just the beginning of how thought leaders do it better.
Are you wondering how you can become a thought leader, to do it better, get it better and make it better?
Good. Let’s talk about how you can take steps toward achieving your thought leadership goals in the coming year.
How to do it Like a Thought Leader
You may have heard the concept Fake it ‘til you Make it. It’s not about representing fake values or making promises you can’t keep. It is, however, about emulating the business owner you want to be…even before you achieve your goals.
This means that in order to become a thought leader, I need you to start coming up with innovative ideas that fill needs and deliver ground-breaking information differently than the competition…and you need to start right now.
Well, as you may have guessed, I have a few tips for you:
- Book public speaking engagements. There’s nothing better than speaking in front of a live audience—especially when you have exciting, exclusive information to share. People should leave thinking that you’ve delivered something unique and that you are (or have the potential to be) an industry leader. This is what will push you to the front: not your product or your service, but rather the ways in which you teach and serve with your wisdom and opinions.
- Create and maintain a blog. Creating a blog is easy. Maintaining it…well, that’s where you’re most likely to outperform the competition, if you stick with it. Post at least three 750-word articles per week, and write about the things your audience wants to know about. Always aim to serve…leaving any selling for the call-to-action at the end.
- Create free guides. Not only will free guides (gifts they can really use) provide you with details to build your list, they will increase your expert status and trustworthiness. Make sure every guide contains lots of value for your ideal customers, and include advice that, when utilised, will help to solve their problem or improve their life/business.
- Devise systems that will increase productivity and profitability. When you create systems for those things you do over and over again in your business, you’re not only making your life easier, you’re getting things done faster and better. Add to that your ability to repurpose those systems as sellable products, and you’ve got some serious thought-leadership building potential.
- Create Facebook Live videos. I have found Facebook Live to be a superb brand-building tool, as well as a great way to share my most revolutionary ideas. Not only can people interact whilst it’s rolling live, they can go back and watch again later.
- Write a book. This is one of the most classic methods for sharing your wisdom—and for people to then share it with their friends. A book gives you lots of space in which to fully express your leading thoughts and to be the brand that gives your audience more value, more information, more wisdom…than the competition. It can be anything from an eBook to a full-length hard-cover book—or everything in-between. Know your audience. Know their attention span. Know how much information they need. And then give them what they want in the form(s) they prefer to digest it.
- Give interviews. When you’re scheduled to be interviewed (web, radio, television), it comes with the perception that you’ve got something interesting to say (Why else would they have booked you?). So don’t squander this opportunity. Use what is unique about you (and your personal brand and corporate brand) to devise answers that are not only unique, but that will provoke thought and make people hungry to hear more about what’s in that beautiful mind of yours.
Whew! There’s so much to do, and I can honestly say that this is only the start of what is possible in the realm of thought leadership. Give a few of these tips a shot and let me know how it’s going. Better yet, join the How to Build a Brand Facebook closed group to see what others are doing and how it’s changing the way they operate their businesses and build their brands.