There are a few people in every industry that, by dint of their efforts, their creativity, their ability to communicate and their often provocative points of view are considered to be “thought leaders.”
They are interviewed by media and become considered experts. In time, they attract followers, more prospects and clients because of their increased visibility as a go-to person and an authority in their field.
But it isn’t easy being considered a thought leader. Even if you have industry-leading technical skills you need to put yourself out there in front of the public. This means writing articles and books, speaking in front of live audiences, sending out news releases and making yourself visible to the world you want to impress. It isn’t easy because it requires putting on mental armor to ward off arguments against your views and creating all that content requires constant effort.
In order to become a thought leader it is important to have a consistent point of view and develop a “voice” that you become known for. You must be a constant provider of content that discusses the issues of the day in your industry from the perspective of your point of view. It is both the constant effort and consistent point of view that makes you visible to your audience. Done long enough and properly targeted, you will become considered a thought leader.
Obviously, it is quite a commitment.
The steps towards thought leadership are to first actually think. Not only to just think, but to think deeply about your views on relevant subjects and create your “voice” for your point of view and then validate it so when you write or speak from a place of authority, your audience will take notice. Then you will need to create those articles, books, attract speaking gigs and work to become more visible to your targeted audience.
If you don’t get your views out there you become part of that philosophical puzzle about the tree falling in the forest with no one around to hear it. You will become a thought leader with no one to lead.
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