Establishing yourself as a recognized thought leader can have a powerful impact on your personal brand and business. Being regarded as an expert who is pushing the boundaries of your industry forward can create new opportunities, drive sales and connect you with people you may never have thought possible before.
It's important to have a considered strategy when it comes to thought leadership; the following tips will help prepare you to grow your profile (and your business).
The first step is to get clear on what you bring to the table. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I most passionate about?
- What is my unique skill set?
- What is my message?
- What legacy would I like to leave?
You'll also want to know exactly who your target audience is, including their age, preferences, location, needs and pain points.
It’s also helpful to focus on a specific niche to cut through the noise in a crowded marketplace. To find your own slice of the market, consider your unique strengths, and don’t be afraid to get very specific about one topic — especially if you can offer real expertise that others cannot.
Dr. Charles Redd, a StoryTerrace Pro client, published his book "Don't Stop Now" through various outlets including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Waterstone's
2. Build Your Social Media Audience
Researchers have found that in 2020, 3.8 billion people use social media. The average internet user spends 2 hours and 24 minutes on social media every day, and about half of the time people spend on mobile devices is devoted to using social media apps.
In this social media-driven environment, it definitely pays to build your profile and connect with your audience.
To do this, focus on creating consistent, unique content that adds genuine value to your target audience's lives. If you don't feel confident in this space, consider hiring a social media strategist to ensure that your platforms support your business goals.
3. Publish Your Book With StoryTerrace Pro
Publishing your own book is the ultimate way to demonstrate thought leadership. Authoring a book shows that you are serious about your knowledge and skills and demonstrates credibility. You can earn trust with your audience and generate additional revenue for your business.
StoryTerrace works with entrepreneurs, executives, consultants and inventors who have amazing ideas but are too busy to complete a book on their own. We will match you with a talented ghostwriter recruited from leading newspapers, magazines and publishing houses to craft your expertise into an engaging book.
From writing to editing, publishing and distribution to marketing, we support you every step of the way. Find out more about StoryTerrace Pro here.
Our client Dr.Adam Abodeely shares how he has established himself as a thought leader in the world of medicinal cannabis and boosted sales of his products
4. Become a Guest Speaker
Another great way to boost your profile as a thought leader is through public speaking. By sharing your knowledge at summits, conferences or webinars, you'll demonstrate your expertise, build relationships and engage your target audience. Having several speaking engagements under your belt will also reassure potential clients and customers that you are a trusted leader in your field.
You can get started by identifying the top events in your industry and researching what kind of speaking opportunities are available. Many of the teams that organize major events look for speakers to apply six to 12 months before the actual event, so there are likely to be ample opportunities.
Next, develop your pitch. Create a compelling title and a brief outline of your presentation and include your biography, website and social media platforms. After you send it off, and be sure to follow up with a call or further email.
In the meantime, you may want to consider starting a YouTube or IGTV channel to develop your speaking skills and prove that you know how to deliver information in a succinct, engaging way.
5. Get the Right Support
The most successful thought leaders work with a great team. It needn't be large — recruiting a handful of experts to support you will help you push past any technical issues and allow you to focus on your area of expertise.
Start by working out what your needs are. For example, you may need a talented podcast editor, marketing manager or copywriter to take care of tasks related to your thought leadership endeavors. Ask your network for recommendations, or use a freelance platform such as Upwork to find experts in communications.
6. Generate PR Opportunities
When building your reputation as a thought leader, hiring a PR agency or freelancer who will be able to generate press coverage on your behalf is often a wise move. Your PR team will work with you to create content related to you and your business. This will likely be in the form of press releases, guest articles, research, expert comments, research studies, case studies and more.
The pros will then pitch these properties to journalists and media outlets, which are always looking for new stories and content. The idea of PR is to raise your visibility in the types of media that your target audience regularly consumes. Once your audience becomes aware of you, they can then find out more about how to purchase from you.
7. Change the Status Quo
If you want to make a big difference as a thought leader, there’s one question you need to regularly ask yourself: How am I driving my industry forward?
Daniel W. Rasmus, former Director of Business Insights for Microsoft, explains that your work should "intrigue, challenge, and inspire even people already familiar with a company. It should help start a relationship where none exists, and it should enhance existing relationships."
The ultimate thought leadership is about creating meaningful change and involves the courage to be different.
Are you ready for the challenge?
Lashika & Anthony published a book about their success as a real estate husband and wife team with the help of StoryTerrace
If you are ready to become a thought leader in your industry, get in touch to arrange a chat with our friendly team to see how we can help. You can also join our mailing list for updates about StoryTerrace Pro business book publishing.