How to Become A Thought Leader: A Step By Step Guide
Do you feel like you know your stuff? Are you one of the go-to experts in your industry, or could you be?
Becoming a thought leader is not only good for your self-esteem, but it’s essential for your brand too. Building your authority in your industry helps you drive trust and opens doors to external validation.
It goes without saying that Google loves unique, authoritative content, when it recognizes your name as a thought leader, it helps propel your content higher up the SERPs.
What Is Thought Leadership?
An expert in their respective industry, a thought leader offers unique insights, advice, and industry comment that influences others to act and innovate.
Thought leaders can be CEOs, entrepreneurs, or other stakeholders who are future-focused with an active interest in pushing their industry forward. You might have thirty years of experience or three. What matters is your desire to share clear, valued insights with your peers.
Once established as a thought leader, you’ll find opportunities to contribute comments to high-profile business outlets such as Forbes or deliver keynote speeches at industry events. In doing so, you increase brand exposure, build trust, and boost your brand SEO too.
Are you wondering how to build authority for you and your brand? Here’s the Wizeo six-step guide to becoming a thought leader.
How To Become A Thought Leader
Step 1: Define Your Area Of Expertise
Which niche do you know best? Where do your experience and success lie? Instead of attempting to provide valuable insight across your whole industry, pick one area and stick with it.
You could specialize in marketing for tech startups rather than focusing on new business in general. Or, hone into SEO trends instead of digital marketing as a whole.
Step 2: Become An Authority
Take your industry niche and write about it. A lot. Carve out blog posts or comment pieces that address industry trends, follow up on relevant news items, or offer how-to advice. Share everything you write via your website and social media.
If writing isn’t your thing you could start a podcast, inviting more high-profile guests as you become more established. Or share short films via TikTok, Instagram, or YouTube. If you prefer, there are plenty of content writing services like Wizeo that can put your words to paper on your behalf.
Step 3: Be Consistent
Practice makes perfect. Posting and commenting to a set schedule helps you find a rhythm, perfect the art of self-reflection and get your name out there. Creating content about your industry niche regularly establishes you as an expert to follow – and regularity builds trust among your followers.
Step 4: Reflect And Learn
To be a credible thought leader you’ll need to be on top of every new trend in your industry. Even if innovation and change happen quickly. You’ll also need to look beyond your own business goals to the bigger industry picture to understand how trends will affect your peers over time. Analyze, reflect, learn, and share your insights ad infinitum.
Step 5: Build Your Personal Brand
Start with a clear understanding of your values and mission. What are your aims in becoming a thought leader? What defines your personal brand identity?
Focus on one recurring message in your content and let that message define you as a thought leader. It could be one piece of overarching advice like ‘always ask why’, or it could be a mantra like ‘respect comes first’. Make sure it resonates in everything you do.
Step 6: Put Yourself Out There
Once you publish content about your chosen niche regularly, you need to get yourself seen and heard. Pitch yourself out as a keynote speaker, take up interview requests for podcasts, radio, blog articles, and more, apply to become a contributor to a relevant Forbes council, attend webinars or in-person networking events, or even consider self-publishing a book.
Putting yourself out there as a thought leader has added SEO benefits too. Opportunities to contribute to high-profile external sites like Forbes generates a library of high-quality backlinks to your website. Something that Google will look upon favorably as it assesses the search value of your pages.
In summary, becoming a leading voice in your industry has immense value for your wider business.
As Google continues to value authoritative, expert content, becoming a thought leader adds credibility and the external approval needed to help your pages move up the SERPs.
So, find your niche, create regular, on-trend content, and start building your personal brand.