A thought leader is someone who is far more successful in his respective field than others, someone who has the potential to influence others.
Their opinion can sway other people’s thoughts. They possess a very powerful personal brand that is highly visible in their industry.
Their Groundbreaking ideas inspire people and help them do the same.
Take a recent example when a Portuguese footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, In one of his recent interview he just moved Coca-Cola bottles and replaced them with a bottle of water when setting down for the media. This move by him was a sign to urge his fans to drink water instead of carbonated drinks.
On the very next day, Coca-Cola hit the loss of USD 4 billion.
Here we are able to see the influence of Ronaldo as a thought leader not only in his field but also he was able to influence the opinion of the whole world.
Being a thought leader can open many doors to new opportunities not only for yourself but also for your organization. It positions you for greater search visibility and exposure.
When it’s done properly, thought leadership can transform any brand. It can position you and your company as a leader of the industry.
Before you think about being a thought leader, you must have an understanding between a thought leader and an Influencer.
It will not be a close definition of thought leaders without comparing them to the most recent trends of the last few years i.e. “Influencers”.
You might have a question in your mind ‘How could an influencer be different from a thought leader? An influencer also has millions or even billions of followers and in fact, they also have the potential to influence others’ decisions that’s why many companies or organizations prefer them for commercials. So why are they different from thought leaders?
Yes, they’re different.
An influencer only focuses on enhancing their number of followers. It’s all about the number of audiences they have whereas a thought leader cares about his Industry, Niche, Image, and business also, they are willing to speculate their time and money in becoming the Experts.
Steps To Become A Thought Leader
Find Your Interest
Have you heard that quote? “Find What You Love And Let It Kill You” by Poet Charles Bukowski. Yes, that quote talks about doing what you are passionate about. It’s like staying faithful to your inner beliefs and desires.
There are a few things that give meaning to our lives. Find what’s that for you! Within which field or industry are you interested? What is that thing that your heart desires to do? Find your passion and fade away with that.
This will work as a compass within the sea of your life.
As Steve Jobs advised us, “Love What You Do” is essential for a meaningful life. There are many of us out there, roaming around, doing 9-5 jobs that they actually hate. They don’t even like what they’re doing… then leave the matter that they’ll ever love their job.
In his 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech, Steve Jobs delivered this dime of timeless wisdom:
“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
A very few people get an opportunity to create their passion for a profession. Be one of them.
Challenge Yourself on a Daily Basis to Become Better Than Yesterday
Do you know what is common between Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincon, Henry Ford, and Mark Cuban?
Now, you’ll say all of them are thought leaders of their own industry. Yes, all of them are but what’s that common thing that made them thought leaders?
Their hunger for learning and becoming a better person than yesterday. That’s the thing that makes them different from others. That’s how working hard day by day they come a long way.
Network Within Your Industry
Boost your presence by attending Conferences, Networking Events, Seminars, and other events. Express your ideas even most of the people are not agree with you, you need to stand strongly for what you believe. That will build your credibility among few of those who understand you by remaining true to yourself
And that’s how you’ll come in contact with other experts in your fields and could learn from them. Build your network and find yourself a mentor who would guide you to build expertise.
Read More: Must-Know Virtual Event Marketing Strategies
Get Engaged on Social Media
Usage of social media is growing day by day, according to the latest statistics, there are 3.78 billion social media users worldwide in 2021.
It makes around 48% of the world population, that’s a huge opportunity for you as a thought leader to connect with your audience.
You can boost your social media engagement and make sure it impacts you positively.
For example, your Social Media Engagement must include:
Likes and Comments
Share and Save
Retweet and Share
Clicks and Swipe up
That’s how people will get to understand you and can get engaged with a larger audience. Also, it will help you measure if you are creating content worth posting for.
Reach Out to Other Thought Leaders and Interview Them
Because people want to listen to thought leaders. So, you must allow other thought leaders to have discussion on your niche. Interview them and get it published on your website or youtube channel. That’s how you’ll enhance the traffic on your website and eventually, it will help you to stand out from the crowd.
Also, their conversation shapes a new idea. They talk about Growth, Learning, and the concepts that are ideally favorable for you and the organization as well.
Read More: YouTube Marketing Tips to Promote Your YouTube Channel
Get Engaged in Speaking at Industry Conferences
How can speaking at the conferences will help you become a thought leader?
Well, It will help you for sure if you know The Art Of Public Speaking.
In the book, The Art Of Public Speaking, Carnegie gives useful advice on public speaking stating that when you have something to mention, are adequately prepared, and have mastered an audience then public speaking success is influential.
Public speaking is one of the important parts of becoming a thought leader. Words have the power to inform, educate, and change.
By reading this book, you can acquire more confidence and the Art of Public Speaking, you’ll be able to efficiently convey your message to others. You can influence people through narration, description, and suggestions.
Another book we can suggest you learn to influence people is; How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
Hire a PR (Public Relations) Manager for Yourself
While you are trying to become a thought leader, you will have to have a PR Manager for yourself.
Hiring a PR Manager for yourself will increase your Credibility. Study shows that PR gives more Visibility and Credibility
By utilizing multiple media sources from a PR agency, you can communicate well to the audience and achieve your goals.
Moreover, a PR Manager can add value, raise your profile visibility, build strong relations and manage your reputation before the audience.
When done right, PR can create a more positive and effective image in the eyes of the audience or consumers and can bring a better engagement for yourself.
Read a Lot
Yes, you read it right!! It is a secret of some of the most famous leaders in the world.
Americans read fewer and fewer books each year. A survey by the National Endowment for the Arts found that only 43% of U.S. adults read any type of literature not required for work or school.
However, these statistics don’t apply to the busiest and most successful people.
- Warren Buffet reads 500 pages a day
- Mark Cuban reads 3 hours a day
- Bill Gates reads 50 books a year.
Now the question here arises is; why do they do that? What is the benefit of reading? And how is it going to help you in becoming a thought leader?
Buffet read 600 to 1,000 pages daily when beginning his career as an investor. Do you know why? Because it’s his top priority. He still allots about 80% of his day to reading.
Reading keeps your brain healthy and active, reduces stress, enhances your knowledge, improves intelligence, and leads to innovation and insight. That’s why most successful people read and this habit is also going to lead you to be a thought leader.
Have a Growth Mindset
Do you understand the difference between a Growth Mindset and a Fixed Mindset?
Do you know the way you think about yourselves can shape your lives? Yes, absolutely! It can! Your Thinking Patterns decide your Future.
The way you think about yourself not only affects the way you feel but it can also affect what you will achieve or where you will go in your life.
Dr. Dweck’s seminal work, described the two main ways people think about intelligence or have an ability to think.
- A growth mindset means that you have a deep core belief that your intelligence and talents can be developed over time.
- A fixed mindset means that you suspect that intelligence is fixed—so deep inside you believe that if you’re not good at something, then you’ll never be good at it.
Having a growth mindset is a must to achieve greatness in life. Yes, hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but not as important as having that underlying belief that you are in control of your own destiny. This belief is Must!
Have a Good Team With Yourself
If you think people do everything on their own, then you are wrong.
They don’t do everything on their own. They can’t. They have a great team with them. They have people who support them and are very intellectual.
If you aspire to be a Great thought leader, then you will have to have a good team who can support you in your time of need.
Make sure you have a great team as a thought leader and they understand the goals you are trying to reach by building thought leadership.
Publish Content Consistently
If you become a thought leader, people have got to remember you, they will seek answers of their questions.
If you’re not publishing content on a daily basis. What’s the point of remembering you if they don’t see you on a regular basis?
Even if you provide a few strong, memorable articles, it won’t be enough to establish you as a leader.
You’ve got to be consistent if you’re serious about building your brand.
Read More: Step-by-Step Content Creation Guide
Here are some points mentioned above on how can you become a thought leader but you still need to keep in mind that with great powers comes great responsibility.
That means, when you become a thought leader, people approach you, follow in your footsteps. So you’ll have to take each & every step very carefully because the next generation is going to be where you already are.