In today’s digital landscape, there is a lot of noise you have to break through to be heard. It’s difficult at times to know how you can stand out from the crowd to portray yourself as the one to be listened to, the expert, the thought leader. You may ask, though, why even boost your thought leadership? The answer comes in many different forms.
Understand the potential and power of personal branding. Some of the benefits can be seen directly, yet some are indirect benefits that come later down the road. A personal brand allows you to depict your knowledge, expertise, and know-how in your industry, to become a sought-after expert that journalists, peers, and others in your niche come and look up to for opinions on industry matters.
Here are five things you can start doing today, to show your expertise to the world and build your thought leadership.
- Write your own blog
- Get speaking opportunities
- Guest post as much as you can
- Write your own book
- Give it all away for free
A personal blog is the first step in establishing yourself as a thought leader.
Blogs are one of the biggest ways individuals consume content on the internet today. Search engines like Google also love blogs because they provide useful information to those searching online for information. So, having your own blog on your own hosted website is a no-brainer for capitalizing on this enormous opportunity to be seen by a ton of people all over the world.
Having a blog gives you a platform to stand on, to write about topics in your industry that are important to you. People can read your articles, and you soon become a thought leader in your niche because of the fact that you are speaking about information that matters others. A personal blog is the first step in establishing yourself as a thought leader because no one else will be able to “take away your spotlight”.
Add a blog page on your own website or your company’s website. If you are using WordPress, the work is pretty much done for you as WordPress is the leading blogging platform, used by millions around the world. The key is to fill your blog with a lot of valuable content early on; this gives you the ability to refer to your posts when speaking to others. After each post, ensure you promote your new content on your social media channels to help spread the message to more people.
To find speaking opportunities, leverage the power of networking to your advantage.
The beauty about digital marketing is that you can reach millions of people from around the globe. The disadvantage is that it’s not as intimate as talking to your audience live face to face. This is where the power of live speaking events come in. When you have the opportunity to speak at networking events, seminars, and even conferences, you now have the physical stage to be seen and heard.
To find speaking opportunities, leverage the power of networking to your advantage. Find local business events that require a voice of expertise in your industry, to speak to their employees. Giving free seminars is another great way to be in front of people that would have never known about you and your brand otherwise. Contact journalists, and press, since they are always on the lookout for industry experts to speak about local and national news events that happen.
Guest posting is one of the best ways to maximize your potential reach.
The spread of knowledge can happen at such a fast pace online. Once you have established yourself on your own platform, it’s time to capitalize on others platforms as well. Guest posting is one of the best ways to maximize your potential reach by sharing your voice on other people’s blogs.
To do this, search online for industry related blogs that are accepting guest post submissions. Once you find some, email them that you would be interested in submitting content for their site. You can also send them links to other guest post opportunities you have done, or even show them your writing style by linking to posts you have written on your own blog.
Once approved, start writing your post and make the best content you can share with their audience. Now you have taken advantage of another blogs’ audiences to magnify your reach and be heard by more people. If you continually follow this process, you will notice your authority scale even faster.
Becoming an author is still one of the most reputable ways to portray yourself as a subject matter expert.
When it comes to authority and becoming a thought leader, the de facto accomplishment that you can have underneath your belt is publishing a book. Becoming an author, and having your own physical book published, in this day-and-age is still one of the most reputable ways to portray yourself as a subject matter expert.
People are self-publishing all of the time, and it’s now simpler and faster to get your book to market. First, you must come up with a great title and subject matter for your book, especially if it’s your first book – pull out all of the stops. You can either self-publish or get picked up by an established publishing house; either way, you need to get something out to market, as having your first book out is an important step in your journey.
Give away a ton of value for free and don’t hold anything back.
The one thing that matters most when you take the steps to becoming a thought leader is to remember this final step in your authority branding process. For people online to first know about you, they have to find you, and if you are not making it easy for them to find you, then you are making it difficult for them to consume your content.
This is why you should always remember that giving it all away for free is the best way to lower and completely remove the barrier to entry for your content. The most important concept to take away from all of this is to give away a ton of value for free and don’t hold anything back.
Building thought leadership is all about being real and genuine
You see, when you put it all together above, branding yourself as a thought leader is all about being real and genuine. It is also about getting out there as much as you can and in as many places as possible.
So now it’s your turn to take action. What is the first thing you are going to do from the above steps to craft yourself as the next thought leader in your industry?
Arash Asli is at the forefront of business growth helping SMBs grow their businesses, as CEO of Yocale, an online scheduling and marketing platform. His thought leadership has been featured in major publications including Forbes, Huffington Post, and Inc. He is honored to have been named the Business in Vancouver’s Top Forty under 40 business executive. Learn more about guest blogging on MediaLeaders.