Connect with us


Time to Shine: Brand Yourself as a Thought Leader in Your Industry



thought leader
Image Credit:

Reputation is everything. In today’s interconnected and information overloaded world, it’s vital to professional success to not only be an expert but to brand yourself as a thought leader in your chosen field. Creating a reputable personal brand takes more than a few tweets. You need to actively engage in industry discussions – not in a promotional way, but in a manner that adds value across multiple platforms. Becoming a reputable thought leader isn’t a quick process, but diligence and engagement can get you there.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Listen to What Others Are Saying

One of the best ways to have something worthwhile to say is to listen to what others in your industry are talking about and form your own opinion on the matter. It won’t always be different, innovative or meaningful, but when you come up with a new perspective on the situation or even an interesting way of digesting and implementing known information, it’ll be worth sharing and worth listening to.

Don’t be afraid to take the position of contrarian or devil’s advocate, as long as you can back up what you’re saying. Innovators always seem crazy until their way of thinking becomes the norm.

Another great tactic is thinking about the challenges the industry is facing and sharing how you are personally overcoming them, even if your approach isn’t 100 percent right just yet. People are looking for a solution to their problems. If you can share your successes and failures and give peers a new approach to think about, you’re automatically setting yourself up to have a loyal following.

Every time you’re at a speaking engagement or networking event, make mental notes of the topics and questions that come up. Forming and sharing well thought out answers to trending industry discussions is what being a thought leader is all about.

“How do you become a thought leader? It starts with BEING a thought leader and then connecting the dots back to you.” – Brian Solis

2. Publish Yourself

Personal-professional blogs are great, but unless you’re a recognized name in the industry, it can be hard to get people to spend precious time on an unproven blog. Keep up your blog if you have one, but take advantage of the fact that LinkedIn opened published posts to everyone.

LinkedIn is the top social business platform and users are typically there to see business-related news, updates and posts. This is a focused, captive audience to start building a following among. Sharing relevant articles that you find interesting is a good way to balance your self-publication.

If you only ever promote your own content you’ll lose credibility. Thought leadership is as much about sharing ideas as it is about coming up with them on your own. Keep your posts (whether on LinkedIn or anywhere else) on topic and in line with your industry. If you deviate too much you’ll lose attention and damage your broader reputation as a focused, interesting thought leader.

3. Get Published

Take the next step in online publications and apply to be a contributor to a popular industry or business news site. If your industry is still heavily print-based, look into submitting an article or opinion piece to industry magazines.

Getting professionally published isn’t as hard as you might think. Many contributor-based websites either have an application form to be an approved writer or guidelines alongside an article submission form for a DIY approach.

When one of your pieces is published, share it to your social networks for extra reach. Keep an eye on the social share counters many media sites have on articles so you can tell which topics, formats and headlines resonate most with readers.

4. Start Speaking

Start sharing your thoughts in person by reaching out to regional groups about potential speaking opportunities. Regional professional groups, industry organizations, even the chamber of commerce will get you used to sharing your ideas with a live audience and help you network while you confidently position yourself as a thought leader and area expert. Even speaking with local student groups is a good way to spread your influence.

Apply to be a local TEDx speaker. These events are typically well attended by curious people who are eager to share what they’ve learned and tweet about your talk. If you’re scheduled to appear, let your local colleagues know you’ll be speaking so they can help spread the word and attend themselves.

As your name gets better known, set your sights on industry conferences. Annual conferences are beacons of excitement and knowledge in any industry – a chance to hear from top personals and sit in on workshops and panels that will provide valuable takeaways. Get in on the action by applying to be a panel member or moderate a discussion. Once your name starts rising to the top of the industry, you may even find yourself becoming a sought-after keynote speaker.

5. Network

Formal publication and speaking are important factors of becoming a top thought leader, but simply getting out there and sharing your ideas with others in your field is just as helpful. Go to meet-ups, happy hours, anywhere really that people are gathering and sharing ideas. The entire purpose of professional networking is to meet people, make impressions and share ideas. So get out there and make your name the one everyone knows before they even shake your hand.

Whenever you’re at a conference or large industry event make mental notes for follow up articles and live tweet nuggets of insight from the event (be sure to drop in a thought or two of your own). Using the conference hashtag can gain you a lot of followers.

“Part of the role of a thought leader is not to necessarily have all the answers but it’s to be able to ask the right questions and the privilege of being able to lead the conversation.” – Michael Hyatt

6. Make it Memorable

No matter where you’re writing or speaking, if what you’re saying isn’t noteworthy and memorable it’s not going to be talked about, shared or give you a reputation as a true innovative thought leader. If people aren’t taking notes or tweeting, you’re doing it wrong.

Make sure what you’re saying is different enough that people want to stop and listen. To be a thought leader in a particular industry, you have to impress other experts in your industry – meaning you have to know what you’re talking about. Parroting the same tired information, techniques, pointers and thoughts won’t make you stand out or help your personal brand. Including an easily shareable (meaning under 140 characters) sound bite in your articles or speeches will help capture attention and spread your thoughts.

7. Be Patient and Persistent

If being a thought leader were easy, every working and retired professional would be on an equal playing field. To ensure you stay on top, take your time, think about the information and thoughts you’re putting out there and make sure they align with the personal brand you’re trying to build. If you share and produce enough thought-provoking and insightful information, your reputation will begin to climb.

What are some things you do to help become an industry expert? Comment below!

Image courtesy of

Jamey Davenport is a is a professional blogger that now works as a writer in a pro write service. He's main focus and passion is business and he had already over 2 years of experience in writing and want to share his knowledge that he had in business and marketing.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Why Entrepreneurial Innovation Matters More Than Ever

Innovation and disruption are a key part of thought leadership online. But most online business owners today are blinded by tactics



Image Credit: Unsplash

Innovation is a topic often discussed in software applications, app development, and the world of tech. However; you don’t hear it as much in the online business space, particularly among service providers. But innovation is the lifeblood of market leadership.  (more…)

Continue Reading


How to Lose a Team in 10 Days: Are You a True Leader?

The dichotomy between good leadership and poor leadership is that you are either showing up for your people or expecting your people to show up for you.



Image Credit: Unsplash

“If you don’t like working here, I’m not going to force any of you to stay. Put in your transfer or resignation papers and I will sign them today and you can go work someplace else.” (more…)

Continue Reading


How You Can Start Networking in Style in 2023

By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make



Image Credit: Unsplash

Are you completely new to networking?

Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.

It’s incredibly common for nerves to creep in and to feel overwhelmed and apprehensive when it comes to networking – even when it isn’t new to you. But how can you become more successful at it, feel less self-conscious, and make networking work for you and your business?

Here’s a few tips to help you embrace every business networking opportunity you get, so you can grow your business and achieve your goals.

Rock up with confidence

If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.

Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Where to go networking

If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.

For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!

If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.

Get more leads and referrals

This will happen for you, as long as you put the effort into building those relationships. If you take the time to get to know people, and then check in with them and support them, they’ll see you as a trustworthy and reliable contact who they can call on. And when they feel that way, those leads and referrals you’re looking for will come a-knocking.

Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.

When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!

Grow your business

By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make, and you will be able to grow your business.

We know that it’s not easy, going networking for the very first time. And that’s why we want to give you all the advice and tools that you need so you can walk in with confidence and make the most of the opportunity.

2023 is just around the corner, and you have the chance to make it the year you make networking work for your business. And the benefits could be incredibly amazing for your business, just like they have been for ours, and many business owners we have worked with over the years.

Continue Reading


5 Keys to Building a Valuable Business

There are so many reasons to start a business. The freedom, the flexibility, and the control may be appealing.



Image Credit: Unsplash

There are so many reasons to start a business. The freedom, the flexibility, and the control may be appealing. Or the chance to make money doing something you truly love and the ability to be your own boss and set your own hours.  (more…)

Continue Reading