Take your career to the next level: Be a thought leader
By: Savannah Marie, Brazen Life
Like wielding a powerful weapon, information can deliver amazing results with the right tools in place. This is especially true when you’ve shared your expertise across platforms. Whether it’s through speeches, blog posts or video, what you know and learn is important.
There’s a phrase that’s been cropping up in the business world these days: thought leader.
Ask two entrepreneurs the meaning of the phrase “thought leader” and you’ll likely get two answers, but it comes down to this: a thought leader is an expert in their field who shares that knowledge widely.
For many business owners, becoming a thought leader is a natural progression from running a business.
A thought leader builds a brand with knowledge, courage and empathy for both the audience and the potential consumer. Forbes says becoming a thought leader is mostly about making money and history.
But a good thought leader answers important questions consumers want to know and provides context, and looks to the future for inspiration. Here are six tips to sharpen your thought leadership skills:
1. Tie it all together
Your company, your blog and your company’s history can be tied into the larger, global conversation. Almost any news item can be linked to your own business.
If you’re in the plastics business, a news update about a breakthrough in the industry is the type of item that might make your business noticeable. Make the connection between that innovation and your company’s innovation. You can also write pieces for trade publications and business magazines.
2. Deliver a coherent message
It might seem easy, but crafting a consistent message takes time. Why is your product, service or business important to the consumer? That should be your approach. Your customers should care about your contribution to the world, and it should make their world better in some way. Carving out a consistent message is the first step.
3. Make it participatory
Examine your customer base and find creative ways to interact with them. Your customers might want an opportunity to share ideas or testimonials. Invite them to participate in interviews, surveys and video chats, and use the finished products to produce content. This might even drum up new business and open unexpected doors.
4. Content rules the board
On a chessboard, the queen is, from a certain point of view, more powerful than the king. Your content has to be just as powerful. From blogs to videos and other mediums, your message needs to spread far and wide.
Using all the available tools gives you the best shot at gaining a successful following. The more people share your content, the more buzz you’ll receive. With any luck, it’ll result in more profits for your venture.
5. Tell a gripping story
People love a good story. They love success stories even more. (Click here to tweet this thought.) Give them something to aspire to, learn from or explore. People also enjoy engaging visual elements. Try to combine both when applicable.
An infographic can encapsulate statistics, narrative, pictures and almost anything else that can tell a gripping story. Make yours the best possible product you can afford.
6. Get help from the world
If you’ve committed yourself to becoming a thought leader, you can draw from the resources right at your doorstep. Your partners, clients, frequent visitors and others can be an impressive force to bring your message to the masses. Additionally, your network can strengthen the foundation of your business.
A good thought leader should always keep as many doors open as possible.
Photo courtesy of: www.dailyworth.com