Becoming a Thought Leader

Looking to increase sales? Become known in your industry? Find more paths to revenue?

The answer to all of these is demonstrating your expertise, or thought leadership, to potential customers. How do you do that? You spend a lot of time writing, speaking and answering questions. The more people find you online, the more they realize you’re an industry expert. That’s when you begin to build trust with potential clients and move them into the sales pipeline.

In Think Write Grow, Grant Butler explains what a thought leader is, and dives into the channels you can use to become recognized as one. Blogging, book writing, essay writing, speaking at events…all of these help build you up your reputation as a thought leader. The key is being in as many places as possible.

Go It On Your Own? Not Necessarily

You’d assume that every well-known thought leader writes her own blog posts and books. That’s not necessarily the case. The problem with being a thought leader is that you become extremely busy, so writing a post a day may not fit into your schedule. Many thought leaders aren’t even good writers! The solution? Work with a ghost writer with a bit of industry experience that can collaborate with you to produce intelligent communications on your behalf.

Tips for Writing Better

Because writing is such an important component in the thought leadership equation, I thought it worthwhile to share some of Butler’s tips for better writing. No matter what type of communications you’re writing, keep these “Three Cs” in mind:

1. Capture the reader’s attention.

2. Convince the reader of your case.

3. Close with a strong conclusion and ideally a call to action.

Simply writing for writing’s sake isn’t enough. It’s got to be great writing that provides information people can’t find elsewhere. Don’t rehash what’s already available online; come up with your own unique angle.

Ways to Beef Up Your Thought Leadership Points

1. Write an industry blog.

2. Write a book with a unique take on your industry.

3. Speak at trade shows and conferences.

4. Answer questions on Quora and Focus.

5. Share relevant links on social media channels.

6. Write a whitepaper.

7. Offer yourself as an industry expert to journalists (try HARO to find leads).

8. Speak to local business groups.

9. Do your own research.

10. Connect with other thought leaders in your field.

Though leadership brands you, either as an independent consultant and industry expert, or as an expert within your company. It builds confidence within potential customers and increases your company’s visibility. Start building your strategy to market yourself as a thought leader.

Photo: josef.stuefer on Flickr.

About Susan Payton

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing copy, blog and article writing. She is the blogger behind The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and also writes on Small Business Trends, Growth University and BizLaunch. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing. Susan Payton on Google+!