So you want to be a thought leader? Sounds great! I mean, who doesn’t want to be seen as an expert in their field? But what does that really mean – and how does one actually get there?

Becoming the top-of-mind, go-to entity in your field of expertise doesn’t happen overnight. Attaining this status takes a carefully-planned, multi-pronged approach. But never fear, nothing is out of reach, and it’s not as complicated as it seems. We’re here to help.

Ready to start gaining some clout in your field? Keep reading.

Step-up and Speak-out

Let your voice be heard – give commentary, views and predictions. Seek out opportunities to share your insights and knowledge. Tactics to consider include social posts designed to educate, authoring bylined articles, being included in industry stories, attending industry events and submitting for awards and speaking opportunities.

What’s trending in your industry? Have an opinion – don’t be afraid to share it. Be active, participate and start getting recognized as someone who is shaping the future.

Know Your Audience (and go where they go)

Even the clearest, most compelling message will fall flat if not delivered to the right audience at the right time. Do your homework. Make sure that the people you are talking to are the right fit for you and your story.

Be Media Savvy

Now that you know your audience, you need to determine the best way – or ways – to reach them. The rise of social networks and online outlets has altered the face of modern media channels. There are now 3 main ‘flavors’ of media: Earned, Owned and Paid.

Earned media is publicity gained through promotional efforts other than paid media advertising – it can't be bought or owned; it can only be gained organically. Think ‘word of mouth’ from others (media, influencers, etc.). Examples include securing a contributed (bylined) article, receiving coverage based on outreach efforts and landing a review.

The term owned media refers to content that you control and share on your own communication channels. Self publishing on your own company blog or through your LinkedIn profile are two great ways to share your own content.

Paid media is exactly that – content that you have paid to promote. Digital ads, pay-per-click, paid publishing opportunities, sponsorships, and more are just a few of the ways you can leverage your dollars to promote yourself and your brand.   

Here’s a tip: All three of these channels have a role to play in your journey to elevate your stature.

Becoming a thought leader is an ongoing process that requires knowledge, commitment and consistency. We’ve outlined some of the necessary elements that will help get you there – keep us posted on your progress!