Think about your favorite industry leader. What sets them apart from others in the field? Chances are, they have a willingness to offer advice and share lessons learned with others. Being positioned as a thought leader has many perks. It should help further your professional network, enhance your visibility in the marketplace and lead to more people coming to you to get solutions to their most difficult business problems.
Here are some points to consider when trying to position yourself as a thought leader:
1) Determine or forecast what hot topics are impacting your line of work. All industries have trends and if you keep up with those trends, chances are you can position yourself as a thought leader. Think about two or three current questions that are facing your clients or customers and your answers to them. Developing content around your customers biggest pain points will help dramatically.
2) Go on a public speaking tour. Speaking engagements are a great way to get your name and expertise in front of decision makers, potential customers and other industry experts. Whether you are looking for local, regional or national speaking opportunities, there are many business groups or trade associations looking for speakers and topics. Contact the president or programming lead to pitch your idea.
3) Start a blog. Blogging is a great way to share information publicly – and at the same time increase your SEO (search engine optimization) so people can find you. You can also gain new followers by promoting your content in industry forums, social media platforms and inserting it into an enewsletter for your customers. Make sure to offer timely, consistent content to keep people coming back to your site often.
4) Contact the media. Reporters are always looking for savvy industry experts to offer their advice or expertise on a certain issue. Whether you are quoted in a news article or are asked to write a monthly column for a publication, that visibility will allow readers to keep you top of mind when making decisions. You can then use the clips as a business development tool or showcase them to your employees and customers.