Becoming an industry thought leader takes knowledge, persistence, strategy and patience. You can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry by following these tips.
- Being a thought leader is not about being a jack-of-all-trades. It’s about being good at one or two things. When you establish yourself in your one or two areas within the same industry to build your visibility and brand, you’re on the right track.
- Establish your brand by starting and maintaining a blog. Write about one or two areas of the industry you’re an expert in. This shows credibility in your field to customers and visitors who read it. They may share this information with others; this will establish your expertise even further. Have a blog on your website and post once a week to keep it active and fresh. Add videos, audio clips, podcasts and pictures to spice up information. This will make your blog SEO friendly, and when it moves up in search engine ranking more people will see it. (For an example of choosing an area where we’re experts, we’ve chosen business success topics for one, because people who start a business need websites and graphic design.) Once you’re established you can guest star on other blogs. This will mark you as an industry thought leader because you will attract more visitors with your advice.
- Use social networks to help you get established. LinkedIn is a great way to get established as a thought leader. Create (and complete) a profile and link your blog to the page. Engage in conversation through LinkedIn groups and company blogs. Get recommendations and endorsements from industry professionals, and send one their way in return. Add your LinkedIn URL to your profile. Post presentations on Slideshare and connect that to your website and LinkedIn profile. You can make a name for yourself on Twitter and Facebook too.
- Go to question and answer websites like Yahoo! Answers, Ask.com and Quora. Answer questions professionally and with substance. The more questions you answer the greater chance your page will catapult you to expert status.
- Speaking at conferences and events is a valuable tool to reach a new market of individuals. Start off with small conventions or small in-person conferences as an introduction and advance to larger conferences once you’re more experienced, respected and comfortable.
- The most important thing a thought leader can do is to refrain from becoming a promotion hog. Being an expert is not about what you can get in return; it’s about helping people with your knowledge. Being a thought leader in your industry brings creditability, trust and respect to your readers and peers. Contact us for more information on standing out vocally in your industry.
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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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