Thought leadership isn’t just about seeing your name in print, it’s also an opportunity to increase awareness of your brand, reach your industry peers and build credibility for yourself and your company.
So how do you establish yourself as a thought leader? Well, the process isn’t cut and dry – but there are definitely a few steps to take that will get you well on your way.
- Be Trendy
In general, staying on top of the current trends in your field will always serve you well. But, when it comes to thought leadership, being knowledgeable about all the latest in the industry will allow you to identify potential opportunities for you to provide reactive commentary and insight, and be able to touch on a wide variety of topics in potential interviews. However, don’t just latch on to buzzwords – develop a unique opinion and tell it in a way that fits your brand.
- Put Promo Speak Aside
While a goal of thought leadership can be to bring more awareness to your company, too much self-promotion can detract from the legitimacy of your contributions. As you begin your thought leadership journey, remember to focus on providing the most valuable information first, and then tie in your company when relevant. One way to prepare for this is by building out specific, strategic messaging for your company that you can insert into the conversation without over promoting.
- Brand Yourself
To establish yourself as a leader and build strong relationships in your field, you must create a consistent message around who you are, and what topics you’re able to speak about in depth. Keep in mind that the subjects you select as your concentration should be those that you feel comfortable sticking with for a while, that have relevance to the media, and that your company is keeping up with or leading in advancements or trends.
- Stay in Touch
As mentioned previously, strong relationships within your field are important for building your reliability – as are relationships with the media. Once you’ve started putting yourself out there, don’t be afraid to stay in touch with your contacts even if they’re not writing a story – check in on what they might be working on, or ask if you can be a resource to them. This will help your name to stay fresh in their minds, and create priceless connections. Another good way to stay relevant is to be visible and have conversations at trade shows and other industry events where media are present.