Want to stand out on Social Media? 6 ways to be a Thought Leader. (it's easier than you think...)
If you struggle to know what to do on social media, or are a quiet person who wants to make an impact without shouting or bragging - this post is for you!
How to be a Thought Leader
There are lots of different definitions of Thought Leadership out there. In truth, you may already be doing some of these things.
1.Noticing interesting things.
One simple definition is that a thought leader notices, shares and comments on ideas and themes that are of interest to their sector or niche – and shares them consistently over time in such a way as to develop an audience for themselves, their company or their brand.
It’s about establishing a relationship with and delivering something of value to your peers, clients and customers that aligns with your values. By doing this you go beyond selling a product or service and establish yourself as an expert in that field. This makes people think about you differently in significant ways.
They get to like your point of view and look out for the contributions you make.
One of the great things about thought leadership is you don’t need to be well-known or famous in order to establish yourself. You can start in tiny ways and build this up over time. What do you notice each day? What do you find yourself liking on Linked In, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? Is there a consistent theme to this? The main principle of thought leadership is that there is consistency in what you find interesting and of value - and that you then go on share these things with your peers and followers. This technique works whether your interest is in parenting, neuroscience, interior decoration, architecture or baking! The same principles apply across the board.
Storytelling is important. A great story will allow others to connect with you and your values. If they connect with your values, you’ll get the empathy you need to build trust. When you get the trust, your reader or follower gets closer to the point where they will buy into your ideas – and when the trust turns to loyalty they will keep coming back – not just the once, but over and over. The storytelling part of thought leadership is when you add your own comments on the same subjects within your own posts and perhaps even write your own articles around the same themes.
4.Engaging with a variety of learning preferences.
Do you like sharing audio, video or narrative (articles and links to things that others have written)? Many thought leaders choose a specific form of sharing – podcasts, say, or videos on a YouTube channel. Or, you can share a variety of all these things – this can be quite a successful technique to build an audience quickly.
5.Creating Original material.
To become a top notch thought leader, you must work towards creating original material – the very best thought leaders work on this principle – and they don’t just write about or promote themselves. They have an opinion – or interview others and share a range of opinion around a topic.
If success to you comes from the knowledge that you are making a contribution, helping change the world, creating pleasure, alleviating pain, creating a sense of wonder – any or all of these things – you are exactly the sort of the person the world will reward in direct proportion to the contribution you make. So don't be scared to share your thoughts and interests.
People often say to me, ‘why do you share so much – aren’t you worried people will steal your ideas?’ Hmmm…for me, it’s a no-brainer…isn’t sharing the currency of our humanity, of culture, of love?
Author, The Art of Shouting Quietly