Brand Yourself As a Thought Leader In Your Industry

Reputation is everything. In today’s interconnected and information overloaded world, it’s vital to professional success to not only be an expert but to brand yourself as a thought leader in your chosen field. Creating a reputable personal brand takes more than a few tweets. You need to actively engage in industry discussions – not in a promotional way, but in a manner that adds value across multiple platforms. Becoming a reputable thought leader isn’t a quick process, but diligence and engagement can get you there.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Listen to What Others Are Saying

One of the best ways to have something worthwhile to say is to listen to what others in your industry are talking about and form your own opinion on the matter. It won’t always be different, innovative or meaningful, but when you come up with a new perspective on the situation or even an interesting way of digesting and implementing known information, it’ll be worth sharing and worth listening to.

Don’t be afraid to take the position of contrarian or devil’s advocate, as long as you can back up what you’re saying. Innovators always seem crazy until their way of thinking becomes the norm.

Another great tactic is thinking about the challenges the industry is facing and sharing how you are personally overcoming them, even if your approach isn’t 100 percent right just yet. People are looking for a solution to their problems. If you can share your successes and failures and give peers a new approach to think about, you’re automatically setting yourself up to have a loyal following.

Every time you’re at a speaking engagement or networking event, make mental notes of the topics and questions that come up. Forming and sharing well thought out answers to trending industry discussions is what being a thought leader is all about.

“How do you become a thought leader? It starts with BEING a thought leader and then connecting the dots back to you.” – Brian Solis

2. Publish Yourself

Personal-professional blogs are great, but unless you’re a recognized name in the industry, it can be hard to get people to spend precious time on an unproven blog. Keep up your blog if you have one, but take advantage of the fact that LinkedIn opened published posts to everyone.

LinkedIn is the top social business platform and users are typically there to see business-related news, updates and posts. This is a focused, captive audience to…

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