The Road to Thought Leadership

Taking a journey without a specific destination can be an enjoyable experience, but while this works for your summer vacation, it doesn’t sit very well in your professional career. After all, if you don’t have a goal, you never know when you have arrived.

Becoming a Thought Leader – the go-to expert and source of knowledge in your particular industry/field – requires well-thought out specific actions.

Thought Leadership by Definition: According to Trevor Young,

“A thought leader leverages multiple channels to relentlessly drive and facilitate high-level debate and conversation around a particular subject, topic or issue in which they have a strong degree of expertise.”

Choosing to be a thought leader is a wise career move, but it doesn’t just happen. It requires in-depth personal questioning, a specific plan, and dedicated effort.
Questions to consider:
• How do your peers, clients, community, and in some cases – the media, view you professionally?
• How often do others come to you for advice?
• Do the articles, which you post on LinkedIn and various social media platforms trigger multiple responses, ignite conversation, and get reposted?

What can you do to build professional visibility,
increase your influence among colleagues, clients, and community, capture the attention of the media, and even garner speaking engagements?

Don’t give up. Be persistent and diligent. No one becomes a thought leader overnight – it’s a building process. Start with a solid foundation:
• Know yourself – what is your area of expertise?
• Determine what you want your brand to be.
• Establish who your target market is – decipher what information do they want and how they want to get it.
• Develop a plan of action.

Connect by:
• Developing an attitude of service – not selling yourself or your business – in your articles, tweets, podcasts, etc.
• Being consistent – write regular blogs and white papers, create topical discussions, record podcasts, etc. Establish a medium and schedule that fits your audience.
• Sharing the podium – invite other experts to post on your site. Share helpful links to the great works by your colleagues.
• Knowing, understanding, and targeting your audience.
• Being approachable, discoverable, and transparent. People quickly pick up on genuineness.
• Creating an attractive professional website – color, design, and navigation ease and speed play a huge role. Be sure to have your contact information and links above the fold. Develop a responsive design and establish a creative and interactive “call to action.”

Get support. If you have the potential to be a thought leader, then you probably have a full schedule. Don’t try to do it alone
• Seek a coach or mentor.
• Participate in a Mastermind or similar group of colleagues who support each other.
• Be willing to hire someone to help with writing/editing/posting articles.

Thought Leadership rarely “just happens.” Draw a map, plan your journey, and set your focus on your destination. Include a stop at Springborn Staffing. We connect thought leaders and other top talent with top companies in Bangor and Portland, Maine. Contact us today.

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