How to Become a Thought Leader in your Niche

Carl Taylor | July 28, 2021

In every industry, there are those whom everyone looks up to for ideas and solutions. Are you ready to learn how you can turn into one of those people?

What is a thought leader?

Think about the go-to people in any niche. The experts, opinion leaders, and people whom others regard as some of the most trusted sources of information.

A thought leader moves and inspires people. They can come up with revolutionary ideas and even turn them into reality. But, perhaps most importantly, a thought leader knows how to show others how to replicate their success.

Thought leaders gather legions of fans and followers. They offer their teachings to help others scale their ideas, businesses, brands across entire industries.

So, why is this important to you?

If you want more recognition, positioning yourself as a thought leader is one of the best things you can do. It’s how you can build authority, engage people, and rise above the competition.

In today’s ever-evolving digital realm, becoming a thought leader can give you unparalleled exposure and access to your ideal audience.

The great news is that anyone can be a thought leader if they achieve a couple of things. And the following tips should help you get that much closer to getting people to see you as the leading authority in your niche.

The Eight Tips

Tip #1 – Publish High-Quality Content

Many people confuse thought leaders with influencers. But in reality, there’s a huge difference between the two.

An influencer is someone who often cares more about their number of followers. Their interest is generally for personal financial gain. Thought leaders, on the other hand, are focused on sharing their expertise and knowledge to help others.

That’s why to become a thought leader, you have to curate and publish high-quality content. Churning out dozens of articles or blog posts every week or month is not as important.

When audiences read or listen to thought leaders, they want to hear unique insights and solutions. They want to find inspiration and new ideas.

The quality of the content comes before anything else.

It’s also essential to understand that a thought leader’s primary role is as an educator. Therefore, your content should be geared towards teaching people on particular topics in your niche.

Another important aspect is to be as genuine as possible. Audiences don’t expect thought leaders to be the greatest writers or speakers. Instead, they want authenticity. Followers expect a thought leader to use their own personal voices and project their personalities through their content.

Tip #2 – Leverage Social Media

You have to do two things when leveraging social media to position yourself as a thought leader.

First, you have to create a presence on all the important platforms. Ideally, you would start with identifying where your audiences live. After that, you’ll want to target those platforms as soon as possible.

But it won’t hurt to create profiles on less-used social media platforms as well. Because as your popularity blows up, you may gain new followers from places you didn’t expect.

Exposure is a crucial aspect, but it’s not enough to get you what you want.

That’s why after creating your profiles, the second thing on your agenda is to engage your audience. Again, social media is an excellent tool for amplifying your efforts and growing your following.

So, start sharing noteworthy content with your fans on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Use these platforms to broadcast live and engage audiences in a more personal way.

Tip #3 – Partner Up with Influencers

Influencers may not be the best personalities to give out expert advice. But there’s no denying that they have established followings. Moreover, many people in their audience may overlap with yours.

Partnering with influencers is one of the fastest ways to get name recognition. It’s also almost a must-do when you’re just starting to position yourself as a thought leader.

But who should you reach out to for maximum exposure?

It’s always best to begin your search within your niche. Follow influencers on their social media profiles. Then, comment on their posts and tweets and add your unique insight.

The fact is that for influencers to help you, they have to feel some engagement. They need to communicate with you to figure out how much knowledge you bring to the table.

Of course, you can also reach out by offering your assistance instead of asking for help. Perhaps you can contribute to an influencer’s content, help out with a marketing campaign, or something else they might need.

The main point is to establish a relationship and prove your value before asking for anything in return.

Tip #4 – Stay Consistent

Consistency is an interesting topic.

Now, there are a couple of areas where you have to show it.

First, your audiences expect to hear your voice throughout your articles and blog posts when it comes to content.

Second, consistency is also the key to your publishing schedule. If your audience expects something on any given date, it’s your job to provide it. Conversely, irregular posting schedules can diminish your credibility if your audience has other expectations.

Furthermore, your branding, especially on social media, also needs consistency. Not everyone you engage with will be a long-term follower. When someone researches you, you want them to connect the dots with ease.

Also, consider using the same biography, imagery, logo, even colour schemes across all online platforms you’re active on. Doing so will help people to quickly spot you and remember your identity at the same time.

Automation Agency can help you automate many of your processes, from sending emails to newsletters to scheduling blog posts so you’ll never disappoint your followers – even when you’re pressed for time.

Tip #5 – Keep Your Niche Up to Date

People get information and news updates so fast these days. News spreads quickly and many social media platforms update their users every couple of minutes, if not sooner.

What does this mean for you if you want to become a thought leader?

It means that your audience expects you to update them immediately when there’s something noteworthy to mention.

If something happens in your niche today, you have to publish an opinion rather fast. Remember that one of the things people like about thought leaders is that they’re trusted sources of information within their industries.

Sure, everyone can get a news update from anywhere. But the people who follow and see you as a thought leader also expect updates from you.

They want to hear or read your opinion.

People demand your insight and want to learn how the news might impact them. The sooner you update your audience with relevant industry news, the more your credibility grows.

Tip #6 – Conduct Original Research

There are tons of gurus online who basically preach the same things. While they may alter their words and expressions, they ultimately give the same advice.

Influencers use the same approach, which may be one reason why they’re so popular. They say things that audiences agree with and are accustomed to hearing. Their followings grow as a result.

But if you want to be a thought leader, you have to go one step further.

What separates you from the rest is your expertise, knowledge, and originality. This means that if you want to inspire and lead, you have to come up with new ideas. Or, you should at least provide different perspectives and points of view on common issues.

Hence, one of the vital things you should do is conduct original research. If you do the same thing as your competitors – look at the same sources, read the same material – it won’t be enough.

So, you have to distinguish yourself from your competitors. You can do that with unique content, but you have to enrich that content with original research.

Besides, one of your goals is to become the person that others quote. When they cite original research that no one else has but you, that’s when you can build massive brand awareness and authority.

Tip #7 – Go Easy on Self-Promotional Content

Content marketing is an essential tool when trying to expand your reach. But there’s such a thing as being too promotional.

Remember that one of your most significant roles is to inform or educate your audience. It’s not so much about selling your own material with every chance you get.

While your audience wants to hear about you and your brand, it’s not all they want to learn. So, focus more on providing value to your followers.

The more value you provide and the more you help, the more they’ll reach out to buy your products or services.

Tip #8 – Widen Your Exposure

You probably have your own website and blog that you want to use when uploading content. Then, you have your various social media profiles that audiences follow religiously.

That’s all great. But is it really enough?

You see, influencers stick to a couple of platforms. Some may even use one or two at most and not worry about the rest.

However, your goal is to be a thought leader. You want to position yourself as an expert and the best source of information, solutions, and ideas in your niche.

For that reason, you have to widen your exposure. You should have an online and real-world presence.

Thought leaders often book speaking engagements to meet their followers and do networking. Some thought leaders also understand the value of guest posting on other reputable blogs or news publications.

You can post your content anywhere you want. But your reputation can get a boost when a reputable agency or news outlet decides to publish your work.

Although the print format isn’t what it used to be, it isn’t redundant either. Plenty of industries still have consumers who read high-circulation print publications as often as their favourite websites.

Will it take a lot of work? Sure.

But the point is that massive exposure on multiple digital and real-world channels can only help you engage more potential followers.

Be the Resource Your Audience Needs

An influencer or guru can sooner come off as a Jack-of-all-trades than a true wealth of knowledge. The thought leader is the person who has answers and solutions and can back up their claims in their niche.

You don’t even have to be an expert in multiple areas. Consider finding your ideal section of the industry and owning it. Become the person that everyone turns to when they need unique insight, education, and news on a particular topic.

The point is that if you want to truly influence, educate, and inspire people to build up your own brand, your goal should be to become a thought leader.

If you’re ready to take full advantage of the digital solutions at your fingertips, Automation Agency can help!

Consider using our expertise in automating processes. Get in touch with us if you need assistance with tasks like branding, design, or even blog creation. Whatever your unique needs are, you can always contact our Concierge Service and learn more.


About the author 

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.

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