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5 Tips on Becoming a Thought Leader

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Monday, July 21, 2014 |

A service or product’s success does not depend on the brand of the company alone. It is both the brand and reputation of the people behind it that influence business success.

What comes to mind when you think of the term ‘thought leader’? An individual who invests his time and energy in pushing his personal brand is helping build credibility and at the same time enhancing not just his reputation but his company’s as well. To do that, one must establish himself as a thought leader. We know that closing deals and satisfying existing customers take up most of an industry leader’s time, but the good news is that not all personal branding strategies are time-consuming.

Branding strategies that generate results

Entrepreneur lists five less tedious personal branding strategies that generate significant and positive results:

1. Identify your area of expertise.
A thought leader is the go-to individual or firm recognized for their expertise in a selected area of specialization. Most entrepreneurs and business leaders choose to focus on areas they have had a lot of past experience in.

Remember that the past experience needs to be connected with what you want to be known for in the future. Select an area that will bring in followers that can be either clients or advocates of what your company is selling.

2. Strengthen your LinkedIn profile.
If you don’t have a good, strong profile on LinkedIn yet, you better start creating one. You can’t avoid interested advocates looking to learn more about you and your company via your LinkedIn profile. Ask yourself, "Does my LinkedIn profile sell me and my company?" Your profile needs to look like an SEO landing page for you and your brand, not like a resume.

3. Follow other thought leaders in your area of specialization.
Advocate marketing is fast becoming the most effective form of marketing. Consumers are more likely to believe their friends and recognized experts than a website or a salesperson.

Start following the thought leaders and influencers in your space. Interact with them on social media: comment on their Facebook and LinkedIn posts, retweet and favorite their content on Twitter, comment on their blogs. Establish a relationship with them. Getting them to know you will pay off to a considerable degree.

4. Share content.
Don’t forget to share relevant and compelling content, and keep the 80/20 content guide as a rule of thumb: 20% original and 80% curated.

5. Follow through.
Being a thought leader also entails building long-term relationships with your key customers, influencers, and future advocates. Return customer calls and respond when they send you an email. When customers, influencers, and advocates connect with you on social media, accept their invitation, or simply respond to them at the very least.

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