Social media has transformed the landscape of business for the better, and many companies are trying to figure out exactly how to expand their reach and presence on these platforms. There are millions of unique social media users every month, and many are looking for brands and companies they trust to offer new products and solutions for their lives.
One of the most intriguing techniques businesses are using today is improving their thought leadership. Thought leadership is a relatively simple concept that is difficult to master and critical to implement for any business that wants to expand its reach and lead its employees in a competent and consistent way.
Social media practices sometimes entwine with thought leadership, as your social media experts will provide their expertise and knowledge for your customer base and company alike. To learn more about thought leadership and how it can make your business better managed and more well-rounded, read ahead.
What Is Thought Leadership?
The idea of a “thought leader” has caught fire in recent years and the term has been thrown around so often it’s difficult to tell what it truly means anymore. Simply put, a thought leader is an industry expert who shares their experience and expertise with a broader audience, hoping to educate, improve, or add value to the entire industry in which they work.
Thought leaders have decades of experience under their belt and frequently write books that theorize and educate. Their expertise is vast and often unmatched by others within their industry, and they come from all over the globe, helping a number and variety of corporations lead them, employees. Thought leaders understand the inner workings of their industry well and use this understanding to streamline or improve workflows for the companies which they represent or are hired to help.
Being a “thought leader” means more than just writing about ideals or pontificating upon hypotheticals. Great thought leaders know how to transform businesses for the better, giving them outlines or incentives to follow through on.
Many thought leaders have helped corporations all over the globe transform their cultures entirely, steering them in new and powerful directions. Often, thought leaders know how to improve functions within the company and can also help improve difficult but traditional practices such as content marketing. They know what audiences want and are frequently tapped to use their knowledge and expertise in terms of audience needs.
Who’s Doing it Well?
There are several prominent thought leaders today who are helping people communicate clearly and strongly. These individuals come from many different fields and have written about their experiences in books and other resources which you can find online. Here are some of the more inspiring and popular thought leaders today.
A director of research and professor of business administration at Harvard, Amabile has studied offices and workflows for years. Her latest book, called The Progress Principle, draws from her years of experience to teach managers how to build morale and improve working productivity within the office. She’s formulated several theories which can be found in the book and corporations all over the world have engaged with her ideas and theories.
Bob Burg is a speaker and author and has offered his thoughts and theories about business for the better part of two decades. His most popular book, Endless Referrals, was published in 1993 and revolves around the idea of power in relationships. Burg often reflects on the relationships found in business and emphasizes that relationships are only viable if both people have an interest in each others’ work.
Regarded as one of the most prominent teachers and theorizers of innovation within the workplace, Clayton Christensen authored dozens of books, including The Innovator’s Dilemma, before his death in early 2020. His books have helped industry leaders and prominent thinkers know and understand the process and power of proper innovation. His institute uses its resources to improve the world through “disruptive innovation.”
Lee Cockerell has held many jobs over the years, including the former vice president of operations at Walt Disney World. He’s well versed in the power of time management and has written books on subjects as varied as using time wisely to improving your career and material status. He routinely emphasizes culture within his workplace and uses it as a foundation to implement a strategy.
Cheryl Snapp Conner
Conner is a public relations expert and has mastered the art of bridging the gap between communications and foundational business strategy. She co-founded Snapp Conner PR, which leads the industry and has worked with dozens of global corporations. She also frequently contributes to such publications as Forbes and The Wall Street Journal.
Lolly Daskal is thought of as one of the most prominent leaders and experts in terms of business strategy and innovations. She’s been hired several times by corporations across the globe to change the hostile culture and “right the ship” of corporations who use her unique skill set. She’s written several books, but her latest, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness currently focuses on making its readers better leaders, both externally and internally.
Finally, Steve Denning is a master manager. He’s worked with several companies worldwide in an effort to consult and innovate with them and their partners. He’s trained in business techniques and is constantly improving how businesses operate, both at the bottom and top of their hierarchies. He’s published The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management which focuses on leading employees in an efficient and streamlined manner.
How to Become a Thought Leader
Although becoming a thought leader takes decades of experience and expertise, anyone can start on the path to becoming a thought leader. As long as you have the proper dedication and passion for what you’re learning and teaching about, you can start your own thought leader path at any time. There are tips and tricks to become a great thought leader, however, which will help you lead others and think for your own during the process. Here are a few tips to becoming a great thought leader.
Write, Write, Write
Thought leaders are most known for writing about their idea and expertise. They publish on a semi-frequent schedule, which helps them both keep up with their own ideas and connect to audiences all over the world on a consistent basis. Writing will help you formulate and polish ideas and convey those ideas to others who need your experience within your industry. To become a thought leader, you should start writing as soon as possible.
Write About Ideas
When people hear they have to write to be a thought leader, their first inclination is to write about their own company and themselves. This misses the point of what being a thought leader is. You should be hammering down details of ideas and observations you have on the daily, letting your thoughts and actions congeal into a readable and manageable philosophy. Write about what you know and see, not about your company or your own personal life.
It’s better to have a frequent schedule than have one with holes and lots of downtime. Your readers and others within the industry want frequent updates to shape their thinking and writing more often will help you pick back up and keep your pace more easily. You can write down your goals on a calendar and stick to them or simply write little by little every day without break. Whatever method you choose, you want to write in a consistent voice of professionalism and quality.
Take It to Social Media
Social media is a great place to spread your message because there are people on social platforms who will listen as consistently as you can write. An online presence is crucial in today’s world to make an impact and connect with people who care about what you have to say and are willing to act on your advice and spread your message. There are plenty of professional social media platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, which can help you spread your message and keep the creative juices flowing.
Remember, You’re the Expert
Rather than speaking robotically or from a voice that sounds abstract and far away, keep in mind that people are listening to you for you. Your voice is imperative to maintain a project out into the world. Keep in mind as well that your content should emanate mostly from you and your perspective. Don’t worry too much about what others in your industry have to say but focus inside for your own insights and pay close attention to those around you that you can learn from.
Thought leadership is a rather new but exciting field within the business landscape. To read up further on exciting developments and techniques pertaining to thought leadership, there’s Thumbstop Media. Thumbstop Media is dedicated to learning all there is to know about thought leadership and helps its readers and users become thought leaders within their own industry. If you want to become a thought leader or read up more on the practice, visit Thumbstop Media today.
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