Rise Above the Noise: Become a Thought Leader

These days, it seems like practically everyone is a self-proclaimed expert in their field. What does this mean for you and your brand? For starters, it makes it quite hard for those who have actual topic expertise to rise above the noise.

To distinguish yourself as a true thought leader and set yourself apart from the throngs of self-anointed gurus, it is going to take more than just a few “likes” on your LinkedIn page.

Thought leadership is about leading the conversation – challenging others to think about trends, regulations, and topics affecting their line of work. Most importantly, it requires you to provide timely, meaningful information in a compelling way.


Here are some recommendations on how you can leverage your expertise and stand out from the crowd by providing real value to your audience.

Be visible.

Audiences gravitate toward people, products and businesses they know, like and trust. You can quickly build that credibility through your public relations efforts, the content you share on social media, and speaking or networking at industry events. Are you particularly knowledgeable about a new piece of legislation that will affect a certain industry segment? Write about it. Publish it. Talk about it in a media interview.

The more others see your name and work, the more credible you will become in their eyes.

Understand who you're speaking to.

Let’s be honest, the vast majority of content creation is uninspired and leans toward self-promotion. Don’t limit yourself to just writing about your own successes. If that’s your universe of potential content, then you’ll only be posting a few times a year. In order to produce content that resonates with audiences, you must first consider who exactly your audience is and what they care about. When you know your audience, you can grow your audience.

Develop relevant content that will keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.

Provide the “a-ha!” moment.

The unvarnished truth is, you are not the only person in your industry who is knowledgeable. True thought leaders need to be able to provide new insight into differing aspects of their own expertise. Create content such as blog articles, whitepapers, short e-books, guides and webinars that you can offer at no charge. The more freely you share helpful information, the more credible and valuable you become to your target market. Be the person who flips on the lightbulb for someone.

Anyone can call themselves an expert and talk information at you, but it takes work and dedication to be a true thought leader.

Robert Tharp

Director of Public RelationsView Bio

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