Becoming a leader in your industry is a goal well worth strategizing for. Your online presence is one of the primary ways you establish and leverage your reputation as an expert in your field. Providing your audience with top-notch content sets you apart from the other players in your field. Curating a level of high-quality content exemplifying your leadership, however, is much easier said than done.
These 7 simple building blocks will help you establish a solid reputation as a thought leader in your industry:
#1: Create Unique Content
The most effective way you can lead by content is by creating content. Put your thoughts out there. Share your expertise. Educate your clients and customers. Writing a regular blog article will challenge you to continue honing your communication skills, and will provide you with a library of information you can refer back to.
#2: Share Quality Content
Once you’ve created content, it’s up to you to share it with the world. Use whatever outlets you have available – social media and enewsletters are two of the most common (and effective) places to start. Beyond your own blogs, however, make a point of sharing other relevant stories, articles, and news.
#3: Collaborate to Create Better Content
You’re an expert in your field, yes, but that doesn’t mean you know everything. Bring in other experts to add value to your content. Interviews and guest blogs are great ways to build relationships with other thought leaders in your industry and lend credibility to your content. Also make a point of freely giving your expertise when you’re invited to contribute to another creator’s content.
#4: Offer Valuable Resources
Blogs are better in short form (700 words or less), and social media posts are even shorter. Sometimes what you have to say will need to be longer, and that’s ok. In fact, those instances are a great opportunity to create free (or low-cost) resources you can offer in the form of an ebook or webinar. These more in-depth offerings not only add value to your clients and customers, but give you great marketing opportunities as well.
#5: Answer Questions and Give Help
Social media sites give you an open door to take the stage and establish your expertise. By being hashtag-savvy, you can find relevant tweets to engage with on Twitter. LinkedIn Answers is an outlet even more perfectly suited for this. Regardless of the place, seeking out opportunities to offer free help gives you an advantage.
#6: Keep the Conversation Going
Your online community is a critical component in this process. Be strategic in creating conversation, and intentional in keeping up with conversations you’ve started. Get to know your community, and in learning more about them, find ways to spark dialogue.
#7: Forget About Promotion
This is honestly the most important thing you can remember: leading with your content can never sound like a sales pitch. Being sales-y gives the impression of an ulterior motive, and people don’t trust ulterior motives.
You’ve worked hard to become the best in your field. It might take some strategy and consistent effort, but working on these 7 building blocks will help you lead by content and increase your influence as a thought leader in your industry.