How to Become a Thought Leader


Share on LinkedIn

Beyond a certain point of writing and posting the same thing like everyone else does is the desire to become a thought leader and influencer in your field of practice.

The following are steps you can consider and take to become a thought leader.

1. Start being known in just one niche first

Derek Halpern of socialtriggers started in the internet marketing space by being the go-to source for Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). He then expanded to a broader field of psychology and copywriting.

Lewis Howes of the School of Greatness got noticed in the beginning for being a LinkedIn marketing expert. He has since branched off into personal development.

It is very attractive to start off with a broad topic such as internet marketing or personal growth.
But such a strategy would be difficult for you to get noticed if you are starting out.

Instead, occupy a small subset and become an authority there before expanding your reach to a broader subject.

There’s a term in psychology called The Halo Effect. The effect states that if a person is perceived to be good at one thing, he or she is also perceived to be good at other things.

2. Focus on one channel and expand

After narrowing down on one niche, pick a platform or channel you want to be known from.

Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, built his footing on YouTube.
DJ Khaled got known for his short videos on Snapchat.

The purpose here isn’t to ignore all the ignore channels completely, instead it is to figure out what medium are you best at communicating in, what is the one platform that you are most comfortable creating content for, which platform has your type of audience and place more emphasis on that.

3. Find a unique angle

If you communicate and talk about the same things like everybody else, you will end up like everybody else.

Instead of regurgitating the same rules and tactics over and over in your industry, spend time to think about how it made a difference to you.

Your experience is what will make your content unique. You can use this to create new and improved versions of certain tactics you tried before as well.

4. Join groups and councils

If you have a young entrepreneurs council or group near you, join the group and get yourself known in their social circle.
Join Facebook groups and engage in forums.

Obscurity is often times the main reason why most thought leaders never get heard.

5. Guest post

While some may contend that writing for somebody else is not as autonomous as writing one’s own blog, guest posting on highly authoritative sites can provide you a lot of advantages.

Writing for sites such as Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc can give a huge boost of publicity and traffic to your site.
Not to mention the credibility markers to have their logos on your site under “Featured on”.

6. Cultivate your 1000 true fans

This concept was made popular by Kevin Kelly.

In essence, “1000 true fans” argues that all you need to make a living as a creative or artist is to have just 1000 true fans (it is based on the notion that each of them pays you $100 a year).

A true fan is someone who would drive hours just to watch you perform, buy every book you write, download every audiobook you ever produce and constantly check for every blog post you write.

In order to cultivate such a following, you must first provide something rare and valuable (your expertise on your niche) and engage constantly with your first thousand fans.

Allocate time to reply to their comments and research on their interests and their lives.

Ben Sim, LLB
Ben Sim is an online marketer and blogger. When he is not reading up on business strategy and persuasion, he spends his time writing about growth hacks. He currently works for iPrice group.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here