How to Establish Your Credibility as a Thought Leader

Be a thought leaderThought leadership can be the key to business success.

Studies indicate that the more you expose your brand to your target market, the better your chances of being recognized as a thought leader in your industry. This is extremely important since the success or failure of your business may ultimately depend on it.

Every marketer and business owner knows that acquiring customers can be very difficult, especially since today’s consumers are particularly suspicious of paid advertisements. Add the fact that the cost of advertising keeps on increasing and you can surely appreciate how challenging this task can be.
Thankfully, however, there is a way to organically attract new clientele without having to pay for leads. All you have to do is establish your credibility as a thought leader in your industry. Here are some simple and time-tested ways to achieve this goal.

Write your way to success. To be recognized as a thought leader in your industry, you need to put your name out there. Publish a lot of free content in your blog, do guest blogging on other sites that appeal to your target audience, and start writing eBooks, guides, and whitepapers. You should also consider publishing your own book since people absolutely adores authors.

For best results, try to provide informative and timely content that appeal to your audience, and find creative ways to stand out from the competition. There is too much noise out there so you may need to set the bar higher to get noticed.

Tell your story. People want to know the person behind the business so find ways to personalize your business. This can help you create rapport with your audience and lay the foundation for a productive long-term relationship.

Speak to your audience. You can further establish your credibility by putting yourself in front of your target audience and speaking at local and national industry events. Speaking to your audience at trade shows, networking events, conferences and conventions can give your credibility a much needed boost.

Be an expert resource. Connecting with the press and making yourself available as an expert source of information is also a great way to establish your thought leadership. To uncover real-time media opportunities and journalist requests, consider using free online services such as Help a Reporter Out (HARO), ProfNet, SourceBottle, and PitchRate, to name a few.

Use the power of social media. Share your knowledge on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ but don’t limit yourself to sending out self-promotional links to your website. Provide value by joining in conversations, asking questions, answering other people’s questions, and sharing relevant content.