Overview of Thought Leadership
Thought leadership is commonly discussed in the business world, and to the average person. It’s defined as “a type of content marketing where you tap into the talent, experience, and passion inside your business, or from your community, to consistently answer the biggest questions on the minds of your target audience, on a particular topic” (Brenner, 2018). Understanding where you fit in with your knowledge and expertise, could allow you to develop an audience and create authority.
Preparing to Build Authority
Thought leadership status can’t be achieved through a single article, social media post or networking event. You have to build your experience and create credibility over the long term. The goal is to determine your area of authority and develop how you will inspire and influence others with your knowledge. From my experience of creating a reputation in the field of website development (favodigital.com/). I started focusing on ways I could help others with website infrastructure, coding, search engine optimization, and more.
This involved me creating content that was valuable to my viewers through my blog and YouTube videos. It takes time, but you will gain the skills and authority where others look up to you. I have found that I always learn the most when I take on any type of challenge. The reason for this is because I may fail but I learn something new and teach myself. This way I can take what I learned and apply it to someone in need. Finding areas within your expertise that no one has covered has also been a success for me. One of my YouTube videos is ranked #1 on Google in front of 4,450,000 results.
One of the greatest things I did to help create my authority figure in the industry was investing in myself. I spent countless hours of creating content, learning, and following trends. But most importantly understood where problems were and applied solutions to help viewers.
By using a to-do list with strict deadlines, I was able to complete tasks and make notes for future content creation. This allowed me to create progress each week and over time I saw the accumulation of my efforts grow my online presence.
Building Authority Within a Company
Building authority within a company is only a tough task if you have no guidance. The way you will gain authority is by learning from someone who is an expert in the field or also known as a “systems expert” (Brenner, 2018). Someone who best understands certain processes and
procedures within the business is the systems expert. I’ve managed a team of 3 individuals for a pharmaceutical company’s online department. From my experience I had to master major problems and develop solutions that could guide my team if any similar situations arise in the future. Taking on this role adapted me to fix problems and make recommendations to improve the company.
The more time and effort I invested into the company’s systems, the more knowledge I gained. This put me in a place where my opinion became recognized as an authority in that particular area. Therefore, the company saw me as a systems expert towards the online infrastructure of the website. The more value you bring to a company, the greater the opportunity and growth you will achieve within the business. Understanding the foundation and culture of the company you work for allows you to justify what you can do in the future within the organization.
Building Authority in The Public
Once you’ve developed your expertise in which you want to become a leader for then you have to choose the path to go. This path will basically open you up to the public, it’s the landscape or platform you choose your content to grow on. These platforms can consist of blogs, social media groups, forums, YouTube, membership sites, podcasts, and the list goes on.
The way I was able to build an authority on a variety of platforms was by developing do it yourself (DIY) videos on YouTube. I started to gain traction and gained thousands of views. From YouTube I went on to then create blog posts around my DIY’s and turned the videos into text and images. One of my blog posts got over 400 comments. Now this took over a year and involved doing a bit of search engine optimization and following Google’s regulations. The reason I was to get lots of visitors to my blog was the fact that I create unique and engaging content. The more focused you can get your message the easier it will be to build your authority.
Anyone can create a blog and begin writing about something that they’re passionate about. But the trick is in creating consistent content that’s unique to your niche. One thing you should understand is that copyrighting content will not fly with Google. If they find copyrighted content on your site, you will be penalized and could potentially get your site removed from search engines.
Although the process may take years to develop authority, it will benefit your career in the long run. Continue to build value by becoming a thought leader in your area of expertise. As you build your authority, you can begin reaching out to the general public and increasing your market value by the information you provide. Overall, the more time and effort you invest in yourself, the more knowledge you can gain. And this knowledge will stay with you for years to come and you can create anything from it.
An applied example that I feel I could take from this for myself and my businesses is to develop social media groups around my expertise. Taking that into consideration it can allow me to create value within the group and attract those interested in the industry of website development. I can then create more of a following as well.
Crenshaw, D. (2012). Thought Leadership. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Business-Skills-tutorials/Becoming-a-Thought-Leader/88535-2.html?org=nait.ca
Brenner, M. (2018). What Is Thought Leadership? And When You Should Use It? Retrieved from https://marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/what-is-thought-leadership-and-when-you-should-use-it/