So, you want to be a thought leader? In a world where everyone has opinions about everything, it definitely feels great knowing that you are heard and that people want to listen to what you have to say. The problem with that though is the fact that everyone wants to be heard, some more loudly than the rest of the population. And let’s be honest; it’s not always easy to stand out when everyone else is trying to do the same thing.
What can you do to increase your chances of becoming a thought leader in your field of expertise?
In this article, we’re going to focus on:
- How to develop a media campaign and position yourself strategically
- How to effectively establish authority in your niche, and
- How you can leverage mainstream media and deliver your message
But before we dive into these topics, let’s first define what we mean by a ‘thought leader.’ Generally speaking, a thought leader is someone whose ideas and opinions are well-respected by their industry peers. In other words, the term refers to someone who is a recognized expert in a particular field.
To be a thought leader means that your ideas and words hold a good measure of influence in your industry. People and businesses are more likely to trust you simply because you have effectively established your brand. And this kind of influence is practically the reason why a lot of entrepreneurs and professionals alike seek to be acknowledged as thought leaders in their respective fields.
Gaining the status of a thought leader does not happen overnight, though. It happens as a result of consistent efforts and strategic decisions.
How to develop a media campaign and position yourself strategically
The first rule you should learn if you want to be a thought leader is that you need to give yourself every advantage you can have. And if there’s one strategy you can take that can help open doors for you, it’s by making sure you get into the mainstream media. Getting featured in an interview or on any other mass media platform can give you the positive publicity your business needs, which in turn would ultimately lead to more business leads.
But getting noticed by mainstream media can be tricky. Thankfully, it’s not impossible. All you need is a good media plan, and then you’re all set. To come up with an effective media plan, here are some things you will need to consider:
- What do you want to achieve with your media campaign?
Plan with the end in mind. For example, are you trying to raise awareness for a local cause you are funding? Do you want to share your latest breakthrough? Keep in mind that different goals require different strategies, so it is important that you are clear on what you are aiming for before you start coming up with a plan for your media campaign.
- What is your key message?
No matter how great your media plan is, it is not going to work without a well-structured message. If you are having a hard time formulating your message go back to your media campaign goal. What is it that you want to accomplish with your efforts to reach out to the masses? Once you have that in mind, you can work your way from there.
- Who is your target audience?
Journals, TV shows, and radio programs cater to specific demographics. So before you reach out to the first journalist that comes to mind, make sure you know who you want to reach out to. Will your message resonate with the audience of the media you plan to choose?
It is also important to have a general idea of how your intended audience will react to your message. Anticipating their response will help you modify your message and your media campaign strategy, making it more effective.
How to effectively establish your authority in your niche
There are three things you need to do to establish your authority in a subject matter.
First, you have to be seen as an expert — someone who has deep knowledge of a specific subject matter, and who consistently proves to be a valuable resource in that field. Regularly publish blog posts covering your expertise. Create videos about it. Share unique insights on topics that are relevant to your industry. Doing these will not only help get your name out there to the public but also helps you establish you as a thought leader in your niche.
But it’s not just about consistently building a reputation as an expert. It’s also about making sure that you are visible to your target audience. After all, you can’t possibly be recognized as a thought leader if you are not reaching as many people as you can, week after week. If you’re not getting enough traction, go back to your initial media plan. You might want to consider a different media platform to accomplish your campaign. Keep in mind, you can’t always do it alone which is why it’s always a good idea to hire a publicist to assist in your efforts.
Third, you have to be good at building and maintaining social connections. Don’t forget to sound human when talking about your ideas. Those who listen to you and look up to you are more than just statistics, and you need to remember that. So when you reach out to your audience, do your best to build a strong relationship with them. Try throwing in a couple of jokes or adding a personal touch to your words and content; that will help you build a strong following in no time.
How you can leverage mainstream media and deliver your message
If you do the previous steps correctly, that is, establish your expertise and make sure that you are highly visible, it will only be a matter of time before your name gets into mainstream media.
By publishing well-written articles and journals, you increase the chances of you getting invited to speak at conferences. You might even find yourself as the recipient of several interviews with mainstream media, and in time might be even asked to join pivotal discussions with key industry regulators.
Want to learn more about how you can effectively use the mainstream media to establish you as a thought leader? Click here to schedule a call with me and let’s discuss how a publicist can assist you!