How to Become a Thought Leader in Any Industry

Sometimes I work with individuals who are interested in developing their own personal “brand”.  They want to create what is currently called a “thought leadership” position on the internet and social media. This will develop opportunties to meet more clients, customers and well, maybe even new friends.

Often, these clients will have years and years of real-life experience and talent but little knowledge of how to bring that to the world wide web. They know it’s the smart thing to do, the next step in their career and a way to stay relevant, but they don’t know where to begin. It’s foreign territory and it feels uncomfortable.

What is a thought leader exactly?

Someone who demonstrates knowledge and authority on a specific subject that targets their potential customer or client.

“Thought leaders become the go-to people in their field of expertise. They are trusted sources who inspire people with innovative ideas”

Adam at Duke.png

For the past four months, I have been working with Dr. Adam Perlman,  Co-founder of Synchronicity, a Charleston, South Carolina company developing next-generation wellbeing centers.    He is also an adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University, and from 2011 to 2017 was the Associate Vice President for Health and Wellness for the Duke University Health System as well as Executive Director for Duke Integrative Medicine. He’s currently the Director of Duke’s Leadership Program in Integrative Healthcare.

Fitness

We started with a meeting to brainstorm Adam’s core messages, what he felt the world needed most.

Once we nailed down his messages, I created a plan to develop three months (posting once a week on his WordPress blog) of video content. Why video?

  1. Adam is good on video. If he wasn’t easy on the eye, knowledgable and relatable, I would have rethought this approach.
  2. Videos are more impactful and consumers of social media content want more of it.

How to Develop Your Own Personal Brand

No matter where you work or what you do, you need to be continually developing your connections, influence, professional relationships and your network.

A personal/professional website and social media allow you to scale this process on a regional, national and worldwide level. As long as you are creating helpful and useful blog and video content with the proper organic SEO and hashtag strategy you will be assisting others in a very valuable way. At the same time, commenting and sharing your point of view with others in health and wellness or whatever field you are in you will develop an influential presence.

  • A website and social media functions similarly to a resume or a CV. This is also a place for your own personal portfolio. A platform for you to write, offer video sessions and also share books you have written and/or possibly consult and build other businesses in the future.
  • Most reporters, journalists and influencers will search for your name online, you want to control what they discover. They shouldn’t have to patchwork pieces of your CV from different websites or LinkedIn. Your website is a great introduction to you and your unique point of view. Most importantly, your own published content will help them write or produce stories that are more accurate and true to your point of view.
  • If you are pitching yourself as an expert to the media or collaborating with other influencers, most writers and producers want to know who is behind the brand. What the backstory is all about. How the idea evolved. A website and social media gives you the opportunity to highlight your experience and showcase your work and gives you some control over your image and reputation. It will help fill in the blanks for Synchronicity and give the wellness centers more credibility.
  • Your website online platform where you have the freedom to share your own opinion, this includes the inclusion of photos, work studies, and testimonials.

 

  • The website will also assist you in growing your likes, followers and engagement with those interested in your work, which will benefit you and your future projects.

 

  • Your own website & social media platforms give you the freedom to try other types of approaches to your community, now and in the future and express yourself the way you want to at any given time.
  • Your voice may convince and convert future clients and customers and become a vital part of lead generation for future members. It may be an article or video that you product that influences them to become interested in your business endeavors.

If you are stuck and don’t know where to begin, get in touch. You can email me at hello@mj.works or DM me @madelinemariejohnson on Instagram. I am here to help.