While Mitchell Levy’s* new book on creating Thought Leaders has ‘”corporations” in the subtitle, it applies to individuals more than corporations. Corporations, however, can be a main benefactor of building a person into a Thought Leader.
During my time in as a social media strategist at a Fortune 100 we built some thought leaders. As Mitchell points out, a Thought Leaders is simply someone who knows their stuff (AKA expert) and is recognized for that expertise. For my high tech employer, product managers, marketing managers, solutions managers and field technical people were experts in their respective area. Many who took to social media stepped up to Thought Leader from expert.
The results were good for both the person and the company. Here’s an example: One product manager was able to attract 100 new leads to the company for a webinar in 48 hours. How? He copied the web page for the webinar and added a few additional sentences to a post on his company blog. He then copied the link for his blog post and put it on LinkedIn and Twitter with a sentence or two. Total time for him, less than one hour.
I could not do this cold in this topic area and get his results. But he had been blogging, doing videos, tweeting and posting on LinkedIn for a couple years. He was a regular speaker at the company’s user group meetings. All of this made him known for his expertise, thus he was a Thought Leader.
#Creating Thought Leaders is a book of 140 tweets (140 character lines), which makes it a really fast read. I pulled out my dozen favorite “tweets” below. If being a Thought Leader is something you are interested in this is a great place to start.
- Who is your audience? Is it narrowly or widely defined? How can you reach that audience?
- Write down five things you’d like to change about your space. What stands out as easy to influence?
- If you believe that your knowledge is valuable to others and you have the passion to share it, then you are on the right path.
- It’s important to think about finding the message that will resonate in your audience–the one that will inspire action.
- Do you need to be bigger, tougher, louder, stronger, wiser? You don’t need it all, but you must be distinctive.
The three-step Celebritize Yourself method is (1) write! (2) speak! (3) sell! (from:Marsha Friedman, Celebritize Yourself )
- The three-step Mitchell Levy method is (1) define your market, (2) befriend gurus in the field, (3) focus on obtaining H.E.L.P.
- Find partners to H.E.L.P.–coauthors, co-presenters, orgs with a platform that want to communicate your message, etc.
- Talk to your audience as you would to your coworkers, family, and friends.
- Make friends with other thought leaders in the space. Retweet their tweets; comment on their blogs; do them favors.
- End your interview with a call to action.
- How do you measure success? Have a plan; measure your results against the plan. Share your expectations and results with others.
- Create stories for the media. Don’t pitch yourself or your product; share a story the media wants to share with their audience.
*Full disclosure: Mitchell Levy published my book and I’m an Amazon affiliate