How to Become a Thought Leader

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A thought leader is more than an expert. They are first and foremost exceptional leaders who share their knowledge with wide audience.

The perks of being a thought leader? As a thought leader, you support the growth of other professionals in your field. You gain a certain amount of followers and therefore influence. You also secure your legacy as the leading expert.

Here are a few ways you can start building your career as a thought leader.

Be the Expert

As an expert, you will need to be on top of all the latest news of your field. The best way to do this is to read everything from magazines to memoirs. You should be incredibly familiar the latest news and research in your industry. You can also follow relevant leaders on social media. Doing so will help you stand out as a well informed voice.

Write Articles

Writing for magazines within your industry is one way to have your name quickly recognized. If readers look to your article for advice and inspiration, you are on the right track! You will also gain a wider audience as you write on a broad spectrum of topics.


Networking is an essential part in being a thought leader. As an influencer, you’ll need to have a strong series of connections. Having a network of professional support will boost your chance of being noticed in an already dense environment. It’s good to remember that you’re not networking just to help yourself. When you network, you are providing your valuable mentorship and leadership. Seek out avenues where you can do both—demonstrate your role as a leader and a support for others, while also borrowing from the skillsets of similarly minded individuals.

Take Advantage of Media (especially Social Media)

You can definitely use all types of media—TV, newspaper, etc to boost your engagement with the public. You want as many people to see you as a leader as possible. And the more legitimate the sources, the better. As you begin to be recognized in a variety of media, you will notice that your audience will also reflect a wider demographic.

Make Public Appearances

Again, you’ll want as much exposure as possible. But when you make public appearances, you are demonstrating not only that you know your stuff, but you are eloquent and likeable. Leaders are generally followed for a variety of reasons, but likeable may be as important as and knowledgeable. If you appear for more lecture-style presentations, you will without doubt be recognized as a teacher and mentor. If you cultivate this type of reputation, people will remember you as a leader who wants to help them improve their life.

Publish Books

Books serve two main purposes. First, they demonstrate that you are an authority and readers need physical copies to refer to often for help. Publishing books is also a great marketing technique. Books have become a new business card. With each book you hand out, you are telling this person that you are confident with your expertise and your advice is of great value.

Becoming a thought leader doesn’t happen overnight. With patience and dedication, you can become a leader in your field. Who knows, maybe you will go on to influence the lives of millions?

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