How to establish yourself as a thought leader

You’ve probably heard this before, but we’ll say it again: content is king. Google’s algorithm now favours those websites that are offering informative, relevant and interesting content, and these sites are the ones most likely to feature at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).

With this in mind, more and more companies, like us, are focusing on inbound marketing. Instead of shoving our brand in people’s faces, the key to success now lies with what value you can provide to your site visitors, social followers and customers.

Consumers are now more likely to buy something from your brand if they can see you have an active and helpful presence online, react quickly, and don’t force sales down their necks. This soft approach combined with new technologies, such as personalised websites and email marketing, is making the customer experience a smooth ride, and one that is more engaging.

Companies are now trying to establish themselves as thought leaders in their particular industry, in order to make their site and content stand out.

On LinkedIn, users are encouraged to follow thought leaders in a particular industry – users that provide a certain viewpoint or opinion on a subject. At the moment there is no clear way to become a thought leader, it seems that LinkedIn is handing out thought leadership titles to those with a following and experience in their field.

But you and your company can become thought leader outside of LinkedIn. You can build a following – one that returns to you content time and time again. How can you achieve this?

1. Create in depth content

Blog posts are all well and good, but there will come a time where you need to offer other forms of content. Publish infographics, host a webinar, or create a Slideshare. This shows you have the capability to be more than a blogger.

2. Create your own podcast

Podcasts are very popular as an alternative to blogging. Again, this allows you to create content in a different format to add value to your followers. Discuss industry related topics, find a guest to interview from your chosen professions, or create how to guides to show off your expertise.

3. Speak at events

This is a great way to get your voice heard, your brand known, and your confidence boosted. Start at small events and work your way up to bigger, more reputable events. Remember to make your presentations or speech informative and interesting – boring speakers are not good.

4. Use your social media accounts wisely

By using a tool like Hootsuite, you can easily monitor what other users are saying about a specific topic. Set up streams featuring your chosen keyword to monitor conversations. You can then get involved either by answering questions, offering your point of view, or directing people back to your helpful blog. Remember to be polite at all times.

5. Start and maintain a blog

By launching a blog you are covering a lot of bases. You can show your own point of view with your company’s angle, and offer thoughts on current subjects or the latest industry news. These posts will also support your SEO efforts, as keywords do still help your site appear on the SERP.

6. Guest blog

Once you have gained some momentum with your own blog, begin contributing guest posts on a chosen topic to other blogs. This boosts your reputation as a thought leader, and will promote your brand to another readership.


When trying to become a thought leader, it’s important not to promote your products too heavily – as this will turn your followers off – self-promotion is not a great way to boost your brand.

How else can you boost your thought leadership? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @Wired_Marketing.

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