Have you ever wanted to become a thought leader?
Would you like to have thousands and thousands of followers on your social media following your every move? Do you want to become not only an authority, but also a thought leader in your industry?
If so, then this blog post is for you.
If you read this entire blog post, I’m going to share with you exactly how to become a thought leader. Using this one strategy, you’re almost guaranteed to reach any goal that you set for yourself.
Let’s get into it!
How to become a thought leader online: The skills you need
The first thing you should be aware of are the skills that you’re going to need in order to get into thought leadership.
By the way:
It doesn’t matter what goals you are trying to achieve, you can use the strategy I’m going to teach you below to develop the right skills. Except you’ll first need to think about what those skills actually are.
Anyway, a few days ago I was on a live webcast with the one and only Brendon Burchard.
One of the things that he shared in his training were the 5 roles that any thought leader needs to improve upon in order to become more successful.
The 5 roles are:
- Online Trainer
- Social Media Thought Leader
Here’s what these roles are about:
Author: The obvious form of this would be book authors, but a lot of the same skills would apply to blogging, writing short stories or articles as well.
Speaker: One of the key roles for thought leaders is speaker. This could be keynotes or conferences, but also think about things like interviews and online videos as well.
Coach: This refers to working closely together with somebody to help them improve in whatever aspect of life you’re coaching them in.
Online Trainer: The online trainer role is mainly about selling information and training online. This can be on any topic really. As Brendon shared, there’s somebody out there that built a million dollar business teaching people how to knit!
Social Media Thought Leader: It’s 2016, for crying out loud! Social media is a crucial way of communication with your audience. This is a MUST to get better at!
So, these are the 5 roles for thought leadership.
The next step is going to be how to identify the exact skill-sets that you’re going to need to master to break through to the next level.
Strategic Skill Development: What it is and Why you need it
The KEY word here is: Strategic!
What we mean by strategic skill development is to take time out of your day to get better at specific skills.
Now, you may think that you know this. But, let me ask you this:
If I take a look at your calendar or agenda, will I see time SCHEDULED to develop these skills?
That by the way is a question that Brendon asked us on that livestream, which was a complete eye opener for me.
What I realized from that is the fact that I didn’t have a schedule for my personal development at all. I just did things to grow, but not nearly consistent enough.
Scheduling this has really helped me to be more consistent.
Remember that when you seem to hit a plateau or ceiling in your business, it’s not about the economy or circumstances.
If you hit that ceiling, the reason is because you haven’t yet developed the necessary skills strategically in advance. Before you even needed them.
Let’s dive into some specific exercises you can use.
Exercises to develop the skills you need as a thought leader
The best way to get better at something is to actually do it.
That’s why I’d like to share with you a couple of exercises that you can use to learn the right skills for each of these roles. Some of these where exercises that Brendon shared that he actually did when he was getting starting.
Alright, let’s roll!
The Author role
To get better at writing you’ll have to write.
Need I say more? Yes? Alright then.
For starters, you can start by writing blog posts about any topic you’re interested in. And hint: Writing content is one of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority and become recognized as a thought leader.
That would be my recommendation, especially if you already know the niche you want to get into.
Another strategy that you can use to improve your writing skills as well as your speed of writing is a tool called 750 Words. As the title says, the goal of the site is to simply write 750 words a day, it then analyzes things like your writing speed, distractions and even the state of mind you’re in while writing.
Schedule time to write and get better.
The Speaker Role
Particularly we are talking about public speaking here, we’re not talking about having a casual conversation with a group of friends.
After all this is a training on how to become a thought leader, not how to be a Chatty Cathy.
Here’s what Brendon did when he got started:
He was basically just walking around in his living room. He’d pick a topic and start talking about it, as if he was giving a speech about it in front of a room full of people. It may feel awkward but believe me, the walls of your living room aren’t going to laugh at you!
I’m actually starting to do this myself.
Some things you could do is to pretend you’re giving a speech of some kind, do a few minutes of stand up comedy if that’s your thing or memorize a speech and then deliver it to your empty living room. At first you’ll probably need some notes or bullet points, but as you continue to do it, you’ll be able to fluently speak without any tools or notes.
Another thing you can do, that’s really awesome as well is to shoot a video. Not only will you get better at speaking, but it will also get yourself out and help you in becoming a thought leader. That’s the great thing about some of these exercises!
The Coach Role
This role would be a bit harder to learn, because you’ll actually need to have someone to coach.
Luckily, Brendon had a rather hilarious story about how he did it.
He literally had conversations with friends that were like: “Hey, I’m trying to become better at coaching people. How about we’ll sit down for coffee or lunch (I’ll pay), we’ll talk about some of the problems you’re having and give you some advice. It’s going to be fun”.
That’s one of the ways you can get started to learn how to be a better coach.
Don’t really want to do something like this with your friends? If you’re connected with people in the same industry you may reach out to them and offer to coach/strategize with them for free, no strings attached.
Get on Skype or the phone with them for 15 or 30 minutes, listen to them and help them with actionable advice for them.
The Online Trainer Role
The fourth role you can take on as a thought leader is that of the online trainer.
A lot of the same skills that you’ll need to become better at speaking also apply here, the main difference is on the type of speaking.
The main focus here is teaching.
Like I recommended in the section about exercises on how to become better at speaking, I would recomend you actually get yourself out there using video. Teach something about your expertise in video format.
The Social Media Thought Leader Role
And of course no training on how to become a thought leader online would be complete without getting yourself out there on social media.
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing books, want to create information products, give presentations or anything else, social media is crucial these days.
So, how do you get better at social media?
Be active on social media! And by active I mean posting 4 times per day, for Facebook that is.
Personally, I never did this before.
But, as I’ve since learned is that by only posting 1 a day, or a couple of times per week, you’re missing out on a lot of potential engagement with your audience.
You’ll have to pay close attention to the engagement you’re getting, at what times you get the most engagement and the types of content your audience responds to the best. In doing so, you’ll be able to get better and grow.
It’s just something that you will have to actually do.
While it’s definitely a long journey to become a thought leader, it’s also incredibly rewarding when you get there.
But, in order to become an online authority you will have to develop the right skill-sets ahead of time, or you’re not going to reach your end goal.
If you can use strategic skill development like this, you’ll be able to achieve just about anything that you really set your mind to.
Out of these 5 roles of a thought leader, which one(s) do you really want to become the most? Leave me your answer below.
Also, please go ahead and share this article with your audience, so they can learn this important lesson as well!
To your success,
Ps. Do you want to become an authority in your niche? Check out this Free training by one of my mentors, Ray Higdon.