Let’s talk about thought leadership. I researched several definitions of the term and the consensus is a thought leader as someone who cuts through the fluff and becomes the go-to person in their industry. They are knowledgeable, credible, and know how to get things done.
However, at some point in time the definition of a thought leader shifted. “Thought leaders” became this perfect, beyond reproach, know it all leading to a strong level of mistrust in businesses. Fortunately, this false image of thought leaders has been shattered in recent years due to the pandemic, racial injustice, and other societal issues.
Now, thought leadership is getting back to the roots of authenticity and expertise instead of the person with the best marketing and the biggest mouth. People are actually listening and paying attention.
However, if you know your stuff, you will eventually evolve into a thought leader.
Once this happens, positioning yourself as a thought leader will increase your brand visibility. By becoming a thought leader in your industry, you can stand out from the competition and attract more attention to your brand. Being a thought leader opens up opportunities to network with other professionals and speak to their audiences, further expanding your reach.
I attended a trends report on Facebook hosted by Leighann Heil. She discussed the unpredictable nature of consumer purchasing behavior and the confusion it’s causing economists.
She said that despite being in a recession, people are still spending money on things they enjoy, that gives them a sense of security and ultimately joy.
This presents an opportunity for thought leaders to position themselves as trusted authorities in their respective industries. People are looking for guidance and expertise through real people, not the pretentious BS people were dishing out in the past.
By establishing yourself as a credible and knowledgeable figure in your industry, you can attract more attention to your brand. In an era where trust is lacking, real thought leaders prevail and create opportunities for their brands to connect with their target audience.