As a leader, it is important to establish yourself within your industry as an expert, as someone that sets the highest goals and demonstrates outstanding leadership. There is nothing egotistical in these aims, but being respected within the industry can be beneficial both to you and your company. You will potentially be able to strike better deals, the best raw talent will want to work for you, and it will drastically enhance your chances for better opportunities in the future.
With the recent explosion of social media, establishing that expertise and generating the required exposure has become a lot more challenging, due to the increase in competition and content out there. Although this may make things slightly more difficult than maybe ten years ago, there are certain strategies that you can follow, which can reap huge rewards.
Stand Out From The Crowd
As a leader, it is important to be prepared to be controversial and demonstrate the confidence of your convictions. It is all too easy to just go with the flow and agree with everyone else within the industry, but that will never set you apart. John Legere, CEO of T-mobile, has revolutionized the telecom industry in a few short years by his controversial and original style and ideas. He was able to differentiate T-Mobile by introducing a new carrier plan while the other major companies stayed on the conventional path. He wanted to give customers freedom from the traditional practices of the telecom industry. Legere established himself as a thought leader by starting a new movement that the other phone carriers now have to offer, otherwise they will lose customers. His confidence in his own ideas and overall company have driven T-Mobile’s success.
Focus On One Form Of Social Media and Dominate It
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the list of social media sites is never ending, and many leaders try to establish a presence on every one. Unless you have an army of staff, there are simply not enough hours in the day to properly establish yourself on all social media networks. A better strategy is to choose the social media site that is best suited to your industry and expertise and then focus all of your efforts on becoming a leader there.
Develop Contacts With The Media
Although social media can give you a lot of exposure, traditional media such as television and newspapers can give you extra legitimacy as a leader. When a news story relevant to your industry breaks, and the press seek out your thoughts and opinions, your authority and expertise and can catapult you to the next level as a leader. Make strong efforts to make those industry connections, and offer advice and expertise; it can pay off tenfold.
Be Bold With Your Industry Predictions
Trying to predict the future is viewed by many as a risky strategy, but that’s exactly how the most famous industry leaders of recent generations established themselves and their companies. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both predicted how things would change and then had the confidence of their convictions. Ironically though, even if you do get it wrong, you can still build credibility by admitting your mistakes. Great leaders not only make mistakes, they learn from them.
Actively Pursue Public Speaking Opportunities
Large sales conferences or more intimate industry meetings provide yet more opportunities for both exposure and reputation enhancement as a thought leader. Regardless of your expertise in the field, take some classes in public speaking to master the craft. Like most things, the more experience you get, the more your presentations will shine. Public speaking can then develop into a snowball effect with more and more speaking engagements following as your reputation grows. Public speaking is a skill that you need to master, should you want to be viewed as an industry thought leader. It is one of the key platforms that cannot be avoided.
Becoming a thought leader and building your reputation is going to require effort and determination. There will be many times when you are forced to step outside of your comfort zone, but rather than shy away from those challenges, you need to attack them with full vigor and enthusiasm. Here at Level Office, we are always pushing the boundaries in our determination to be viewed as industry leaders.