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7 steps to becoming a thought leader

Learn how to help your career, your organization and the IT community by sharing your expert knowledge with others.

Thought leaders are influential in the tech industry, but it takes dedication and hard work to grow your brand as a thought leader. Here are 7 tips on how to get started.
Home in on one area of expertise
Even if you’re an expert in multiple areas, try to find one area of expertise to hone in on. Once you find a niche where you’ll stand out for your knowledge, passion and talent, be sure to share insights but avoid being overtly self-promotional.
Develop a unique perspective
To become a thought leader, you’ll need to offer a unique perspective compared to others in your industry. Instead of repeating what others are saying, share your own perspective. Your ideas don’t have to be controversial, but you should find a way to bring a fresh take to a topic.
Consider your content platform
As a thought leader you’ll have to embrace social media and find ways to share content online. Figure out where your audience is so you know if it’s better to post videos on YouTube or to share your insights on a platform like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
Develop relevant, compelling content.
Once you figure out your audience and platform, you’ll have to commit to developing relevant content that you can publish consistently. You don’t have to overwhelm your audience with content – they only have so much time to engage. But find ways to share ideas across your networks through posts, videos and articles.
Connect and spark conversation
It’s important to connect with other influencers and to engage with your audience. Reach out at industry events and conferences to build relationships and to expand your reach.
Stay current – but selective
Be thoughtful about what you share – try to stick to your niche by focusing on the latest developments in your area of specialization. Try to stay on message with your vision, while offering updates and announcements on new developments in that area.
Cultivate a following
Keep an eye on your audience and try to build a strong base of social media followers. Stay consistent and on-brand to attract more followers and to build your audience from scratch.
If you find your niche, discover your audience and engage with your network, you’ll be ready to start building your identity as a thought leader.