In an era of marketing dominated by influencers, it’s perhaps more important than ever to signal yourself as a leader rather than a follower.
The benefits of becoming a recognized thought leader within your industry are well documented, including…
- Being viewed as an authority figure: as result, your fans and followers are more likely to share your content and products
- Building trust, which can increase your conversions as potential buyers recognize your influence
- Becoming a magnet for networking opportunities as your brand’s face becomes more recognizable in your niche
That being said, positioning yourself as a bigger player in your industry requires some specific marketing techniques. Whether you feel like you’re on the verge of being a thought leader or are simply tired of feeling like a follower, the following strategies are proven to work regardless of your industry.
1. Educate and Enthrall Your Audience
Either through blogging or vlogging, educating your audience (and even your competitors) is perhaps the best way to make sure that you get noticed. Removing the sales pitch from your content and playing the role of teacher makes it seem like you’re a resource first and foremost.
Although old-school blogging is a great way to educate your audience, consider capitalizing on the boom of video content. Creating digital whiteboard content is an awesome way to grab the attention and teach viewers step-by-step. Such content is also a breath of fresh air versus traditional vlogs and blog posts.
2. Implement a Guest Posting Strategy
The more places your content shows up across the web, the better.
Beyond housing content on your own blog, strive to spread your influence by posting on the sites of other relevant influencers in your space. Guest posting represents a win-win situation as you get your name out in the open and the person hosting your post gets fresh content. Come up with a compelling guest posting pitch and try to get your content on as many sites in your niche as possible without sacrificing quality or spreading yourself too thin.
3. Make Sure You Have an Email List
Having a list of loyal and hungry subscribers is a major signal that you have pull in your niche. Email lists are excellent opportunities to give your content an extra boost and open the lines of communication between you and your followers. Over time, you can use your list as a form of advertising via social proof.
For example, you can mention on-site that you have over 1,000 email subscribers or use positive feedback or testimonials from followers as evidence of your influence on-site.
4. Be Careful What You Put in Public
As a side note, you need to take care with what you’re putting out in the open for the world to see via social networking. Newbie questions or social feeds with no followers could come back to bite you and make you seem like a small fish in your niche’s pond. If you need to ask industry-related questions via platforms such as Quora, do so with an anonymous account.
5. Show Your Competitors Some Love
Although this tip may seem a bit backwards, bear in mind the benefits of commenting on, responding to and boosting the content of your competitors. This strategy shows that you’re a participant in your industry versus someone trying to shamelessly promote themselves. Meanwhile, buttering up your competitors could inadvertently drive them to give you a shout out.
Think of these tips as the building blocks for authority within your niche. Becoming a thought leader in your industry requires some legwork but is possible with a series of smart steps over time.