How Being a Thought Leader Helps Your Career
What’s In It For Your Employer?
By building your thought leadership skills, you not only help yourself become known as an expert, but you also help your company become more recognized. In your bio on your blog or at a speaking event, your work experience is highlighted typically. Your employer gets the benefit every time you use your thought leadership skills.
Tools of the Trade
Thought leaders do a ton of writing about their industries. From blogs and books to articles and white papers, executive briefings or special reports, this type of content can help position you as a thought leader in your field.
Because people search online so often for solutions to their problems, the writing you do as an expert can help these people to find answers they’re looking for. If you write blog posts regularly on topics that relate to your field, people will find these posts when they search. If they’re in need of a management consultant and they like what they find, they are more likely to reach out to you or your company after finding your blog. The blog creates trust; and it makes you stand out from your competitors.
Public speaking is another tool that can help brand you as an expert. Find conferences, trade shows, and seminars where you can lend your expertise—either as an individual or as a representative—for your company.
You could also create and moderate a LinkedIn Group or other online forum. Bringing like-minded people together and creating and participating in the discussion can raise your visibility in your niche.
Updating Your Resume
Your thought leadership activities are ideal for your resume. If you have written books or research papers, create a section on your resume for published works. List speaking engagements as well. These activities show potential employers that you’re proactive about sharing your knowledge with others and that you are well-connected. Your next employer will see you as an asset because you bring your following with you to your next role.
Don’t feel like an expert? Consider what you know well, and what you’re passionate about. Start down your thought leadership path by setting up a blog and writing posts about your industry. Share industry news, your own commentary, and posts other experts have written. Also consider what topics your ideal customer might be searching for, and write about those.
Once you become accustomed to writing regularly, you can consider penning a short eBook, white paper or special report on a hot industry topic and promote it on your blog and/or an eNewsletter. Once you get the writing wheels rolling, it’s not a huge stretch to write a book, especially considering many books are self-published these days.
If you’re nervous about moving into public speaking, then start locally at your community college or Chamber of Commerce. Join Toastmasters to polish your speaking skills. Work your way up speaking at industry events.
Mark James, CPC is the founding president, executive recruiter and career management coach with Hire Consulting Services (HCS) HireConsultant.com Established in 1999, HCS provides valuable services that optimize the fit between people and companies. HCS specializes in Executive Search and Career Transition Coaching for middle to senior level executives and professionals in multiple disciplines and industries.
Mark has been blogging since 2006 at The Career Catalyst. This blog is for business executives and professionals who are currently in career transition, planning to make a career change or start a new business. It’s all about “Hire Education” and it’s designed to be a collaborative compass to help you calibrate your true north. Every post is made with the singular purpose of allowing you to choose the right career path by discovering trends, tools and knowledge to secure a more fulfilling, rewarding and productive career. In today’s market, “Job Security is the Ability to Secure a Job!”