Today, influence marketing aka. thought leadership is a sure effective way to raise above the constant digital noise, and keep the ever-shorter attention spans focused on your product: thought leaders and influencers are more respected and recognized than ever before.
Modern entrepreneurs and executives already have the innovative, disruptive and creative dna to keep up with the following list of action items - work with your teams for the benefit of your business and product, or manage your own personal brand. Do this every day, for way more is expected from modern executives than even 10 years ago: is a fantastic opportunity for those who possess the creativity, generosity and always remember that it's the sum of the little things!
The most efficient platform to broadcast thoughts, updates, plans and strategies, keep in touch with customers, developers and the community at large, especially because posts get picked up by aggregators like product hunt, tech crunch or engadget (to name a few), each post has a unique URL that can be shared and spread via facebook or twitter. Not to mention that Panda, the ranking algorithm used by google, today parses natural langage and meaningful content. We are a long ways from grandpa's keyword seo!
To get started, use medium, weebly or wordpress - then share on linked in, twitter and instagram.
chime in on social media
Thought leaders naturally keep the pulse on the culture and influencers lead it within their niche. This does start by being able to leverage all the social media technology tools to their advantage.
For modern execs, this is part of your job. This is not the old boy's club anymore, and Medium, twitter, LinkedIn (slideshare), Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are the platforms you're expected to use as a leader to demonstrate your value and participate to the constant flow ideas and new products in your field.
(note to silicon valley folks: all VCs are on twitter. And they pay attention)
make branding personal
Modern executives understand the value of personal branding. We're way past narcism (leave this to the peter principled, washed out crowd stuck in the 90s) - as today a personal brand has become more important than a personal platform.
Thought leaders understand the real value of personal branding and use it to their advantage from a position of influence to back up their thought leadership.
Today, as an executive, an entrepreneur and a thought-leader, you need to engage in streamlined and intentional personal branding and put in the same amount of time, cost and effort as it does to brand a business - it is that important.
(Note: pick a rallying, universal cause and stick to it. for example, google "women in business" and adhere to the same playbook.)
have an opinion
There is a direct relationship between opinions and thoughts, and it takes great courage to express your opinion -especially today when anything that you say and do has the potential to be "on the record" forever. It is however possible to be kind, generous and gentle, and still hold very strong opinions. Just be genuine and honest.
possess real earned value
Honest, true, worthy and respectable thought leadership only grows from hard work, real experience and earned success - in other words as soon as you step on the pedestal and swich on the bullhorn, be prepared to have people ask you (rightly so): who are you and what makes you so special? How did you get there? What are your qualifications? This does not mean that you need to be a dentist to talk about dentristry, simply remember that respect is earned, not given, and that it takes time and humility to get there.
are outstanding public speakers
And it's really, really hard. But in today's world, execs who can't build a stunningly sleek pitch deck (by themselves) and deliver like a pro won't go anywhere.
It's once again a question of knowing your stuff, being humble and honest. Start small. Do meetups. Do Google+ Hangouts. Slideshare. And little by little buildup your speaker's portfolio.
And most importantly, strategically. You will have to be intentional about why your are engaging in thought leadership - if it's a want more than a need, then you're not ready. Ask yourself the following questions:
Understand what thought leadership in your context truly means - and once you find the why (by answering the questions above) you will find your own way through the how.
As a modern executive, a lot more is expected from you than even 10 years ago - and this is a fantastic opportunity for those who possess the creativity, generosity and are truly giving to prevail.
Thought leaders today are generous and giving people. They are generous with their time, their talents, their money and their advice.
Today's leaders give intentionally and strategically, making sure that their generosity does not compromise their integrity nor denigrate the recipient.
If you aren’t yet generous, that probably needs to change before you can gain the respect of others.
My name's phil mora and I blog about the things I love: fitness, hacking work, tech and anything holistic.
Thinker, doer, designer, coder, leader.
Head of Product at Sikka Software.
Here's my contact info.