Why (and How!) to Brand Yourself as a “Thought Leader”


You show up on time every day, meet deadlines and work hard. But in today’s world, if you want to get ahead in your career, you must do more than that. You need to be consistently strengthening your identity in the workplace, showcasing your expertise and positioning yourself as an authority in your field or specialty.

In other words, you need to be a thought leader.

Many people think of thought leaders as senior executives or millionaire entrepreneurs. But really, anyone with strong skills and a little bit of marketing savvy can be a thought leader. And when you are, it not only boosts your image, but also opens doors to a world of new career opportunities.

The question is: How do you get from where you are now to successfully branding yourself as a thought leader? Start with these tips:

Consider your passions.

Thought leaders are more than just knowledgeable, they’re also passionate about their subject matter. In fact, they often demonstrate so much excitement that they naturally inspire others. So when aiming to brand yourself as a thought leader, think about the areas in your career or job that truly fire you up. What energizes you most and why? If you’re not excited about a particular area or topic, then you won’t be able to motivate and inspire others to be as well.

Find a mentor.

Is there someone you work with or in your industry who’s a thought leader that you admire? Look to them as a source of inspiration and guidance. What did they do to become thought leaders? How do they operate and promote their personal brand? What makes them so effective? Read their blogs. Pick their brains. Ask them questions. The goal here isn’t trying to copy them, but to learn from them.

Tell a story.

Beyond knowledge and passion, thought leaders need to be relatable. One of the best ways to relate your expertise to others is through storytelling. Not only will it get people’s attention, but it’s a good way to differentiate yourself.

So where do you tell your story? Take a look at your social media profiles, particularly the ones on LinkedIn and Twitter. Rework them in a way that will elevate the information there and communicate it in a way that’s more compelling. In addition, establish your own blog or blog page on your company website. Make sure you post to it consistently so it stays active, and also promote it on your social media profiles.

Once you’ve gotten comfortable publishing to your own site, try to get published on other authority websites. For instance, start researching industry-related blogs that are a good fit for your message and pitching stories to other bloggers and editors.

Network like a pro.

Once you have your foundation established, it’s time to start networking and getting your name out there as much as possible. This means participating on as many social media platforms as you can, attending conferences and industry-related events, and connecting with as many new people as possible. The bigger your audience, the more credibility you’ll have.

Ready to advance your career to the next level?

Whether or not you’re a thought leader in your industry, the Kansas City employment experts at Morgan Hunter can help. In fact, over the years, we’ve assisted thousands of job seekers in finding the next great opportunity in their careers. If you’re ready for the next level – and want professional guidance getting there – contact us today to get started.