The 5 Habits You Need To Develop To Become a Recognized Thought Leader

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How to become a recognized thought leader in your industry? What does it take to be a thought leader? What habits do they possess that set them apart from the rest of the pack?

In order to become a recognized thought leader in your industry, you need to do more than just be an expert on the topic. You also need to be visible and active in your community. Being a thought leader requires more than just subject matter expertise.

To be a truly successful thought leader, you also need to be visible and active in your community. That means being involved in discussions, sharing your ideas and perspectives, and generally being an active participant in the conversation. In addition, thought leaders need to be accessible and approachable. If people can't easily connect with you, they're less likely to take your ideas seriously. Finally, thought leaders need to be consistent. If you only share your ideas sporadically, it will be difficult for people to see you as a reliable source of information.

Everyone wants to be known as a thought leader in their industry, but few people know how to actually become one.

In this episode, we will explore the five good habits of thought leaders that you need to emulate if you want to achieve similar success.

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Read the Full Transcript

Atiba de Souza: What if I told you there were five habits that would help you become a thought leader in your industry?

Well, there are. And we're going to discuss them today on Thoughts on Thought Leadership with Atiba. 

Hey everybody! Welcome to Thoughts on Thought Leadership. I am your host Atiba, and today we're gonna be diving into five habits — five habits that you need to develop if you're going to become a true thought leader in your industry.

But first I wanna take a pause for a moment and say that it's not about just doing these habits, but it's about having the right intention behind it. You see, if you're attempting to become a thought leader because you want fame or you want notoriety, or you want people to look up to you, that's the wrong reason.

Absolutely, hands down. That's the wrong reason. But if you want that moment where you are minding your own business and you run into someone maybe at an industry event, and they come up and ask you a question and they ask you this question and they say, "You know, I really wanted your thoughts on this because I really respect who you are in this field."

If that's why you want to do it, because people will respect your thoughts and people will seek your help and you are truly willing to give, assist and help, then these five habits are for you and your motivation for wanting to become a thought leader is correct. So, Let's dive right in. 

Number one. You've got a passion for your industry and a passion to share it.

Yeah, it kind of goes right along with what I was just saying in terms of why you're doing it. You must have a passion for your industry. You see, that's the thing that connects with people first. If you know a lot about a subject, but you're not passionate about it, it's really hard to connect with people in 2022 and 2023.

Listen, coming out of the pandemic, people want to connect with real people. People want to connect with and align with your passion. And so if you're not passionate, they're gonna be able to see it. If you're just somebody who knows a lot, they're going to be able to say, "Oh, they just know a lot. But they don't really care. They don't really care."

And see, here's why that's important, because not only do they want to know that you're passionate, they also want to know that you have their best interest at heart, so that you are sharing information to actually help them, not to make yourself seem important, but you're giving information that's actually going to be useful to them.

You know, we have a term for that, and it's called "value in advance". They wanna know that you are willing to give value in advance because let's face it, everybody knows you got something to sell. Everybody knows that. It's not a secret but your ideal customers want to know, "When I connect with you, are you gonna give to me openly? Are you gonna teach me and share with me openly? Or are you going to hoard and hold things back?"

And it's when you give openly that they're willing to connect more with you. So your first habit is you've got to have a passion for this. You've gotta have a passion. You've gotta have a love, and be willing to share that love.

Number two. Join groups and participate in meetings. Join groups and participate in meetings. That could be mastermind groups, that could be coaching networks, that could be local groups, in person groups. Join them and participate. It's amazing to me — you know, we're now in this whole Zoom culture.

It's amazing to me how many people get on Zoom and don't turn their cameras on. It's amazing to me how many people get on Zoom in a discussion setting and don't say a word.

You have to participate. You've gotta participate. And in that participation goes back to point number one. It's showing you're willing to give of yourself. You're willing to teach. There's so many times I joined groups and teach my competitors. Cuz guess what? I also learned from them. I teach them even some of my own trade secrets.

Are you willing to do that? Are you? See for most of us, we wanna hoard our information too closely and so forget sharing with our customer. We definitely won't share with our competitor. But open your heart, share, give value in advance. You'd be surprised. You'd be amazed. You'd be amazed at how that value is returned to you. You'd be absolutely amazed. 

Number three. So joining meetings is one thing, participating is another thing. Let's take it another step. Take every opportunity you have to speak and teach. So that could be, there's somebody new starting a podcast. Guess what? Get on their podcast say, "Hey, I'll volunteer to be on your podcast. Oh, but nobody's gonna listen that." Who cares? Is it about who's listening? Or the fact that you had an opportunity to teach and share your passion? Take every opportunity to teach and speak that is presented to you. Take them all. "Oh, but I'm super busy." Okay. These are the habits. These are the habits.

So you're gonna have to prioritize this. You're gonna have to figure out how to fit it in your schedule. Right? And some of those groups that you've joined, they may ask for someone to teach a master class or to teach a workshop. Do it. Absolutely do it. You see so many of us get so caught up in thinking, "Well, you know, I want to be a thought leader."

And again, getting back to the ego, which we started about — it can't be about your ego. "I want to be on stage." You want the bright lights. Guess what? You don't get the bright lights unless you're willing to do the little things, unless you're willing to show up when there's no one there and they forgot to turn the lights on.

Hey, I can tell you I have shown up tons of times on Zoom. Heck, even in person, and nobody showed up and still did a presentation.

You've got to be willing to show up. Take every opportunity to share and teach. That is afforded to you. Don't care about the audience, care about the opportunity to share because if only one person hears it and not one person needed to hear what you had to say, ding, ding, ding, you've won. You've won. Okay. 

Number four. Number four. You've gotta create content. Now, we've been talking a bit about creating content. Obviously, because we're talking about going to groups and sharing that type of thing, but most of that is content that goes out and you never get it back because it's not recorded and it's not something often that you can reuse.

But what I'm saying here now is you have to create real content assets. What are we talking about? Obviously video. You know, I'm always gonna talk about creating video. You've gotta create blogs, write articles, do podcasts. Now, that could be for your website. It could be for your friend's website. It could be for industry websites, but you have to create content.

The key here is the creation of that content, and as it gets disseminated, as you put it on to your blog or your website, as it goes on other people's and on industry platforms, what ends up happening is, it's literally building your street cred. It is. Go google my name. Atiba de Souza. Go google it and you'll see the first thing that pops up is videos of me on Digital Marketer. 

People laugh at it all the time. Why don't your websites pop up first? Because guess what? The fact that I was featured on Digital Marketer speaks more volumes to my potential customer than me being featured on my own website. So yeah, I don't try to outright the fact that I was featured on Digital Marketer that says, "This guy might know his stuff."

But you don't get there if you don't take the opportunities to create content. You must continually be creating content.

Now that leads me into point number five, and this is the one that so many of us screw up on. Because I guarantee you, most of you listen to the four and say, "Oh, I've done that, or I've done that, or, Oh yeah, I did that."

And you can go through all four. The first four and say, "I've done those." But number five is the one where we lose it, and that is you have to be consistent. See, it's not okay to produce a month of good content. And then disappear for a month or two months or six months. It's not okay to produce six months of content and then disappear for two or three months.

That's not cool. That's not going to cut it. You have to become consistent with the content that you're creating. You have to become consistent in showing up in the groups. You have to be consistent with your message. You must be consistent. And I get it. It's the hardest thing because life gets in the way and when I say life, I mean business.

Let's be real for a moment. Business oftentimes get in the way because let's say you go and you do a marketing event, or you create some content and people find it and you get a slew of new clients. Well, you gotta go service those clients now. And in servicing those clients, you get busy and the thing that drops off first is your consistency on producing new content. Your consistency on producing new content.

Well, I get it. I totally get it. I've been there. I've struggled through that, and that's why I exist because my whole role is to help you become consistent with your content. That's what we do. That's what we do. And so if you are at a place where you're like, "You know what? I've done a lot of the other four and consistency is my issue," go to

That's That'll take you straight to my LinkedIn. Connect with me on LinkedIn and send me a message. Let's have a conversation because we have ways that we can help you to be consistent even in the times when you get super, super, super busy. We can help you be consistent. So, reach out to me. Let's chat.

Let's see if we may be able to help you get there. And if not, I can at least give you some pointers that you can do on your own. All right, everybody. That's it. Those are the five. You heard 'em here now. You know 'em. Gotta get to work if you want to be a true thought leader in your industry, and again, reach out to me,

Love to chat with any of you. Talk to you later. Bye-bye.


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