What Is a Thought Leader? What Does a Thought Leader Do?

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What is a Thought Leader? What does a thought leader do? In a world of information overload, how do you find the right people to follow? How do you know who is an expert and who's just another guy with a blog?

Being a thought leader is all about being an expert in your field, who has knowledge and skills to share with others. They have the power to inspire and influence others. If you want more influence on social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook then one way of getting there fast would be by becoming known as someone that other people follow for good advice.

In this episode, I'll tell you why and how becoming a thought leader can help grow your influence by sharing what is a Thought Leader, what does a thought leader do, and who they serve!

Listen to the Episode

Read the Full Transcript

Atiba de Souza: Welcome to Thoughts on Thought Leadership with Atiba. 

Today I'm going to answer a question that I get on off, off a lot. And it's, you know, what does a thought leader do? Because let's be honest, you see thought leaders online and it seemed like they're everywhere. Right. They've got the YouTube channel. You'll see, maybe they have a podcasts, but always seem to be in your social streams, whether that's at LinkedIn, on Instagram, on Facebook, whatever platform. Sometimes you're even seeing them on multiple platforms almost simultaneously. 

And you've got to start asking yourself, what are they doing? I know I have, what are they doing? Are they just everywhere? Just creating content all day long. Like how do they actually run their businesses? How are they actually making money? Like it seems like, all they could do is create content all day long.

I remember there was, um, there's one guy in particular, when stories first came out on, on Instagram, it's been like 21 stories a day and I'm thinking, 21 stories a day? I can barely put up our 21 stories a year. How in the world are you doing 21 stories a day and still running your business. And you know, it's a really, really great question, it's the big question, because it's one of those things that keeps most of us from ever aspiring to actually become a thought leader, because we just think it's going to be absolutely overwhelming.

It's going to consume our lives. We're gonna have to live with a camera in our face, always recording stuff, always just on our phones, posting content, and then not actually doing our business, not actually doing our business. So today we're going to dive into that and we're going to look at really, what does a content creator,what does a thought leader do? 

So, the first questions, are they always creating new content? And do they always have a camera in their face in order to do that? And the answer is no. The answer is absolutely not. Now there are some influencers online, those mega influencers and stuff. They've got a camera in their face all the time.

They've got crews, but that's not what you need to be, to be a thought leader in your industry. That is not what you need to be. What you do need to do though, is you need to focus on one platform. Figure out how you like to create content because yes, as a thought leader, you do have to create content. Okay. Um, but figure out how you like to create content.

Are you a better writer? Are you better with just your voice? Just speaking? Are you better on camera? What's the way that you like to create content and then focus on that. You, once you figure out the way you like to create content, you then focus on the platform that is best for creating content in that way.

So, for example, if you are a writer, then a blog is probably a pretty good place for you to start. And then you could take that blog post and also post it on LinkedIn. That's a good social media platform for you to start with, whereas nobody reads blog posts on Facebook or definitely not on Instagram. Right?

So you really have to, to look at what is your preferred way of creating content. And then what is the platform that you can create that content for? And you choose one platform. You don't have to choose all of them. You choose one platform because once you choose one platform, what you do then is something called repurposing that content, right?

So for example, me, I am great. I think y'all can agree. And if you do agree that I am great in front of a camera, do me a favor, hit that like and subscribe button down below, don't forget to hit that bell too, but I think I'm the best in front of a camera versus written or on any other medium. Okay, so I can turn on a camera, record video, which is what I'm doing right here.

And once I've recorded this video, my team then takes this video and they will chop it up. They will create, this may be a 10 minute video. They will create 30-second clips. They'll create one minute clips, two minute clips, and then we can post those clips on other social medias. So my long form video that I'm doing here for you, it's going to end up on YouTube first.

Okay, because that's my preferred platform. Then my team will cut it up into little clips and put it on different social media platforms. Then another part of my team will take the video and create a blog post out of it. Right. We create a blog post, we'll publish the blog post to my blog on my website, clientattractionpros.com, and then that blog posts, pieces of it will be sent to LinkedIn. Pieces of my video will be sent to LinkedIn. Then I've got another team who will take the blog posts and then create infographics about them. Right? To boil the blog, blog posts down into one pretty picture, an infographic. And then we share that infographic on sites like Pinterest and other places.

Okay. And so it feels like I'm everywhere. It feels like my content is everywhere, but in truth, all I did was created one piece of content and then I have a team that will help repurpose it. So now that's the next thing in order to be a thought leader, you have to have a team. You must have a team. Okay. And your team needs to be able to, one, take the content that you've created in the medium that you created, whether it's audio, video, or written, and then turn it into other forms of content.

Okay. They need to be able to turn it into other forms of content and what we, what we call repurposing that content for you. Right? Because in this video that I'm doing right here with you, not only will they cut it up into clips, but then they'll also cut it up into little quilts of mine and they'll put those out there.

Not only will they take the blog post which is, let's say you are a writer and I thought, well, how will I ever get the video? Guess what? We could take what you've written and turn that into video as well. Right? Let's say you, um, you are great with, with your, with your voice, but you don't necessarily want to do a podcast.

You're a better teacher, right? Create slides and do a PowerPoint presentation and record your voice with the PowerPoint presentation. That can be repurposed as well into lots of different things. My point here guys is very simple. It seems super daunting to be a thought leader in your industry. I get that.

It seems super, super daunting to have to put out content. And if you're comparing yourself, which you shouldn't be, but if you're comparing yourself to what you see out there from other people who've been doing it frankly a lot longer than you, the thing that you will realize is they appear everywhere.

And it seems like that's a lot, but it really isn't. But all that it is, is a matter of, they create one piece of content and then it gets repurposed in a lots, lots of different ways. Now, clearly we've been talking about content this entire time, right? And the key to being a thought leader is the content that you create.

If you're not creating content that people want to consume as a thought leader, then you're not a thought leader. You're just someone with thoughts, right? The leadership parts in comes in in the fact that people want to consume the content that you are creating. So, thought leaders create content, but it isn't just that they create content. Thought leaders educate, and to be more specific,thought leaders answer specific questions. That's the key. Thought leaders answer specific questions. Okay. Now, why specific questions? Because anybody can get on and put a mic in front of them and just talk all day long. But if you're talking about something that nobody wants to hear, you're not a thought leader.

You're just, someone with lots of thoughts. A leader is going to figure out what are the questions his or her followers have and answer those. So we answer specific questions, not generalities, kind of like this video. Right? What does a thought leader do? Very specific question. They create content and they repurpose that content on tons of different platforms.

That's what the thought leader does. Right? Now, let's talk about your content. So you're going to answer specific questions and it could be on new topics. There may be new things going on in your industry that people are asking questions about and you answer those questions. Okay. You can build on existing ideas of things that you said before.

Absolutely. There's nothing wrong with that. Here's one that is always very interesting is you can disagree with existing ideas in your industry. Now, one of the key components of being a thought leader is expertise in your field and part of being an expert and having expertise in your field is that you've created a proprietary process, something that belongs to you, the way that you do things that nobody else does things to solve problems for your customers and clients. Right? So if you've done something, no one else has done in a way that, that you do it for your customers and clients to get them results. 

Then there's a, chances are, you're going to disagree with stuff that other people are doing. And that's okay. A thought leader isn't afraid to disagree. A thought leader is, is willing to stand tall and say, this is my opinion. This is why, and this is what I believe. And so sometimes that does mean disagreeing with popular opinion in your industry. And that's okay. That's all right. Okay. Thought leaders also will demonstrate things. So again, getting back to teaching and answering, answering specific questions so a thought leader may show you how and why something works, the way they do it. Okay. So they demonstrate things for you quite often, alright? And let's face it, you also got to be interesting. 

Because if you're just boring and nobody wants to listen, then it still has to be someone interesting. You have to be able to present it in an interesting way that people are going to want to hear it. 'cause you're bringing fresh new ideas, see, that's the key of, of being this thought leader, but you're taking something that's already existed and you're saying, Hey. Here's a better way of doing it and here's why and why I've had success with it. So you're bringing fresh new ideas and, and if you're bringing a really fresh new ideas, then it should be interesting to the people who are asking those specific questions. And that's the key going back to that. It's all about answering specific questions.

Now that probably leads you to a place where you're going to ask the question. Okay, dude, I get that. But, uh, how do I figure out those specific questions? What do you mean by answering specific questions? Well, that's actually what we can help you with. Um, if that's something that you're looking for, if you're ready to become a thought leader and you want to know what are those specific questions that you need to answer.

Well, my team at clientattractionpros, that's what we do. We help you figure out those specific questions. Now we've got a quiz down below. Go on click on that link. Um, it's a free quiz, it's a thought leadership readiness quiz. You can take that and it kind of tells you, you know, are you ready to become a thought leader?

Are you ready to take that next step? And if you are, we would love to take that next step with you and help you become the thought leader of your industry. Alright everybody, I will see you soon. Buh-bye.

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