How to Become a LinkedIn Thought Leader in 7 Simple Steps

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Keeping up with constant changes in the world of business is essential to remain successful. If you’re looking to stand out against your competitors and offer more value, then becoming a LinkedIn thought leader may be a viable strategy for you.

One of the best places to start is on LinkedIn. It’s the go-to online platform for executives, buyers, and influencers when they need guidance with making their next business decision. Thought leadership, if done correctly, will make you the top expert these individuals reference for trusted advice.

If you’re looking to increase your industry authority and begin implementing quality LinkedIn thought leadership content into your marketing strategy we’ve got you covered. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what thought leadership is and actions to take to establish yourself as an industry leader on LinkedIn.

What is Thought Leadership?

If you aren’t familiar with the term “thought leadership”, it describes an individual who is an expert on a certain topic or subject and can offer insight on said topic.

Attaining the status of “thought leader” is a goal many entrepreneurs and executives strive to achieve. Not only is it a confidence boost, it’s also a smart business move.

By establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry, you have new access to opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. The more helpful, unique, and valuable your content is, the more people will share it. As the traction on your content increases you will attract more leads, build relationships, and become the go-to source of information for your target audience.

The importance of thought leadership marketing

Thought leadership marketing adds significant value to your company’s growth plans. Currently, 65% of businesses already include thought leadership in their content marketing, while 29.5% more are planning to do so soon.

There’s a reason more and more businesses are increasing their thought leadership content — it has tangible benefits. 

Those benefits include:

1. Establishing credibility and building authority

When you share valuable and unique information you’re showcasing your brand in a positive light.

As you become more established, your brand profile and story will shine through and attract more people who care about what you have to say, making you an authority in your niche.

You can foster innovative ideas with your audience to drive change and influence their unique perspectives.

2. Gaining shares, backlinks, and mentions

While thought leadership isn’t necessarily an SEO strategy, it can help influence it.

For example, a blog post that features authentic content that is valuable and backed by data and research will naturally encourage others to share and link back to your content. However, earning backlinks, mentions, and shares shouldn’t be your only purpose for generating thought leadership articles.

Above all else make sure your content is helpful and adding value to your target audience.

3. Attracting new clientele

Thought leadership is a good tool to utilize if you want to build a loyal audience. Increasing brand loyalty amongst your followers will no doubt attract potential customers.

For example, the owner of a natural supplements brand may opt to educate users on the science and process behind creating their supplements. By bringing their audience into the behind-the-scenes of the product they’re simultaneously building loyalty and creating buzz around their brand.

Steps for becoming a thought leader on LinkedIn

We’ve put together 8 practical steps you can take action on right away to begin establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

1. Find your niche

The first step towards becoming a thought leader on LinkedIn includes identifying your niche. A niche is a specialized area of focus within a profession.

Your thought leadership content must address existing voids within your niche. To achieve this, conducting preliminary research can be immensely beneficial.

Begin by identifying prominent thought leaders within your industry or field of expertise. Analyze your findings and delve into popular hashtags and conversations. By comprehending the landscape already occupied by others, you can carve out a distinctive sphere for your insights.

Your content should seamlessly integrate the following elements:

  • Relevant trends within your industry
  • Customer pain points
  • Your organization’s growth priorities

2. Develop a LinkedIn strategy

You know your why (your niche) now it’s time to figure out the how and create a strategy that works.

Aside from being a valuable resource for establishing yourself as a thought leader, LinkedIn generates 80% of all social media leads. So, regardless of your area of expertise, having a solid strategy in place is good for business.

Here are some important aspects to consider in your strategy:

  • Know your target audience – what are their pain points? What type of content do they engage with?
  • Use images and other media – keep users engaged with a variety of content including images, videos, LIVE events, etc.
  • Optimize your company page – ensure your business page is easy to navigate and understand. This will encourage users to keep coming back.
  • Define your marketing goals – having clear goals in mind, such as becoming a thought leader, will encourage consistency across your marketing channels.

3. Give your LinkedIn profile a refresh

Your LinkedIn profile serves as a vital tool for conveying to your followers that your thought leadership content is firmly rooted in genuine expertise.

Beyond adhering to conventional LinkedIn profile best practices, it is important to incorporate valuable and timely information as well as resources that resonate with your industry.

It’s best to share your expertise with confidence and lean away from being modest. Those visiting your LinkedIn profile or reading your latest post need to see that you’re well-versed in your area of expertise to fuel their trust.

An inadvertent trap individuals often encounter is downplaying their accomplishments. If you have achieved notable milestones, do not hesitate to highlight them. Similarly, if you have authored groundbreaking contributions within your industry, do not shy away from sharing them.

Notable things to include in your profile:

  • Links to case studies you’ve completed or been involved in
  • Presentations you’ve given
  • Ebooks you’ve written or contributed to
  • White papers you helped author
  • LinkedIn Live events you’ve participated in

4. Engage with like-minded individuals

You’ve already laid the groundwork — you know who your fellow thought leaders within your industry are. The next step involves active engagement with them through your LinkedIn feed.

This can be done in several ways:

  • Leave insightful comments on their posts
  • Start conversations by posting dialogue-probing questions
  • Disseminate their content on your feed
  • Show support for LIVE events on LinkedIn

Each of these steps helps build community. The establishment of a thought leadership community serves as an effective method for sustaining connectivity, continuous learning, and personal advancement. Most notably, positioning oneself as an equal paves the way for potential invitations to present at events or contribute to expert panels.

Consistent involvement in dialogues with current thought leaders on LinkedIn also enhances the likelihood of attracting attention from their follower base.

5. Gain brand awareness

Thought leaders are constantly engaging with their audience through social posts and building brand awareness.

By consistently creating quality content related to your industry, you are further establishing yourself as a leader. By doing so, you’re increasing the reach of your brand, which will help you to draw in leads and close sales in the future.

If you’re unsure where to start with gaining brand awareness, start with what you have already. Repurposing content into different formats is oftentimes just as effective as producing brand-new content.

For example, condensing a blog post into a LinkedIn post or graphic will put your content in front of an audience that your blog post may not have reached. 

6. Create a well-rounded feed

When people make it to your page you want them to slow down and stay a while. To increase the likelihood of this happening, it’s important to take time to curate interesting content.

This can be accomplished by sharing several types of content:

  • Office news and updates: highlight business wins, your employees, and business goals to keep your audience in the loop.
  • Personal details: Share what makes you human. That includes hobbies, photos, the book you’re reading, etc.
  • Professional experiences: Showing your audience how you fuel your industry knowledge will only increase their trust.
  • Inspirational material: Keep your audience motivated by regularly sharing content that inspires and uplifts them.

While your content should regularly tie into your thought leadership niche, it’s also an opportunity to garner trust and build relationships by sharing content that elevates others and humanizes you.

7. Produce captivating content

Producing unique content is a must when it comes to thought leadership. People need to hear from you in your own words.

Genuine thought leaders communicate in their authentic voice, a voice that over time, resonates profoundly with their audience. Here are crucial steps to aid in formulating original thought leadership content:

Uncover customer pain points through internal collaborations

Your sales and customer relations teams share direct interactions with your clientele. They possess firsthand knowledge of the challenges that prompt individuals to seek solutions. Tapping into these insights empowers you to develop empathetic content that resonates with your intended audience. Understanding what is happening in your customers’ businesses will only help when it comes to creating content.

Stay informed with industry dynamics

As a thought leader, vigilance in monitoring industry shifts is essential. Anticipate what lies ahead, envisage potential pain points, and stay in the know regarding emerging technologies and transformative strategies.

Humanize the content you produce

Sincerity resonates. Strive to humanize your content by authentically engaging with your audience. Highlight narratives featuring actual employees and customers. Reveal personal vulnerabilities to forge genuine connections and highlight the lessons you’ve garnered through experience.

Concision is key

Executives and senior decision-makers are often strapped for time, so it’s all the more important to make brevity a standard. Embrace the art of concise storytelling. Offer to illuminate bullet-point insights or share top-level thoughts through videos or graphics.

Put your confidence on display

Confidence is the key ingredient for being a trusted thought leader. When you believe in the wisdom you share with your audience, it naturally attracts attention. One sure way to radiate confidence is to be consistent. Regularly share content on LinkedIn and show up for your audience as your authentic self.

When your self-assurance stems from a profound depth of knowledge and is conveyed through skillfully constructed content, your progression within the ranks of valued LinkedIn thought leaders will be both rapid and prominent.

How Dia Creative can help your LinkedIn Strategy

Here at Dia, we believe in providing smarter strategic marketing to our clients. We’ll help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry by developing a LinkedIn marketing strategy that works for you and your business.

Here are a few ways our team of content marketers at Dia Creative can assist:

  •  Build brand loyalty: through informative and engaging content. That includes copywriting, blog posts, website creation, and email marketing. All of which can be repurposed.
  • Content planning: to nurture current customers and attract new ones. Our team provides strategic content planning, tracks social analytics, and produces engaging content.
  • Competitive analysis: Our team of experts will ensure your content is up to par with your competitors and give you the tools you need to stand out.

We’d love to talk more about your needs. Interested in learning more? Contact us!


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