Turning Experts Into Thought Leaders

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As media channels continue to push out increasing amounts of content (over 1,200 pieces daily via The Huffington Post alone), will your client stand out as one of those luminaries in their industry?

There are plenty of experts, but only a handful of them become recognized thought leaders in their fields.

As their trusted advisor, you can help them take the leap from knowing a lot to becoming known for their ideas. Here are three key steps to transform your clients from experts into thought leaders.

Increase Visibility


Your client may be extremely knowledgeable in holistic health, corporate training or eco-friendly design, but if they aren’t known for it, then it’s not doing all it can to drive their business or grow their audience.

The first step in becoming the go-to person in their field is to make sure your clients have created multiple pathways to be discovered.

From building a strong online presence with a content-rich website and active social media to interacting face-to-face at speaking engagements and workshops, creating multiple touch points for an audience is essential to having the right people not only discover them but continue to interact with their brand and business over time.

Be a Leader

The number one thing that separates an expert from a thought leader is a loyal following. Your client can’t be a thought leader if they have no one to lead.

You must encourage your clients to get out there and engage with the world both on- and offline. Celebrities have fame, experts have knowledge, but thought leaders have some of each.

They build up their following by sharing their ideas and engaging with their audience not once, but over and over again. Many provide value to their followers with a host of resources from weekly newsletters to webinars to one-on-one coaching sessions.

It’s a good idea to think through not just who you want to lead but how you want to lead them. Will sending weekly emails be enough once you have them engaged, or will you need to create live sessions where an audience can engage with you and your ideas?

In order to lead, you need to have a forward-thinking and ongoing method for sharing your big ideas.

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Share Your Big Idea

Thought leaders take their expertise and share it with a wide audience. They aren’t afraid to give their best ideas away.

It’s a good idea to design a long-term plan for how your clients will share their ideas in different formats (blogging, podcasts, books, etc.).  

As a PR or marketing professional, you can help your clients reach new heights in their thought leadership by helping them increase their visibility, truly lead their audience and share their expertise in new and exciting ways.

Images: Andrés Nieto PorrasAndrew_Writer (Creative Commons)

Maryn Masumiya helps thought leaders publish their big ideas at Greenleaf Book Group. She enjoys sushi, Hemingway and Australian shepherd puppies. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Cision invites PR and marketing professionals to share their best practices and advice with the Cision Blog audience. To share your story, contact blog.us@cision.com

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