Claiming to be an expert in anything can be intimidating, but executives often need to be thought leaders to generate valuable media coverage. A thought leader is simply someone regarded as an industry expert. Their opinions are well respected and industry professionals often look to them for inspiration or guidance. If you want to be a thought leader, the first thing you need to do is nail down your area of expertise. How do you find topics that spark passion and lend themselves to being written or spoken about from your unique perspective?
Here are some tips and tricks to narrow down your thought leadership topics:
Write what you know – This seems like it would be common sense, but sometimes thought leaders feel the need to write about everything. You don’t have to! Especially if you’re in the c-suite, you’ve already got a lot of experience and a solid foundation in your industry. Write about topics where you feel established and know that you can confidently answer questions and make suggestions.
Answer your own questions – Do you wonder where your industry is headed? Have you thought about how the future of technology will affect your industry? Do you ponder how to make things more efficient or secure? Write about that! Try to answer your own questions. Even if you don’t have the answer, explore options, write about where you see the industry headed and try to indulge your own curiosities.
Tap into trends – If you want to generate buzz, it would be good to write about trending topics. If everyone in your industry is focusing on a certain piece of news, tech or development – write about it! Be timely and show that you’re staying on top of industry news.
Join LinkedIn Groups – LinkedIn is a isn’t just a place to connect with co-workers and professionals, there’s a lot of networking and idea exchange happening there as well. Find some solid groups for your industry and join them. Sometimes questions are posed, or articles are posted that might prompt a good thought leadership topic idea.
Share your experience – Share about you, your professional journey and your experience. Again, if you’re in the position to establish yourself as a thought leader, you must have valuable experience to impart. What do you wish you had known when you started in the industry? Have substantial changes come about since you started, and do you see them as beneficial or detrimental to the industry as a whole? Answer inquiries that you receive via social media with an article or blog. Share your valuable insights and knowledge.
Create what you would want – Think about what you would want to read, then create that! Thought leadership doesn’t have to be pretentious or over worked. Be yourself and write about topics that interest you as they pertain to your industry. The bottom line is to create content that adds to the industry and contributes in a positive way. If you create what you would want to see, then most likely others will want to see it too!
Time to start writing! We hope these tips and tricks to discovering your thought leadership topics send you on the path to content success.