There were Leaders; There are; and There will be.
But Thought Leaders, they are a rare and distinguished breed: Individuals who are often credited as the harbingers of a new dawn, a new way of life.
Leaders may be born or made, depending upon the boat of their life; but Thought Leaders, I believe, are definitely born. These have been the serial leaders all life long, and leading has become a sort of second nature to them. This deep seated essence of leadership is what fuels their Passion and empowers them to embark upon this ICONIC Journey of Thought Leadership.
People talk about Thought Leadership today, without understanding the true SOUL of the Thought Leader. This could be due to the expansive proliferation of Social Media as the most accessible platform to establish your Thought Leadership, which has been responsible for breeding the Me-Too Thought Leaders. But, a True Thought Leader is beyond the fad; he is beyond the number game; he is above the rat race. Before we dwell deeper into the various dimensions of expressing your Thought Leadership across Social Media, Let’s first put the much talked about term into Perspective:
So what is Thought Leadership, and who is the true thought leader?
A Thought Leader, is the person who thinks, does and inspires action. He is the person who is credited with the inception of a brilliant idea, which potentially changes lives of the people it touches. He is the person who believes in his idea with an unabashed passion and an unrivalled vision for turning it into reality. But what is the SECRET of mastering Thought Leadership? The SOUL of the Thought Leader pumps his heart with relentless Passion, and energizes his mind with a benevolent Vision (for his humble passion), his raison d’être. He is the Thought Leader, who by the mere power of his Thoughts, fuelled by the Passion, channeled into a palpable Vision, puts in motions a momentous tide of change, for the greater good; and this is Thought Leadership.
Why Thought Leadership on Social Media?
Ideas are Good; People make them Great. Period.
Gone are the days when leaders would scream off the roof tops to their mass of followers. Enter: Web 2.0; the advent of social media might have been the greatest invention since the wheel (alright, I have exaggerated a bit)! Social Media presents the power of platform and speech at your fingertips; literally! It enables you to reach out and voice your big idea, to the target community; it empowers you to connect with other thought leaders and share your knowledge and as the result, enhance your value proposition. It is the global window for expression of your passion & vision, and has the potential to expedite the journey of realization of your dream vision.
How to use Social Media for Thought Leadership?
There are a million ways of using the magic of social media to create a legacy of inspiration. I am now sharing with you the 5 most popular and proven strategies…
- Blog it: Blogging is the BEST way to share your knowledge and thought leadership on the said topic. By Blogging, you not only share your knowledge, you offer insights and solutions to the mundane problems that your target audience might be challenged with, and this goes a long way in building your credibility as the industry expert.
- Tweet Away: While you are busy enlightening the world via your Blogs, do pay special attention to the micro-blogging platform Twitter, as it gives you an unrivalled platform to connect with the global citizens across real time. Twitter also enables you to engage your audience with real time information flow and this is what enhances the appeal of being an active Twitterati Thought Leader. Think -Do-Inspire Action: all in real time!
- Story Time: Your prime digital real estate property is also your knight in shining armor; Facebook timeline lets you share the story of your Passion and highlight its beautiful journey towards the benevolent vision, with pride & panache! Involving your audience & stake holders in your journey of success is the biggest motivator for them to be your Brand Evangelists and relay your idea torch further down their networks.
- Video channel: The trend for Thought Leadership for 2012 is most definitely Video Blogging & Video Branding of your Ideas. You can make best of this trend in two ways: the first is to host a Video Blogathon (a series of video blogs) for a said duration and connect all the thought leaders in your industry via a common platform to channel global inspiration to your audience; and the second way to gain respect and visibility across Social Media is by hosting brief Video Interviews of other Thought Leaders from the Industries of your choice, to give your audience a variety of resources of actionable inspiration. But before you adopt this trend, do own a branded YouTube channel that is relevant to your niche, and stream your content via it to maximize your reach.
- Linked up: No social media activity is complete until you are able to synchronize all your efforts and present a one stop shop for your Ideas to gain Visibility and Credibility. LinkedIn is the perfect platform for you to stage your thought leadership’s centre of gravity, by integrating your entire Social Media feed into your LinkedIn account, as LinkedIn is perceived as the more reliable source of information than your website or blog. You are able to Integrate your Blog, your Twitter feed, your Personal Website, Your Slideshare account and Your You tube channel into your Linked Profile to give a snapshot of your Social Media Presence & a sneak peek into your potential thought leadership at one point of action.
Where to start your Journey of Thought Leadership?
I strongly suggest that if you are serious about the journey of thought leadership, or have entrepreneurial dreams, you first understand how to embark upon the journey of thought leadership, by discovering these 7 key steps to thought leadership. But before you do so, one last piece of advice: in order to stand out of the clutter of voices across social media, it is imperative that you build a distinct personal brand identity. Personal Branding will not only distinguish you as a thought leader to be reckoned with, it will also empower you to build a legacy of an inspiring personal brand that the world looks up to!
Indeed, Thought Leadership is a commitment to your Idea, Your Passion, Your Vision; but remember, every great Idea was first ridiculed, then rejected, and after much-a-do-about-it, rejoiced with unrivalled reverence! All you need is the Passion & Vision to make it come to life.