Your 4-Step Guide to Becoming a LinkedIn Thought Leader

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Why become a Linkedin Thought Leader?

LinkedIn used to be considered just another social media platform, one geared towards adults looking to connect and build their professional networks to boost their online popularity for personal or professional gain.

Now, the social media platform has well over 740 million members and has become the primary focus of those looking to become experts within their industry. LinkedIn thought leadership is quickly garnering attention amongst marketing teams for various reasons. Before jumping into the necessary steps to become a LinkedIn thought leader, it’s vital to understand what exactly a thought leader is and why so many marketing teams are focusing on the topic.

What is Considered Thought Leadership?

When defining thought leadership, most people think of industry influencers. What most don’t understand is that thought leaders and industry influencers are often categorized separately from one another. For instance:

  • Thought leaders: These individuals share their thoughts and opinions, although everything they say is backed by fact—or at least should be, since this is what makes them an authoritative expert in their area.
  • Industry influencers: These individuals are typically identified as those trusted to give open and honest opinions.

Understanding these two key differences is crucial because one establishes an authoritative voice and one that can be trusted as an expert. Sure, influencers can have an authoritative voice as they share their personal experiences and speak with an honest voice. However, they rarely take the time to back their claims with research to help them establish their expertise.

If your marketing team wants to stand out from the crowd, yes, you want to be influential – but to see real results from your efforts, you want to focus your attention on becoming a thought leader, not just an influencer.

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Should You Consider Becoming a LinkedIn Thought Leader?

If your brand is looking to take the necessary steps to become an industry expert and a voice of authority in your industry – you should focus your efforts on becoming a LinkedIn thought leader. If you aim to build your voice in your industry and earn the trust and respect of others, LinkedIn is a perfect place to network and start working on these efforts. 

Four Steps to Becoming a LinkedIn Thought Leader

Once you’ve decided that becoming a LinkedIn thought leader is a valuable move for your brand, it’s time to get to work. Here are four necessary steps you’ll want to take to become a LinkedIn thought leader:

1. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Building your LinkedIn thought leadership strategy must start with optimizing your LinkedIn profile. Use your profile to showcase your work, achievements, and notable skills. Optimizing your header/about me information will help you become discoverable, while optimizing your skills, education, and achievements will be important later to prove that you have the experience to speak as a thought leader in your given area.

2. Become an Active Member in the Online Community

Another essential step to becoming a LinkedIn thought leader is being an active member of your industry/niche’s community. If you want to become a recognizable name in your industry, you need to do more than push content.

Getting involved in online conversations and providing researched-backed thoughts and opinions in these instances will help you begin attracting attention and help you start building relationships with those working in your industry and other members of your audience.

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3. Regularly Publish Thought Leadership Content

Thought leadership content is content that serves your industry and/or your audience. This is not promotional content—instead, this information intends to inform others in the industry and your target audience about what’s going on in the industry and how it will affect consumers.

This type of content can and will vary by industry, but can include any content type, including:

  • Blogs
  • Whitepapers
  • Research/analysis reports

4. Network and Collaborate with Other Thought Leaders in Your Industry

Finally, to become an authoritative expert in your industry, you must respect others in your industry/niche, and the best way to go about this is to network with other experts via LinkedIn and collaborate and put out thought leadership content together.

This will not only give you exposure to a greater audience, but it will show both your audience and that of your collaborator that you are someone worth looking into. How? By showing all that other industry experts value what you have to say/share.

Improve Your LinkedIn Thought Leadership with a Strong Digital Marketing Strategy

Becoming a LinkedIn thought leader takes a lot of time and dedication—a process that can seem rather overwhelming for some. For those seeking out to become thought leaders, a heavy emphasis must be put on your digital marketing strategy.

If you’re not quite sure how to utilize your digital marketing strategy to help you with your thought leadership, consider getting the help of a skilled digital marketing director.

Curious how CadenceSEO could help you with your digital marketing and thought leadership strategy? Then contact us today for more information.