Brand You – yes, that’s what I am talking about. You have so much to give to the world – even if they are little snippets or golden nuggets. Almost everyone has something – if not concrete – but nearly ‘something’ to contribute to this beautiful world. But most of us are in our little heads and kind of stuck there like a choked machine where trail of thoughts limit us to grow beyond the obvious.
Be it gardening to a car salesman to a marketing coach to a PR pundit – there can myriad of these examples that talk about the importance of developing thought leadership in our respective niche. And some of you might think: ‘I am not sure what I am really good at even though vaguely you think you do have a perspective about something.’
So here’s the deal: Be yourself where being most personal is being most general.
Sometimes all you really need is to speak up. That’s it.
Remember that song ‘Clocks’ from Coldplay? You are.You are.. That is what you exactly need to tell yourself, hum to yourself, and make it the very core of your thought process.
Let’s get back to three ways that can build a thought leadership for yourself.
- Be hungrier and more passionate than you think. Now this again is in a way quite rudimentary but with some weight: be innately curious of why you are here, how your past did brought you here. Is it because of some situations that cajoled you to keep doing what you want? In other words what are you life’s personal trigger points once stirred reveals you to your passion? The best way to develop an intuition that guides you to your future and your path to epiphany is to be crazily hungry about your subject or a concern or a topic. How? Read and listen. And repeat. By building your personal curriculum you start to identify what kind of skills you need to amp up your thought leadership; you analyze what patterns of a subject connect with you on the most fundamental level and build you though churning process from there.
- Be a good spectator of your craft. Do you like the word spy? Or Stalk maybe? No? Me neither. But the truth is: we are all intelligent stalkers, euphemistically speaking. We have to map influencers, bloggers and companies in our space to eat, breathe and sleep their passion. The best way to conduct research on them would be via Buzzsumo and Alltop. Study their craft, their articulation style, their traditional background, and find out what information or content is best resonating with your audience.
- Differentiate yourself and make your ideas known. Even if you thing you don’t have credentials and you are somehow awfully insufficient in your capacity to stand out, you just need to remember one thing what Dorie Clark quite clearly remarks in her book, Stand Out: that your expertise doesn’t have to include the most prestigious diplomas or accolades; sometimes you just have to know how to do something different in a given context, and do it well.
So here’s the underlying question: what is your background that when combined with your special talent or prodigious skill can help you pitch the battle up against the veterans of your niche?
Think about it.
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Thank you, Tony!