You don’t have to be the CEO of a Fortune 500, entrepreneur, or the manager of a branch to understand what it is to be a thought leader. There are thousands (millions even) of employees who are taking charge as thought leaders in their industries, communities, and with their colleagues. One of the key components to the catapulting successes we are seeing in these people is the fact that they are utilizing LinkedIn as one of their main social media platforms of networking.
To view a couple of the initiatives and results I’ve had with LinkedIn, please read this blog post.
LinkedIn now holds over 200 million members, all of whom are eager to connect with you if you have a unique vision, clear-cut leadership skills, and an expertise in your field that cannot be rivaled by anyone. If you stand out amongst your colleagues and peers, embracing that respect and leading others is the next step. LinkedIn provides that platform for you to launch your thoughts, giving you the opportunity to lead those who find your ideas relevant and progressive to their own ideals.
It does take a certain type of person in order to become a thought leader on a platform like LinkedIn. You need to be engaging, charismatic, thoughtful, and capable of seizing someone’s attention and holding onto it even after you are done talking. LinkedIn has the tools that will show off those talents and amazing character attributes of yours; it will make you a believable thought leader. However, it is up to you to make your LinkedIn profile shine, proving you are that leader you claim to be.
One approach that you should absolutely take when establishing your role as a thought leader is starting up a group of your own on LinkedIn. Make it one that focuses on your ideals, outlooks, and goals. If you own a business or are a supporter of a political or social cause, let people know that. You need to actively be originating or curating and posting content to the group that relates to you, your followers, and what you all believe in. Those who are behind you will read and share your posts with others, and you will begin to gain even more followers who see your thoughts as innovative and visionary.
To follow up on this thought, you should also participate in and contribute to existing groups on LinkedIn. You don’t always have to be the one to post something first, but contributing to someone else’s post creates that interaction that your followers will want from you. They are ready to listen to what you have to say, but to discuss relevant and important topics with you will create a relationship and bond that will be hard to waiver. I’ve created a group to do just this. It’s called Thought Leadership Best Practices and I’m using it to curate content on a consistent basis to share with a following that I continue to build daily. Join the group, lurk for a little bit, then start contributing yourself!
There will be other ways for you to reach out to your followers and for you to gain more as you go; you will pick these up along the way as you grow and flourish as a leader. Remember that everyone has a story to tell, wisdom to share, and incredible wisdom to learn from—set yours apart from the others, make it shine, and make it your own to share with the world.