LinkedIn is probably one of the best platforms to conduct surveys because most of the users are professionals. Their opinion and feedback are regarded very highly due to their professionalism in that particular area.
I have done several surveys on topics ranging from the Internet of Things and IR 4.0. Below are some of the results after 7 days of polling.
If you’re passionate about your field and know how to stand out, then you can quickly become a thought leader.
You’re passionate about your field, and you know how to stand out. You’ve built a portfolio of work in that area that you’re proud of. Now, you have the chance to show the world how awesome you are. With a little bit of dedication and focus, you can quickly become a thought leader—a person who people look up to and trust for advice.
Here are three (3) ways to become a thought leader:
(1) Build a Strong Following
If you want to become a thought leader on social media, the first thing to do is build a strong following.
There are many ways of doing this, but the most effective ones are:
Make sure your followers are interested in what you have to say. If they aren’t, they won’t be interested in following you.
Respond to comments and questions and encourage people to follow you.
Get involved with other people’s content and respond to it as well. You can also build your community. Create a group that shares similar interests and join others’ groups. Build relationships – your followers will become your friends, and your friends will become your followers. The more you interact with them, the more likely they will follow you. You may think that you are not good at building relationships, but that is a mistake.
The best way to do this is to have a blog that focuses on the same subject as your podcast. For example, if your podcast is about technology, create a blog about technology-related topics. Then, you can link your podcast to your blog and vice versa. If people read your blog and listen to your podcast, they’re likely to click through and visit your website. I’ve been asked by many newbie bloggers what the difference is between their blogs and my podcasts. And honestly, there isn’t much of a difference.
(2) Content Marketing
The third thing to do is to share quality content regularly. To stay consistent and build credibility, you should make sure that the majority of the content you share falls within one category or theme.
If your blog is a mix of many categories, you’re probably going to end up being just another “generic” blog that nobody will read. That said, I suggest that you focus on only one category in your content sharing. You might even want to limit it to two or three. The more categories you add, the less effective your content sharing will be.
(3) Brand voice
The next step is to develop your brand voice, which will be unique to you.
This is a combination of your logo and how you speak about yourself. If you’re a business coach, your brand voice will be different from an entrepreneur’s. The same goes for the voice of your employees. Brand voice can include:
Your company logo
The tone and language of your marketing material
The way you speak on social media
Your business mission statement
Your tone and style of communication
The tone of voice used in your emails
The voice of your website
Social media tools allow you to share your content across multiple platforms easily. They can help you create a brand and a reputation that people will trust. This is why it’s so crucial that you have a unique voice and can connect with people. Be authentic to build a reputation for yourself.
This means that you should be willing to share your life experiences, as well as your opinions. You should also be open about your struggles, fears, failures, and successes. You should never make excuses, but you should always be willing to talk about the things that you’ve been through. This is because these things will help you to connect with other people. When people can relate to your experiences, they will be more likely to read your blog and other social media channels.
The first way to become a thought leader is to understand that people will follow you if they believe you know something they don’t. The second way to become a thought leader is to use content marketing to spread your thoughts, ideas, and expertise to others. Third, it’s essential to have a voice. Your opinion matters and your voice counts. You may not be able to persuade others to agree with you. However, you can influence them by influencing your audience. People are always listening to their customers, and they’re always looking for new insights into their industry. Be part of the conversation, and people will follow you.
A couple of weeks earlier, I was very depressed and frustrated when my boss did not approve my application to attend IoT Asia 2014. I applied for the trip with two of my staff to attend the first IoT event in the region, yet only two of my staff applications were approved but not mine.
Our organization started the work on IoT almost two years earlier, and I thought this would be my best opportunity to hear from the industry leaders.
But the news that my staff brought to me was very unexpected. I wondered – how do I get to be selected by a prestigious organization like Onalytica?
The news spread very fast in the organization, with many people congratulating me. And one of them is the HR Vice President; she congratulated, “Dr. Mazlan, you are now a Thought Leader. That’s an amazing achievement!“
But since I have never bothered to know what a “Thought Leader is,” I began to wonder what I did to gain that recognition? And what exactly is a Thought Leader?
How Onalytica Picked the Top 100 IoT Thought Leaders
Onalytica took in all Twitter conversations using the hashtags #IoT and #InternetOfThings and created a network of the top stakeholders discussing the subject. The network diagram of the top 100 is shown below.
I was thrilled to be ranked No. 20th on the list with Kevin Ashton (Father of IoT ranked 11th). And, of course, very proud to be the only Malaysian (or probably Asian) on the list!
But really, how do I reach that stage? Is it by accident? In a way, most probably the answer is yes, but I didn’t realize that the things I did were actually how a Thought Leader should do – by influencing others.
It started probably 1 or 2 years earlier when my team was working on a research area called Wireless Sensor Network, 6LoWPAN (IPv6 Low Powered Area Network), and Internet of Things (IoT).
And during 2012 to 2014, I was a frequent social media user on LinkedIn and Twitter. Whatever I read on IoT topics, I will share this on Twitter and LinkedIn and use that hashtag #IoT. This includes sharing my thoughts about the industry in IoT.
This was when my circle of influence widened with more Twitter users following my Tweets. That’s how these Tweets are captured and analyzed by Onalytica.
The Start of an IoT Thought Leadership
Two years later, in 2016, I was the first Malaysian IoT Speaker in IoT Asia 2016 (“Issues and Challenges of Deploying a Smart Citizen Engagement Solution,” IoT Asia 2016, Singapore Expo, 30-31 March 201). The same event was when my boss rejected my application to attend in 2014. This time, the host invited me to speak with all expenses paid.
That was the beginning of the Thought Leadership journey, whereby I was invited to many speaking engagements as Keynote Speaker, Invited Speaker, TEDx Speaker, and many others. I created an IoT Blog called “IoT World” which became my official channel to share my thoughts and knowledge.
Other than the recognition from Onalytica (Onalytica Report can be downloaded here), I was ranked among Top 50 Global Thought Leaders on the Internet of Things (February 2019) and Digital Disruption (October 2019) by Thinkers360, Top 50 Most Impactful Smart Cities Leaders by World CSR Congress 2017, ranked Top 10 in IoT Top 100 Influencers by Postscapes 2017 & 2018,
It all started with a rejection….. From Zero to an IoT Thought Leader
When you are a thought leader, you can influence others in your industry. If you can influence other people, then this means that you can get their attention and even persuade them to adopt your ideas.
Who is a thought leader? A thought leader has significant influence and credibility in their field of expertise. They are often well known and admired by the people they influence. They may be the subject of books and articles, but more importantly, they impact other people’s lives. Think of people like Gary Vaynerchuk, Simon Sinek, or Tony Robbins. They are all thought leaders.
How to become a thought leader?
It’s simple. All you have to do is spend your time and effort reading the best thinkers in your field. As you read, you’ll notice that most of them have the same basic things in common. They are all well-educated, they’ve thought deeply about their subject matter, and they’re usually knowledgeable.
In addition, you’ll find that they’ve created an intellectual community around their ideas. They share their thoughts, which helps them understand themselves, their ideas, and their impact on others. Finally, they’re constantly pushing the boundaries of their thinking.
Why is it essential to be a thought leader?
In business, being a thought leader can be a potent tool. If you want to succeed in your business, you need to become one. You need to think out of the box and develop new ideas that others may not have considered. It is essential to become a thought leader because it will give you a competitive edge over others.
When you are a thought leader, you can influence others in your industry. If you can influence other people, then this means that you can get their attention and even persuade them to adopt your ideas. For this reason, being a thought leader can be a potent tool. But how do you become a thought leader? There are many ways to go about doing this, but there are also certain traits that you need to possess.
What makes a good thought leader?
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about what makes a good thought leader. And I came up with some thoughts that are worth sharing in my humble opinion.
Here’s the list:
Know your audience and be yourself. This is so obvious. But I don’t know how many people take it seriously. The more you know your audience, the better you tailor your message to their needs.
And if you are not who you are, you might as well not exist. This is one of the reasons why I like to say that you should write your own book and be your own publisher.
If you want to get a book published, you need to have something valuable to share. So, be yourself. That is the only way to get it right. Know your audience and be yourself. Be the best at what you do. Have a clear vision for what you want to accomplish.
But don’t ever stop learning. And if you can’t find your niche, create one. One of my favorite quotes is, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” This means that you must first be the change you wish to see in yourself. So, be the change you want to see in yourself.
As a writer, there are many ways you can develop your thought leadership. Here’s a simple guide:
Find the most influential people in your niche. These people are often leaders in their industry. They write books, articles, and they’re active on social media. Find the most influential marketers in your niche if you’re a marketer.
Follow them on social media. Most of these people have a blog or a Twitter account to share great content. They’ll probably follow you back.
Read what they publish. The more time you spend reading their content, the more you’ll be able to incorporate it into your own.
Write something unique. Don’t just copy and paste what they write.
Write something that makes your audience think, “I need to read this.”
Get the attention of these influencers. You can do this by writing a guest post on their blog or sharing their social media content.
Once they start following you, ask them to review your book or article. The more people you get to review your work, the better.
Finally, ask them for some feedback. They’ll appreciate the opportunity to help a writer improve their craft.
How can I achieve being a thought leader?
Here are some tips to get started:
Be the person others want to follow. This might seem like a cop-out, but you have to think about this from the other person’s perspective. You want to be the person they look up to and admire.
It’s tough to be someone else’s role model.
Focus on the positive There are so many things in your life that are great, but you just need to focus on those. When I first started looking at my life this way, I was amazed by how better I felt.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Focus on what you can control.
Have a plan of action and stick to it. If you set yourself up to fail, you’ll fail.