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How to Develop Thought Leadership with Your Host Lexie Smith – Podcast Transcript

Episode 47 – Pitchin’ and Sippin’ – How to Develop Thought Leadership with Your Host Lexie Smith

Speakers: Lexie Smith

 

Lexie Smith 

Hey guys, it’s me, Lexie, and we’re doing a solo episode today on thought leadership. So, what the heck is a thought leader? The definition according to dictionary.com of a thought leader is a person or organization that is a recognized authority in a particular field, and whose innovative ideas and influence guide others. Or According to Wikipedia, my personal favorite, a thought leader is an individual or firm that is recognized as an authority in a specialized field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded. So while some thought leaders are very well known, for example, Martin Luther King, Jr, Tony Robbins, Brene, brown, I think that most of the definitions I just read, we can all agree leave room for subjectiveness, on who would or should qualify. And because of that, thought leadership has become at times an overused buzzword, where people often disagree on who air quotes here meets the bill. Nevertheless, pursuing thought leadership, and the core concept of establishing authority through sharing one’s unique perspectives, is a great way to stand out amongst the crowd in any competitive profession or niche, and thus, is an incredibly effective PR strategy. You know that saying, hope you do. Rome wasn’t built in a day? Well, neither are experts. So be advised that thought leadership demands a serious amount of time, consistency in strategic execution, before one can even begin to reach the air quotes again. Brene Brown level. So where does an aspiring thought leader even start? I suggest you begin by first considering these five questions. Number one, what do you want to be known for? Are you a wellness coach, and thus want to be known for your viewpoints on holistic health? Are you a publicist and want to be known as one of the best in your field for your unique ability to craft innovative growth strategies? Are you a founder who aside from your product based business wants to be known as an expert when it comes to raising venture capital? It’s really important to get crystal clear on what you want to be known for if you’re going to pursue building out a thought leader strategy. And the more specific, the better. Okay, second question. Once you’ve identified what you want to be known for, ask yourself who is already an expert in this niche or topic? If you are wanting to become a wellness expert, who is already well known on the market in that area of expertise? Now there’s a part two to this question. And that’s to ask yourself, How did those who achieved thought leadership in your niche, do it? It can be a really helpful exercise and I make all of my students do this if thought leadership is on their objective list, to trace back the career of a successful specific thought leader. Right. So what podcasts were they on? When did they first start? Did they author by lines? Did they ever publish a book that they speak at industry specific conferences, hit up good old Google and put those research hats on and you can learn a lot from digging. Now, as you’re doing your due diligence here, Also take note of what they are uniquely known for? What are they writing about? What topics are they speaking on? What do they specifically preach? Because that leads us to question three, which is what makes you uniquely qualified in this niche? And what makes you different? What experiences or achievements allow you to be an expert on this topic? So are you someone who went through a personal 10 year wellness journey? Or do you have a nutrition PhD, do you have a stacked resume, start to take notes, and really think back and write down all the different things that make you uniquely qualified. Also, what views have you developed from your very unique experiences, different from both the experts you were just reading about, but also your peers and the industry in general, the more unique or different your thoughts, the more potential you have to stand out. And beyond your personal beliefs, I usually advise my clients to come up with three to five different topics they can speak or write on specifically, you can call these experts in topics or speaker topics. One of mine, for example, is the six relations of PR, which I talked about on our recent fee dropped on new basic pitching from the six degrees podcast. And this topic is unique to me and the way that I look at and define public relations. Beyond that, I also have a talk or a method that I call the organic growth formula, which does tie into the six relations of PR. So clearly, I want to be known for PR, and my unique approach and personal views on such. So put your views and your topics to paper. And then ask yourself Question four, which is, what is your objective for developing thought leader status? Why are you doing this? Do you just want to be well known? Or are you doing this to attract clients? Is this gearing You up for it? You know, your dream book deal? get crystal clear on your why? Because that’s going to help you identify where you should show up as a thought leader, which is our fifth question. Where do you show up? How can you show up to establish your thought leadership? If you are looking to book new clients, for example, who are your clients? And where are they hanging out? Because that’s a stage or outlet or podcast, you need to be on to share your thoughts? Or are you looking to sell more products and leverage your expertise as a founder to do so? Okay, what type of platforms? Can you both share your expertise? And talk about your product? You know, maybe it’s a podcast. So lots to think about. So I’m going to run through those questions once again, in case they got lost in the shuffle. Question one? What do you want to be known for? Question two, who is already an expert in this niche? And what did their journey look like?

 

Lexie Smith 

Question three, what makes you uniquely qualified in this niche? And what makes you different? Four, what is your objective for developing thought leadership status? And thus, question five? Where should you therefore show up? Once you’ve answered these questions, your path towards the How to and the what’s next becomes a lot more clearly defined.

 

Lexie Smith 

I’m going to go over a few ways in which you can go about developing thought leadership. First, I want to talk about some low hanging fruit, which in my opinion, is self publishing. Self publishing is the action a Creator takes when independently publishing their work without the intervention of a publishing company, or approval from a media outlet. This form of publication is great for three reasons. Number one, there is little to no barrier to entry because it gives creators complete creative control over their work. And number three, it’s mostly free minus associated production costs, if that’s applicable. So there are many different ways to Self Publish and I’m going to run through about 11 With you today. First up, you can write articles on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has a self publishing platform. You can also start a blog on your niche or add a blog to your current website. You can self publish on a platform such as Thrive global. Thrive global, if you’re not aware, was started by the Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, and it provides thought leaders the opportunity to Self Publish anytime, anywhere. Another one, you can also publish on medium medium similar to thrive Global provides a space for authors to self publish articles as well as develop their own self published magazines. Authority authority magazine is one you might be familiar with. That is a magazine that is published through the medium platform. Key number five, you can publish an ebook or you can publish your own white paper or research. You can also self produce a podcast such as the pigeon incident podcast with Lexie Smith right. Number eight, you can upload unique content to YouTube, you can create your own YouTube channel, your own YouTube show. You can post on Instagram, Instagram, live Instagram, TV reels, whatever the latest and greatest Instagram feature is. If you’re more of a Facebook fan, utilize Facebook and Facebook Live, create a Facebook group, lead conversations there or head on over to Tik Tok and make a name for yourself. Basically, choose your social media platform of choice and you can show up there.

 

Lexie Smith 

So another way to develop thought leadership beyond just self publishing, but it’s similar is through guest contributing. Whether it be writing a guest blog post for a partner’s website, or submitting an official byline, which is a self authored article to a third party outlet. The great thing about being a contributor is that you’re getting your thoughts in front of another platform or partner’s audience, right. So they’ve done the audience building work. So there typically is already some sort of readership or listenership. And if you land a big byline, such as in Forbes, it also adds an extra level of credibility to your thought leadership, because you have the Forbes name backing your words. So a lot of what I’ve been talking about is writing, right? What if you’re not a writer? Can you still be a thought leader if you’re not a writer? Good news. Absolutely. So let’s talk about some other ways you can build thought leadership status, without having to put words to paper, you can, like I mentioned before, self produce a podcast, or you can be a guest on other people’s podcasts, right. So there’s a lot involved, let me tell you in producing a podcast, a lot of people are doing it. It’s a quickly growing form of media, which is great. But if you don’t want to go all in or commit the time to that, then picture SUBMIT yourself to be a guest on other people’s show. And bonus, they’re similar to contributing, right they already have an audience that you can get in front of. Beyond podcasts, you can be a speaker at conferences or events. You can also speak or lead workshops, workshops can be self hosted, but you can also be invited or hired to lead a workshop on a specific topic. Just a side note, for my business, the PR bar Inc, one of the main things that I do to attract clientele, is host workshops. And I get invited into a lot of different communities, whether that be a big community or really small mastermind to share my expertise. So that’s been a really, really effective form of organic marketing and PR for me and my business growth.

 

Lexie Smith 

You can also utilize video if that is your thing, whether that be as I mentioned earlier, posting to a video friendly platform like YouTube or Tik Tok. Or you can even eventually snack on your own TV spot showing the day. A former guest Rita has one of her own shows. So tap back and listen to her episode, if you would like to hear a bit more about her venture. Another way to build thought leadership comes from being recognized by the great work that you’re doing. You’re working away speaks or promotes for itself. When you’re really good at what you do, or your company becomes really successful. It’s likely to garner attention, attention from the public and attention from the media. The media may eventually even want to feature and interview you. Right. I always talk to clients about this moment when instead of you having to be proactive, you’re almost allowed to be reactive. There can be a switch point where you’re no longer having to pitch for earned coverage, but people are coming to you. And you can actually start saying no to super cool me. I mean, you can say no from the beginning. But anyways, hope you’re following here. So this is obviously an opportunity when you are being approached by the media, or a stage for you to share your unique thoughts and expertise on a larger or depending, you know, if it’s within your trade, hyper specific audience. So I want to address one more component that is helpful in solidifying thought leadership status. And that’s community involvement and leadership. So for example, becoming a board member, or joining a leadership committee for a networking group unique to your field of expertise, stacking up your resume, and gaining accolades. And your desired field of expertise can be really helpful in getting people to truly listen to what you have to say. Okay, so I’m going to recap a couple things before we begin to wrap up. Thought Leadership is a form of PR. And it can be a very effective PR strategy if approached methodically and with intention. However, it takes time to earn that coveted street cred. And there are a lot of different ways you can choose to begin building such when you’re at the beginning of your thought leadership journey. It’s important to define what you want to be known for. You want to research the heck out of your niche you want to learn where you have an opportunity to stand out. So you want to get really, really clear on your points of difference. You also want to get clear on your objectives for gaining thought leadership status, right? What do you want to happen, and that will allow you to plot your efforts accordingly. I do encourage you to find at least one signature topic you know, aim for three to five. And remember to be consistent with production and messaging. Expect along your journey, that you will likely ruffle a few feathers. Not everyone is going to agree with you. Right. But while you’ll be ruffling feathers, you also have this huge and unique opportunity and potential to inspire and impact others as well. So there is risk but there’s also definitely reward.

 

Lexie Smith 

Okay, so we’re going to transition and we have to talk sippin so if you guys follow me on social media, or you’re on my weekly email list Roundup, here’s your quick reminder to sign up. If you’re not I send out a lot of good stuff. Anyways, you might have heard that I have some kind of big news. That is I’m growing a baby in my belly. So yes, I am pregnant. So yay. But this also means my sips look a little bit different these days. And I have to give a shout out to the one beverage that never lets me down and always has my back. Good old H two O hand. Beyond that. I also want to take a moment to ask kind of beg for your non alcoholic fun mocktail style recommendations. You guys, I’ve been trying very diligently, different pre-made mocktails and non-alcoholic wines, just to have something to mix up my water routine. And they’ve been horrible, like terrible and apparently you can’t return flying once you’ve opened it. So if you guys know of anything slightly decent Your girl is looking for please reach out shoot me an email or slide into my DMs at the PR underscore Inc. and let me know your recommendations. And on that note, that is what I got for you today. Thanks for listening as always, and cheers!

 

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