Thought Leaders are those who share a unique perspective on their industry and present their observations in a way that sets them apart from their peers. While the term has been overused, thought leadership is truly a visionary idea that sets the tone for others to share their own thoughts.

The hallmark of thought leadership is that it is a unique perspective, not a basic approach. Thought leaders coin new terms, point out trends that are happening now or recognize a phenomena and how it will impact the world. While many people earn a living from teaching others who are getting started, thought leadership is not a basic how to guide for beginners.

Why do Thought Leaders earn more money than other “experts?”

Thought leadership is a differentiator. Two sales experts submit their keynote for consideration for an upcoming National Sales Conference.  Both are excellent at their sales coaching, but one has an insightful whitepaper on the state of buyers today and how they have evolved over the last ten years. This whitepaper includes numerical data from over fifty interviews conducted with his clients over the last year. As a meeting planner challenged with making the same sales topics seem new and refreshing each year, who would you select to address everyone from the mainstage?

To become a thought leader, you must do one thing. Consistently put out unique, thought worthy opinions, observations and ideas for your industry. We tend to associate articles in publications like Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and The Harvard Business Review as thought leadership because these publications screen content for originality, trends and deeper applications. Consistently elevating the discussion in your industry will separate you from the others repeating content they found online. Over time, you will build a brand for interesting observations, perceived patterns and best practices.

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