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Becoming a Thought Leader Isn’t an Ego Play

Becoming a Thought Leader Isn’t an Ego Play

Being a thought leader doesn't make you an egomaniac.

It’s an unfortunate and common misconception among leaders that just because they’re not ego-driven, they shouldn’t seek to get published online.

Although some people use content marketing to gain personal fame or prestige, that’s absolutely no reason to keep your expertise and experience under wraps. No ego? No problem.

Becoming a thought leader is about providing your unique and valuable expertise to people at no cost to them. There’s obviously nothing egotistical about that.

Related Content: Fantasy Football: Proof That No Niche is Too Small for Thought Leadership

Here are four overlooked benefits of becoming a thought leader:

1. Credibility 

When you are published, your company gains credibility in the eyes of consumers and industry experts. The key here is producing quality content that’s educational, helpful, and applicable.

Your published content lends immediate credibility not only to you, but to your team and the company you represent. Everybody wins. 

2. Networking

No one really likes pursuing relationships just for a business advantage. Having content published increases your professional network — all without you leaving your desk. And we all know that the bigger your network is, the better.

Increasing your network, especially among industry professionals and experts who read your content, gives your company and your team access to relationships you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

3. Opportunity

By leveraging your expertise through content, you’ll discover opportunities within your industry to connect with people who can positively affect your business.

Even though promoting yourself this way isn’t directly about revenue, the opportunities you encounter through increased exposure can lead to partnerships, associations, and new possibilities.

4. Feedback

Do you want opinions on a new idea you have for your company? It’s easy. Get published.

Getting feedback on your ideas is one of the valuable results of writing. You’ll get to hear people’s thoughts about your business plans and the industry trends you’ve identified.

For instance, thought leaders often write about new ideas and then measure people’s responses before implementing them within their companies. 

Ask for Help and Give Help

It’s important to invest in becoming a thought leader, but you should know that it won’t happen overnight.

Start by setting up a process. This is the main barrier to actually creating content. Build a team that will help you so you can focus on putting your expertise into words. Find knowledgeable people you trust to help you with writing, editing, and publishing. Ask for help — it’s all part of not having an ego.

Don’t worry about publishing a ton of articles, either. It’s more important to be consistent by publishing one or two thought-provoking, high-quality pieces per month.

This lets you cover an array of topics without burning you — or your team — out. Thought leadership is about quality, not quantity.

If you’re still having trouble swallowing the idea that becoming a thought leader is a selfless act, then think about it this way: Almost everyone in business who’s seen any success owes at least part of that to mentors, advice, and the work of other business leaders in their field.

You probably can point to one — or even a few — people who inspired your work or pushed you to keep going.

By becoming a thought leader, you just might change someone’s approach or attitude for the better. And that’s something you can be proud of.

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About Ryan O'Connell

I’m dedicated to growing brands and businesses. I’m an avid fan of startups, traveling the world, hockey, and sarcastic remarks.


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