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Category: Brand · 4 min read

6 Ways to Become a Thought Leader

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on January 17, 2019

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on January 17, 2019

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What did you want to be when you grew up? An astronaut? A firefighter? My guess is that “thought leader” wasn’t one of your answers.  

But becoming a thought leader in your industry can be a key way to build your platform and credibility at the same time. A thought leader is someone who’s in touch with their industry, and has important insights to share with their peers, and shares them regularly. They can be regarded as wise, credible, knowledgeable, and a pioneer. They’re active on social media, and they aren’t afraid to say what they think, but they carefully think it through first. Because they have earned respect in the industry, they can effectively build their business by sharing their thoughts and opinions. 

But that’s easier said than done. It takes a concerted effort (and a lot of hard work) to build a reputation as someone who’s thoughtful, knowledgeable, and competent in your industry. To help you accomplish that, here are six ways to get started.  


Pick a Specific Topic  

Becoming a thought leader in your industry usually means focusing on a specific topic that’s industry-relevant. For example, it could be Social Security, maintaining client relationships, building efficient marketing systems, or effective sales techniques. Whatever it happens to be, there’s always room for more thought leaders in a single industry, so choose a topic that you’re personally knowledgeable and passionate about, and focus on that.  


Post Weekly Content 

Give your clients/followers/fans something to read or watch every week. It could be a blog, email blast, podcast, video, or social media post. It can be as simple or as complex as you want. Whatever type of content you choose, it should be original content that you come up with or third-party articles that comment or focus on trends, industry news, your services, or tips for clients. “How to” content works really well here, and can put you in a league above your competitors. This keeps you top-of-mind, and shows that you are organized, helpful, and resourceful. If you’re securities licensed, you should check with your broker dealer for their review requirements for posting content.  

There’s always room for more thought leaders in a single industry, so choose a topic that you’re personally knowledgeable and passionate about, and focus on that.  

Become a Trusted Resource for Your Local News  

Did you know that your local news stations need local professionals and resources for some of their news segments? An effective way to come across as a thought leader is to become a go-to resource for a news station, providing quality advice and tips to viewers through special and re-occurring news segments. To do this, reach out to your local TV stations and pitch them topics, develop scripted interviews, and prepare yourself for three- to five-minute live interviews with local news anchors in your area. Or you can use our Agents in the News program, which does the heavy-lifting for you.  


Network Locally  

In-person networking is another method of establishing yourself as a leader. In fact, attending events and building connections with local influencers is a valuable way to boost your credibility in your community, and you can make a lasting impression with just a few words or handshakes. This is also a good opportunity to talk to people about that particular topic you’re passionate about and want to become a thought leader in. People can sense excitement, so tell them what you’re excited about, and you’ll come across as knowledgeable and interesting. 


Say Something New 

A lot of blogs say what everyone else is saying. They repeat and rephrase the same concepts and ideas. Don’t be like everyone else. Instead, what can you say that’s new and important? What unique ideas and thoughts do you have from your experience in the industry? Write them out, and use that to influence your weekly content. This is how you become a leader among thought leaders.  


Submit your Work to Publications 

Once you have your weekly content established and your unique ideas brewing, it’s time to consider sharing them beyond your clients and followers and submit them to industry publications. InsuranceNewsNet and Broker World are two great places to start. If you don’t hear back, or you get a rejection letter, don’t give up. Work to build a relationship with a magazine editor, and find out where they have content gaps that you can help fill. Sometimes they’re looking for specific topics or articles. Keep trying!  


Build Your Brand 

All of this works to help build your brand and increase your impact. Becoming a thought leader doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and patience to reach the level of impact that you likely want. The tips above can help you get started, but the rest is up to you. Work on your brand, and it can be a useful tool to help you grow your business.  

For more ways to help build your brand, check out our unique Brand Builder tools and services.  


For Financial Professional use only, not for use with the general public. This information is intended for Financial Professionals who are insurance licensed only. If you are securities licensed, please contact your Broker Dealer for their requirements. #18-0883-122119

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Written By

Mark Williams

President and CEO

Mark Williams is the President/CEO of Brokers International. Over his more than 25 years of financial services experience, Mark has been both a producing independent agent in the field and a home office leader consulting to agencies and field marketing organizations. Currently, Mark is focused on the future of the insurance industry, from the disruptions of InsurTech and robo-advisors to the changing demographics and needs of customers. He also is an avid mentor, helping financial professionals navigate the industry.

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