<li>Do you want to become the next <strong><a href="http://sethgodin.com/sg/" target="_blank">Seth Godin</a></strong>, <strong><a title="What I Learned From Steve Jobs About Perseverance" href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/10/06/what-i-learned-from-steve-jobs-about-perseverance/" target="_blank">Steve Jobs</a></strong> or <strong><a title="7 Personalities Who Went from Reality TV Fame to Business Success" href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/03/03/7-personalities-who-went-from-reality-tv-fame-to-business-success/" target="_blank">Daymond John</a></strong>? First you’ll need some pointers to help establish yourself as a <strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_leader" target="_blank">thought leader</a></strong> in the era of digital technology. One disclaimer: having a blog does <em>not</em> make you a thought leader just like having an iPhone will not make you think like Steve Jobs.</li>
<li>In the end thought leadership has the ability to translate into revenue in the Web 2.0 world for infopreneurs (entrepreneurs who generate their revenue by creating content). The typical streams of income for thought leaders/infopreneurs come from creating products and creating experiences, like writing books, speaking at conferences/events, and creating other content products. Following Black Enterprise’s <strong><a href="http://www.blackenterprise.com/2011/10/17/black-enterprise-and-walmart-focus-on-jobs/">20/20 Vision: Job Creation & Career Opportunities in The Next Economy</a></strong> with Wal-Mart in Los Angeles, CA earlier this week, this article will help individuals understand how to use digital technology, content curation and branding as a thought leadership strategy. <em>—Hajj Flemings</em></li>
<strong>Zig When Others Zag:</strong> Thoughts leaders think outside the box, they zig when others are zagging. You have to get out of your comfort zone and create stuff that others want to share. People are inundated with information so you have to cut through all the noise that’s online and create a strong signal that makes people want to connect with your ideas specifically.
<strong>Own Your Niche:</strong> It’s very difficult for the average person to do more than one thing well at any given time well. That’s why you should focus on one thing and own it. I know this sounds cliché but it’s critical to identity a subject/topic/area that you are a passionate about and focus on doing that one thing well versus many things average.
<strong>Create a Digital Footprint:</strong> Identify the online platforms you’re planning to use to generate content (i.e. Wordpress, Twitter, YouTube, etc.). As a starter, you should establish a blog as your online hub and use social networks as outposts to create and distribute content cross medium and cross platform.
<strong>Social Proof:</strong> We live in a day and age where everybody is an “expert” and the meaning of this word is truly diluted because it’s used very loosely. Social proof is providing people with examples of tangible work you have done in the real world and not just theoretical thoughts or ideas. This helps to validate your experience. <em>Tip: the Internet is run by links and it is very easy to use tools like <strong><a href="https://bitly.com/" target="_blank">Bit.ly</a></strong> to provide digital breadcrumbs to your content.</em>
<strong>Content Curation:</strong> Content is the new currency and can be used to establish credibility in the business world. Quality is the new quantity as it relates to content, establish a schedule and create stuff that matters.