How to Become a Thought Leader Online

Thought Leadership 101: How to Become a Thought Leader Online

Focus on the problem

Rather than addressing a problem a potential user may encounter, many entrepreneurs talk solely about the solutions their product promises to deliver. Your app might offer a great resolution to an issue; however a successful pitcher will draw people in, discussing problems a potential user faces in their daily lives.

Focus on the user’s pains. Why do people care? What is bothering them? What upsets or frustrates them?

A huge chunk of time should be dedicated to addressing the problem. It draws people into the conversation. If you’ve grabbed a potential user’s attention, they will ask you about the solution.

Reminder: Keep it moving if you get stuck. Trust, more people will notice if you freeze.
(Image: Thinkstock)

Take a look at any breakdown of social media stats and it’s clear (insert Beyoncé’s “Run the World”), women’s usage outpaces men’s on all social networking sites except for Twitter, according to a 2013 Pew Internet report. Given our influence across the social landscape, power women have a real opportunity to leverage social media to take their brand to the next level.

Black Enterprise has tapped social media expert S. Lynn Cooper to provide tips for taking your stellar real-world reputation and packaging it in the digital space during our 9th Annual Women of Power Summit.  In addition to serving as Chief Social Officer at her company, Socially Ahead, Cooper regularly contributes her insights, and has been featured on MSNBC, CBS News, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, Redbook and American Express Open Forum, among many other online outlets.

Here, we’re highlighting Cooper’s surefire tips to establishing yourself as a thought leader on the web:

Participate in Twitter Chats or Google+ Hangouts

If you’ve never heard of a Twitter chat, think of it as a chat room hosted on Twitter. Twitter chats use a pre-determined hashtag (#) to engage a group in a real-time conversation at a specified time. A Twitter chat is a great place to answer any questions other professionals in your field may have; thus, demonstrating your value and expertise. If you participate in a particular chat each week, you will also create relationships with others, which will strengthen your social media presence.

Whether you’re sharing tips, organizing product demonstrations or interviewing other industry leaders, Google+ hangouts are an excellent way for brands to interact with clients and vendors via video. The best part is that you have the option to broadcast live (hangouts on air) or upload it to your company’s YouTube account at a later date.

Contribute Guest Blog Posts

Once you’ve been actively publishing on your blog, it’s a great tactic to reach out to other bloggers in your field. Once you have begun to actively comment and share their articles, contact them via e-mail or social media to inquire if they accept guest posts on their blog. Gaining recognition by established leaders as a contributor will provide you with credibility.

Publish a White Paper, E-book or Webinar

E-books, whitepapers, and even webinars show prospects, customers and colleagues that you’re knowledgeable about specific industry topics beyond short content postings (i.e. blog postings, social media posts and videos).  Releasing well-crafted e-books or white papers demonstrates that you’re capable of thought leadership on a larger scale.

Click here for more tips…

As our annual Women or Power Summit approaches, we’ll be providing our power women with winning strategies to take their social networking skills to the next level. If you have any strategies you’d like to share, be sure to tweet @blackenterprise using #BEWomenofPower.

Embrace Your Power: The Moment is Now! Attend the Women of Power Summit hosted by State Farm, and explore all the ways you can achieve your professional and personal goals. This four-day event caters to executive women of color. It’s your opportunity to connect with other powerful women, develop professional strategies, and get expert advice from today’s leading female executives and decision makers. Register today!