Becoming a thought leader isn’t easy.

It takes a tremendous amount of time, energy, and resources to see the process through to the end. And many companies give up before they’re able to gain all the benefits of becoming a thought leader.

If you’re serious about becoming a thought leader, here are 10 keys to success.

#1: You must have unique insights: You can’t just agree with everyone, and you can’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers along the way. True thought leaders have strong opinions about where their industry is headed and the problems it faces, and they aren’t afraid to share those insights publicly.

#2: You must have a strategy-aligned plan: You need to develop a clear and documented strategy that aligns with your overall business objectives. There is no point in becoming a thought leader if you don’t have a clearly defined plan and method for measuring your success.

#3 You must focus on gaining momentum: You need to focus on getting small wins and building momentum, then leverage those wins for bigger ones. You are climbing the media ladder. While everyone wants to start at the top, those who are successful realize you must start at the bottom and work your way up.

#4 You must be obsessed with consistency: Your efforts need to ensure that every week, some piece of thought leadership collateral is coming out. Whether it’s a byline article, podcast interview, or media hit, you need to be dead focused on getting something out consistently.

#5: You must bury your ego: There is no ego involved. You can’t think you’re too good for a media opportunity. You must say yes to every interview and every opportunity because you are playing the long game.

If you want more on getting rid of your ego, watch this 3-minute video from Gary V where he explains why despite his success, he still says yes to every media opportunity that comes his way.  

#6: You must see the big picture: Opportunities aren’t evaluated one by one. Everything is evaluated as part of a bigger long-term picture.

#7: You must understand your audience: You need to have a deep understanding of who your clients are, what problems they are facing, the questions they are asking, and most importantly, how they want to be communicated with.

#8: You must have a blitzkrieg mindset: You need to want to be everywhere you possibly can be and be willing to dedicate the time and resources to make that happen.

#9: You must know the true value: Your aren’t in it for short-term website traffic or leads. You are in it to create pieces of third-party collateral, which you can then integrate into all aspects of your business. #10: You must become the ultimate resource: You can’t be too focused on trying to sell products and services. You are selling expertise, knowledge, and solutions to problems. Your goal is to be the ultimate resource for your customers and the media.

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