how to be a thought leader

How to Be a Thought Leader with LinkedIn

“Thought leader” is a term that gets thrown around a lot. You may not think of yourself as a thought leader, but as a small business owner or communicator you are. Who you are and what you do makes you a thought leader in your area of endeavor.

The thought leader concept can be a terrific way to establish your brand’s place in the market. What do you know best? What perspective do you bring? How do you look at your industry compared to others? These are all essential elements of your thought leadership.

LinkedIn is a key place where professionals can establish thought leadership. Since it is a place where people go to find professionals and check credentials, LinkedIn is built for establishing your professional identity.

Thought Leadership on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social connection platform focused on your business and your brand. Begin with your profile. Optimize it to showcase your industry and your expertise. Demonstrate your authority as part of your brand within the industry.

When someone visits your personal profile on LinkedIn, they should immediately be able to see what you do, who you help, and the value you provide. This starts with a strong headline on down through your description, featured links, published articles, activity, and content.

Keep your audience in mind. Make clear who you serve and how you serve them. Provide resources that support your expertise.

From your profile, create a LinkedIn company page. Be sure to complete all of the fields available. Once the profile is saved, make sure your current experience is linked to the company page.

Create Posts that Matter

Your next task is to share posts and articles that highlight and share your expertise. You can do this through original posts in your feed and as longer articles. You can also share expertise in comments on relevant posts created by other people.

Focus on content that is compelling, thought-provoking and makes contributions to your area of endeavor. Your content should align with your values and brand goals.

While you’ll want to diversify your content and try all sorts of different types, here are three kinds of content that right now are favored by both the algorithm and audiences.

  • Polls on LinkedIn are short multiple-choice quizzes that invite people to vote on a particular topic. Use a poll to ask for responses as well as comments.
  • Carousel posts allow you to upload and share a PDF file. Each page of the PDF becomes a slide on the carousel that the audience can swipe through.
  • Video on LinkedIn allows you to connect with your audience, which helps immediately build trust and authority. Short videos from 30 seconds to 3 minutes tend to perform better on LinkedIn than longer videos.