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How to Become a Thought Leader on LinkedIn in 5 Steps

In the past few years, LinkedIn thought leaders have emerged as celebrities of the business & tech world. But what’s the reason...

Written by Sara Illahi Panhwer · 3 min read >
linkedin thought leader

In the past few years, LinkedIn thought leaders have emerged as celebrities of the business & tech world. But what’s the reason behind their celebrity status? Let’s find out.

The term thought leader has become a buzzword today. Business News Daily describes a thought leader as “someone who offers guidance and insight to those around them”.

Our world is changing its dynamics rapidly. A decade ago, LinkedIn merely had 70 million people as a community. Ten years later, the same community has grown to a whopping 740 million users from all over the world. Many of these people are sharing useful and valuable content, influencing people, and in short, becoming thought leaders.

linkedin thought leader airschool
Source: Getty

LinkedIn serves as a great platform for people to exchange ideas, create a network, learn skills, get a job, and most importantly, build a strong personal brand for themselves. Therefore, experts of a certain field sharing guidance and insightful content on the platform are known as LinkedIn thought leaders.

Now the big question is: How can you become a LinkedIn thought leader? Below are some proven ways that have helped people carve a brand out for themselves and become thought leaders on LinkedIn:

1. It all starts from you πŸ’‘

Just like change begins from home, thought leaders become when they update and optimize their LinkedIn profiles.

Optimizing a LinkedIn profile is not easy, though. It requires time and vision to make your profile look compelling to visitors. Take Adam Grant or Gary V, for example. Observe how subtly their profiles promote their brands, websites, books but also establish them as an authority.

A LinkedIn thought leader has their bio written in a very compelling manner. There will always be a hook, even if it’s something as simple as their achievements and areas of expertise.

adam grant linkedin thought leader
Source: LinkedIn

The bottom line of this step is this: if you have a tech background, make sure your LinkedIn profile SHOWS you are a thought leader in the tech industry. This includes your cover picture, your profile, your bio, the About Me section, the jobs you have done, and most importantly, the content you share.

2. A LinkedIn thought leader thinks out-of-the-box πŸ“¦

Once you have set up your profile, it is time to get into action. You see, on LinkedIn, people share all sorts of things. The only reason why only 1% of the LinkedIn population ends up doing thought leadership is that their content is new, reliable, and thought-provoking. Millions out there on LinkedIn are sharing content on a daily basis but are they LinkedIn thought leaders? Not really.

thought leader linkedin
Source: LinkedIn

A thought leader is one who shares guidance, tips, and insights. This is only possible when you share what people don’t already know. Is there a new business strategy that you think most people won’t have heard of? Do you think differently about a mainstream, trending application and want to post a rational comment about it? Bring it on. This is the kind of content that will get people to follow you.

Your content can be articles, images, videos or even a document. An expert of a field can easily run a blog of their own on, say Medium.com, and share insights regarding the field. Since people today prefer quick ways of getting information, LinkedIn posts can come in handy. Therefore, if you want to be a LinkedIn thought leader, think out of the box.

Related: The Growing Need To Build Solid Communication Skills

3. Your network is your net worth πŸ’°

You must have heard this one-liner a million times. Well, it is true. Your network truly decides your net worth. The best way to get an audience or a network is by following people and groups related to your niche.

linkedin networking
Source: iStock

If you are someone working on SEO and are passionate about optimization, there are hundreds of LinkedIn pages, profiles and groups where people specifically discuss SEO and all the latest updates. With your ample knowledge, you can easily engage in conversations with people, solve their problems (if any) and share helpful content. This way, you will be creating a strong presence, and remember, it is all about being seen.

Once you have created strong visibility and a trust factor, you can promote your brand, startups, or especially your digital courses!

Related: How To Improve Your Confidence To Record Course Videos

4. Merely posting isn’t enough; use tags 🎯

When you are starting with your journey of becoming a LinkedIn thought leader, it is imperative that you use tags along with posting good and useful content and engaging in conversations.

Tags help increase your outreach. Even if you have a substantially good outreach, using tags in your posts is still important so that more and more people could see and benefit from your content.

Along with tags, there are several other SEO strategies that are super helpful. People hunting for jobs use them, and employers use them as well. One of them is incorporating keywords in your bio, About Me section, and job descriptions so that whenever people look up a keyword, your profile shows up. This will widen your network and following.

5. You’re the expert; so be like one πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’Ό

Thought leadership is about leading and guiding. While nobody knows everything about their field as everyone is gradually learning, experts tend to know most things.

Your followers and network, however, don’t know that you are an expert. This is why you need to cultivate your network and position your profile in a way that you come off as an expert. Get your profile reviewed and see if it really gives off an expression that you are an expert in a given field.

lisa seacat deluca ibm linkedin leadership
Source: LinkedIn

If you fail to position yourself as an expert, it will be difficult to become a thought leader. Moreover, keep in mind that you don’t have to come off as a show-off or snob. Be humble, share knowledge, help others and create a difference. That’s what thought leadership is about.

And one of the great things about being a thought leader is that once you have a truly loyal following, you can create direct connections with them by offering them the chance to learn from you – physics, IT, copywriting – whatever it is. Here’s on way they can learn from you, check us out πŸ‘‡

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Written by Sara Illahi Panhwer
Constantly striving to help course creators become a monumental part of the billion dollar ed-tech industry. Profile

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