thought leadership

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Community and Thought Leadership on Social Media with Gene Petrov

Are you hoping to one day become a thought leader in your own industry?

Well, you just might want to read this #ContentWritingChat recap first!

In this week’s chat, we talked all about the importance of community and establishing yourself as a thought leader. What do you need to know to truly stand out online?

We have the answers!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Community and Thought Leadership on Social Media with Gene Petrov

Our guest host this week was Gene Petrov. Gene is a regular here at #ContentWritingChat. He’s a leadership and management consultant and he had tons of great information to share with us. Let’s dive into the recap to see what he had to say about thought leadership!

Q1: What are your first thoughts when you see or hear the words “thought leader”?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share what comes to mind when the term “thought leader” comes up. What do they think of? What does that mean to them? Here are a few responses we received:

Gene knows there’s an important connection between a thought leader and their community. He also said the title needs to be earned.

For Bill, it’s all about having a unique, industry-impacting perspective.

Thought leaders are truly shaping the conversations in their industry and influencing the community they’ve built.

Sarah views thought leadership as being innovative in your thinking within your field.

Thought leaders are typically well-respected and provide a lot of value to their community.

Maria feels a thought leader is leading the charge on a specific topic and is knowledgeable in that area.

It’s also about being an expert on a topic and brining new ideas to the table.

Q2: How do you define a thought leader?

How would our chat participants describe what a thought leader is? Here are a few of their answers. Are any what you had in mind?

Gene knows it’s largely about the experience someone has, as well as the trust they’ve built with their community. Many thought leaders identify trends early on, which is something to always be on the lookout for.

One key aspect that Sarah brought up was confidence. Thought leadership requires you to be confident in your skills and your thoughts.

Since thought leaders have established themselves as an authority, their audience typically looks forward to the content they produce.

Curious, experimental, and willing to explore new territory are all great characteristics.

Q3: Who are some examples of thought leaders in your field?

These are great examples who you can certainly learn a lot from:

Simon Sinek and Mark Schaefer are just a couple thought leaders that Gene follows.

Julia looks up to a number of people, including Joe Pulizzi and Brian Fanzo.

Ray enjoys content from Michael Port, Guy Kawasaki, and others.

Some of Ben’s go-to thought leaders are Madalyn Sklar, Brian Fans, and Gary Vaynerchuk.

Zachary also suggested Gary Vaynerchuk as being a thought leader in his field.

Q4: What common connections might you see between these thought leaders?

Do the thought leaders in your industry share any similarities? There’s a good chance they have a few traits that are the same if you look close enough! Here are things many thought leaders have in common:

Gene shared many similarities of those in a thought leadership position. They include high intellect, emotional intelligence, a sense of service, and dedication to their craft.

Lexie knows that risk taking and courage are two important characteristics!

Sarah mentioned that they can’t be afraid to fail or to be wrong. If you mess up, you have to pick yourself back up, fix it, and move on.

For Shawn, it’s all about understanding, communication skills, and passion.

Julia shared a few great characteristics that are all important!

Fresh ideas and interesting perspectives go a long way in helping you stand out from the crowd. Warwick also said that sometimes thought leaders are the ones to say what everyone else is thinking, but are too afraid to speak up on themselves.

Excellent marketing skills certainly come in handy as a thought leader!

Terry knows that caring is one important quality thought leaders should have.

Q5: Why is community so vital to the thought leader?

We all know that community is hugely important when building your presence online. But why is it so important for a thought leader to have an engaged community? This is what you need to know:

As Gene said, how value is an insight if you don’t have anyone to share it with?

Community is everything if you want to be seen and heard online.

Warwick makes a great point. After all, your community will help you get the word out.

Thoughts need to be shared and your community can help you with that.

They can help amplify your thoughts and allow you to better resonate with your audience.

Are you even a thought leader if no one is listening?

Q6: What are the benefits of having that community in place?

What good can a community do for you? These responses from Tuesday’s chat are spot on:

Gene feels a community provides amplification and support. You can also get feedback from your community, which can be very beneficial.

Your community is going to be essential in helping you gain exposure online.

Julia knows just how powerful an organic community can be.

With community, you have support, can receive constructive criticism, and so much more.

You can also learn a lot from the people in your own community, which can shape the content you create.

Q7: How do thought leaders cut through the noise to communicate their ideas?

It’s a busy, noisy world in the online space… So, how is a thought leader supposed to stand out from the crowd? This advice can help you communicate ideas with your audience:

Thought leaders will tap into their community to help spread their message. And as Gene said, they need to play an active role in engaging with that community and serving them by providing value.

Passion, persistence, and progress are sure-fire ways to help people recognize you.

Make sure you’re sharing valuable information that resonates with your target audience.

When you have valuable content, your audience will help spread the word!

You can also get smart and repurpose your content to expand your reach even more.

Q8: How can one become a thought leader?

To become a thought leader, what action do you need to take? Is there anything that can actually be done to establish yourself? Here’s what you need to know:

Remember that thought leaders aren’t out there pursuing the title. As Gene pointed out, they’re chasing something much bigger than that.

To establish yourself as a thought leader, you really need to focus on serving your community. Provide value and engage with them. You’ll also need to make building a level of trust one of your top priorities. Then, continue working on how you present your message to your audience. It’s going to take time and practice. It won’t happen overnight.

Jade says it’s all about posting valuable information and constantly learning.

Gain experience, take risks, try new things, and be in it for the long haul.

Don’t be afraid to express your thoughts and opinions. Then, back that up with action and results. It’ll come to you in time, as Ben said.

Ready to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? We’re on Twitter every Tuesday at 10 AM Central. Come join us by following @ExpWriters and @writingchat!

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