How to Become an Industry Thought Leader

Leadership is a learned behavior and credibility earned. These are key factors to achieving long-term success in your career. Success is determined by those who lead in the industry. So, how do you become an industry thought leader?


Kent Lewis, of Anvil Media, hosted a webinar on “How to Become an Industry Thought Leader” to answer that question. It’s more than just having a forward-thinking mindset; it’s putting thought into actions.


Build a Solid Social Strategy

Social media matters with industry thought leadership. It’s a best practice to expand your social media presence, particularly on LinkedIn. Lewis advises, “Get to over five-hundred connections as quickly as possible because once you’re over five-hundred, say five-hundred and one or fifty-thousand, you are in my mind credible because you are – you have a big network, right?” Grow your social following and engagement with a frequent posting cadence on all platforms. Lewis offers his posting schedule, “Usually hourly on LinkedIn and I syndicate all that content. Twitter, what I care about is that I’m in your feed from eight to five you know, roughly once an hour.” Frequent posting of relevant industry content is vital to social media growth and, thereby, earning credibility.


Schedule Industry Speaking Engagements

Reaching out to schedule speaking engagements also puts you at the forefront of other’s minds as an industry thought leader. This includes webinars as well, which you can publish on YouTube. Lewis elaborates, “To speak as an expert, that’s validating, and when people see you as a speaker and an expert, you’re already winning them over.” Speaking engagements give you more content to work with on your website and your social media platforms, but also encourage others to listen to you and see you as a credible voice they can learn from.


Write and Publish Syndicated Articles

Next to speaking, writing is the best option for using your voice to establish leadership in your industry. We recommend writing an article on LinkedIn or for an industry publication and getting it syndicated. Lewis explains, “It’s one thing to write for your blog, like let’s say you have a company blog, but it’s far more compelling to log or write articles for third-parties.” Nothing says thought-leadership like a third-party acknowledging, and promoting, your work.


Earn Press Coverage

Along with third-parties mentioning how awesome you are by publishing your work, there’s also others talking about how awesome you are in their own published work. And by this, we mean earning press coverage from other industry publications. Lewis recommends, “Getting mentioned by the press, getting interviewed by the press, is an amazing way to build your brand. So, the first thing I recommend is subscribing to Help a Reporter Out (Haro). You’ll get a list of thirty to a hundred requests from editors and reporters for experts on specific topics.” Community outreach within your industry is the best way to go about this as you start out.


Brag about Awards/Recognition

How else will people know you’re skilled at something if you don’t tell them? Promote your awards and recognitions online, to position yourself as an industry leader. We know your next question: How do you publicize how great you are at what you do, appropriately? It’s called the humble-brag. Forbes explained how to effectively share your awards and call out your recognition, such as but not limited to:


  • Encouraging employers to share the news.
  • Sharing over Live Video.
  • Issuing a Press Release.
  • Adding the awards to LinkedIn.
  • Adding the award/recognition to the website.


There are many ways to earn credibility as a leader in your industry. These are the easiest and our best recommendations, especially for those who are fairly new to their profession. Try booking speaking engagements or webinars, publishing some articles, ramping up your social media presence, and bragging about yourself. Keep following our blog for more tips to build your career and regularly visit the pdxMindShare website for posted job openings.