5 Tips to Shut Down the Critics and Become a Thought Leader

You may not think that you’re cut out to for thought leadership. Maybe you just feel like you don’t have anything new to add to what people already know. Or you might feel like your ideas are generally small ones, not large. Or maybe you feel like you’re more of a dreamer than a practical person. So your ideas may feel too theoretical.

However, a lot of people have what it takes to be a thought leader. After all, there have been leaders who have repeated what others have said but have done it with force, thus making a difference. And there have also been leaders whose ideas were so simple that they seemed really small. But sometimes, the smallest ideas are the best. And a whole lot of leaders have been accused of being dreamers. However, it’s in the process of dreaming that all change begins

So if you want to be a thought leader, you really have to believe in yourself and your ideas. Here are a few tips to help you do so:

Don’t Judge Your Ideas

Most of the time, people prevent themselves from making an impact on the world and on the internet because they don’t let their thoughts get past the stage of being mere ideas. They don’t put their ideas into action. Whenever they have ideas, they evaluate them, judge them negatively and throw them aside.

Instead, when you want to be a thought leader, you have to stop judging. If you have a new idea that you feel like blogging about, you need to go ahead and do so. The only time that you need to judge your ideas is if you suspect that they might be construed as racist, sexist or otherwise derogatory to a group of people. If your ideas pass this test, then make sure you write about them and tell people what you’re thinking.

Simplicity vs. Complexity

A lot of people are biased in favor of complex ideas. If something seems difficult to understand, they think that it must be good. This is also the reason why a lot of people use jargon, on the internet and in print.

However, the best ideas are simple ones. Not only can they be stated simply but the final results are also simple. For example, consider the recent movie, Joy, which narrates the story of the woman who invented the self-wringing mop. A lot of us have used these types of mops nowadays but we never think about who invented them. At its heart, this is a simple invention. It’s just a mop!  But it’s a mop with a special feature—you don’t have to wring it out with your hands.

If you can come up with simple ideas like this, not just for your product but also for your website, your marketing campaign and your internet presence, you might just become a thought leader.

Put Your Ideas into Action Right Away

When you first have an idea, it’s fresh in your mind and you can see exactly how to put it into action. As time goes by, the idea might fade. You might forget how you had originally intended to implement it. You might get confused about how it’s supposed to work. This will entail more work on your part to eventually make the idea work. You might have to try out several different options until you hit upon the right one.

And some ideas fade so completely that you can never get them back, no matter how much you try. It’s like waking up from a dream with the knowledge that you had a great idea while you were dreaming but you can’t remember it anymore.

Additionally, as time goes by, your enthusiasm for the idea fades. And when you’re not enthusiastic, people can tell. So it’s better to strike the iron while it’s still hot.

Find Role Models

In order to be a thought leader, you are going to need to have some original ideas. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t look up to other people who have had original ideas too. It’s a good idea to find some role models. If you often refer to a certain website which you also consider to be one of the best in its field, you can take certain tips from that website and apply them to your own.

For example, Huffington Post can definitely be considered a thought leader when it comes to current events. It’s a website that people often go to; it’s considered reputable. Are there certain features about Huffington Post that you could adopt for your own website? Consider the fact that it not only has up-to-date reportage, it also has articles on a number of topics which aren’t related to current events or news. You can find quirky features, how-to articles and even individual blogs on Huffington Post. The number of topics it covers is very broad. This is something anyone looking to be a thought leader can adopt.

Don’t Be Afraid to Dream

Most people get a lot of criticism during their childhoods because they dared to dream. Everyone tells you to stop dreaming, to pay attention to what’s going on around you, to stop losing yourself in things. However, it’s only by losing yourself in what you’re doing that you can come up with something great and original. If something is fun to do, then it’s usually successful as well, at least in the long run. So don’t be afraid of dreaming and remember the ideas you come up with while you dream. Try putting some of them into action later and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Contact us for more great tips on becoming a thought leader.



About stevena

Steven is one of our stellar account managers. He spent his early years in the vast lands of traditional advertising, helping an international restaurant chain navigate the treacherous landscape of making and selling sandwiches. Once he discovered the shiny new land of digital marketing, he didn't turn back. He graduated from the University of Utah, where he discovered his knack for marketing, and his passion for college football. When is isn't realizing his client's wildest dreams (or at least trying), Steven is often found fine-tuning his archery skills, cooking up something tasty on the grill, or writing about himself in third person.

Foxtail Marketing is a digital marketing firm that provides content marketing, digital marketing, and lead generation services for small and mid-market companies.


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