Are you a digital marketing guru? If so, then have you ever considered sharing your knowledge with the rest of the world? Of course, this can be quite an imposing idea as you may wonder, “Why would anyone want to listen to me?” However, if you know what you are talking about, have great communication skills and have a way with words, then why not brand yourself as a thought leader in the digital marketing sphere?
Becoming a thought leader (sometimes referred to as an influencer) can take time, however. You do not simply wake up and suddenly find yourself considered one of the industry’s greatest minds. You have to be active, knowledgeable, and genuinely know what it is that you are selling. How can you do this, though?
As a digital marketer, you are not a newbie when it comes to marketing companies and creating a brand. So, rather than push the branding of a company, you will instead be pushing your own personal/professional brand. This can be a fun opportunity for you which could, in turn, land you an interesting and wonderful job full of opportunities.
Do you want to know how to become a thought leader in the digital marketing industry so that you can inspire others and share your passion? If so, the following guide details what it is that you can do to help you become a successful industry leader, which could change your life forever and bring you ample opportunities.
What is a Thought Leader?
What is a thought leader exactly? A thought leader is someone who has a great understanding of a certain field or subject and who can offer advice and guidance to those in a similar field. You are a notable expert, and usually people will turn to you when there is a shift in your industry. They may read your blog posts, social media updates, or even your book if you have one published so that they can understand your thinking and learn from your words and wisdom.
A thought leader will have a positive reputation and, within the field that you are deciding to become renowned in, can be considered somewhat of a celebrity (although on a smaller scale). Your drive is to help others with your knowledge and insight so that they can also unlock and reach their potential.
Gain the Right Qualifications
Firstly, you need to know what you are talking about and have great insight into digital marketing. Although you could get away with basic research and regurgitate jargon in blog posts, if you want to be taken seriously, you need to train and understand everything that is digital marketing and live and breathe the industry. After all, you want to be a thought leader because it is a subject that you love. Therefore, you will want to do it justice.
To become a fully-fledged digital marketer, you could head to university and earn a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing. Once you have done this, you should land your first job and gain experience and knowledge by working with and learning from others. However, if you want to further improve your experience and specialize in an area that truly interests you, why not obtain a masters in a field that you love? For example, Emerson College offer a marketing and data analytics master’s program which is ideal for those who are data driven and wish to expand their knowledge and learn more about a specific area of the industry.
Start to Build Your Portfolio
Build a portfolio showcasing your digital marketing prowess. This is a great way to not only see how effective your digital marketing campaigns are, but to also see which areas you are well-versed in and which areas may need improving.
A portfolio is also a great way to boost your credibility as you can update your portfolio and have it posted online for all to see. You can highlight any big brands that you have worked for but also post statistic and numbers that show how effective you are when it comes to boosting a brand’s profile and making them gain traction and greater online visibility.
Start building your portfolio as soon as possible, and never think an achievement is too small when you are starting out. It could be that as the years go by, you will have too much to put into your portfolio. If this is the case, you will have to be selective and suggest that if anyone wants to see more of your work, they will have to contact you.
Get on the Job Experience
Much like heading to university, gaining on the job experience can be valuable and help teach you how the industry works as well as the tools that you are sure to counter (such as keyword research tools, etc.). All of this knowledge is power, as you will need to maintain a deep understanding of digital marketing so that you can continue to write resources and whitepapers for people to read and learn from. If you do not know how the digital marketing world is shifting and are unable to understand the job, then how can you expect others to turn to you for help?
Create a LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for professionals as it can help boost your online visibility and be used as a platform to market yourself. Firstly, you will need to build your profile, filling in all the relevant fields so that all the necessary information is available to those who would like to learn more about you. You will also want to upload a profile picture (one that is not only professional but encapsulates your brand and personality) as well as a cover image that could be industry focused.
LinkedIn also allows you to add all your relevant skills. Plus, anyone who has worked with you before can also endorse your skills and expertise, highlighting that they vouch for you and that you do, in fact, know what it is that you are talking about.
You can upload blog articles as well as curate posts that can resonate with your readers. And as you gain notoriety, you could soon start seeing an influx of people following your profile for advice and guidance on the latest digital marketing trends.
You will need to maintain your online persona, however, and regularly upload content. Being unable to do so can cause people to forget about your upload and updates. Ideally, you should post once a week. Make sure everything that you post adds value, however. While the occasional fun LinkedIn post may make your followers and connections laugh every now and then, they will be looking for hard-hitting content that helps them develop their own digital marketing skills.
Start a Blog
Having a blog is a great way to showcase your digital marketing knowledge. It allows you to have a platform to publish your own content and journalism so that people can read your thoughts. While LinkedIn allows you to publish articles, having a blog can help separate the two but still allow you to share your blog posts on your social media profiles.
When building your blog, make sure it represents you and whatever it is that you wish to say. If you want to push that you are digital marketer who believes in quick and easy guides, then make sure your blog represents this side of you. You can show this no-nonsense brand by having a crisp and minimalistic blog that is easy to read and to the point. Click here for a few great blog designs that prove effective.
Share Your Content
Content needs to be shared, so make sure that whenever you write a blog post, you also share it on your own social media platforms. This can help expand your reach and build a name for yourself. Plus, it allows you to get your content in front of other digital marketing experts who may need advice and guidance on a certain matter. You can also link your Twitter and Instagram accounts with your blog. This makes it a lot easier for someone to follow you if they stumble across your blog but wish to follow your Twitter for the latest updates.
Speak at Events
Why not see if you can speak at any upcoming events that revolve around digital marketing? By doing this, you are getting your name out there but also showing that you do, in fact, know what you are talking about. If people see you speak and like what you have to say, they are likely to follow you on social media but also mention you to their friends and co-workers. This is a great way to get your name out there.
Becoming a thought leader takes time. You will rarely become a renowned household name within the digital marketing industry straight away. However, it is not impossible, and with the help of technology, you can reach a lot more people much more easily.