Thought leadership in Nigeria is a very lucrative profit centre for those who know how to work it. It gives you the ability to expand your practice and gain relevant competitive advantage in the market place. This is in addition to helping others grow and becoming better as a result of your influence.
Building and positioning yourself as an expert is at the very core of what thought leadership in Nigeria is about. You end up becoming an influencer of the actions and thought patterns of many. This as such should not be taken for granted.
Being a credible thought leader in Nigeria requires a deliberate effort on the part of the individual to exemplify a high level of knowledge and wield influence in his field.
As a thought leader in the field of entrepreneurship and startup advisory, I’ve learnt a couple of relevant and valuable lessons on how to create and sustain a credible thought leadership brand. I’m willing to share some of my gleanings with you.
3 Ways To Position as a Credible Thought Leader in Nigeria
1) Leverage on Technology
Nothing amplifies thought leadership like technology does. As a thought leader in the digital world, you need to grow and propagate your knowledge by using technology to your advantage. Through technology you’re armed with the relevant tools that can help you grow your brand and position you as an expert within your industry.
Today, people are constantly searching for relevant answers to their questions via the internet, you can position yourself to be a relevant information hub for majority of their queries. This can be achieved by :
- Using email marketing to further personalize your brand and the services you can render
- Setting up a professional blog in your area of thought leadership and via your content showcasing your wealth of experience. Whatever you do can be positioned well on your site
- Getting recognized in social circles online via the influence of social media
- Publishing and curating video clips that also lend a voice to what you do. Creating short and valuable videos that help tackle nagging “how-to” issues in your field is a good step towards building credibility.
Essentially, leveraging technology requires that you build a recognizable digital platform. The essence of such a platform like the above listed options is to keep your brand consistently in the face of your target audience or prospects.
Your name should be as easily recognizable and searchable as possible. A platform essentially helps you promote not just your solutions and interventions but also promotes your name especially as it relates to your thought leadership status in your given field.
Once you’re out there and people can relate to your unique idiosyncrasies, you’ve achieved credibility.
2) Rub Shoulders With Other Thought Leaders
Authority is relatable. As a football fan, when I see a Messi clinching titles and scoring incredible goals, I’m not surprised to see a Cristiano Ronaldo do same. In thought leadership, it’s essential that your authority is also endorsed by other authority figures both in your field and outside your field.
I don’t mean you should suck up to people just because you want to claim authority status. That’s not it. I mean that by deliberately expanding the sphere of your influence through the credible work you do, you’re bound to get noticed by other authority figures. When you do, maximize the moment and establish your self as nothing less than an equal.
The more you gain mastery of your art the more you’d see others gravitate to you. Be careful who you align with. Also, you can create thriving partnerships with authority figures that can help you grow your practice.
A couple of avenues that can portray you in the right light include:
- Guest posting on relevant authority blogs and platforms. As an entrepreneur and a startup advisor, having my works on top notch sites like Entrepreneur.com says a lot about my brand. To those who read my stuff, it rings a bell of authority in their ears.
- Sharing your views regularly on industry and non-industry related affairs on your platforms helps lend credibility to your status. Those who follow you on LinkedIn or Twitter are well aware that you’re bound to share relevant content that they can relate with and apply.
Understanding the psychology of social conversations and making the best use of them is no small step in building a credible authority status.
3) Grow in Popularity
No doubt as a credible thought leader, you’d get more platforms to share your thoughts and lend your voice to issues. They range from TV/Radio/Social Media interviews to speaking at conferences/themed events. Whichever platform you intend to use, be intentional in growing your popularity. See each invitation as an opportunity to improve your following. Your reputation can highly influence people to believe in your interventions and services.
There’s therefore a need to enforce your competitive advantage via your reputation and popularity. There is always a high demand especially in search queries for expert opinions, assistance or solutions.
Gaining popularity helps you stand out as a thought leader in the crowded marketplace. This popularity doesn’t come cheap as every good and valuable thing. There’s a need to invest a good deal of time and resources to rise on the totem pole of relevance.
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