Looking for ways to improve your visibility as an expert in your field or area of expertise? There are many platforms for recruiters, human resource professionals and business owners to do that. Now you just need to find the time, right?
Advances in technology have certainly changed many things within the recruiting industry, but busy HR and recruiting professionals can gain from using social media and the many digital tools and platforms to raise their visibility through thought leadership. What is thought leadership and who are thought leaders? According to thoughtleadershiplab.com, thought leaders are the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas; turn ideas into reality, and know and show how to replicate their success.
There are many methods to do this, with the most popular using social media tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even Pinterest to share your industry expertise and knowledge. Thought leaders can provide their industry expertise in many different areas. Here is a look at some:
- Blogging: Set up a company blog on your web site and write relevant articles related to industry news, topics and issues. Use social media to promote the article and share with other industry insiders. You don’t have to write long articles, in fact, short posts of 250-500 words are encouraged.
“Blogging is a great way to not only increase traffic to your website, but to also raise your search engine ranking since Google places value on frequently changing website content,” says Suzy Feine President, Feineprint Creative Group, Inc., a Minnesota-based marketing, Public relations and creative services company.
Be sure to add social media share icons to your blog posts so readers can share it with their networks, adds Feine.
- Guest writing/blogging: What local publications are in your area? Would they be interested in printing (yes, look beyond just online opportunities) an article about a hot topic or industry topic? While serving as a guest writer you provide the content in exchange for the opportunity to share your ideas and prove you are an expert in your field. Also, if there are web sites you frequent or web sites that hold a lot of industry value, consider submitting a guest blog. This will increase your exposure with a completely differnet audience and provide a great platform to share your expertise outside the company blog.
- Tweeting: Don’t have time to write a blog or guest blog? Consider using Twitter to share ideas and resources in 140 characters or less. Connect with other industry insiders and leaders on Twitter and retweet, respond and interact with them when possible. That being said using Twitter to share your blog articles is another great way to leverage the power of social media. Use Twitter to be social and also use it to push readers to your services, job openings and thought leadership. Always be sure to respond to Tweets back and also share others’ tweets. Like networking, you have to give to get.
- Speaking engagements: Yes, speaking can still promote your expertise as a thought leader. Any time you can get in front of people you can promote your brand, services and expertise. Leave business cards which certainly should include your social media handles or include that information on any slides or handouts.
- LinkedIn: There is more to LinkedIn than just finding and searching for job seekers. Feine offers a number of strategies and tips on how to leverage LinkedIn to help become a thought leader and expand your brand and services through social media:
- Start by perfecting your Linked In profile. Pay particular attention to the sections for Your Professional Headline and Skills as these sections are searchable. Ask your professional relationships for recommendations and endorsements on your skills.
- Next, click on the Home menu in Linked In and take a look at the “Share an Update” box at the top of the page next to your picture. If you see a pencil icon in that box then you’ve been authorized by Linked In to post articles. Not everyone is authorized, but if you are, you are allowed to contribute thought leadership articles. Post articles often pertaining to your industry, and remember to click on the Twitter button at the bottom of your post to add it to your Twitter profile.
- Join as many Linked In groups that pertain to your industry that you can find. Linked In groups are focused on a specific topic or industry and many have a very active following. Post relevant articles and updates on these group boards often. A daily or weekly digest of activity gets emailed to the members and if your post has lots of activity, your article could show up in an email.
- Since the media prefers to use Twitter to find story leads, follow the top magazine editors, newspaper reporters and television anchors in your area on Twitter. Tweet about hot topics in your industry and direct message the media.
- Setup a GaggleAMP account for your company, which allows your employees, partners and customers to easily share your messages on social media.
Other tips on becoming a thought leader
- Don’t go about it alone. Ask for input from others on the team. Ask for other department leaders to help contribute to share the wealth and grow the company as a thought leader. Even ask vendors, partners or others you work closely with if they would like to guest post on your blog.
- Be all in: Don’t think about starting a blog, invest time and resources, then decide you don’t have enough time. There’s nothing worse than having a great new web site with a stale, dated blog. If you can’t do it, consider hiring ghost writers or an outside company like FeinePrint Creative to help with your marketing and creative needs. Sometimes letting others do the work is one less burden and one more way to stay on top of becoming an industry insider.
- Provide true value. Thought leadership is not sales copy. Provide true expertise and insight. The other experts or industry professionals can read write through your sales pitch.
- Develop a plan. If you’re writing a blog, you may have blog posts that come up based on current industy developments. But a true thought leadership platform needs to be thought and planned with a clear strategy in mind. What’s the goal of the thought leadership platform and how will we achieve that goal?
- Don’t be someone you are not. You don’t have to be the world’s greatest writer. You don’t have to develop award-winning content. Just develop something and be you. People like you, not you being trying to be someone you are not.
In the long run, true thought leaders are able to provide insight that helps provide new takes on hot-button items, an opportunity to present solutions to real world problems and a way to share your expertise and knowledge with others looking to learn.
Find what works for you and stick with it.