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8 Ways to Unleash the Power of Thought Leadership

8 Ways to Unleash the Power of Thought Leadership

8 Ways to Unleash the Power of Thought Leadership

  • May 09, 2024

In today's competitive business landscape, thought leadership has emerged as a powerful tool for entrepreneurs and professionals looking to boost their growth and unlock new opportunities. In a recent episode of Podcasting Secrets, I sat down with Josh Steimle, the host of the Published Author Podcast and a renowned thought leader in his own right. With an impressive track record that includes authoring books like 60 Days to LinkedIn Mastery and Chief Marketing Officers at Work. His work has generated over $10 million in revenue through his thought leadership strategy. He shared his insights on how to leverage this potent approach to achieve business success.

Throughout the podcast, we dove into the secrets of thought leadership, exploring the strategies that have helped Josh establish himself as an authority in his field and grow his business exponentially. 

Here are 8 ways Josh and I discussed to help you unleash the power of thought leadership to take your business to the next level.

1. Start Within Your Comfort Zone

When embarking on your thought leadership journey, it's essential to begin in an area where you feel most at ease sharing your message. For Josh, writing was his natural starting point. He found success in writing articles for major publications like Forbes, which not only helped him establish credibility but also helped get his foot in the door.

Once you've gained traction in your comfort zone, you can gradually expand into other areas. Josh eventually branched out into podcasting, and speaking engagements, and even launched his own courses and events. By building upon his initial success, he was able to create a multi-faceted thought leadership strategy that maximized his reach and impact.

The key is to start where you feel most confident and then challenge yourself to explore new avenues as you grow. Whether it's writing, podcasting, or creating videos, identify the medium that aligns with your strengths and start there.

2. Be Helpful and Authentic

One of the most crucial aspects of thought leadership is providing genuine value to your audience. As Josh emphasizes, the best way to succeed on platforms like LinkedIn is to be helpful and authentic. Instead of focusing on self-promotion, concentrate on sharing your expertise and giving your audience the information they need.

When you consistently deliver valuable content, people will naturally be drawn to you. They'll see you as a trusted resource and will be more likely to engage with your content, share it with others, and even seek out your services. By prioritizing genuine helpfulness to your audience through what you do and share on your platform, you'll cultivate a loyal following that appreciates your contributions because it is coming from a genuine place.

Don't hold back on sharing your knowledge for fear of giving away too much. When you're transparent and generous with your expertise, people will recognize your sincerity and be more inclined to trust and support you.

3. Leverage the Power of Podcasting

Podcasting has emerged as a powerful tool for thought leaders looking to expand their reach and build meaningful connections across platforms. As Josh discovered, hosting a podcast not only allows you to share your insights with a wider audience but also opens doors to invaluable relationships.

Through his Published Author podcast, Josh has had the opportunity to interview and build friendships with best-selling authors, industry experts, and influential figures. By engaging in deep, meaningful conversations with his guests, Josh has fostered a network of supporters who are invested in his success and the success of his guests, growing both spheres of audience at the same time.

Consider starting your own podcast or actively seeking out opportunities to be a guest on others' shows. You do not need to have your own podcast to be on a podcast. Not only will you have the chance to showcase your expertise, but you'll also forge connections and attract clients that can propel your business forward in unexpected ways.

4. Establish Your Credibility

Credibility is the foundation of successful thought leadership. When you're recognized as an authority in your field, people are more likely to trust your insights, seek out your services, and recommend you to others. One of the most effective ways to establish credibility is by associating yourself with reputable platforms and publications.

For Josh, writing for Forbes and eventually Time and Fortune magazine, were game-changers. Being featured in such prestigious publications boosted his credibility and opened doors to new opportunities. He leveraged this exposure to secure speaking engagements, land a book deal, and attract high-profile clients.

While you may not start with a Forbes column, there are numerous ways to build your credibility including:

  • Guest posting on industry blogs
  • Speaking at conferences
  • Collaborating with other respected thought leaders in your field 

As you consistently demonstrate your expertise and associate yourself with reputable brands, your credibility will grow, and more people will want to seek you out and hear what you have to say.

5. Write a Book

Publishing a book is a powerful way to cement your status as a thought leader and provide immense value to your audience. As Josh mentioned, having a book can be a "business card on steroids," instantly elevating your credibility and setting you apart from competitors.

Not only does a book serve as a tangible representation of your expertise, but it also provides a platform to share your ideas with a wider audience. When you promote your book through speaking engagements, interviews, and other thought leadership activities, you'll attract new followers and potential clients who are eager to learn from you.

A book can also serve as a template for your readers, guiding them to your other offerings, such as coaching, consulting, or courses. By providing value through your book, you'll build trust with your audience and make it easier for them to take the next step in engaging with your business.

6. Speak on Stages

Speaking engagements are a powerful way to showcase your thought leadership and engage your audience. When you take the stage, whether at a conference, workshop, or virtual event, you have the opportunity to share your ideas, inspire your listeners, and demonstrate your expertise in a dynamic, engaging way.

Josh's writing and podcasting efforts often resulted in speaking opportunities. By establishing himself as a credible authority across multiple platforms and building connections with other leaders in other fields of expertise, he was invited to speak at events like TEDx. This allowed him to share his message and have a larger impact on a larger audience.

To land speaking gigs, start by building your reputation through your other thought leadership activities. As you gain visibility and establish yourself as an authority, reach out to event organizers and let them know about your expertise and the value you can bring to their audience, not just your own. Over time, as you continue to establish yourself as an authority in your field, more speaking opportunities will come your way.

7. Foster Meaningful Relationships

Thought leadership isn't just about sharing your ideas; it's also about building meaningful relationships with others in your industry and with your audience. When you connect with other thought leaders, influencers, and potential partners, you open up new opportunities for collaboration, growth, and mutual support. Understanding your audience allows you to expand your demographic resourcefully.

Josh's experience with the Published Author Podcast illustrates the power of fostering these relationships. Through his interviews, he's been able to connect with best-selling authors, industry experts, and other influential figures. These connections have led to valuable business partnerships, client referrals, and personal growth opportunities.

To build relationships through your thought leadership, focus on creating genuine, authentic connections with other leaders and your audience. Engage with their content, share their work, and look for opportunities to collaborate or support one another. As you cultivate a network of individuals who appreciate your contributions, your thought leadership efforts will become more rewarding and impactful.

8. Be Consistent and Patient

To make thought leadership work for your business, commit to consistently creating and sharing valuable content. Whether it's writing articles, recording podcast episodes, or engaging with your audience on social media, make it a priority to show up regularly and provide value.

At the same time, be patient with the process. Building a strong reputation and a loyal following takes time. Don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results; instead, focus on the long-term benefits of establishing yourself as a trusted authority in your field.

Remember, thought leadership is a marathon, not a sprint. By consistently delivering value, fostering relationships, and staying true to your mission, you'll gradually build the credibility and influence necessary to take your business to new heights.

Unlocking Your Potential as a Thought Leader

Thought leadership is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs and professionals looking to grow their businesses and make a lasting impact in their industries. By starting in your comfort zone, being helpful and authentic, leveraging the power of podcasting, establishing your credibility, writing a book, speaking on stages, fostering meaningful relationships, and being consistent and patient, you can unlock the full potential of thought leadership and achieve remarkable success in the long run.

As you embark on your own thought leadership journey, remember to stay true to yourself and your values. Don't hold back on sharing your insights or expertise. Instead, focus on providing genuine value to your audience and building authentic connections with your audience and others in your field.

By focusing on helping others through your platform and committing to the long-term process of being a reliable authority on a subject, you'll be well on your way to establishing yourself as a respected authority, growing your business, and making a meaningful impact in the lives of those you serve.

Key Takeaways
1. Writing for major publications like Forbes and Fortune was critical for establishing Josh's credibility and thought leadership, leading to business growth and opportunities. 

2. One Forbes article generated over $5 million in revenue for Josh's marketing agency.

3. Thought leadership content should focus on helping others rather than self-promotion. Give away your best ideas.  

4. Start creating thought leadership content on platforms where you feel most comfortable - writing, podcasting, video, etc.

5. Getting early wins with some initial quality content can breed more success and opportunities to publish more widely.

6. Leverage existing credibility and platforms to get invited to podcasts and speaking engagements.

7. Podcasting builds powerful relationships and partnerships that can dramatically grow your business.

8. Publishing a book takes your credibility and thought leadership to another level, opening more doors.

If you're looking for a great all-in-one podcasting platform with 35 integrated modules, you can get a free trial at 

Thanks for joining us for this episode. I wish you success as you grow your podcast and become a thought leader.

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