It’s one thing to be a leader who is thoughtful, but it’s another to be a Thought Leader. Whether you intend to write a book, speak professionally, or define a market niche, the real leverage is found in becoming a Thought Leader. Think “Linchpin” ala Seth Godin. Dorie Clark has consulted such clients as Google and Yale University. In a recent HBR post she listed six steps for becoming a Thought Leader. At the top of the list is “Create a Robust Online Presence.” In other words, create a platform!
A platform is more than a website. Often our business at PlatformCreator involves following up behind the web builders to finish the job of creating the platform. A website is only a tool and you can no more create a platform with a website than you can build a house with a hammer. The messaging and methods are to the platform what the framing and lumber are to the house…
This process of creating your messaging, along with the methods and interaction it takes to create an effective platform, will also serve as excellent proving ground for you to become a Thought Leader.
When you think of a Thought Leader, you think of someone who has researched, written, spoken, and done the actual work in their niche. The process of creating your platform can be the same proving ground for you, by providing a framework for building credibility in at least three ways; blogging, listening, and networking.
It could serve as the content for your future book. There’s even a site that can help you do this. The process of creating the content for your blog will provide the opportunity for you to experience the magic of writing down your thoughts and thinking more deeply about your work. Writing helps crystallize the ideas and the findings that will make you a Thought Leader.
The Listening Post
Use Google Reader as the tool for gathering intelligence about your field. The key is to create a large enough subscription base of trusted RSS sources that can then become your own search-able archive on a given pertinent topic.
Outreach is Vital
Using Social Media tools such as twitter, Facebook, and Google+ you can invite others into your thought laboratory. Consider it a conversation – not a bullhorn. Check out the comments of the relevant blogs to your area of expertise. Ask serious questions and provide thoughtful insights. You never know when you may find a kindred soul or another thought leader who gets excited about helping other thought leaders.
The world is waiting.