How to become a thought-leader in your profession

Jan 25, 2019
Establishing yourself as an authority in your field of expertise is a way to stand out and make an impact on your profession and the people around you. Once you have established this authority, it allows you to become a thought-leader amongst peers, colleagues and clients.

To become truly influential you must first start with finding avenues where you can share your expertise and knowledge, and then maintaining that momentum while building your personal brand as an industry authority and expert.

Here are a few methods to establish yourself as a thought-leader in your industry:

Become active on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become a pivotal platform for driving professional growth. Many of us are not utilising our LinkedIn accounts to their full potential; however, this platform can provide many opportunities for you to showcase your knowledge. To take advantage of these opportunities, you should share thought-provoking articles, news and tips, opinions and questions about your area of expertise, whether it's board governance, audit or another important aspect of accountancy. Engagement with connections who are also authorities in your profession will give you credibility and what you share will show you're knowledgeable and that your knowledge is relevant.

Create conversations

Outside of LinkedIn, creating conversations around topics related to your field while networking, publishing articles in trade magazines, writing blog posts, hosting podcasts or speaking on the radio will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge to your peers and colleagues while sharing your own well-researched and thought-out ideas and opinions. It is important to focus your discussions around your niche expertise and using this as the basis for your conversation and content. No one is an expert in everything.

Become a teacher

Lastly, one of the most effective and most important ways to establish authority in your sector is through sharing your knowledge, either by teaching workshops, lecturing or even online classes for younger generations coming into your professions. This can make you well-known in your field, allow you to grow a community and help others progress. Teaching is not only a powerful way to gain authority in your field, but can also be incredibly rewarding as well.

Following these steps to becoming a thought-leader in your field will enable you to effectively stand out against competition, and encourage trust with potential clients through your heightened credibility and expertise. Whichever methods you use, it is important to build on the things that will ultimately make you unique and set you apart.

Neil Hughes is the Managing Director of Baker Tilly.