Serious question…who are the thought leaders in your freelance niche?
What are they talking about? Who’s listening to them? How does it relate to what you do? Where do you even find them?
The answer to that last question (and it’s the most important) is social.
Why Thought Leaders Are So Powerful
I don’t really like the term “thought leaders”, but it’s an important concept.
They’re basically the people in any niche or industry that lead the discussion on topics…they’re the idea trend-setters. They talk about the topics that get attention in your industry, and attention is essential to every freelance career.
The great thing about social, is that it can give you direct access not only to listening to what thought leaders in your niche are talking about, but even getting in direct contact with them. We all got a big reminder of this on Twitter when B.o.B. decided to toss his belief in a flat earth out to the Twitter verse…and it got noticed by possibly the only celebrity astrophysicist in the game, Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
In any other space, B.o.B.’s comment would likely never have reached the ears of a scientist, but the fact that it did illustrates the power that social media has to break down barriers. For freelancers, this means that you have easy access to powerful ideas from influential people…ideas you want to be taking advantage of.
How To Leverage Thought Leadership
First, you have to be following the people leading the conversations…this means that any time you see a speaker at a conference in your niche, or hear them on a podcast, or even someone saying something that blows up on Twitter or Facebook…connect with that person. Over time, you’ll most likely notice them covering topics that catch on with the people who buy your freelance services.
Once you see this, you’ve struck gold…you now know what gets your potential clients’ attention, which means
- You know what to blog about
- You know what to put in your newsletters
- You know what to discuss on social to get attention for your existing work and services
- Take some time to find 3 thought leaders in your niche. You may need to search for news topics and see who’s writing and blogging.
- Look back into their history and see what they tweet, blog, and post about.
- Ask yourself how you can play off of that…consider asking them if they’d be open to an interview about a topic your clients might find interesting. Even think about making a list of the top influencers that your clients might find interesting or helpful.
This is an easy goal for this month’s challenge, so don’t forget to come post in the forums!