“Thought leaders” are the experts in their niche. They are the people that everyone comes to for more information. Thought leaders are the authorities on the movements and progress of their chosen field, and they are the people that proclaim the direction that the field will take. Becoming a thought leader can take time, but you can begin the process immediately. Establishing credibility is a common first step, and there are several ways to go about achieving that.
The unfortunate truth about the general public is that they tend to believe what they read. Headlines in newspapers, or spotlight articles online, or a random blog can all lead to opinion being mistaken for fact. This can be used to the advantage of someone trying to establish themselves in a particular field. In today’s world, getting something posted, printed or published has never been easier. Write a book on the topic in which you are trying to establish your expertise and make it available for free online. Market the link to that free book to members of your community. Allow them all to read what you have to say and they will help you establish yourself as a leader or an expert. Post an article on a free blog and email the link to your database of peers. These things can help you gain credibility in your field.
Have a plan…any plan.
Thought leaders have a plan of some kind involving the chosen topic. They have a purpose for wanting to spread their knowledge. If you are just offering opinion, some will listen and some will not. If you have a plan to make something better, to improve a situation for someone, somewhere, then people are much more apt to lend you their ear.
If you truly care about your topic, that will resonate with your audience. People who truly are engaged in a topic can smell a fraud a mile away.