August 11

How to Position Yourself as an Authority, Expert, and Thought Leader

When you think of famous people whether it’s King Henry VIII, Mother Theresa, or Justin Bieber, you instinctively know them as either the ruthless King of England, the selfless missionary and now Saint, and a young, rather reckless and super talented singer who began his career on YouTube. Each has their own brand. Although not all famous people have had social media, each used the media of their day to become known. Interestingly, all famous people are presenters of some type – whether it’s acting, creating policy, taking a stand, or performing.

"The stage is the platform for experts."

When I started out as a public speaking coach, I became an authority, expert, and thought leader without intending it. I simply started teaching and training others to be public speakers. I inadvertently created a name for myself through my own public speaking and promoting my speaking training. I started doing workshops every 2 weeks and promoting them on Facebook and LinkedIn. I did this for about a year along with having a website and blogging regularly. During that time, I started receiving requests to speak that have continued to this day.Even with the rampant proliferation of social media, public speaking is still one of the best ways to create a name for yourself and your brand. Why? Because the more you speak, not only are you known more, you also have more opportunity to promote your brand on social media.

Public speaking use to be limited to in-person events. Now virtual events have become the platform for not only speakers, but also for trainers, experts, educators. And aren't speakers trainers and educators?

Here, then, is a 4-step process for the novice or experienced speaker where you can incorporate public speaking and social media to position yourself as an authority, expert, and thought leader. By doing so, you will increase your brand and your know, like, and trust factor which translates into more clients.

First, An Expert Must Have a Signature Talk

If you don’t have a signature talk, develop that first. 

When I started out, it took me about 5 or 6 times of giving my signature talk before I had the content developed to what it is now. I had failures along the way where I felt the content just didn’t deliver. These failures helped me to see what I needed to add and take out.

Get out there and start speaking (and possibly stumble a bit) as soon as possible (see step 3).

Second, As An Authority, You Must Establish Your Presence

Nothing speaks volumes about you more than having a website where you can blog about your knowledge. Blogging allows you to share your knowledge and demonstrates your expertise, authority, and thought leadership.

Here are 3 ways to re-purpose your blog and get more mileage out of it:

  1. Share a link to it with a photo on Facebook (in your group if you have one), Twitter, and LinkedIn (if you have time, share it on more platforms like Instagram and Pinterest).
  2. Create a video of your blog post with Lumen5 (www.lumen5.com) that you can post. The possibilities keep getting created!!
  3. Publish your blog post directly on LinkedIn and then share it in groups.

Third, Start Speaking

How do you start speaking when no one knows you?

The easiest way to begin is to hold your own virtual events with a few trusted friends for feedback. That’s what I did and it works.

I began with my own workshop with about 10 friends for feedback. They liked it! That gave me the impetus and confidence to start holding regular workshops every two weeks.

It was a bit ambitious to do them so often because of the marketing. Immediately after I completed a workshop, I had to begin marketing the next one. Although it was tough, I was excited and motivated and became known as an authority, expert, and thought leader rather quickly.

Fourth, Market Your Events

When holding your own events, you’ll need to:

  1. Have a way for people to register so you can capture their contact information; and 
  2. You’ll need to promote it. 

You can either have people register from your website or use something like Eventbrite (www.eventbrite.com). If you are doing webinars, there are several platforms that have their own registration functionality. I recently attended an event on Climate Change by Bill Gates and they used Eventbrite for their registration so if it’s good enough for Bill Gates…

Here are a few tips for marketing your own event:

  1. For your first event, ask your friends to attend for feedback.
  2. Use this opportunity to do a test run.
  3. Make sure that you get written feedback for improvement and confidence from your friends or at least write it down.
  4. Also, get their testimonials and use those to promote your next event.
  5. Let your friends know when your next event will be and ask for their commitment to share and/or promote the event.
  6. Set up your next event on your website or Eventbrite. Set your fee (nothing creates value more than an admission fee).
  7. Create the event on Facebook and begin inviting your friends, colleagues, and contacts.
  8. Ask your friends who attended your test run to share your next event.
  9. For everyone on FB that says they will be attending, contact them individually to ensure that they register. This is an important step!!
  10. Promote the event on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and any other platform you desire.
  11. Once you start collecting contact information for your email list, you’ll want to promote your event to your email list. Be sure to use an email program. I have used Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, Get Response, MailerLite, ActiveCampaign, Kartra, and now I'm back with MailerLite. Find one you like and use it.

When you start promoting and holding your events, you are establishing your presence and creating your brand. The more often you do it, the more you solidify your expertise.

It doesn’t matter how many or how little your number of attendees are, because the promotion of your events is seen by a lot more people. When you repeatedly promote your events, that repetition is invaluable for creating the perspective of you as an authority, expert, and thought leader. 

Continue to learn as much as you can along the way and you will succeed. We have all heard it many times, and it’s true: Learn from your mistakes (and expect to make some).

Remember this to stay inspired and motivated –

Commitment is stronger than expectations.

Set your goals but instead of being tied to outcomes, stay tied to your commitment. You will experience a much higher level of satisfaction that way.


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