What is a thought leader?

Thought leaders are informed opinion leaders and the acknowledged ‘go-to’ people in their industry and field of expertise.

They are recognised by their peers, their customers and other industry experts as people who deeply understand the business or field they are in, the needs of their customers, communities and the broader market in which they operate.

They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas, who consistently add to the body of knowledge in their field and who regularly communicate their valuable insights to motivate others to solve problems and find new and better ways of doing things.

Most importantly they use their thought leadership and influencer status to drive positive change in their areas of expertise. They may even change the way we think about things at a very fundamental level.

They understand that thought leadership is not just about advancing themselves or their businesses but is about the greater good of their industries, their communities and the greater eco-system.

Thought leaders understand the failings, shortcomings and problems facing their industries or sectors … AND they have the answers to fix or address these problems.

Thought leaders come from all walks of life: business, not-for-profits, the government sector, the community and academia.

In the main they are people looking to:

  • Initiate new and better ways of doing things
  • Introduce new concepts or innovative ideas
  • Educate their communities
  • Encourage best practice
  • Drive behaviour change
  • Clean up the reputation of their industries
  • Cause disruption
  • Influence public debate and thinking
  • Provide unique perspectives and insights on key industry topics and trends
  • Make the world a better place

Unlike more traditional thought leaders who communicated their thinking and big ideas via the media (which often resulted in speaking engagements and a possible book deal with a publisher), today’s thought leaders now have multiple communications platforms at their disposal.

This means that they have the opportunity to take charge of their own thought leadership journey and increase the reach of their influence.

As a result they are more likely to begin their thought leadership by building a strong online presence, publishing their own content and by driving debate via their social media channels. Naturally as their reputation grows online, this strengthens and opens up opportunities for media coverage, access to the talk circuit and to making vital connections, both on and offline.

Also unlike traditional thought leaders, the modern thought leader is more concerned with cultivating a community of supporters and to more strongly involve their fans, followers and advocates in the conversation around their chosen issue or topic.

Having a so-called dedicated ‘tribe’, enables them to more readily replicate and scale their big ideas, thinking and best practices.

What are the benefits of being the acknowledged thought leader in your industry or field?

  • Boosts your personal visibility so you get noticed by key people in your industry and field (customers, investors, policy makers, boardroom decision makers, business prospects)
  • Grows your influence within the community in which you operate.
  • Ensures you become far better known and your peers hold you in much higher esteem.
  • Builds your credibility as a trusted source of information.
  • Make you more appealing to relevant journalists, bloggers and podcasters.
  • Puts you on the radar of conference and seminar organisers 
  • For many, being the recognised authority is the best career insurance you could hope for.

Who is thought leadership branding appropriate for?

It is most suited people who already have something powerful and worthwhile to say but don’t how to communicate their thinking, expertise, opinions and big ideas to the world.

Typically these would include:

  • People looking to change behavior, champion change, challenge current thinking or drive a cause.
  • Entrepreneurs and innovators looking to take their big ideas and new thinking to the world.
  • Leaders and professionals looking to drive best practice, improve the reputation of their industries and educate their communities.
  • Academics and researchers looking to lift their profiles and seek greater recognition in the community, industry and government.
  • CEOs and community leaders wanting to become the ‘go-to’ authority in their industry or the wider community or marketplace.
  • Professionals wanting to secure board or high profile appointments.
  • Late career professionals looking to develop a passion project in retirement.

What thought leadership branding services do we offer?

Do you have something powerful and worthwhile to say, but DON’T know how to position yourself as a thought leader and communicate your thinking, expertise, opinions and big ideas to the world? Parker Public Relations provides:

Thought Leadership Coaching and Communications Services. This is directed at those who would prefer to work in partnership with Parker Public Relations as they embark on their thought leadership journey.

We will assist you:

  • Develop your strategy and content plan
  • Develop your personal and thought leadership branding
  • Build your presence online
  • Develop authoritative content
  • Create e-books, website content, training materials and branded collateral and magnets for lead creation.
  • Investigate public speaking engagements on your behalf
  • Develop videos and podcasts
  • Explore publicity opportunities
  • Get started with a business book

Working in partnership with us means that we will do much of the leg-work and help you get your message out there, enabling you to get on with your work.

Thought Leadership Masterclasses. These are directed at individuals or groups of people wanting to manage their own thought leadership but who simply need the tools to get started.

  • Masterclass 1 – Personal Branding for Thought Leaders. This hands’ on workshop provides attendees with the right tools, knowledge and know-how to take charge of their own personal branding journey and begin building their presence online.
  • Masterclass 2 – How to Communicate Like a Thought Leader. This workshop helps attendees understand what stories resonate with their audiences and best position them as thought leaders. They will also learn how to develop their narrative, create a variety of communications’ materials and repurpose these materials across multiple platforms. They also learn how to liaise with the media, conference organisers and other key stakeholders.

     

FREE Introductory Thought Leadership Sessions. These one-hour sessions provide participants with an introduction to thought leadership branding, its benefits and what is required to become an acknowledged thought leader. These workshops are ideal for peak bodies and industry groups looking to introduce their members to the concept of thought leadership.

 

What our Clients Say:

“I engaged Wendy when I realised that I needed to communicate my ideas to the broader community. Wendy helped me focus my vision and articulate it in a clear and succinct way but also explained the dynamics of thought leadership and what I was about to embark on. Her associate Trudy Rankin gave me a crash course in social media tools that complemented my action plan. I have since readjusted my thinking about what I do and how I project myself. I would recommend Wendy’s company to anyone wanting to better understand themselves and how they can engage with other thought leaders and communicate their messages to a broader audience.”

Len Sciacca, Enterprise Professor – Defence Technologies, Melbourne School of Engineering

“Understanding your brand value can be a difficult undertaking. Wendy’s personal branding and thought leadership coaching, strategy and action plan allows you to begin navigating this complex area with purpose. The clear structure she provides in enhancing your reputation and capability to present as a leader in my field was of an enormous assistance. Importantly, her approach is grounded in authenticity which makes the process very comfortable and empowering.”

Murray Smith, State Manager (Vic)General Manager AHPRA (Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Authority). Former Director, Vic Building Authority.

It was great to learn from Wendy’s experience and insights into thought leader and how to share my ideas with my professional networks. Wendy took me through a wide range of tools and processes – from the most fundamental to the more advanced. I now putting these ideas into practice and am excited about where this will lead …”

– Matthew J Barnes Technical Co-founder @Drawboard