Thought leadership is essential for entrepreneurs, innovators, and business leaders alike because it demonstrates why your voice matters in your field. It’s important to communicate in a way that shows your expertise and authority within your industry and become the person people go to for advice on a certain subject matter.
Ralph DiBugnara is a good example of this in action. He has established himself as a thought leader in the real estate industry by creating a platform where he can educate others in his field.
DiBugnara’s company, The Disruptors Network, draws from his success in the industry and makes it possible for other real-estate-hopefuls to do the same. The company provides content to educate entrepreneurs, too, not just those working in real estate. Through free educational tools, DiBugnara and his team of thought leaders work to make the real estate industry accessible for others and give back to the community in the process.
Know That Social Media Is Your Calling Card
Social media is a universal language. Everyone in business should know how to speak it. Whether you’re interacting with a future client, a colleague, or an outside observer, social media is often the first place that person will “meet” you.
DiBugnara said that social media provides people a place to “get someone comfortable with our voice before they even meet us”. To become a thought leader, you need to be accessible to potential clients and followers.
Convey Your Message Quickly
People have short attention spans. In 2015, Microsoft Corp. found that people generally lose concentration after 8 seconds. Imagine how much the human attention span has shortened since then.
DiBugnara learned that it’s vital to make sure your message is clear, concise, and actionable from the start. Make sure that this message is present across platforms and is tied together in each post, promotion, and endeavor.
This doesn’t just apply to social media. It’s an elevator pitch that can be conveyed online, through your brand or company communications, in a conversation with a potential client, as part of how you educate others in the field.
Show Your Expertise
A solid personal brand stems from a trustworthy, cohesive message that connects to your target audience. How do you establish this trust? By being transparent in your message, telling people the truth, and backing it up with facts. Your expertise in your industry is the foundation of credibility. Take your time to become an expert in your field and show your audience why they can trust your advice.
Show that you are doing work in the background — even if that means sharing your mistakes. DiBugnara said that part of how he uses his expertise to educate the community is by sharing what he learned through hard lessons and helping others avoid those mistakes in the future.
Give Back By Making Your Knowledge Accessible for Others
DiBugnara demonstrates how thought leaders can give back to their communities: by sharing what they have learned and creating environments where others can learn from them. The Disruptors Network, which now has a show available on Roku and YouTube, does this for their community by providing free classes with industry leaders.
It doesn’t have to be limited to your industry, either. DiBugnara started by educating others in the real estate industry but now has expanded the reach of his influence to help other entrepreneurs meet their goals.
Thought leaders can expand their reach outside of their industry by collaborating with other like-minded leaders, or by expanding their message to include broader concepts. In this way, they can give back to the community by providing valuable information.
Think of the Next Generation
Thought leadership isn’t just about expanding your reach, or the reach of your network. It is about teaching others the skills and lessons they need so that they can innovate within your industry, or within another, and move the needle forward.
DiBugnara fosters a collaborative spirit by incorporating the expertise of other leaders within his training and educational forums. This allows a wider group of people to be impacted and learn from each other, and it also helps propel the next generation of leaders toward success by teaching them which mistakes to avoid.
Thought leaders can provide a lasting impact in their industry and beyond when they offer valuable insights that empower the next generation.
Leaders like DiBugnara are paving the way in their industry by creating resources for others to learn, and for their industry to grow. Thought leadership is essential for any leader’s success, but it also propels others in the industry to learn and grow alongside. The best thought leaders add value with every piece of information they share, and every interaction they have with their followers, clients, and prospects.