Stand Out as a Thought Leader: 5 Tactics for Startup Founders & CEOs

Source |  Linkedin| By|Jennifer  Tang

I spend a large part of my time consulting with Bay Area startups and nonprofits. I helped business executives, startup founders, and CEOs create paths to stand out as thought leaders in today’s crowded marketplace. In addition, I developed thought leadership programs for prominent Bay Area tech and industry events. These programs helped drive more business, attract more talent, and gain more influence.

You may wonder if you have the attributes of a credible thought leader. Focus on what you know best, what you do best, and your leadership authenticity, so you will be known as an expert in your field of work.

So how do you start?

First, it’s essential to identify your unique and authentic thought leadership approach. Spend time to understand your target audience and what you can offer. Dive into their pain points and emphasize their problems. Given a clear understanding of the advice and suggestions your customers are seeking, you can determine what solutions, expertise, or perspective to provide.

Next, build a strategy and execute actions to bring your ideas to life. I would recommend a few tactics that have proven to work well:

1.    Become a self-publishing writer

Flex your idea muscles and write down your thoughts, expertise, and point of view. Create newsletters, e-books, e-reports, or tool kits that your audience can download after reading. My friend Shawn Flynn is a tech start-up influencer and TV host for Silicon Valley Successes. His e-book featured inspiring stories from the speakers he interviewed. He offered it to his audience as a free download, and there were 600 downloads in the first 3 hours.

I’ve been following a legion of influencers on social media. An inspiring example is Founder & CEO of HearsayClara Shih, who regularly publishes articles across a few digital channels with topics including advice to women technologists, AI, and financial digitalization.

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