What is a Thought Leader?


Jun 2021

Posted In

A thought leader is defined as a leading authority in their industry, creating content that highlights their experience, unique perspective and passion for their field. They publish articles, videos, research and other original content that potential clients and members of their industry associate with insight and authority.
Of course, it takes more than one article or piece of original content to bolster one’s reputation as a thought leader in any field. Expertise, a unique perspective, and good communication are just a few key elements of thought leadership. We have outlined the most important elements below:
1. Expertise
In order to be a credible thought leader, one must be extremely knowledgeable in their field. This doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be the CEO or President of the company. It merely means they are perceived by others as a person about which people say, “Wow, they really know their stuff.” A thought leader must stay in the know on industry trends in order to form educated opinions, ideas, and resolutions.
2. Remove Bias
It is imperative that a thought leader comments on the industry without bias and can step back from their business agenda. A thought leader wants the content they write to positively impact a larger audience. Their ideas and resolutions are meant for all and not just for their own company. Therefore, content should not be overtly promotional, and the audience should be able to apply a thought leaders insights to their own business.
3. Lifelong Learning
Thought leaders are not only experts in their field, but also dedicated to a life of learning to have the ability to comment on what is going on in their industry today as well as speculate on what may happen in their field tomorrow.
4. Good Communicators
Thought leaders are excellent communicators. They can clearly convey abstract ideas and thoughts. In order to be a good communicator, it is important to be a good listener. Listening helps a thought leader form authentic opinion, address problems, create solutions and more.
5. Unique Perspective
Expertise coupled with a unique perspective is how a thought leader adds value to the conversation and finds resolutions to challenges in their field. This unique perspective helps others view the industry differently – hence the meaning behind the words “thought leader.”
What are the benefits of thought leadership?
Thought leaders brand a company and articulate the messaging a company wants to have promoted. Additionally, thought leadership articles enhance a company’s reputation, give a company credibility and helps customers better understand the qualifications of a company.
Thought leaders are an important part of any field because they are a part of what drives change. They also inspire their audience to be innovative and have unique opinions or ideas. At Sterling Kilgore, we encourage our clients to become the thought leaders they already are. We do this by landing them targeted bylined articles, quotes and interviews in online and print publications where they can highlight their unique perspective and expertise in their field.


December 2022