How to build thought leadership and influence


The steps to building trust & credibility w/ a growing network is relatively straightforward:

  1. Engage new contacts somewhere, based on their needs
  2. Provide some immediate value, based on the messages/competencies you want to represent
  3. Establish a great first impression and initial reputation for those same messages/competencies
  4. Continue passively reiterating that value/message through high-volume, high-leverage channels

Contacts in, influencers and pipeline out. The more you can start the process by reaching multiple contacts at once, the more efficient the model. If you have to engage people 1:1 at the start of the process, for example, it doesn’t scale well. If you can engage folks via speaking engagements, third-party published articles, attending well-targeted networking events, etc., you get lots of input into the process at once.

How you choose to execute the “passive reiterating” depends on what channels your audience uses most, and which you’re most comfortable with. Blogs, newsletters, Twitter, whatever. Could be just one, could be a couple, definitely doesn’t need to be all.

Thinking about it this way is a bit systematic and perhaps cold, but it works as long as the content and value you’re providing the individuals on the other side of the process is genuine, authentic and truly helpful.