by: Yuri Elkaim

We see them all over social media. You know those Instagram influencers, those YouTube stars, the people with huge followings, the New York Times bestselling books. They’re speaking on stage, they’re all over the place.

How do you become an influential thought leader? Well, first and foremost, you got to be very careful what you wish for because a lot of times, even though these influencers look like they’re living the life, many of them aren’t, not all of them, but some of them are.

Influence vs. Income

The other thing you need to remember is that there’s a very big difference between building your influence and building your income.

Even though I’m going to show you three ways to build your influence and become a thought leader in this video, I want to preface this by saying as a business owner, the sole focus of your existence is to solve people’s problems at a profit.

You have to enroll clients, transform their lives, and earn a profit doing so. Anything else is a waste of time.

With that said, let’s talk about how to become a thought leader, which is a secondary byproduct, of the good stuff you’re creating for other people.

What Is A Thought Leader?

Being a thought leader is not about taking pics of your butt and post them on Instagram. When I was growing up, my whole dream was to play pro soccer and I was very fortunate to be able to do that up until I was 25. During that process, even when I was a kid, I don’t ever remember wearing a jersey with anybody else’s name on the back of it, other than my own.

Now, what the heck does that have to do with being a thought leader? Well, I think it has everything to do with being a thought leader because the way I think of it now is if you put somebody else’s name on your shirts, you’re building their brand, not your brand.

Think about that for a second. The first tip I can give you with respect to becoming a thought leader is be a thought leader. Not a thought repeater. Thought leader, not a thought repeater.

I’m all for sharing people’s stuff online. I’m all for sharing the good will, but I’ll tell you one of the easiest ways to figure out if someone has anything worthwhile following is to go to their Facebook feed. Are they posting their own stuff or are they posting everybody else’s stuff?

I know that’s a very generalized stereotype about how to assess if somebody is a thought leader or not, but I’m serious. If you don’t have anything of value to bring to this world, then naturally you’re going to share other people’s stuff, but I want to challenge you to remember that you do have stuff that is valuable to other people even though you might not think so.

You have wisdom, you have experience, you have perspective that no one else has. Even though you might have the same knowledge about health or fitness as somebody else, the way you share it and your unique spin on it is unique to you.

That’s why everybody is a thought leader if they share their own thoughts. That’s the number one thing is if you want to be a thought leader, you have to share your own thoughts.

Your Ideas Matter

The second thing is that ideas really matter. Ideas really matter. I have an  episode on this topic on the Healthpreneur podcast. If you haven’t subscribed, check it out. It’s called Ideas Versus Execution, and I talk about this. I really believe that ideas are infinitely more powerful than execution because execution you can delegate. It’s a commodity. Anyone can execute a funnel now. Everyone can build click funnels or hire a VA or freelancer to do it, but you can’t outsource what’s in your head.

You can’t outsource the unique idea that you come up with to solve a problem or give a unique perspective on something.

If you ever watch Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld and the numerous guests that he has on the show, bring this up over and over and over again. Ideas, bits as they call them, matter, and that’s really helpful when it comes to becoming a thought leader, is sharing your unique ideas. That’s why I continually say one of the best uses of your time as a leader is to do stuff like I’m doing right now, such as going for a walk in the woods. You don’t necessarily have to shoot videos all the time, but go for a walk in nature because this distance from doing the work, is where the ideas come from. It’s not sitting behind your computer and typing away. It’s not being on the phone with people all day long.

That stuff is okay, but to get true perspective, you have to remove yourself from staring at the bark of the tree so you can see the forest. If you don’t have that distance in your business, you’re not going to have the space to allow your mind to put the pieces of the puzzle together and come up with new connections and new ideas. It’s super important to remember that.

The final thing as it pertains to sharing your message, sharing your content is to share more of what you believe more so than what you know.

Marketing

Marketing, I’m going to give you two definitions of marketing, okay? Marketing is sharing your beliefs. That’s what marketing is if we boil things down. Another way of thinking about this is marketing is the process of building relationships with people who don’t yet know you, to the point where they know, like and trust you, so that selling becomes almost unnecessary.

If we bring those two together. We know we tend to do business with people we know, like and trust. Why do we know like and trust people? A vast majority of it is based on the fact that they share similar values and beliefs as we do so. If all of your content is all based around how to do 100 pushups, five best ways to do squats, whatever it is, that’s all fine. I mean, it’s helpful to some degree, but you’re not going to build a tribe-like following where people are hanging onto your belief system. They resonate with you. They’re like, “Oh my God, this person totally gets it. I totally understand, or I totally jive with this person. It just makes sense,” because what marketing should be doing is it should repelling people and attracting people, so it’s polarizing. If you’re trying to be plain vanilla, same as everyone else, trying to appeal to everyone, it’s not going to work out for you.

So some people swear, some people don’t, some people are very brass and whatever, but the thing is you just do you. So instead of trying to play the content marketing game of sharing 101 ways to use coconut oil, screw that. Share your belief. If you’re talking about coconut oil, sure, share some stuff, but share your beliefs. What do you believe about the world? What do you believe about health? What do you believe about fitness? Are you sick and tired of diets? Do you love donuts, but you don’t want like … whatever it is, share what you believe. That is how you’re going to build a fan base of tribes around you and that, my friend, over time is how you become a more influential thought leader, is you share your thoughts not others, the majority of the time.

Big Ideas

Second is you are sharing more of what you believe more than just what you know, and … Excuse me. The third is ideas matter. Focus on the big ideas. Give yourself space to think about something that is going to make people think holy cow, I never thought of it that way.

All right, so there you have it. I’m going to finish off my walk here. I’m just about to run into a huge puddle of mud, so I’m going to stop the video now.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this one. If you have any comments, let me know below. Share this with a friend who may want to see this. Thanks so much for tuning in. See you soon.