Become a Thought Leader: Increase your Influence and Rise from Ordinary to Extraordinary | Carol Wilcox | Skillshare

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Become a Thought Leader: Increase your Influence and Rise from Ordinary to Extraordinary

teacher avatar Carol Wilcox, Freelance Writer, Marketing Consultant & Coach

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Become a Thought Leader Intro

      5:19
    • 2. Become a Thought Leader Parts 2-3

      11:13
    • 3. Become a Thought Leader Parts 4-End

      9:41
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About This Class

Is there a voice inside you telling you that you are so much more capable than you think you are? That you have so much more to contribute but you don't know where to begin?

Is that voice telling you that you could be a thought leader and become known? Are you afraid to listen to that voice? Do you want to become a thought leader - but does it seem so unattainable?

If you answered yes, this course may be just right for you!

Because with the proper tools, message, value and commitment, you can effectively rise from ordinary to extraordinary and become an influencer and thought leader in your chosen field.

This course offers 5 steps to get you started on your thought leadership journey.

Meet Your Teacher

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Carol Wilcox

Freelance Writer, Marketing Consultant & Coach

Teacher

I’m a freelance business writer, coach and Internet entrepreneur. I hold an extensive background in management and throughout my career I have not only been a business owner and entrepreneur but have also held several vice president and director positions in marketing, communications and business development. I’ve been in the trenches, have rolled up my sleeves and have experienced tremendous successes and my share of failures.  

I have always had a desire to help people become more than they think they can become. My philosophy has always been to encourage my staff, peers and colleagues (and even some family members) to go beyond their comfort zones and realize all that they are capable of. Somewhere along my journey I came to recognize without even realizi... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Become a Thought Leader Intro: Hello, students. And welcome. Let me start by asking you a question. Is there a voice inside you telling you that you are so much more capable than you think you are? That you have so much more to contribute. But you don't know where to begin. Is there a voice inside you saying that you can be an influencer and you can become known? Are you afraid to listen to that voice? Do you want to become a thought leader? But it seems so unattainable if you answered Yes, this course maybe just right for you. Because with the proper tools, message, value and commitment, you can effectively rise from ordinary to extraordinary and become an influencer and thought leader in your chosen field or interest, regardless of who you are. A business owner, a freelancer, a professional fast food worker, a mom preneurs or or anyone else looking for a way to become an influencer and thought leader. But you don't know if you have the ability, talent or resource is to become known. Then you've come to the right place. This quote from Seth Godin resonates with May I believe that people settle for less than they are capable of. Maybe it's because we see so many successful people out there that we don't think we can possibly become one ourselves. Or maybe we feel it's too much of a commitment to hard with all of life's pressures to even start. Have you put off thinking about becoming an influencer? Because the time is just not right. I know I have. I have been guilty of settling for less than I know I'm capable of, but not anymore. So how about you? Can you take one small step towards making a difference in your own piece of the universe? Can you become an influencer and contribute the wonderful knowledge that you know you have ? Because if you can, you could rise from ordinary to extraordinary to become one of the true thought leaders and influencers in the world. Well, as you can see for my picture, I'm just in ordinary person. You've probably never heard of me, and that's okay. I'm not famous. I'm Carol Wilcox, and I'm a freelance business writer coach, an Internet entrepreneur. I hold an extensive background in management, and throughout my career I have not only been a business owner and entrepreneur but have also held several vice president and other director positions in marketing, communications and business development. I've been in the trenches, have rolled up my sleeves and have experienced tremendous successes and my share of failures. I have always had a desire to help people become more than they think they can become. My philosophy has always been to encourage my staff, peers, colleagues and even some family members to go beyond their comfort zones and realize all that they're capable of now. Somewhere along my journey, I came to recognize, without even realizing it, that I have been coaching, mentoring and encouraging ordinary people for years to become thought leaders and influencers and better known in whatever area of their lives they choose to have influence . And in doing this I have been able to reach out of my own comfort zone and begin to maximize my own capabilities. I know what it's like to have talent and somehow feel paralyzed and incapable of action, and that's why I created this course till help ordinary people just like you and me. Now I realize that some people can become thought leaders and influencers on their own, but most need a little guidance and support to get there. That's where I can help. So if you're looking for a quick, easy way to become a thought leader and influencer, this course is not for you. At the end of this course, you're not going to be famous. And honestly, I don't know of any course that could make you an influencer overnight. This course is intended to give you that push. You may need to begin your own journey. This course is best suited for people who know they can become more and are looking for actionable tools they can use at their own pace to achieve their goals. If you're looking for practical advice and no nonsense steps to begin your journey to becoming an influencer, this course may be extremely valuable to you. No prior experience is required to take this course, and you don't have to have a degree being executive or professional. But you must have a sincere desire to contribute something you know and do fairly well to share with others in a beneficial way. And finally, you must understand that you need to commit to this endeavor if you're truly going to be successful. This course is divided into five sections, starting your journey from ordinary to extraordinary. Do you have what it takes and how long does it take? Discovering your talents, how to develop an audience, leveraging the right communication tools. And finally, I'll leave you with some resource is in a small class project to help you get started on your journey, ready to get started. Hope to see you on the other side. 2. Become a Thought Leader Parts 2-3: so glad that you've decided to take a positive step forward, enjoying this course, Let's get started. So what is a thought leader? I really don't like the term as it is overused, especially by marketers. But in its truest sense, a thought leader is one whose views on the subject are taken to be authoritative and influential. That's why I tend to use both terms, thought leader and influencer interchangeably. So in order to be a thought leader, you have to have influence. And in order to be an influencer, you have to be a thought leader. So when asked, most people will say that influencers are people with a celebrity like or guru status. People like Tony Robbins, Cheryl Sandberg or Bill Gates may come to mind, and there are many others. But what if thought leaders and influencers were also ordinary people? People who know or suspect that they have knowledge and experience to share, but just don't know how to become an influencer in their field. Ordinary people just like you who don't know if they have what it takes, including resource, is time and money to become influencers and thought leaders, according to Jim Rohn who was Ah, highly respected author, entrepreneur and motivational leader. Thought leaders and influences are people who have something of value to share. So that begs the question. What kind of thought leader could you become? So perhaps you want to be more respected by your peers or teach people how to be better managers or leaders. Maybe you want to become a speaker or attract more customers to your business. Perhaps you would like to write a book or start a blawg or advance your career and attract top recruiters. Become known as an innovator toe. Attract new investors to your startup or bring new patients into your health care practice . Or maybe make a positive impact on a community. The possibilities to become an influencer are endless. Now do you have what it takes? Let's find out before we begin. Let's first explore why many people fail at becoming influencers. Time resource is high expectations for a quick and easy solution. People have good intentions. They convinced themselves that they will make the time to work on their goals, that they won't let anything get in the way. But then things start to take precedence, or this goal seems to be taking much longer than you thought it would. With that mindset, I can tell you what usually happens. Paralysis. Nothing happens. The process seems far too overwhelming, with all the pressures of daily work, career and life. So the dream of becoming an influencer and sharing your experiences takes a kick to the sidelines. And that is the real reason why people fail at becoming an influencer and thought leader and settle for much less than a capable of. It's not because they don't have the ability. It's because they don't have a vision, a commitment and a plan. These three words are the key elements to becoming successful as an influencer persistence , consistency and tenacity. This journey is a process. It will take you time, and it will not happen quickly. If you allow self doubt to consume you, you will not attain your goal. When you let that little voice in your head tell you you're not good enough, you will derail yourself. Don't let it. You are good enough. Break that down and read it every day. Change your mindset now, and if you're coming from a place of desperation, your journey will be difficult. If you feel this way, put the desperation thoughts aside and concentrate on your goal. Nothing good comes from desperation. I once worked for an executive and business owner who was desperate to be a thought leader , and he could have been a great thought leader. He had something of value to share, but he assumed it. If he threw enough money and Resource is at it that he would be transformed into a well known thought leader in this field. In a matter of months, I found out it was because he was desperate to add an additional income stream to his business. He had a vision and a plan, but not a commitment. So in the process, he failed. He didn't listen to the advice of his consultants. His expectations were high and unrealistic, and he didn't want to invest in the long term commitment. And how about fear? I think it's the worst four letter word in the dictionary. Fear is paralyzing, and if you allow fear to influence your actions, you will fail. A few years ago, I worked with a client who had written a book, and although she was a professional screenplay writer, This was her first authored book on an important subject matter that she had extensive knowledge about and wanted to share with others. The book got published, copies were distributed to news outlets, T shirts were designed and printed, and her website was up and running. We started off with a soft launch at a local bookstore, followed by a book signing. But when she had, what she hadn't shared until the very last minute was that she was terrified of speaking in public and being in the limelight. And although some quick coaching sessions helped, she could not get over herself Composed fears. She had enormous potential to become a thought leader in influencer. But her fear of speaking to an audience and being in the limelight destroyed her dream of becoming known. She settled for less than she was capable of for the sake of fear. This is a long term commitment, so pace yourself, Stay consistent, don't throw obstacles in your way is an excuse not to move forward. Don't tell yourself that this isn't the perfect time. There is no perfect time. Don't make excuses. Don't let fear keep you from becoming who you want to be focus on the end game and not all the minutia. Have fun and enjoy the journey. Are you ready? Okay, so if you were a thought leader right now, who would you be? Let's explore this for a moment. Do you admire any influencers and thought leaders? Here's a personal example. I really admire Seth Godin. He's a writer, marketing expert and entrepreneur. He teaches a lot of online courses, and he's written several books. I especially like his practical style. He's not a fluffy writer. He gets right to the point, and it generally hits the target. If I were an influencer, I would want to be someone just like Seth Godin. Well, maybe not exactly like him, but by following his blogged, reading his books and taking some of his courses, I can learn from him while exploring and developing the specific talents. I have to find my own space as an influencer. Think about this for a while. So what makes you stand out? You may think that discovering your talents on your way to become an influencer is easy, but how are you going to distinguish yourself and stand out from all the other noise determine what your strengths and weaknesses are, and this is not a pass or fail test to. So be be as honest as you can. What have you struggled with? What have you succeeded in? You don't have to reinvent yourself to become a thought leader, but you do have to develop the qualities that make you stand out. Here's an example. If I had decided to create a course on thought leadership for executives, I'd never be found. There are hundreds, of course, is books and consultants already doing that? But what about thought leadership for ordinary people? There's not as much information out there, and I happen to believe that people just like you and me can become so much more so. While I may be good at coaching people to become thought leaders and influencers, it's the special talent I have to help regular people rise from ordinary to extraordinary. That makes me stand out. So what makes you stand out? So we're going to dive right in and start with your class project. It's probably the most important step. Be honest with yourself and write down the answers to these three questions. Who do you admire is an influencer and thought leader. What do you want to achieve? Are you willing to commit to maintaining self discipline? I don't think about whether it's attainable right now. Just write down what it is deep inside that you want to achieve. Take your time with this. Think it through. Are you stuck? Then ask yourself these questions. What strengths do I have? What qualities do people admire about me? For example, People I coach and mentor tell me that I give them inspiration that I can cut through the muck and get right down to what the issue is. So those qualities that I can use on my journey to becoming an influencer and thought leader. And remember this because it is very true, you know more than you think you do, so don't short change or estimate. Underestimate yourself. There is a downloadable form that provides more detail that you can use in the Project Description section, and if you want to share your project with others, feel free to do so. It's sometimes helpful to get an unbiased opinion, and if you're still stuck, there's a free online aptitude test from Richard Step that you can take to help you get a better look at who you really are and how much you could grow. My advice, though, is not to use this first, but after you have written what you believe to be your strengths and weaknesses Onley use it if you really need it. But I think you know inside already who you really are. 3. Become a Thought Leader Parts 4-End: so hopefully you've spent some time thinking about what makes you stand out, assuming that you have a good idea or even have established what makes you uniquely qualified to become authority in your field. The next thing to tackle is how to develop an audience. Do you ever watch talent competitions on television? My husband and I like to watch music competitions. You know where thousands of people auditioned for a coveted few spots on the show. And if they make it to say now, the Final 10 contestants, they have an excellent chance of building an audience of fans who enjoy their music and watching them perform. I suspect that a lot of these contestants aren't as concerned about winning as they are of making the right connections and gaining exposure to their music while they can. They're not guaranteed instant fame, fortune and success. Even the winner has to start at the bottom, performing at small concert venues and making local appearances at festivals and fairs. It's rare that you hear of a winner immediately, headlining a show until a few years later. If they're lucky. The real value, in my opinion of competitions like these, is the opportunity to develop an audience and to become an influencer. Most of these contestants will never achieve the level of fame that their judges have, But that doesn't mean that they won't go on to find the Inish and be influential in their own piece of the universe. They have seized the opportunity and have mastered the three key elements of persistence, consistency and tenacity. When you're developing your audience, it's tempting to want to include everyone. After all, you don't want to miss out on a possible opportunity. But that's not actually the best way. Focus on your niche audience. Visualize the type of person you want to influence. Narrow down your audience to that specific target. In my music competition example, country singers will not appeal to people who, like rap music. Upper singers won't appeal to classic rock fans. And while these people all have one thing in common, they're all musicians. They have narrowed the audience down to the people who want to hear their particular music style and message narrowing. Your audience will help your message keep strong and on target to the people who will be the most beneficial from your thought leadership now there is no single way to develop an audience. Ah, lot of it has to do with who you are and what you have to offer. So take this list and try two or three to start. Don't try to accomplish this all at once. If you do, you'll become paralyzed and run the risk of falling short of your goal. Networking as at the top of the list, consider joining professional or community organizations to connect with people who may become your fans. Consider volunteer opportunities with organizations. Become active on linked in connect with colleagues who could make introductions to people in your target audience. Start conversations on social media and connect with your target target audience. There. Facebook is okay, but Twitter is even better, particularly for business to business connections. So try try a few of those and see what happens. So to become a thought leader, you have to have something to say that his original and a value to your audience. It's about the trust your audience has in you because you've done the work to earn the title. So now don't panic. Part of the journey has been to develop an audience Now you have to leverage the right communication tools to convey your message to your audience on a consistent basis, and this is probably where you're starting to panic. How are you going to develop the proper communication tools? How much talent will it take? How much time will it take? Where do I begin? There are many ways to deliver communications to your audience. If you look at them all at once, you'll become overwhelmed. I know because I do that all the time. So don't look at the following options and pick one just one, but you can excel in to start. So, of course, it should go without saying that your website is your calling card. Regardless of anything else you do, make your website professional looking and provide valuable content for your audience on it . Make sure to have an email sign up form and a contact page if people want to stay connected to you. Creating videos and podcasts are also great ways to convey your message to your audience. Use them to teach or to interview other thought leaders or uses a regular channel for your audience to listen in on a regular basis. developing Webcasts and online courses just like this one is a great way to create interest about what you have to offer. Writing blog's articles and guests post regularly will help you attract more of your target audience. Writing a book and e book or a white paper can help establish you as an influencer in your field. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can help establish your reputation and engage your audience. Visual social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram, especially if you have a more visual type of talent. It's also great for infographics e mail. As you build out your email list of subscribers, you can send them regularly emails with offers, announcements or articles and public speaking. Even though you might be a little bit afraid. Start off small and find speaking engagements in small, community centred venues. Choose one communication goal tool to get started. Don't feel as if you have to do it all. Become good at one, and the others will come much easier. The key thing here is stick with it and stick with it for a while. Don't give it just one or two weeks. Give it months. You might even have to give it a couple of years, but stick with it. Do you recall our discussion on the temptation to throw obstacles in your ways and excuse or allowing fear to creep in? This is the point where it's easy to allow those experiences to threaten your success. Remember the three count key elements to becoming successful? Persistence, consistency and tenacity. This is the point where it's easy to allow those words to fall by the wayside. Time. There was never enough time. Everyone has the same amount of hours of time a day. So if you want to succeed at becoming an influencer and a thought leader, you'll make the time my advice to use to refrain from becoming overwhelmed. It's so easy to become overwhelmed. Take one task at a time. Focus on that and only that you'll feel great when you have accomplished one thing really well. This course isn't long enough to go into the details of how to manage your time. And what resource is that? Maybe to help? There are so many resource is and technology available to help you manage your time. A simple Google search should provide you with some of that information, and I'm always available to help. If you need a little information or maybe a gentle nudge in the right direction, remember that you can work at your own pace. This is a long term commitment. Work at it. Stay persistent. Stay consistent. You will get there. Well, congratulations. You've made it to the end of the course. So to recap, here's what we covered. We discussed how you start your journey from ordinary to extraordinary. We defined who thought leaders and influencers really are and how important it is to have something valuable to share. We talked about the many reasons in ways people can become thought leaders. We talked about why people fail and that persistence, consistency and tenacity of the key elements to success. We explored what components make you stand out, and the class project that digs deep to find what makes you unique. We talked about how to develop an audience along with ways you can develop your audience. And then finally, we discussed the various ways you can leverage the right communication tools and how important it is not to become overwhelmed. Well, we've come to the end. Thank you. so much for being an awesome student. If there is any part of the course that you would like to have more information about, go ahead and post your question and the comments section and I'll be happy to provide you with additional information or resource is I would also love to have your feedback about this course, along with any suggestions for future courses you'd be interested in. So until next time, remember, you are good enough.