It seems that everyone is obsessed with the words "influencer" and "thought leader". Buzz words, yes. But a new concept? Absolutely not!
Since the beginning of time, people purchase things from people they know, trust, and believe will do the job. They hire event planners who come highly recommended, which is why most of us get the majority of our business through word of mouth. They hire vendors based on a mix of research, reviews and recommendations.
In short, people hire people they trust. So becoming a thought leader is important for 2 reasons:
- It establishes you as a trustworthy person because they see your work, get to know your personality and learn to trust that you do what you say.
- The power of social media expands your reach and helps you become that trustworthy thought leader to a MUCH larger audience.
But when we hear these words, we think of the people with thousands of followers and a big, visible brand. We feel unworthy. We think we don't have what it takes to be the expert yet. We feel like imposters and can always count a million ways why we aren't "ready yet".
But here are a few key FACTS about thought leadership you need to embrace so you can make your biggest impact yet in the coming year.
- You don't have to be an expert to be an influencer. People relate to your journey and are more likely to become attached to you as you wade your way through the muck of life. They will appreciate your road to becoming successful rather than loving you once you're already a know-it-all.
- Even with that said, you are more of an expert than you give yourself credit for. Have you ever been able to teach or help someone with something you know? If so (and I know you have!), you have expertise. You don't have to be the biggest expert on a topic to talk about your journey, but you do have things you know that could be helpful to others.
I've been listening to the work of Dr. Valerie Young on a recommendation from one of my mentors, Carolyn Herfurth, about Imposter Syndrome - why so many people (especially women) often feel like we are imposters as we build our brands, even though we have plenty of experience. This podcast that Carolyn did with Valerie is a great listen and I highly recommend if you're just starting this journey of building your thought leadership and you hesitate because you don't think you have what it takes yet.
The truth is that the world needs to hear from you.
They need to learn from you. And you don't have to be rated #1 in your industry to have something to say. Put yourself out there as you are - be authentic - and share your journey and I bet you'll be surprised to see how many people care!
If you’re ready to step into your light as a thought leader to grow your business and could use some help, there are a few ways I support entrepreneurs like you!
- FREE PODCASTS: The “I’ve Been Thinking” podcast is a 3-5 min. series I’ve been doing to inspire you in your thinking as an event business owner. You can listen at the gym, in the car, or anywhere you have some time to challenge your thinking about your business!
- MEETUPS: Sometimes you need to get out of your office and swap war stories with other independent planners who are going through the same things. I’ve found there aren’t many resources for independent event planners so I created a space for us to get the networking we need – planners only so you won’t spend your night being pitched by vendors. Instead – you’ll be able to share war stories and best practices that arm you for success.
- DEFINE YOUR BRILLIANCE: One of the things I’ve noticed is that so many independent event planners have a hard time defining their unique value. And if they know what it is, they’re scared of “niche”ing. But this step is SO CRITICAL to growing your business. In this one-on-one short consulting, we’ll work together to find YOUR brilliance – so you can see the ripple effects of defining your value throughout your entire business.
- IGNITE: If you’re ready to really dive in and uplevel, this year-long mentorship and consulting program is a life-changer. The eventprofs who have been through this course have seen a dramatic difference in their perception of their businesses, but more importantly, so have their clients. We work on defining your brand, up-leveling your business, raising your prices, finding the right clients and bringing in more revenue by leveraging thought leadership. This takes you from the roller coaster of entrepreneurship and puts you on the path towards sustainable revenue and a growing business.