Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or a tenured pro who’s been at the reins for a number of years, it’s important to constantly look for ways to differentiate yourself and your company from competition.

Beyond having a rocking company that’s doing amazing things within its industry (shout out to all of NRPR’s amazing clients who do JUST that!), a great way for executives to stand out amongst the crowd is through thought leadership.

How do you do this? Some of the typical ways are through contributed articles, blog posts that highlight thoughts surrounding your industry, speaking at industry events, and participating in interviews and podcasts that will show off your expertise in whatever subjects you’ve mastered. In a nutshell, great thought leadership involves cracking into the brilliant minds of your company’s top executives, figuring out what it is they know and do best, and sharing that knowledge and experience to help other professionals learn the right ways.

Besides being an incredibly easy path to embark upon (hey, it’s just digging into your own brain and letting those knowledge bombs drop), you should share your “thought leadership” essentially anywhere: personal blog / your LinkedIn Pulse, company blog, a third party outlet (*will involve some pitching), and even social media.

Still need a little more convincing? It’s a snowball effect! When you start sharing your executive knowledge in the form of thought leadership, you may only get it out there via word of mouth, sharing in a newsletter or on social media, or putting it on your LinkedIn. And you know what? That’s perfectly okay! In fact, it’s more than okay! It’s taking the first step to get your name out there and start sharing your knowledge with other aspiring professionals.

One of the best things about using thought leadership to build your personal brand is that it’s a snowball effect: while you may start out only posting to a personal blog or via social media, over time, larger outlets will take notice. You’re building your repertoire and creating a database of articles, if you will, to point back to that one day Forbes finally comes around and asks for samples of your past work. Just like you took those smaller jobs to build up your resume, you MUST be okay with starting small to build up your thought leadership profile.

Our founder and CEO, Nicole Rodrigues, did just that, writing for smaller PR blogs and posting articles to her LinkedIn when she was first getting started. Now, three years later, Forbes has asked her to be a regular contributor as an expert on public relations… all because she put time into building her “thought leadership” resume.

Additionally, you’re giving back to your industry. Think about it: when you take the time to share your knowledge and experience with others in your industry, you’re sharing valuable nuggets of information that you’ve learned over the years. Ultimately, other aspiring professionals in your industry will read your work and learn from it. You’ve been there, done that, and are here to tell the tale. You’re doing something right, and by sharing your trials, tribulations, and lessons learned with others, you’re helping your entire industry take a step in the right direction.

Our list could go on, but now we want to hear from you! Have you ever written anything for your industry before? If not, what’s holding you back from putting yourself out there? Let us know in the comments below and stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest news from NRPR Group by signing up for our bi-monthly newsletter, HUSTLE WITH A CONSCIENCE!