The journalism industry has gone under a series of drastic changes over the past 10 years and the flux has redefined the market in terms of readers and writers. Many journalists exited the field and the feverish consumption of news has created a space for new people to cross into journalism.
CEOs, entrepreneurs, and other professionals have taken to writing thought leadership pieces, articles on their expert subjects, to stimulate industry conversation while also carving out a spot for their companies in the market. To get started as a thought leader, you have to consider credibility and contribution.
There are a lot of people vying for a spot in the publication so play up your strengths. Establish credibility and show that you really have something to say by sending your previous pieces if you have them, and pay close attention to your pitch email. The editor will use this to infer into your writing abilities and to figure out your personality. You can also send a concise story pitch that shows your ideas and writing style.
The best way to make people hear what you have to say is to have something to hear. The good news is that there is an audience out there. In the fast-paced news industry, people are consuming information at lightning speed.
Think of your audience and consider their top question on your subject, and then also get on their radar. Use social media as a platform to build and engage with your audience. Start small and try starting with low-key publications just to get on people’s radars.
At the end of the day, stick to your guns on the subject that matters to you. Do not be afraid of saying what you truly believe and taking a stance. Your goal is to provide expert commentary on your field – so comment.
Ultimately, being a thought leader can benefit your company and build your reputation in the field, but that is not the primary objective. Do not use your guest posts as a sales cart from which you try to sell your hot new product or service because readers will see through that. The purpose of guest writing is to raise awareness, build brand equity, and establish your company as a leader in the field.