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A thought leader is somebody who shares thoughts, stories and knowledge surrounding a specific topic. Usually thought leaders share forward-thinking thoughts, inspiring quotes and share other relevant information surrounding their topic(s) of expertise.
Many thought leaders in 2014 blog, Tweet and share their relevant content in a constant fashion on other networks.
True thought leaders usually don’t call themselves thought leaders, gurus or experts. Other people do because they are recognizing the value these thought leaders are offering to the community.
Thought leaders share value first and often don’t charge for this value. Over the long term, thought leaders might sell related products, write and sell a book and get booked to speak at conferences.
A thought leader’s message is often most powerful when it’s wrapped into a story. The best thought leaders share his or her point by wrapping it into a story that the audience can relate to.
Examples of thought leaders
Vala Afshar – customer service/engagement
Steve Buttry – the future of journalism
Seth Godin – marketing
Dale Partridge – living a positive life
Maria Popova – context
Joe Pulizzi – content marketing
Dan Rockwell – leadership and organizational culture
I’m sure there are others. Feel free to Tweet me your suggestions for this list at @ctrappe.