Thought leadership – it’s what drives our world forward, into the future. Thought leaders are responsible for some of the most innovative advances in society.
But where do we find them online to actually follow along with their groundbreaking ideas?
As the go-to professional social hub, LinkedIn is the perfect place to seek out thought leaders and follow their content.
What’s difficult, however, is spotting these leaders among the masses of users on LinkedIn. But, once you get the knack of it, it’s easy to pick out who is and isn’t a thought leader, and who’s content you should be paying the most attention to.
What Is a Thought Leader?
Thought leaders are the innovators of an industry, constantly looking forward to bring the world into the future. Their views are respected and influential.
If you’re looking for the thought leader in an industry, look for this – who are people turning to for answers? That’s your man (or woman!).
The Benefits of Thought Leadership Content
LinkedIn is far more than a simple social platform for professional networking. Loads of great content gets posted to LinkedIn, and it’s a valuable resource for finding content that is targeting a more professionally focused reader.
LinkedIn is a great hub for finding thought leadership content online, and for actually following the individuals that are most relevant to you and your industry.
It’s a small but significant step to take – having thought-provoking industry news pop up in your daily LinkedIn feed is a great way to stay engaged in your industry and prompt yourself to learn more.
What to Look for When Searching for Thought Leaders on LinkedIn
When searching for thought leaders on LinkedIn, there are a number of characteristics to look out for to help you determine who does and doesn’t fit the bill.
While many people are successful in their chosen industry, this doesn’t necessarily make them a thought leader. Here a few of the characteristics to look out for when you’re searching for who to follow on LinkedIn.
This is the number one characteristic of any and every thought leader.
In order to be considered a thought leader, you have to be ahead of the game, not just to advance your own career, but to actually bring your entire industry into the future, on the cutting edge of modern breakthroughs.
Thought leaders are not only cutting edge, but they’re also reliable. They are known to be the best of the best in their industry, so their expertise is always respected and even sought out. They are consistent in their efforts and driven in their goal to improve their industry overall, rarely falling behind.
The best thought leaders are transparent in their motives, ambitions, and even their own personal stories. Transparent leaders encourage trust from their followers and their industry. There’s no hidden motive, no secret scandals, and no cloaked information. Their genuine honesty prompts a deeper level of respect.
Examples of Thought Leadership Content on LinkedIn
Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, and CEO of Quiet Revolution, is a one-of-a-kind leader in the realm of introverted psychology.
She regularly posts content on LinkedIn focused around understanding the introverted mindset, and innovative ideas about the workplace, business, and success.
- Our favorite article: How to Overcome the Fear of "Putting Yourself Out There"
Deepak Chopra is a doctor and passionate advocate of alternative medicine as well as a significant figure in the new age movement focused around spiritualist philosophy.
He founded the Chopra Center, which focuses on mind, body, and spirit wellness through the practice of yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda. Chopra regularly posts thought leading content on LinkedIn about his revolutionary wellness practices.
- Our favorite article: 7 Powerful Traits of Highly Effective Leaders
The founder of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington has become known as a significant thought leader in media. Huffington consistently posts content on her LinkedIn about business success, mentality, mental wellness, and much, much more.
- Our favorite article: Just Starting Out: The Life-Shaping Potential of Our First Jobs
One Final Note
LinkedIn is packed full of great thought leaders to follow, and they've got an abundance of content to share. In fact, content is one of their greatest tools, because it allows them to spread their knowledge and ideas with their audience.
All that content is great – but make sure you're focusing on material that is actually relevant to you and your industry.
If you followed every thought leader on LinkedIn, your feed would be saturated with an excess of information that isn't really that useful to you.
Use these tools and examples to spot the thought leading content that is going to help you progress further with your own career and ambitions.