Thought leadership and online presence
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Welcome, Thought Leaders !

Welcome, Thought Leaders ! | Thought leadership and online presence |

Hi everyone. This page is dedicated to Thought Leadership. What does it mean to you and your business? Why should you care and how to demonstrate it?

This place is yours: please feel free to participate, comment, use, curate and even suggest any content! Let's share!  -- Marc

AlGonzalezinfo's comment, November 6, 2013 7:16 AM
I love this topic Marc, thank you!
Marc Rougier's comment, November 6, 2013 4:23 PM
Thanks much Patrick and AlGonzalez!
myaktion's curator insight, January 13, 2016 7:32 PM!

The best time to start investing in your personal brand is now

The best time to start investing in your personal brand is now | Thought leadership and online presence |
Personal branding can be defined as how you are seen in the world. The most powerful branding efforts are ones that combine a strong social presence with networking and pro-bono work. Remember that it’s more than self-promotion. So you have to be able to clearly define and live the values that will become your calling card within your industry.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Great but dense infographic on what contributes to your personal brand. But a bit overwhelming too... So where can you start and what should you focus on? 

Hint: look at the letter C...

No comment yet.!

5 Strategies to Becoming an Online Influencer

5 Strategies to Becoming an Online Influencer | Thought leadership and online presence |
Unlike what most people would have you think, becoming an influencer online doesn’t have to be rocket science, nor should you have to wait for years to become one.

And the good news is, you don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars either.

Via Ivo Nový, Randy Bauer
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
Though I wouldn't say these tips are the most accessible ones (they still take time and require a good deal of attention), they are valuable ones. Reading it, you might face a chicken vs egg feeling. Sure, you'd like to get featured on expert round-ups (tip #1). But how do you get on these lists in the first place? Well, building relationship with influencers so that they'll feature you in these roundups in takes time. To get started with that, a good idea that we've tested ourselves is to curate influencers content on your areas of expertise. By adding your own comment to it and sharing it, you'll not only get their attention but also their respect. Which means they'll read your next email when you ask them something. In other words, give before you get.
Prathamesh Dastapure's curator insight, September 13, 2015 5:41 AM

Do not wait for years to express and inspire millions!

Hate it or like it: thought leadership has to be earned.

Hate it or like it: thought leadership has to be earned. | Thought leadership and online presence |
There has been an unusual amount of chatter regarding thought leaders in the digital space. Specifically, many want to complain these folks aren't "doers"...
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
Great rant by Marcus Sheridan on why being a doer and a thought leader are not necessarily the same. I totally felt the frustration he described some years ago when, a successful entrepreneur with a great exit behind him, I felt I didn't get any attention easily. I didn't hate thought leaders back then but let's admit it: I was frustrated to see others get some attention that seemed undeserved. But as Sheridan points out, thought leadership has to be earned. How?Not by what you do: it can help but it's not the point nor is it even mandatory. It's by what you say which - in digital times - means what you publish. So stop hating and start publishing!
No comment yet.!

How Do You Measure Thought Leadership?

How Do You Measure Thought Leadership? | Thought leadership and online presence |
More specifically, when you or your organization are seen as a thought leader, the media will want your perspective on what is happening in the market. This is what you need to measure. How many quotes and references are you getting each quarter? Is it consistently increasing? Are quotes in those coveted top tier outlets increasing?
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Eric Wittlake makes a simple but great point on how to measure thought leadership, a concept that's easy to understand but can remain fuzzy to demonstrate for marketers. 

Are you mentioned by others?

If developing thought leadership is a goal of your content marketing efforts, you should see people mentioning you more and more. 

A great way to do that is:

1. Build your website or blog as a content hub, a resource filled with relevant created or curated content that others can easily point to.

2. Track mentions on social media, blogs and media as we do: a page combined with our suggestion engine tracking your brand as a keyword is a great, simple way to do that. 

No comment yet.!

8 Personal Branding Hacks to Increase Your Online Visibility

8 Personal Branding Hacks to Increase Your Online Visibility | Thought leadership and online presence |
Becoming interesting isn’t just about learning how to become a good conversationalist. You need stories to tell.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Interesting ideas though these are anything but quick wins in my opinion. Yes everything Mathew Capala describes it on this post on TheNextWeb will help you develop your personal brand... but only if you're ready to make a half-time job of it. Which might be fine to some but a big constraint to people who already have a day job. 

As an alternative to all the blogging he recommends, content curation is a great way to publish content and create the relationships blogs otherwise create.

Which is not to say you shouldn't blog but that a curation and creation mix can help make the time for these personal branding activities.

Ivana Dacheva's curator insight, March 30, 2015 6:29 AM

It's all about storytelling...

Tilo Sequeira's curator insight, April 20, 2015 12:13 PM

Personal Branding Tips!!

17 #PersonalBranding tips to OWN your Digital 1st Impression

"Your personal brand is who you are. You must define it, tell your story and share your passions."

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Precious personal branding tips by Brian Fanzo who makes a very interesting observation that giving and sharing come before receiving when it comes to online reputation - something that might sound counter-intuitive when you see some attempts at personal branding that mimic celebrities.

When I first heard the word personal brand, I have to admit I thought this meant behaving like a celebrity (playing hard to get, etc...). But celebrity has nothing to do with professional personal branding though: one is the results of events (eg: a movie), the other is the outcome of your communication throughout your career.

Professional personal branding is related to thought leadership (which you fundamentally can't show without sharing) and communicating your professional identity (which again is about sharing but also listening as Brian points out - communication goes both ways).

We're talking about something fundamentally human and relationship-based which these tips are a great help for.

J.L.Nawan's curator insight, January 22, 2015 1:04 PM

cc @etnoamalia

Bryenn Lopez-Bierwirth's curator insight, January 22, 2015 1:44 PM

How to brand you!

The Three Components of A Culture of Content

The Three Components of A Culture of Content | Thought leadership and online presence |

Content is becoming nearly everyone’s job — and with good reason.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

To build on that observation, Altimeter's Rebecca Lieb and Jessica Groopman provide an interesting framework for organizations to think about their content culture. 

As we've commented before, one of the main challenges that companies face is to involve more people in what they call the creativity phase: busy professionals don't have time to blog let alone create stunning visual content. Yet, they probably sit on a content gold mine that they underestimate and that is lost to the organization. Collaborative content curation provides interesting and practical answers to facilitate that second phase and spread a culture of content: it not only makes it easy for employees to contribute the interesting articles they read to the corporate content effort but it also makes it rewarding them by helping them show thought leadership in the process. 

Lori Wilk's curator insight, January 6, 2015 4:07 PM

We all must contribute to sharing relevant #content and the greatest part about content #curation is that we can share great content that others create in addition to what we create on our own. 

Prof. Hankell's curator insight, January 7, 2015 9:01 AM

Vision + Creativity + Risk...!

Brand Yourself. Or Be Branded.

Brand Yourself. Or Be Branded. | Thought leadership and online presence |

“A personal (brand) is more than just a creative name, cute logo or a complimentary card; it's a promise of value, it's a distinctive voice, it’ s a core message, it's passion driven by purpose, it's a positive impact that creates an impression.” – Bernard Kelvin Clive

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Colleen Eakins makes a great point: whether you like it or not, you have a personal brand and, in particular, an online reputation. As we say at, "you are the content you publish".

So you should do something about this as she points out and goes on to give some interesting tips. While most of these tips are practical, one which is much harder than it seems is "start blogging". Blogging is something than I've seen a lot more people start than succeed at. Why? Because it takes a lot of time and talent to be successful with blogging. If you're not sure to have both, your blog is likely to end up empty or outdated which is going to hurt... your personal brand. 

Back to square one.

The solution? While creating original content every week is tough when you have a full time job already, you're already sitting on a content goldmine. By curating what you found valuable to read, you'll help your network not only understand what your expertise is but you'll bring them valuable insights and chances are they'll be grateful for that. 

No comment yet.!

What You Need to Do to Become a Thought Leader

What You Need to Do to Become a Thought Leader | Thought leadership and online presence |

"Our society generally frowns upon bragging. Your mom may have even scolded you when you tried to toot your own horn. We recall her wisdom every time we are cornered by colleagues who blow hot air about how smart they are".

Marc Rougier's insight:

So, thought leaders are bragging? Of course not, but I like this "moral" angle. Just a teaser (and a smart one; this is actually an interesting question). The core of this post by Ed Barts is however about the basics of being (and demonstrating being) a Thought Leader.

  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Research

This is all true and fundamental. And I like how Ed highlights Research too (often over-looked).

But there's a little bit more to it, I believe. As Ed states it:

"To produce only one or two articles means people will soon forget you. But keeping articles coming conveys the message that the author is a thought leader year in and year out."

This means you need to have a publishing strategy that's not exclusively made of what you write (because, as a Thought Leader in your field, you're not a full time publisher... time is critical here).

That's where curation comes handy: add curated content in your published stream. That's content you discover, carefully qualify, enrich and share: such content does convey your leadership, does require talent and involvement (and somehow, research). And it complements your writings in a time-effective manner.

No comment yet.!

How to measure thought leadership?

How to measure thought leadership? | Thought leadership and online presence |

"Marketing through thought leadership is totally in right now. It makes sense: Every business wants to be perceived as a leader, respected by customers and envied by competition".

Marc Rougier's insight:

"Thought Leadership doesn't directly aim to sell, but educate, advise and in some case entertain", says Molli Bucini. However, for professionals and businesses, this is a marketing action.

There is no KPI yet directly measuring influence, reputation or Thought Leadership - no magic button on Google Analytics either. However, the basic Content Marketing analytics must be tracked:

  • repeat visitors
  • bounce rate
  • mention and share
  • and eventually in-site conversion.

All of them, and more, discussed in this post.

Reminds me of the situation of Social Media marketing some years ago: professionals and businesses realized they needed to be active on SM, before they could actually measure their impact (well... most professionals and businesses - this was not obvious for all, actually). Detailed ROI analysis matures as we progress, it's a step by step process. But we should not wait for a mathematical proof before we demonstrate our Thought Leadership through a relevant Content Marketing strategy.

Lori Wilk's curator insight, September 15, 2014 2:20 PM

Becoming a thought leader is not something that just happens. It takes work and strategic planning to achieve. The perfect pathway is not spelled out for anyone to follow. Content curation should definitely be part of one's strategy to become a thought leader in their industry.!

What is the Difference Between Thought Leadership and Content Marketing?

What is the Difference Between Thought Leadership and Content Marketing? | Thought leadership and online presence |
Both thought leadership and content marketing can effectively build your awareness and brand, but true thought leadership is much rarer.

From Marketo Blog.

Marc Rougier's insight:

Jon Miller, VP Marketing at Marketo, collected some interesting responses to his question here. Nice read! What would your response be?

Thought Leadership and Content Marketing share a mission: increase your (personal or business) brand awareness, engage with your ecosystem, become a trusted reference.

In addition, Thought Leaders can be surprising, even provocative: they wander, and guide, off the beaten track.

In any case, they go hand in hand.

No comment yet.!

The Value of Content Curation: Thought Leadership

The Value of Content Curation: Thought Leadership | Thought leadership and online presence |

"Being a thought leader has always been a priority for businesses, but not particularly easy to become."

Marc Rougier's insight:

"A majority of marketers (85% out of 400 surveyed) pursue content curation to establish thought leadership".

Main motivations:

1. Relevance

2. Insightfulness

3. Shareability

Curation is not Thought Leadership. But it's an effective way to demonstrate Thought Leadership: know your industry and feed your audience with relevant, industry-related (and not ego-related) content.

No comment yet.!

5 critical personal branding lessons from Mark Schaefer and the KNOWN book

5 critical personal branding lessons from Mark Schaefer and the KNOWN book | Thought leadership and online presence |
The KNOWN book by Mark Schaefer establishes a step-by-step guide to helping you establish a successful personal brand. Here are five critical lessons.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Mark Schaefer built a huge personal brand in the marketing space. A lot of that is linked to the content he created, curated and published, always showing empathy and being conversational. 


His 5 tips are precious for anyone who's looking at building their own professional brand online.

Howhighcenter's curator insight, June 2, 2022 5:09 PM
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Enterprise Social Network failure : the most common obstacles

Enterprise Social Network failure : the most common obstacles | Thought leadership and online presence |
Enterprise Social Network is a promising solution that features evolved collaboration tools. Still, it's facing obstacles. Find out more about ESN.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

More than 3 years after the Yammer acquisition and as Slack gets impressive adoption, it's still not clear whether enterprise social networks are here to stay. 


This post by eXoplatform is a great recap of all the reasons why ESN implementations usually fail and I would add one more: 


What's in it for me as a user?


Not being able to precisely answer this apparently simple question is a root cause for failure in many implementations of enterprise social networks. 


Of course there are many answers to this question but I would venture to say that it's precisely the problem of enterprise social networks: because they're trying to be everything to everyone, they can end up being nothing.


There is a case though where alignment can be made easy: when the main focus of an internal social experience focuses on knowledge sharing. By empowering employees to be content curators and share third-party content with their co-workers easily, companies can count on greater involvement as the employees' benefit is now clear: developing and showing thought leadership. 

No comment yet.!

Your Employees Could Be Your Biggest Marketing Asset

Your Employees Could Be Your Biggest Marketing Asset | Thought leadership and online presence |
If companies empower their employees to be active on social media, and the employees are helping to spread the message of the company, the company will be effectively multiplying their marketing, recruiting, and support teams.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
Encouraging or controlling? It seems that this what companies have been hesitating between when it comes to employee participation on social media. Beyond the control-freak dinosaurs, some good-intended companies have reasons to hesitate: employee participation can be hard to encourage and multi-voice communication can be tough. Content offers a framework for employee participation that addresses those concerns. By building and distribution internal topic-based content hubs, organizations can make it easier for employees to participate (sharing is easier than creating) while also providing alignment by curating that content to be on message.
Gust MEES's curator insight, July 14, 2015 12:31 PM

If companies empower their employees to be active on social media, and the employees are helping to spread the message of the company, the company will be effectively multiplying their marketing, recruiting, and support teams.

Learn more:!

No time to blog? 3 Hacks to blog without blogging.

No time to blog? 3 Hacks to blog without blogging. | Thought leadership and online presence |

So I’m guessing a lot of people can relate to this – not having time to blog full-time or even just producing one of those long form blogs that’s super helpful to people, but still mostly time-consuming.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

No time for blogging is less and less an excuse when you consider these 3 hacks. 

The word blog can be intimidating as to a lot of us, it means crafting beautifully written 1,000-word articles. And a lot of us don't have time or skills for that. 

But it doesn't have to be defined this way. 

What most professionals need is a way to express their thoughts and show their expertise in an easy but meaningful way. These tips are a good demonstration that in this age of short attention span, there is no direct correlation between:

- the time to publish content

- the length of that content

- the attention it will get

So it's time to save time and publish. Because you are what you publish.

No comment yet.!

5 Great SlideShares On Thought Leadership Marketing

5 Great SlideShares On Thought Leadership Marketing | Thought leadership and online presence |
Thought Leadership Marketing has recently become a topic of great conversation. Several companies currently in operation strive to be thought leaders
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

@Ron Sela put together a great post on thought leadership giving 5 views on thought leadership that are different but that nicely complete one another. 

As he summarizes, becoming a thought leader as a professional or as a company deals with communication and content: "thought leadership takes a unique perspective, a layered approach to disseminating the information, and the ability to provide accurate, relevant, and valuable information."

More than many other factors, it's their content that makes thought leaders what they are: trusted and followed.

No comment yet.!

The Content Strategy of Thought Leadership

"Many companies today strive to be “thought leaders,” but only a select few truly live up to that aspiration. Thought leadership requires a unique point of view, the ability to provide valuable information, and a layered approach to disseminating that information."

Marc Rougier's insight:

In this presentation, Stacey Gordon from Suiteseven opposed Thought Leadership and Content Marketing. I disagree and cannot oppose them:

  • Thought Leadership is demonstrated through a content strategy and is therefore correlated to Content Marketing
  • Content Marketing (even ROI-based as is should) contributes in building intangible, yet valuable assets such as Brand Awareness and Thought Leadership

This said, Stacey's points are totally relevant: being a Thought leader or generating leads, while both beneficial in a business context, are two concepts of different natures. I also love how she explains what Thought Leadership implies from a content strategy standpoint:

  • Share expertise, insight and analysis
  • Authority on industry issues
  • Focused, provocative thinking
  • Content packaged for easy consumption
  • Speaks to audience day-to-day reality

I'd take these advices for my Content Marketing too ;)

Thanks Stacey.

[Note: this presentation dates from 2013 but is still totally relevant]

Federico Soto Roland's curator insight, May 31, 2015 9:24 PM

A great insight to understand the real differences between CONTENT MKT vs. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP. Marketers must pay attention to this.!

Top Tools for Personal Branding Success

Top Tools for Personal Branding Success | Thought leadership and online presence |
Reading, curating, and creating your own content are all important elements of your personal brand. They are the most powerful way to tell your story and share your passions.  For many blogging can be overwhelming (Me included) so I found curating content (Taking others great content and adding your own insight and then sharing it) to be a very successful way to add value while not taking up too much time. And, it’s not as intimidating as writing your own blog post.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Brian Fanzo shares his secrets: the influencer known for talking fast and tweeting even faster has an impressive list of tools for creating, curating, distributing and showcasing content that reflects his personal brand and - more importantly - his voice. As he puts it, a fundamental step before building your personal brand is defining your voice and your story.

What I note in this article is the above extract which almost sounds like a confession. If you've ever met Brian, you know he's full of energy and passion and... he's not afraid to talk. Yet, even he admits that creating content can be overwhelming before making a strong case for content curation as a way to build your personal brand.

No comment yet.!

Curation is The New Creation: Tools to Make You a Thought Leader

Curation is The New Creation: Tools to Make You a Thought Leader | Thought leadership and online presence |

In a world where everyone is a publisher, thought leaders are the ones that create quality content consistently. Curation can help you keep that steady stream of content going to become a trustworthy source for your audience.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

When content curation started as a trend, some were opposing it to creation and overlooked its impact on helping experts of all kinds show thought leadership. One of the common myths is even that thought leaders only rely on original content.

In this post, Ron Sela, named one of the Top 50 influencers in B2B Marketing by Onalytica, articulates very clearly how we in fact content curation helps thought leaders become trusted resources within their industries.

To build on that I would argue that content is actually a continuum. You very rarely create 100% original content anyway even when you create a blog post: you build on ideas of others, you quote them, you link to them. The best content is not created in a vacuum but in a human conversation where we build on ideas of others. When you add insights to other people's content - the essence of value-adding content curation - you're creating a new object out of an existing one. 

Another important points he makes in the link between curated content and landing pages  so that your curated content generates conversions. If you're looking to do that and are wondering how, here's a guide that will give you some details on why and how to articulate content hubs, content distribution and landing pages. 

Dean Ryan G. Martin's curator insight, December 19, 2014 6:35 AM

Content curation is the new social bookmarking but with a twist. Curating contents allows you to organize, arrange, share and publish fresh relevant information that interest people all over the world. 

Tilo Sequeira's curator insight, April 20, 2015 12:17 PM

Some quick digital tools to help you be a thought leader!

The 10 Pillars To Creating a Strong Personal Brand

The 10 Pillars To Creating a Strong Personal Brand | Thought leadership and online presence |
Ever Googled yourself? What did you see? Did you like digital you? Are you visible in an Internet century? Here are the steps to creating a personal brand.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

10 is a lot. And this list might sound overwhelming...

So here's my take on it:

1. The drawing above is a good one: you won't build any brand without passion - let alone a personal one. 

2. There is a tight connexion between 3 things that you should align: your content, your interests and your network. 

3. Creating content (what Jeff Bullas calls here Tip #5) is just one of the alternative: expressing your opinions or analysis through curated content is also a great way to demonstrate thought leadership.

No comment yet.!

Letting Your Employees Use Social Media at Work: How To Do It Right

Letting Your Employees Use Social Media at Work: How To Do It Right | Thought leadership and online presence |
Employees need to be able to react to customer messaging, rally around opportunities for content sharing, and coordinate efforts. Opportunities for collaboration should span the entire organization, with support from marketing teams to provide guidance on content curation and overall communication goals.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

For quite a while now, some companies have seen social media as a threat to employee efficiency. A lot of them forbid its usage: cutting out access from within the corporate network or creating policies refraining them from tweeting. Some surprisingly still do, a bit like those dictators who believe revolutions can be avoided by switching off a few routers...

But if you start to look at it from the other angle, there are huge opportunities in letting employees use social media, among which:

- turning them into brand advocates

- amplification of your content strategy

- improvement of their skills through well curated informal knowledge

Now for this to work, employees need to have something to win from this that aligns their interests with the company's. 

What can it be?

Simply put: thought leadership

Because your employees are your brand, empowering them to show their subject matter expertise and demonstrate thought leadership not only helps the: it helps them help the company. 

As HootSuite points out in that post however: "the transition from subject matter expert to “thought leader” is challenging." This is also what we've observed and what made corporate blogging fail for instance: not every employee can be turned into an influential blogger. 

So where should you start?

Well, because every subject matter expert in your organization reads content on their area of expertise, this is probably a good start. Let them curate it, publish it and create value for the organization across their social channels. And by using tools to create internal content hubs where others can re-share and contribute, you'll amplify and value their involvement. 

Gina Tucker's curator insight, October 14, 2014 2:04 PM

Social media can make your workforce enthusiastic on the job as well boost morale and company exposure on social networks. Your employees are representatives of your overall company brand, let them share it!!

Three Ways To Be A Data-Driven Thought Leader

Three Ways To Be A Data-Driven Thought Leader | Thought leadership and online presence |
So you've got a ton of data -- now turn it into actionable insights that drive business!
Marc Rougier's insight:

We've entered the era of Big Data (well, Data of any size for that matter). Collecting has become easy; making sense is more difficult. Making sure people effectively use data is the next frontier.

Simple but meaningful advices from Chuck Sharp:

- Add insight!

This is the core of curation, this is a fundamental task of Thought Leaders.

- Push

People just don't spontaneously visit content or data: they need to be fed.

- Act now

Don"t wait for the complete, perfect set of data. Your insight is valuable on whatever data you have and is required now.

No comment yet.!

The Sales Connection: Bridging the Thought Leadership-Sales Gap

The Sales Connection: Bridging the Thought Leadership-Sales Gap | Thought leadership and online presence |

"Thought leadership is critical to brand differentiation and business growth – and core to effective communications strategies, particularly in today’s complex, crowded and commoditized world. But it’s also increasingly important to lead generation and sales."

Marc Rougier's insight:

A very useful post: everybody understands the value of Thought Leadership from a branding perspective, but businesses also need an ROI approach. Measuring the value of Thought Leadership not only as Marketing but as Sales.

Ned Ward reminds us that Thought Leadership is not directly measurable, but suggests to benchmark the Company performances on Reputation, Reach, Relationships and Demand. Thought Leadership contributes to all of them.

No comment yet.!

5 Steps Toward Building Influence as a Great Thought Leader

5 Steps Toward Building Influence as a Great Thought Leader | Thought leadership and online presence |
Ready to share insights on a topic you're well versed in? You may fortify your company's reputation as well as your personal brand.
Marc Rougier's insight:

"Sharing insight on a topic you're well versed in"... This is so fundamental to being a Thought Leader.

Shana Starr lists five steps. I subscribe to all of them.

I'd add content curation to them: finding, acknowledging and sharing great content created by others also contributes to demonstrating your expertise and willingness to share; a legit and effective addition to writing; a necessary skill of Thought Leaders.

1. Clarify your purpose

2. Identify your voice

3. Write

4. Build an active online presence

5. Be a mentor.

Great post, wise advices.

Craig Stark's curator insight, September 1, 2014 12:34 PM

Excellent way to build new relationships and find new opportunities. Finding like-minded co-founders and potential investors or mentors is harder without a strategy.

Are your employees thought leaders?

Learn how content curation can empower your employees and help your corporate brand. Get a demo of Enterprise.
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