Key Opinion Leaders

How do you become a key opinion leader?

Before you can become a key opinion leader, you need to answer 3 questions:

Who Are You?

You’re following influencers and you’re trying to become like them.  But the first thing you need to be is authentic.  Don’t try and be someone else.  A good example is someone I follow, Gary Vaynerchuk.  As much as I love Gary Vee, I’m not him.  I can’t be like him. I don’t feel comfortable dropping f-bombs to my audience.  If I tried, my audience would see through me and feel a sense of trying to hard.  If you’re a key opinion leader, everything you say and do should come natural.

You should also have a great amount of experience in what you are trying to be a thought leader on.  Some people just don’t have the skills or experience to truly become a thought leader.  For me, I’ve been running businesses for 20 years.  I have experience in running businesses.  I’ve helped save them, grow them, and re-build them.  I’m experienced in finance, sales, and marketing. These are the things I can confidently speak on and share stories and experiences of what works and what doesn’t.

If you’re not experienced and can’t share them with someone, develop the skills and experience first, and then you can become a key opinion leader.

Who Is Your Audience?

Once you know who you are and what you’re skilled enough to contribute thoughtful advice, the next step is to know who your audience is.  For me, as a business leader, my audience is C-Level, Executive, and upper management of businesses.  This includes founders, entrepreneurs, marketers, business development, and finance executives.

However, I also am a public speaker and often give speeches to university business students.  My reason behind this is that one day they will become my target audience.  I’m trying to connect with them today so I can share thoughts and experience that will help them along their path.

Where do they hang out?

There are plenty of mediums that you can reach your audience.  And to be a key opinion leader, you must stay consistent on at least 1 platform.  You have choices like:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Your Blog
  • Medium
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • SnapChat
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Podcasting
  • And many more

Know where your audience is hanging out, and be there.  Now, what you’ll find is that your audience is very likely in all of them.  So become a leader in the the platforms that you’re comfortable with.  If you don’t want to be on video because you’re not confident, don’t choose YouTube.

For me, my audience of business leaders happens to be found on LinkedIn.  So I want to spend the majority of my time there to have the biggest reach. It’s also a place that I’m comfortable being me. A place I can choose my medium, whether it’s writing, sharing, audio, or video.

Not anyone can become a key opinion leader. But if you want to, know who you are, who you can help, and where you can reach them. Then, just be consistent.