Welcome to the last in our series of blogs on how to create a thought leader. So far we’ve covered deciding objectives, finding the ideal candidates, defining the message and developing original content. In this fifth and final part, we’re taking a look at how you can level up your thought leaders into truly influential individuals that are looked to for guidance and insight by industry decision makers.
Below, we’ve summarised the four main levels of cyber security thought leadership, and how to start levelling up.
The cyber community leader
This thought leader will be active on social media and in industry forums. They are likely to be well-regarded by their peers, but not yet particularly visible outside of specific industry circle and will not yet have a recognisable “brand” as such.
Next step: Transition their industry following to the wider world.
The public spokesperson
They will regularly act as the face of the company for original content such as videos, blogs and white papers, and will begin to be featured regularly in media coverage. They will also begin to appear in cyber security industry speaking events.
Next step: Continue to develop their public presence and build towards higher profile media coverage, particularly national print and broadcast opportunities. Start giving them more time to produce their own original content and research.
The rising rock star
A talented and charismatic individual that has been making waves in public arenas such as industry events and the media over the last couple of years. They will begin leading the conversation and will be recognisable in their own right, with a social media following in the tens of thousands.
Next step – Keep up the momentum and build on their credibility with continued high-profile appearances and social engagement.
The industry guru
Seen as a paragon of industry knowledge. They will not only be commenting on industry developments, but actively shaping trends and schools of thought. A true guru will be repeatedly sought out for media opportunities and high-profile speaking slots, as well as regularly publishing their own content in the form of papers and books.
Examples of thought leaders at the top of their game include investigative reporter Brian Krebbs, technologist Brian Schneier and columnist and F-Secure CRO Mikko Hyppönen.
Next step: Just keep going. The industry guru is the pinnacle of cyber security thought leadership.
Becoming a cyber security thought leader doesn’t happen overnight and requires months and years of continual activity. But having a bona fide thought leader on your team will have a powerful impact on your ability to attract prospects and secure new business. Having a rock star or a guru on the books can also help to attract top security talent to your organisation.
If you’re planning on elevating your spokespeople into influential industry thought leaders, drop the team at éclat Marketing a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and find out how our expertise in cyber security PR and marketing can help accelerate your plans.