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5 Best Practices of Thought Leadership

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mitchell-levyThought leadership is a hot buzzword, however, there are many definitions and misconceptions about what a thought leader is.

I’d like to offer a definition that may be slightly broader than what you’re used to. Once you’re comfortable with the definition, I’ll share five best practices.

Who is a Thought Leader?

A thought leader is an individual who is recognized as an expert in their own space, and is referred to for help on various matters. In other words, the key-to-go person who can give an appropriate path to attain best results in the field and geography they specialize in. For a more robust definition, check out this 2×2 showing a definition of thought leadership as audience by content .

The Top Five Best Practices for Thought Leadership are:

1.      Visibility to the Employees and the Management Team:

Due to the accessibility and abundance of numerous product reviews on the Internet, traditional salespeople have become obsolete and ineffective. The new salesperson is Google and is playing a big part in providing a perfect way to review products and services with utmost ease.

Potential customers search on your organization, they want to see “real” people sharing authentic, transparent and trustworthy information. Every employee represents the brand, and they must look good. Particularly, the management team.

On the “About us” page of many organizations today, you not only see a small photo or bio of the executive team, but also links to their individual social accounts (primarily LinkedIn and Twitter). This way, the customers and future advocates get an opportunity to see how the management team represents themselves and engage with them, if appropriate.

Make sure and participate in Mitchell’s FREE live webinar at Social Buzz University on Thursday, November 20, 2014! CLICK HERE to register now!

2.      Yelp as a Verb:

The effect of yelpification has been present for a long time. It has brought numerous changes in consumption of products and services. Factors of cost, quality, and efficiency are discussed through online reviews and ratings. Consumer reviews and ratings play a big part in defining popularity and efficiency of a business. They act as a key to attain business success.

In the B2B space, I look at the “Yelp” score of an individual as the skills their peers have given them on their LinkedIn profile. If someone presents themselves one way, but their peers see them as something else, that’s a yellow flag.

We’re not quite there yet, but I can see a world where we will see an aggregated “Yelp” score for individuals and organizations that is the aggregation of how they have interacted with people like yourself. Does the LinkedIn skills you’re endorsed for represent your brand? Does your employees?

3.      Consistently Publish Content on Platforms with Reach:

For over a decade, we’ve talked about the importance of publishing consistently.

WordPress has made it really easy to create your own blog. Your job is to consistently share content and build the audience.

Another vehicle that’s being used with good results today is the publishing platform from LinkedIn. Content that exists on your blog and other areas, can be updated and reposted to your LinkedIn blog.

What’s relevant is the ability for your peers, and their peers, to view and share your post. The amplification of your message can be high with this platform, particularly with a little nudge from yourself. Additionally, many old school, well-known publications have adopted a contributor model. Huffington Post, Forbes, Fortune, Entrepreneur Magazine are just a few places you can approach and share good quality content. I’m sharing content regularly on the LinkedIn publishing platform and Entrepreneur Magazine.

4.      Industry Leader’s List:

Creating a “best of” and “most influential” lists is also a great way to increase your organization’s influence. Thought leaders continually strive to be recognized on the basis of their work and make a “list”.

The best way for thought leaders to achieve success is to continue what they are doing and to have fun while doing it. Creating a list which is relevant to your industry is a great way to attain impressive results. Not only does your firm get recognized for creating the list, but you are attracting the attention, and if done right, making friends with the influencers in your industry.

When creating these types of lists, make sure you add the appropriate details of name, company, photo, website, and links to one or more of their social platforms.

5.      Formulate Your Own Thought Leadership Channel:

With the platforms that are available today, it is extremely easy to create your own thought leadership channel. In the past, this was a blog site which you were hoping you can drive enough visitors to. Today, you can create a channel on someone else’s platform taking advantage of the infrastructure and traffic available.

An example I’d like to share is Thought Leader Life. This show interviews a thought leader via Google Hangouts every week. The content streams live on YouTube, is also shared on SlideShare, the audio is stripped and placed on iTunes and the FIR podcast network run by Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson, a blog post is created from the show and shared on 2 different locations and ~40 quotes are pulled from the show and when combined with 3 other thought leaders, a new social media enabled Aha Amplifier book is created.

Check out the view to the past interviews and content created. Creating a show that’s featured on all of these channels would have cost $3m+ during the days and can be accomplished today for a fraction of that cost.


These practices are some of best and most reliable thought leadership ideas to achieve success today. By following these practices, you and your organization will increase your digital footprint and strive towards growth, efficiency and prosperity.

Get a free copy of the social media enabled eBooks “Mitchell Levy on Creating Thought Leaders” and “Meridith Elliott Powell and Mitchell Levy on Instilling Leadership at Every Level” at and respectively, read about thought leadership best practices on the LinkedIn group, or watch a new thought leader each week on


Posted in Business & Personal Skills, Entrepreneurship, LinkedIn, Self Promotion, Tribe Marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


Build a Strong Online Presence with Wikipedia

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I’m old enough to remember using the Britannica Encyclopedia, considered the defacto reference, when doing my school research work.  My how times have changed.  In today’s information age online journalists and high level influencers turn to the Internet to gather information on individuals and companies.  Where libraries, dictionaries, and encyclopedias once dominated the top spot for research, Wikipedia has quickly become a main source. But unlike these old-fashioned methods this is a place of community driven content.

How does Wikipedia Build your Online Presence?

  1. Having a Wikipedia Page will give you Page One exposure in the search engines.
  2. It establishes you as the expert for journalists with what I think of as the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.
  3. It will increase your Klout score.

Did you know that anyone can edit a Wikipedia article?  Before you get too excited about how great that is, it’s actually what makes having a Wikipedia page difficult.

It’s very important to understand how Wikipedia works and what is required in order to have a successful page that sticks there. You must have what is called ‘noteworthiness’.  Writing some articles or publishing a book isn’t enough.  What awards have you won?  What big media has written about you?

It’s different based on your professions.  For authors, there is a general guideline that has been established by Wikipedia and can be found here under “creative professionals” ( While the guideline seems very specific, the majority of authors can have Wikipedia pages created if they have had significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of them. For instance, if there is an article about them that has appeared in the New York Times or a well-known magazine, that could qualify them.

For books, the same would apply. The books would need to receive significant coverage. Generally, book reviews in well-known publications would qualify.

Want to get first-hand help with this topic? Attend Susan’s FREE, LIVE webinar with us on October 23! Click here for details & registration.

Do not attempt creating a Wikipedia page without first having noteworthiness.

Once a solid media presence has been established, remember it’s important to follow this process, step-by-step.  Since anyone can publish on Wikipedia since there is no central management, anyone with a Wikipedia account can state a reason for deletion and when a second person agrees, it’s bye-bye Wikipedia page.

Ready to get started? Wikipedia makes that easy right from their homepage by creating a new account. Once your name or business is registered the process of creating content can begin.

The second step, as mentioned above, is to know the requirements for content submitted to Wikipedia for your individual notability or your brand’s. There are some guidelines to follow, including their own Manual of Style, similar to AP, which can be found here. Because this platform is open to anyone to edit and correct, it is important to follow the rules for pages, and to make sure your sources can be verified by a credible third party. Wikipedia even recommends perusing an actual encyclopedia before getting started to become familiar with the style and tone of this type of content.

The third step is to establish a strong reference of articles for you or business. You may already have guest articles or even a blog that you post to on a regular basis, but this is not enough to establish credibility. Consider publishing a press release through a PR firm or with a reputable company like PRWeb. This type of content will add to the references for Wikipedia.  Anything you can do to reduce the risk of your page being deleted is worthwhile.

Once you have created your Wiki page make sure your language is not marketing oriented – just the facts; and, make sure your statements are not puffed up as this will be a sign to Wikipedia that your business is not authentic. Become your own prosecuting attorney and go through your page line by line to weed out any unsubstantiated claims or information before the public has a chance to.

As your brand or business expands it will be important to update your Wikipedia page with news, events, changes, etc. Keeping your content fresh will ensure that it will not be removed, and also helps build a stronger presence online.

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Top Ways Google Alerts Help You Get Into the Media

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Carol-Margolis-250x250Recently presenting to SocialBuzzU on How To Get Your Blog All Over The Media , I shared numerous no-cost ways to get publicity for your blog and business.

Here is one additional tool I use to identify publicity opportunities and it, also, is FREE!

I’m talking about Google Alerts. Setting up alerts that not only let you know (via email) when you and your business are being talked about, but all these other alerts:

Alerts on:

  • The topic of your business (business travel, in my case)
  • Conferences and trade shows in your topic area  (“conference social media” and “tradeshow social media” for example)
  • Experts in your topic area (“Mari Smith social media” for example)
  • Speaking opportunities (“call for speakers social media” for example)
  • Statistics in your topic area (“statistics social media” for example)
  • The magazines/media in your topic area (“Inc. magazine” “social media” for example)
  • Your name
  • Your business name
  • And other areas that you want to keep apprised of in your niche.

Can you see how being alerted with this information could help you apply for speaking opportunities, write an article that can be submitted to a magazine, be a guest blogger on another site and come up with topic ideas for your business? All at no monetary cost, just a bit of your time.

How do you get started? Go to, sign into your Google account and start creating alerts. You can have as many as will be valuable to you. Have too many and it may be overwhelming to keep up with!

Emails will begin to flow into your mailbox. I recommend forwarding them automatically to a subfolder so you can review several at a time and have them all in one place.

Google Alerts have been invaluable for me. So set some up today (or add to your existing Google Alert list) and your business will be expanding all over the place!

Posted in Blogging, Getting Publicity & Press, Marketing Ideas, Self Promotion | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


Why Images are Dominating the Business World

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Have you noticed the amount of images that have exploded into the social media scene?

Why Images are dominating the BusinessIt’s no mistake that these images have taken over our favourite social media platforms.

With the advent of smart phones that have some super high quality lenses, the ability for us to take great quality photos in an instant has arrived.

It is believed that 95% of us have a smart phone within arms reach of us most of our waking day. Its no wonder that the amount of image uploads has grown rapidly.

This growth has also sparked a proliferation of photo sharing sites and apps that continue to dominate the news. Not only are there new sites popping up everywhere, even old sites that had no intention of using images at its core have succumbed. Think Twitter and LinkedIn.

As these sites grow and our tastes adapt, there is also a need to produce more engaging images. Images that are getting the most eyeballs, the most shares and the most engagement are sophisticated, chic and relevant to the mood of the day. How can somebody with no graphic skills or a creative bone in their body even compete?

Well, thanks to this obsession with images, there are also a growing number of photo editing apps and sites that make even a novice look like a pro in no time.

Catch Andrew’s free webinar with Social Buzz U on Thursday August 7, 11am Pacific. Click here for details & registration!

There are a few rules that you need to follow if you decide to start creating some graphical masterpieces to get them amongst your network.

First and foremost are they engaging? Do people want to share them and are they happy to add their name to the list of people who have shared it?

Secondly, do they fit with your own branding or the relevancy of your message? Is the image you are creating relevant to your target market?

And Thirdly, can the image be linked back to your business in some way? Have you created the image with a connection back to your business, in the case that it gets shared outside of your own network?

Just following these 3 steps can save you a lot of wasted time and frustration in your Endeavour to create the perfect image and keep up with your competition.

In this presentation, I will go over the reasons behind the image explosion and then walk through some of the great tools that are out there for small business owners and entrepreneurs. I will also dig into what makes an shareable and engaging so that you can begin to create the right type of image for your business.


Posted in Blogging, Business & Personal Skills, Creating Content, Marketing Ideas | Tagged , | Leave a comment


Putting the R.A.P. in Rapport – Mastering the Art of High Power Communication

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- Dr. Karen Jacobson, high performance coach, author, speaker and wellness advisor.

hoshi-sato-star-trek-enterpriseImagine walking into a room anywhere around the world, listening to any foreign language and immediately being able to communicate and speak with everyone around you.

How cool would that be?

I’ve always had a secret fantasy of being able to do that.. I have been a big fan of Star Trek. One of my favorite characters was Lieutenant Commander Hoshi Sato, she was the human linguist could instantly connect with anyone I wanted to be it just like her.

Now, perhaps speaking Klingon or Vulcan isn’t really essential in the business world or for that matter on planet Earth; yet the gift of being able to communicate effectively with anyone, at any time, in any given situation is invaluable.

Whether you have a product or a service, you are in sales. How many of you cringe at the thought of being a salesperson? Your mind fills with images of pushy salespeople and you want to just run away.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make in offering their products and services is working hard to sell a something where there is no need or no perceived value.

Whether it’s sales or a budding romance, proper communication is essential and can make all the difference between closing the deal or walking away empty handed.

What if you can look at your exchange process in a completely different fashion? What if you were connecting to people and offering them solutions to their pain, suffering and problems?

Delivering your message it is more than just what you say. It is how you say what you say, when you say it and why you say what you say.. Sounds a little confusing? Songwriter John Mayer said it best: “say what you need to say”…

Whether in a one-on-one situation, on stage or in writing, high power communication is an essential key in High Performance Living. It is a topic that I review with my clients both in sales and in relationships. Raising the level of your communication, will deepen your connection with people and enhance your relationships.

Get more inside information on the R. A. P. of Rapport in Dr. Jacobson’s free live webinar on July 17, 2014. Click here to register!

Let’s simplify things. Let’s look at the strategy of Putting the R.A.P. in Rapport.

R- Relate to your audience

Business TalksAside from choosing the proper target market, it is essential to make a connection with them. People want to feel valued and appreciated. Who do you do business with? People you like and care about. If you want people to do business with you, it would probably help if they felt that you cared about them, wouldn’t it? Show them you care, get to know them a bit, build rapport

Body language has been considered to make up 55% of communication; your voice makes up 38% and words 7%.

Your physiology and body language can help you make a connection. Keep your body open and your posture nonthreatening, give the other person proper personal space. Help them feel at ease through process of mirroring and matching. Remember like attracts like and connects to like.

Pay attention to your voice. Are your tone, volume and pitch similar to your customer or audience? How about your energy? Are you excited about making a new connection and the possibility of helping someone without overpowering them?

Are you speaking their language? Are you using terms that they can understand? One of the biggest mistakes is getting too technical by using professional jargon with someone who really doesn’t care. If you ask someone to help you download a movie you want to watch, you want them to explain to you how the Internet works?

A- Active listening

What is behind the words? Are you truly listening to your audience? What are they asking for? Are they hesitant, do they have reservations? Remember, people will buy what they value and what they want, not necessarily what they need. They look for a solution to the problem, a relief for their pain or suffering. Are you hearing them and speaking their language?

Our five senses provide us with opportunities to experience different modes of communication. While we all possess all modes of learning and communication, there is usually one that is more dominant for us. People will fall into the categories of visual, auditory and kinesthetic. In other words, those of us, which are more comfortable with seeing things, those that need to hear things and those that are feelers. Our primary mode of communication is the language in which we process information and connects to others.
Understanding your customers’ primary mode of communication will help you better relate to them. You can figure out their communication mode by listening to their language and the words they used to describe things or by watching their eye movement patterns.
Once you successfully related to your customer or your audience, established a good rapport and actively listened to their problem, understood their language and the way they communicate; you can move to the third and final step by offering and presenting your solution.

P- Present your solution

it’s time to fill the need. When you present the solution you are making a simple offer, the need and the value have already been established by understanding the problem. It’s an easy process, just like giving a fresh towel to someone who’s soaking wet. All they need to dry off. You wouldn’t want to sell them Cologne, would you?

Speak their language, use their words. Make them feel comfortable. Be authentic and let them truly know that you are here for them.

People want solutions. They want to know what is in it for them. They want to know that things will work and the problems will be resolved; push a sale on them and they will walk the other way. By using high power communication, you can connect with them, listen and identify their problem and offer them a solution that will change their life. When you do that you will build trust and a great following, create loyal customers that will come back for more!



Dr. Karen Jacobson invested years studying leadership, human behavior, communication and Law of Attraction. In addition to having a private chiropractic practice for over 22 years, she received certifications in Coaching, NLP-Neuro Linguistic Programming, TimeLine Therapy™ and Hypnotherapy. In her high performance coaching practice she focuses on the Mind-body Connection and its effects on health and Human Potential. She follows the philosophy that the circumstances in our life are dictated by our own personal blueprint: our perception of the world, mindset, emotions and beliefs. Dr. Jacobson blends Intuition with Science and offers you the Keys to Unlock Your Ultimate Potential and Live an Extraordinary Life!


photo credit: dhammza via photopin cc

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