On Thought Leaders

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August 12, 2013 by Beth

One of the best tips I’ve run across in the early days of Twitter was to follow “thought leaders.” It’s actually become a concept I’ve subscribed to in many forms, from helping people begin to explore social media to where I focus my attention in general.

If you’re active on social media sites such as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, think for a moment about the people whose posts always make you perk up. You care about their every move and every thought, and you don’t want to miss a thing they have to say. They’re few and far between, aren’t they? Consider what it is that makes their observations so interesting or particularly relevant for you. Better yet, consider how you might follow their example and let their approach permeate the way you brand yourself or market your business.

While you’re doing all of that deep thinking, here are a few of my own thought leaders for your review:

  1. Seth Godin: Find this true marketing thought leader on his blog or on Twitter. His daily posts are short and to the point – one of the few things that makes my daily reading list and worth subscribing by email. Be prepared for your boundaries to be pushed: you’ll be better for it.
  2. Fast Company: Read the magazine, check out the website, read the nifty entries under Co.EXIST, Co.DESIGN, Co.CREATE or, worst case, keep up with the best musings via Twitter. Unparalleled and innovative, intelligent writing, game changing ideas. A snippet: this article on the League of Extraordinary Women.
  3. Mayor Cory Booker: Seem out of place in a marketing line-up? He’s not. If everyone took care of their brand and their customers like this guy, there would be no such thing as customer service numbers and call centers. He saves women from burning buildings, aids pedestrians hit by cars and personally monitors the well-being of the city he serves (a novel thought, no?) as though it were… well, his full-time job. Take note of his comments and leadership – check his site or follow him on Twitter.
  4. Leslie Carothers: See above. The woman heads up TKPartnership.com, delivering social media for the home furnishings and interior design industry – she has an impressive presence and advocates some cutting edge tools (I’m riveted by Olioboard), so we expect her to be completely fabulous when it comes to marketing, PR and branding. That’s not what places her in the ranks of this list of thought leaders, though: watch the care with which she interacts with every single person who crosses her path. Watch… and learn. Then repeat and replicate… but do it earnestly. Find her on her website or follow her on Twitter.

So what do a New Jersey mayor, a Houston-based interior designer and social marketing guru, a New York marketing whiz and author and an innovative magazine have in common (besides the fact that one was a columnist for another)? They recognize the fantastic in others and in the world, and they elevate it. There’s a common mission of true focus on making the world a better place. And best of all, small doses of their awesomeness via Twitter make these thought leaders accessible to us common folk. Go, read, be inspired and then make something happen.

imageHere’s to bright ideas, illuminated by thought leaders.

If you’re not on Twitter, writer Kimberly Mitchell (my cousin) has a great pitch for it.

This post series originally appeared in 2012 on Porch Swing Marketing, a fledgling endeavor with Stephanie Buckley. Steph is the founder and mastermind behind Arkansas Women Bloggers and the owner of The Women Bloggers, the parent site for state blogger communities such as Alabama, Mississippi and Oklahoma Women Bloggers). Although we only collaborated for a short while, I credit Steph as one of the most positive influencers in my life and a huge reason for the success of Magpie Marketing. Keep up with her adventures living on a state park and raising her boys to be warriors and gentlemen on her personal blog, The Park Wife, or (of course) on Twitter: @TheParkWife.

Image source/credit: The Graphics Fairy.

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