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Being a thought leader is a challenging endeavor, but it is also a great way to establish yourself as an authority and a trusted expert in your field. Thought leadership doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating at all; in fact, it can be fun and rewarding if you decide on doing it correctly. Finding your voice and using it in combination with a well-crafted strategy will eventually drive more people to your business, no matter your position or title.

Read on to discover what style of thought leadership suits you better:


An evangelist is someone who actively tries to persuade others to join a cause or an idea. They use their communication skills to spread the word about a topic they love at the same time they help others. Their focus is on the current time, rather than the future.

These thought leaders typically find their topics by noticing areas where more education is needed or discussing something they’re passionate about. They share their excitement with the rest of the world through writing and speaking.


The visionary is all about making the case for the future. This is the thought leader that tries to predict trends and share their perspective to remain ahead of the market and not fall behind.

Visionaries are more interested in changing how people think about the future than they are in focusing on the present. This is a great position to be in as a thought leader because it means that you can have a very long-term view of the industry, while still having the flexibility to pivot and make changes as needed.

Subject-Matter Expert

The subject-matter expert is someone who has a lot of knowledge on a specific topic and shares helpful advice on it. While the evangelist and visionary thought leaders are focused on changing how people think, the subject-matter expert focuses on teaching people specific information, often in a very thorough or in-depth way.

If this is the style you would like to follow, think about the topics you are passionate and knowledgeable about. What topic could you share with others to help them solve problems or learn something new? What does your audience struggle with that you have overcome? Once you have a topic in mind, you can start sharing this knowledge to gain traction and credibility within your niche. By helping others, you will help your own reputation as a thought leader. As your reputation grows, so will your business potential.


A mentor is someone who is very experienced. This thought leader is focused on being a coach, and is willing to help and guide younger or less experienced people. It is all about being an example for the group of people they mentor.

Just as the subject-matter experts, the mentors are not aiming to convince or change how people think. However, their time focus lies in the future.

Final Thoughts

Choosing one of the four roles – evangelist, visionary, subject-matter expert, or mentor – can help you become a more focused and professional thought leader, thus helping you achieve your objectives. Once you decide which path you are going to take, it will be easy to get your message out there and stand out.

Interested in learning more about thought leadership? Make sure to watch our on-demand 3-part webinar series: Embracing Connected Leadership. ‘Part 2: Determine your Thought Leadership Style’ is available, watch it here! In this webinar, you will discover more about thought leadership types, niche focus, real life examples, and how to figure out your own style. Stay tuned for ‘Part 3: 5 Steps to Become a Connected (Thought) Leader’ very soon!