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Must-Have Thought Leadership Tools for Powerful Influence and Impact

As an industry thought leader, your success rests on being able to stay ahead of the competition and on finding new ways to engage with prospects and customers. Specialized tools can help you achieve these thought leadership goals.

These resources help you create content that resonates with your target audience, so they turn to you first, rather than to your competitors. An intentional leadership strategy like this increases your brand awareness and solidifies you as the go-to person in your area of expertise.

Resources to help you achieve your thought leadership goals come in many forms, from on-demand webinars and podcasts to automated content curation. They help you keep up with the latest news and insights in your industry. They provide a platform for sharing your ideas and engaging with potential customers, making you a top-tier industry expert. They also streamline your processes, save you time, and boost your visibility in the market.

This article will explore what tools and resources can help you become an effective thought leader, from building relationships to creating marketing strategies that will help you gain traction over time. We'll discuss why each is beneficial and provide practical tips on how they can be used effectively in a successful overall campaign.

Build your thought leadership strategy with online tools

Tools and apps are necessary because they provide a framework for creating thought leadership content that resonates with readers. They help you brainstorm ideas for content, craft engaging articles, and structure them in such a way that they flow naturally from one point to the next. They also help you distribute your content, share it widely, and measure its impact.

That being said, it’s important to remember that tools alone won’t make you an expert; they simply provide short-cuts of time and effort so you can focus on developing valuable insights instead of worrying about technical aspects such as formatting or grammar. 

Some of the benefits of using online apps to help boost your expertise and point of view include:

  • Creating high-quality content that resonates with your target audience
  • Engaging with your audience in an authentic way
  • Building relationships with your target audience 
  • Gaining recognition in your industry
  • Saving time by streamlining processes
  • Providing immediate feedback from customers
  • Using this feedback to adjust your campaigns quickly and efficiently, giving you a competitive edge
  • Boosting your visibility in the market, so you stand out from the crowd of competitors
  • Reaching a wider audience

Begin with a thought leadership content strategy

Start with your goals, then identify the apps and resources that will help you achieve those goals. Using some of the tools described here will help make your overall strategy more successful. 

Ask yourself what type of content you want to create, whom you want to serve with your content, and how often you need to produce new content. Once you know the answers, it will be easier to find the programs that meet your needs.

No matter which resources you choose, you’ll need to dedicate time and resources to create the greatest impact. Consider using analytics dashboards to track the effectiveness of your content and measure engagement. This will help you determine which strategies resonate most strongly with your audience so you can adjust accordingly.

Improve time management

Thought leaders are often pressed for time, so having a good time management system is essential. The following tools have different features, so explore them all and see which will best fit your needs:

  • Asana can help you create tasks for yourself and your team, and assign deadlines, so you can stay on track and not miss any important milestones.
  • Trello can also help you manage tasks and deadlines through boards, lists, and cards.
  • Calendly is a scheduling tool that will ensure you never miss an important meeting or event.
  • Google Calendar has all the features you'd expect from an online calendar, and then some. It also syncs across devices.
  • Focus Booster helps you stay on task and get more done. It's a time tracking tool - using the Pomodoro timer - that can help you stay on task and avoid distractions.
  • Visme makes it easy to visually represent your ideas and thoughts, helping you stay organized and on track with your goals. You can create milestones and various projects within Visme.
  • Toggle is a time-tracking tool that helps you see how you're spending your time in order to improve your productivity.
  • Evernote could fit under several categories as it curates online webpages, helps you keep track of tasks, ideas, meeting minutes, and lots more, and makes collaboration easy.
  • Forest is a powerful time management tool that blocks access to distractions through the use of a timer. When the timer runs out, you can earn virtual coins that can be used to plant real trees in parts of the world that are being affected by deforestation.
  • Harvest is a time-tracking tool you can use for multiple projects and clients, log time for meetings and activities, and create invoices.

Top content curation tools

If you want to be a thought leader, you need to be up to date on the latest news, insights, and trends in your industry. Curation tools can help by aggregating content from multiple sources into one place. This saves you time by allowing you to review all the latest information in one place. This also makes it easier to stay on top of the latest news and insights and share them with your audience. 

  • Feedly is a popular content curation tool that allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds from multiple sources and organize them into categories, so you can quickly find the information you need.
  • Flipboard is another great curation tool that helps you find and share the best stories from around the web.
  • Pocket is a great tool for saving articles or videos to read or watch later, while staying organized with tagging capabilities.
  • Google Alerts is a great way to get notified every time something you're interested in is published online, so you can stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Writing and content tools

To become an influential thought leader, you need to be able to articulate your ideas clearly and concisely through writing, speaking, and presenting. Some of these tools include:

  • Brainstorming apps - Ideator and Mindmeister are two apps that help you brainstorm and organize your ideas quickly and easily.
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) apps - While it remains to be seen when/if AI apps will be able to create content that does NOT need to be edited, tweaked, and evaluated by a knowledgeable human being, using resources like ChatGPT, Jasper, or Content@Scale will help eliminate the “blank page syndrome”, and can give you dozens of relevant topics in seconds. Don’t miss using AI. But make sure you validate everything too.
  • Writing apps - The Hemingway App helps you write better by highlighting areas for improvement within your text, such as complex words, passive voice, and more. Grammarly is a must-have writing tool, as it can detect grammar mistakes and typos in your writing.
  • Writing software - You are probably already familiar with some or most of these: Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and Apple Pages offer advanced editing capabilities that make it easier to craft well-written text. You can also use Evernote or Visme to collect your thoughts and ideas.
  • Presentation software - Platforms such as Microsoft Powerpoint and Apple Keynote enable you to create professional-looking presentations quickly and easily. These tools also provide the option of including video, audio, and animation to enhance your presentation. Prezi is a great way to create dynamic presentations without having to be an expert at design or coding. You can also use Visme to create visually stunning presentations and graphics with minimal effort.
  • Content sharing tools - You can use Hootsuite, TweetDeck, and Buffer to schedule content from different sources and share them with your audience on social media. They allow you to manage multiple profiles, share content quickly and easily, schedule posts in advance, and track engagement metrics.
  • Data visualization tools - Visualizing complex data is key to making your ideas more understandable, and this is where tools like Tableau come in handy. By allowing you to create interactive visualizations and dashboards from multiple sources of data, these platforms help you make sense of the information and share it with your audience in a visually appealing way.
  • Video marketing tools - Many thought leaders find success through video content, so it’s important to have the right tools for creating and distributing videos. Tools like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro are great for editing videos, while YouTube is a great platform for hosting and sharing your videos. Capcut is ideal for short-form videos like TikTok or Instagram/Facebook Reels, and is a very user-friendly app that doesn’t require a lot of skill to use.
  • Podcasts - Platforms such as Anchor and Spreaker are excellent tools for creating podcasts to share your ideas with a wide audience.  They provide tools for recording, editing, hosting, and distributing your podcast.
  • Content management systems (CMS) - A CMS is a software application you can use to create and manage content. With a CMS, you can easily write and publish content without having to worry about code. Popular CMSs include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.

Analytics tools

You don't know how effective your content strategy is unless you measure the analytics. Look for the visualizations, dashboards, and integrations that will serve you best. Keep in mind, "What one or two or three metrics MUST I know in order to tell how my successful my current marketing strategy is?"

  • Buffer's content marketing analytics offers a suite of analytics tools to measure and optimize your content performance.
  • Google Analytics provides insights into how many people are visiting your website, where they’re coming from, and what pages they are viewing. It also helps you track conversions from various sources such as social media and search engines.
  • Moz offers a suite of SEO tools to help you track and optimize your website’s performance. It also provides analytics on organic search rankings, backlinks, keyword difficulty scores, and more.
  • BuzzSumo is great for comprehensive content analysis across multiple social networks. You can easily see what type of content is performing best in any given niche.
  • Similar Web provides insights into various metrics including website visits, average visit duration, search and referral traffic sources, and more.
  • Hotjar is a powerful all-in-one analytics and feedback platform, allowing you to easily track user behavior on your website. You can also use it to capture user feedback such as heatmaps, form analytics, and surveys.
  • SEMrush is another comprehensive SEO tool, providing insights into keyword research, organic search rankings, backlinks, and more.
  • Kissmetrics is an analytics platform designed to help you measure, analyze, and optimize your customer journey. It allows you to track user behavior across multiple devices and channels, as well as segment users based on their actions.
  • Databox is a data visualization platform that helps you make sense of your analytics. It allows you to create custom dashboards and visualizations from multiple sources of data, so you can easily track key metrics and trends in real-time.

These are just a few of the tools that can help you become an influential thought leader in your industry. With the right combination of these tools, you’ll be able to curate content, write compelling stories, create engaging presentations and visuals, and build relationships with your audience on social media. Best of all, you’ll have the analytics to back it all up.

There are many other tools available for online meetings, webinars, and course creation and distribution. With the right tools and knowledge, you can be the authority in your field and have a successful content strategy that drives results for your business. 

It's not an online tool, but membership in a top-tier networking organization like Newsweek Expert Forum connects you with influential leaders across industries. Share your ideas and gain new insights when you meet regularly with thought leaders like you. 


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