Tell Me You’re a Thought Leader Without Telling Me You’re a Thought Leader

Based on the popular “Tell Me Without Telling Me” Twitter and TikTok challenge, this blog post focuses on how to acquire respect, admiration, and attention as a notable thought leader in your industry without blatantly announcing your expertise.

Most of the leaders and experts I know are humble people. However, in today’s digital world, you need an online presence that influences others to do business with you. Your potential clients and customers want to work with and purchase services from innovative thought leaders who are at the forefront of trends and new solutions. How do you convince them that you and your business fit that description without coming off obnoxious?

Keep reading to learn how to use marketing and public relations (PR) techniques to tell the world you’re a thought leader without actually screaming, “Hey! Look at me! I’m a thought leader.”

Start by Introducing Yourself

This is a photograph of a white notecard with the word "hello" handwritten on it in green ink.If you have not done so already, write your biography and background story. Begin by creating a long, detailed biography. The length should be about a full page. Try not to go longer than that.

Your long-form bio should first identify who you are and what you do today. From there, transition to your history and background. After that, wrap it up with the fun stuff, such as inspirations and personal interests.

Now, write three more versions of this bio. (I know, but hear me out.) The first should be a briefer version of the long-form bio. My general rule-of-thumb for length is three paragraphs.

Utilize the exact same sentences from the long-form version, but just make this bio more concise. Use this version on the About page of your website, or whatever personal page you have for yourself. As an example, view the bio for WebDevStudios (WDS) CEO and Co-Founder, Brad Williams.

The next version of your bio should be even briefer—just one paragraph. Again, use the same sentences and wording. This is the version you will use on LinkedIn and your other social media profiles.

The last version of your bio is only one to two sentences in length. This is your 30-second elevator pitch. Please memorize it.

Share Your Knowledge

Now, you know who you are. You have written your description, backstory, and you’re keeping it consistent everywhere. These measures are important as we move to the next step in your journey as a thought leader: sharing your knowledge.

Generously donating your time and expertise is the number-one way for telling me you’re a thought leader without telling me you’re a though leader. Here’s how and where to do it.


A photograph of a desk with a pencil holder, filled with black pencils, a stack of white paper with a camera on top of the stack.You need a blog on your website, and you, personally, need to be contributing to it. The WDS blog is one of our hottest marketing methods for brand recognition.

By blogging regularly, our team members are establishing themselves and WDS as thought leaders in subjects such as:

What are your specialities? Blog about them on a regular basis.

Long-Form Content

Case studies and white papers are valuable because they provide a wealth of information for anyone gathering knowledge in your industry. Since long-form content tends to be more in-depth and detailed, they are very effective for establishing yourself as a thought leader.


Did you ever think about writing a book about your particular expertise? WebDevStudios COO and Co-Founder, Lisa Sabin-Wilson, is the For Dummies™ brand franchise author on all things WordPress, including the best-selling WordPress For Dummies.

Want to tell me you’re a thought leader without telling me you’re a thought leader? Write a book!


All the world’s a stage. So, find your spotlight and share your knowledge. Here are some ideas for venues and platforms.

Talks and Presentations

My coworkers love speaking at WordCamps, WordPress meetups, and conferences. You should do the same. Nowadays, many events have gone virtual, so you can showcase your expertise across the globe easily.


This is a photo of a pair of eyeglasses sitting on an open MacBook, near the touchpad.Every time I attend a webinar, I wind up following that speaker on every platform and buying their books, if they have any. Presenting a webinar on a subject that you know a lot about is a sure-fire way to garner new followers, fans, and clients.

Webinars are a great marketing tool and worth the investment. They’re not as difficult to coordinate and conduct as you would think. Today’s technology makes webinars easy to manage and not so costly.

WebDevStudios is offering a webinar on Headless WordPress at the end of this month. You can watch and register via Zoom, and it’s free to attend.

If your knowledge can help boost someone else’s, I highly recommend setting up and hosting an educational webinar.

Twitter Spaces

Brad loves sharing his WordPress knowledge and opinions in an informal manner. That’s why every Friday he hosts a WordPress Twitter Spaces event.

With Twitter Spaces, you can hold an informal, off-the-cuff audio chat about a topic related to your industry and expertise. You can even invite others to speak and engage in conversation. Another option is Clubhouse. You can do the same thing there, too.

I recommend going into a Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse event with topics in mind already. Take the time to promote the event beforehand, too. You don’t have to conduct an event like this weekly like Brad does, but consider finding a groove and establishing some level of consistency.

If you’d like to join Brad’s Twitter Spaces events, follow him on Twitter. He tweets out his Twitter Spaces link at 1 p.m. Eastern on Fridays. Use the hashtag #WPFriday to grab his attention and ask a WordPress-related question.

Your Own Media

Podcasts are hot! Even I have one. You could, too.

Tell me you’re a thought leader without telling me you’re thought leader by hosting your very own podcast or YouTube channel. These are other effective ways for sharing your knowledge with a lot of people.

It’s true that podcasting and hosting a YouTube channel are time-consuming activities because they require a lot of content. Plus, the post-production process (if you’re not live streaming) can be daunting. Nonetheless, they’re both worthwhile marketing and PR tactics and bear consideration.

Comments and Guest Appearances

Make yourself available for guest blogging on someone else’s blog, contributing commentary for a reporter’s article or broadcast piece, and guest appearing on another industry leader’s podcast or YouTube channel. When you share your knowledge on somebody else’s platform, you’re benefiting by gaining exposure to their audience.

Bonus Tip #1: SEO the heck out of everything!

Browser window showing SEOBetween your bios, blog posts, webinars, and guest appearances, you should be optimizing all the words you’re using for search engines. How do you do that?

Back when you wrote that long bio, you should have established your main keywords and key phrases. Your job role and business descriptions should reflect those. As you flit and flutter about sharing your knowledge everywhere, never stop using those keywords and key phrases. They’re your business cards—what you want to be known for. They’re also your key to the kingdom of Google.

Bonus Tip #2: Hire someone to do it for you.

The easiest way to tell me you’re a thought leader without telling me you’re a though leader is to hire someone to do it for you. As the Marketing Strategist at WebDevStudios, it’s my job to develop and grow our brand presence. I spend my workdays cheering the accolades of WDS and my teammates, so they don’t have to do it themselves.

If you’re too humble to dive into a public relations strategy that encompasses all the aforementioned activities, create an appropriate job role within your company and recruit the right person. Let those responsibilities fall on their shoulders.

You could also hire an outside marketing and PR agency or a freelancer. Whichever road you choose, it’s wise to enlist the assistance of a passionate professional. Rely on them to tell the world about your expertise and thought leadership.


As you can see, being pushy and off-putting does not have to be a part of your position as an industry thought leader. Be confidently forthright about your skillset and make time for sharing your knowledge with others. It truly is that easy.

Are you ready to tell me you’re a thought leader without telling me you’re a thought leader? Begin with your website. Whether you need an updated About page or an entirely new website that showcases your expertise, talk to the team with the most knowledgable website design and development thought leaders around. Contact WebDevStudios.


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