The digital era has given rise to influencers and thought leaders galore. People such as Jake Paul, GaryVee, and Grant Cardone have make huge followings and fortunes for themselves off of curating content online for people to consume.

With the everyday enormous usage of social media and digital platforms for content consumption, it is hard to not desire to build such fame.

However, this fame takes hard work and requires giving consumers real value. In order to become a thought leader and draw attention from the masses there are a few steps which will make your ambitions a bit more realistic.

1. Know your niche.

Every influencer and thought leader has an extremely specific personal brand, of which they are the king or queen. GaryVee knows social media better than anyone out there and he lets people know it.

People are fickle and if you want to earn their respect and gain control of their attention, you need to not only assert yourself as the master of a specific area of expertise, but you need to actually be the master.

This requires knowing who else is out there talking about your topics, knowing all of the nuances and best practices of the industry, and most importantly know how to convey the information to your masses.

Gen Z in particular is known for having an 8-second attention span and if you are not able to perfectly match their content desires and learning habits, you will lose any chance of becoming a thought leader.

2. Have a reason to be heard.

Not only do you need to know an industry inside and out but you need a resume that proves it. With so much information out there and so many people begging for content consumers’ time, for better or worse, people evaluate whether or not they should take people seriously based on superfluous labels.

These include bestselling author, unicorn founder, serial entrepreneur, etc. but need to be backed up with more specific details which will gain you the respect of those who see you and your content online.

3. Get on all the social media platforms.

Not only do you need to increase your reach and exposure, but you need to ensure that users who might be platform-specific are not alienated or lost when they try to consume what you are pushing.

Maintain a Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and a blog at the least. Also, across all of these platforms make sure to keep a fairly homogenous feel to your accounts and pages. You want to allow users to easily identify you on each and prevent any confusions when searching for your accounts.

Utilizing all of the new features on each platform, such as Facebook and Instagram Live, Instagram Stories, and virtual reality content will give you free boosts since the companies throw added promotion onto features whenever they roll them out, which gives you added reach and allows you more chances to reach your audience.

4. Maintain a regular blog.

Maintaining a blog is pivotal for being a thought leader. This will be the one place on the internet that is entirely controlled by you and is a total compilation of your thoughts.

When sculpting and creating your blog take into account the other blogs, books, and resources out there, in terms of article titles, general content, and what all of these resources use to communicate with their audiences.

Adding videos, pictures, infographics, and more can give you an edge when it comes to connecting with viewers and communicating your message. Once you know what your blog needs to be about, keep a content schedule and stick to it. Regularity is the only way to increase a subscriber base.

5. Publish a book with a publishing house.

Most acknowledge the power and reach of publishing a book and recently there has been a wave of people promoting self-publishing. Using routes such as Amazon to publish a book does it make it easier to get to market, but it also diminishes the value of the book and reduces the revenue the book can achieve.

You will never see a “Zero to One,” “Tools of Titans,” or similar thought leader books being self-published. This is due partly to the fact publishers and book agents are better able to push copies via book signing events, sales networks, fine-tuning book-audience fit, and overall promotion. It is their job to make sure books do well.

Additionally, publishing your own book has become so easy that is holds little weight and reduces the chances of people reading it. You need to the superfluous labels, such as big brand publisher, if you want to really receive the benefits of writing a book.