Every follower can be a thought leader

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I was inspired to write this last night after “I started thinking” that we all are capable of being “Thought leaders” in our right. This meme came from a couple of posts that I read over at Amber Naslund’s and Valeria Maltoni’s blogs. Amber had touched on this week about reputation and branding, value propositions and being personal, While Valeria listed 25 ways to fail and come out on top. I highly suggest after reading this short post that you head over there to read what they have to say.

While both Amber and Valeria have taken different approaches to the same topic, the message to me is quite clear. I’m going to sum it up for you. Right now, you read our blogs for pleasure, for business, for insight, for research or for shits and giggles. The reasons are many, but what I want people to realize and what Amber and Valeria are saying in oh so many words is you can be the thought leader or the influencer who inspires us. With that being said, I am a firm believer in empowerment, I think it creates more leaders and less followers and more original thought in doing so.

We talk about thought leaders in social media all the time. But what you need to realize is that all of us, thought leaders and influencers included, are starting from the same point. We start with nothing and we build from there. I tweeted earlier today that everyone can make the new rules. I thought that, because I read and hear all the time about the new rules of marketing or the new rules of media, or social media marketing rules of engagement.  And I get that. But guess what? You can make your own rules too! Wanna know why? Because we’re all still figuring it out ourselves. We always will be. But you can be the one that shows us the way, just as much as the next person.

Be the one that makes or breaks the rules. There is no reason why YOU can’t be the thought leader.

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26 people you could trust in the social media space.

In the second part of my series of trust in social media, I thought it might be a good thing to mention and highlite 26 people in the social media/marketing space whose thoughts I appreciate and whose knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge I value. I also thought it more important that it should be a list of people who would do their best to be a straight shooter, tell the truth, and give you what you need, not what they want you to have. Big Difference.

If I were you and you were either looking for that list of people whos blogs and companies that you could refer to on a daily basis or just starting out in trying to understand what social media is as it pertains to marketing, then this list is a good start. Not all of them swim in social media waters only, but it is still a very strong list for you to work off of.

  1. Scott Monty
  2. Stowe Boyd
  3. Chris Brogan
  4. Jeremiah Owyang
  5. Rohit Bhargava
  6. Charlene Li
  7. Phil Gomes
  8. Shel Israel
  9. Lee Odden
  10. Steve Rubel
  11. Valeria Maltoni
  12. Brian Solis
  13. B.L. Ochman
  14. Toby Bloomberg
  15. Drew McLellan
  16. MIke Sansone
  17. Seth Godin
  18. Geoff Livingston
  19. Maggie Fox
  20. Becky Carroll
  21. David Armano
  22. Joseph Jaffe
  23. Mack Collier
  24. Guy Kawasaki
  25. Gavin Heaton
  26. Rachel Happe

So who do you trust? Who’s words do you take to heart and try to apply to your businesses? Who motivates you to no end?