thought leader in chosen fieldWhat does it mean to stand out? It means you’re noticed by others, including your important clients and superiors. In the world of business, standing out means you’re serving your company as only you can, as someone who is not expendable. It means you’re recognized for your skills (skills others simply don’t have).

Determine Exactly What Your Skills Are

It’s your skills that can land you an incredible promotion or a new job. In order to be a thought leader in your business and truly stand out, you need to determine exactly how you’re skilled and how you can apply these skills to specialize in your business. It takes a deliberate strategy to stand out and be recognized for your skills.

Take, for instance, Benedict Morelli, a personal injury attorney from Brooklyn, NY. In a high profile case in which a man lost his leg after an elevator went haywire, Morelli’s empathy won over a jury and they awarded his client $2.6 million, which was more than twice what the defense had originally offered in a settlement. His people skills make him a notable attorney; New York Mag notes that Morelli connects with a jury in a “pridefully and profitably” manner that is “the envy of other plaintiffs’ lawyers.”

What skills make you enviable? Take note of the things you’re best at, and begin highlighting them to your superiors, clients, and customers in effective ways, such as on your resume or on your personal website. Moreover, apply these skills to every work-related scenario that you can.

Be Passionate and Proud of What You Stand For

Your passion for what you do will get you noticed because passion is an effective motivator. Morelli’s passions for trial law were evident in his final summations, which he practiced with his wife Arlene Morelli who helped found their successful law practice.

Her passions do not begin and end with trial law, but have led her to great philanthropy. She is a community leader, an educator, and a thought-leader and patron of the arts. As a philanthropist, her passions also led her to the Feed First Foundation, where she has risen to become the foundation’s leader and in charge of distributing home-cooked meals to impoverished Harlem residents for the last 12 years.

Make a list of what you’re passionate about (regardless if it’s work-related or not). This list should provide you with a bit of ambition, as well as help you define exactly who you are. Passion alone won’t make you stand out, but when you combine it with branding you’ll have the tools you need to achieve success.

Building Your Personal Brand

One of the most effective ways to stand out is to build a personal brand online and off. In terms of corporations, branding has to do with logos and a product’s or services’ attributes, such as packaging and reputation. Your personal brand is a bit like a corporation’s brand in that you want to define yourself in a way that’s visible to others; instead of a logo or packaging, you create business cards and a personal website that sums up your skills and qualities including your passions.

Entrepreneur.com recommends that you write “thought leadership articles and participate in interviews.” If you’re not blogging about your passions, you should be. Your personal website complete with compelling thought leadership articles make you an authority on your passions, and it will get you noticed. To gain speaking engagements, direct other thought leaders to your blog to show them you know what you’re talking about.

Your online presence is important, so do your due diligence and Google yourself. Change or bury anything that is contradictory to the brand you’re building for yourself. Your personal website should be one of the first things that comes up when you Google yourself.

Passion and branding will make you stand out. Define exactly what your skills are, highlight your passions, and put it all together on a website to highlight who you are and what you can offer. By doing these three things, you’re setting yourself apart which can and will result in better opportunities.