How to Become an Executive Influencer – Part 4

Tom Popomaronis | April 28, 2021

This multipart series is designed to show you how to become a leader whose personal authority and reputation can shift an entire industry. For this type of leader, we have coined the term Executive Influencer.

In Part I of this series, we defined, What is an executive influencer?. In Part II, we covered the next step — Defining your brand as an executive. Part III uncovered The 3 pillars of authority as an Executive Influencer. Today, we’re discussing the first step in becoming an executive influencer.

Quick Background

In 2018, Google released a core update to its search algorithm. To paraphrase, the company said, “Content should be published by people and websites who have the expertise, authority, and trust to do so. This became known as the E-A-T guidelines.
Well, you are in luck because YOU do.

By way of example, their search quality rater guidelines notes, “High E-A-T medical advice should be written or produced by people or organizations with appropriate medical expertise or accreditation.”

Makes sense, right?

From this, attention pivoted to the vital question: who has the appropriate expertise, authority, and trust? Well, you are in luck because YOU do. The executive, the entrepreneur, the engineer, the technologist, the healthcare expert — no matter your industry, your knowledge of that space is valuable and should be shared.

This is an opportunity for you to shine as an author in leading magazines and publications. Become an executive influencer in your vertical and dominate on the topics in which you are most knowledgeable. Yes, it is that simple.

How to Become a Contributing Author

It’s not a coincidence that most executive influencers have a robust online portfolio of articles. It doesn’t happen overnight, though and requires building a footprint. Here’s how to get started.

The most accessible site on this list to contribute to is Medium, because there’s no editorial review process to speak of. Medium allows a new executive influencer to build a portfolio of work that can be used as a reference when contributing to other sites that have a steeper vetting process. Many Medium contributors have large followings, as well, so it can build a reputation and audience as a thought leader.

Strixus is an invite-only online publication by executives, for executives, and it covers a wide range of topics and industries. Those interested in contributing can proactively present themselves for consideration. Once invited, contributors are welcome to publish fresh, original thoughts that are actionable and backed up by expertise and evidence-based information. Take a look at the guidelines here — and here’s where you can request to become a contributor.

Thrive Global is similar to Medium, in that it publishes a wide range of content from a variety of contributors. There isn’t an application process. It’s another useful platform to build a strong writing portfolio. Unlike Medium, however, there is an editorial review board that reviews posts before publishing. More discerning sites can refer back to a portfolio on Thrive to get a feel for an executive influencer’s style and expertise.

Publishing content on Entrepreneur is a great avenue in getting recognized as an industry leader. The publication accepts content from entrepreneurs in small, mid-size, and large companies worldwide — and provides a dedicated editor and a massive audience. They recently rolled out their Entrepreneur Leadership Network where you can apply to become a contributor. Before applying, be sure to have a strong content foundation of your existing authorship, relevant to Entrepreneur’s topics of interest. I suggest referencing the articles you published on Strixus, Thrive, or Medium during your application.

Inc. Magazine
Writing for Inc. requires a pitch that involves a detailed personal background, intended field of contribution, a few potential headlines, and one sample article at minimum. It also requires a commitment of at least six months; they don’t do one-off op-ed style pieces. Here’s their robust code of ethics for any columnist they bring on.


The First Step Toward Becoming an Influencer

Becoming a contributing author to high-quality publications is an obtainable path. While it requires an investment in a relevant portfolio, the yield can reach millions of readers while simultaneously allowing you to build your credibility, reputation, and authority as a thought leader.

Interested in learning more about defining your Executive Brand? Reach out to  Massive Alliance’s Executive Branding team to develop your leadership portfolio and position yourself as an industry thought leader.

EVP, Innovation
Tom is a serial entrepreneur, product development expert, and content management strategist. Every hour of every day (perhaps too many hours) he focuses on strategies for our Executive Leadership Branding clients to build a powerful and credible online reputation.