bradfriedmanBrad Friedman teaches LinkedIn for Business and Twitter for Business at CFU.  He is owner of the Friedman Group, An Inbound and social Media Marketing service.  Brad writes a blog, The Fried Side.  Read this excerpt of his post about branding for professionals.
“As a provider of professional services, your image is important to you. But if you want to take things one step further, you can move from just having a good company image to actually becoming a thought leader.
Having a good company image merely presents you as a contender in your field. But becoming a thought leader is a sign that you’re ahead of others. Being perceived in this way will also help you to develop your business by gaining new clients.
If your name is the first one that comes to mind when looking for a certain type of professional service, that means that you’ve developed a brand image. And you can do this by including certain elements of thought leadership when it comes to your online presence.
A thought leader is one that people turn to for information on a certain topic. So, for example, if you’re a personal stylist providing fashion and beauty services to people, you can become a thought leader by developing an online presence that gives people more information about what’s going on in the fashion and beauty world. The more information you add about fashion and beauty, the closer you come to becoming a thought leader.
Of course, you also need to make sure that you add quality content which is well-written, well-researched and informative. Plus, you also need to have a greater breadth of information. If you want to become a thought leader in the fashion world, you’ll have to cover all the popular fashion events and keep track of what all the major designers are doing. It doesn’t hurt to have some information about fashion history either.
No question should be too small to be addressed on your website. As long as it’s a valid question related to your field, you should provide an answer to it. By doing this continuously for a long time, you can establish yourself as a thought leader.”
Read the entire article here.