Getting started with your thought leadership journey

Starting a thought leadership or creator journey is exciting. But let’s face it, it can be daunting. Throughout the years, I’ve learned that building a personal brand is much more than creating content. It would be best if you became a student of the craft, including understanding how to create, publish, and amplify your message.

My Creator journey

Creating a personal brand and moving from corporate executive to full-time creator has been an exciting (yet scary) journey. Many professionals ask me what it takes to become a solopreneur and how you actually make a living as a Creator. I share my complete story in this awesome interview with Amanda Northcutt from Level Up Creators.

Video: From Silicon Valley executive to full-time creator

Creating a personal brand. My approach, step-by-step

You can watch the full video of my recent webinar with Ceresa. I go behind the scenes on how I created and nurtured my personal brand throughout the years. In this video, I share my secret sauce step-by-step. =)

Video: Elevating Your Personal Brand with Ceresa Mentor Daniel Elizalde

Below are some of the resources I’ve found useful throughout the years. This might seem like a lot, but remember, building your brand is a marathon, not a sprint.

Diving deeper into the mechanics of thought leadership

Here are some books that have inspired me and given me many actionable insights into what it takes to build a personal brand.

Setting up your thought leadership platform

The key to building your brand is distilling your message in the form of content. But content alone is not enough. You need to create a digital platform anchored on your own site to publish your content (blog, podcast, vlog, etc.) to attract and engage your audience.

These resources give you all the info you’ll ever need.

Thought Leadership – tools of the trade

As you gain traction, you’ll need the right tools to support your journey. There are many tools out there, and people usually spend a lot of time researching what to use and how to use them. Below are the tools I use (I have no affiliation with them).

I recommend not wasting too much time researching tools. Your time is better spent creating content and engaging with your audience. When you are just getting started, you don’t need much, but as you grow, you can come back to this list to get ideas on tools that help you at the stage you are in.

Most of these tools have free plans. But as you grow, you will need to spend some money. Keep that in mind. For reference, I spend about $350 per month on all the services & tools I use.

Setting up your site & blog:

Teaching online courses and webinars:

  • Teachable: a platform for hosting self-paced online courses and coaching services
  • Zoom: video conferences, podcast recording, and webinars
  • Demio: webinar delivery and automation platform
  • Eventbrite: a platform to sell tickets for live workshops or masterclasses
  • Live Streaming Pros: excellent training on how to look professional on camera, including what equipment to buy, lighting, etc.

Engagement: email marketing & social media

Running a podcast:

  • Libsyn: a platform to host your podcast
  • Zoom: to record your podcast, although there are more powerful options like Riverside
  • We Edit Podcasts: service to edit and publish your podcast episodes
  • Jenny Hamson Design: high-quality and affordable podcast artwork design (including logos)

Writing a book:

Agencies and Professional Services:

As you evolve, you might need to hire some help to do some of the work or just to have a fractional expert by your side. It is money well spent.

  • Level Up Creators: This agency provides all the training and services you’ll need to run your creator business. You don’t need to do it alone. They also have an all-inclusive membership, that’s a great investment.
  • Scribe: all the help you’ll need for self-publishing your book
  • Copy Chief:  Marketplace for hiring writers & editors
  • Belay: agency to hire a virtual assistant, social media manager, or bookkeeper
  • 99 Designs: custom artwork, including logo and branding elements


In the future, you might need to start fine-tuning your engagement funnel or treating your thought leadership as a business. Here are some great tools for that. You don’t need to worry about this for a while, but just to be thorough, I wanted to include them here =)

I hope you find these resources helpful. I look forward to hearing about your success in your thought leadership journey!