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“5 Things You Should Do To Become a Thought Leader In Your Industry”, With Bex Band

There have been countless opportunities that have come my way thanks to being recognised as an expert in my field. This includes speaking gigs, interviews in press and podcasts and award recognition. I’ve had multiple customers who have joined my trips after saying they heard me in a podcast or saw me speak at a […]

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There have been countless opportunities that have come my way thanks to being recognised as an expert in my field. This includes speaking gigs, interviews in press and podcasts and award recognition. I’ve had multiple customers who have joined my trips after saying they heard me in a podcast or saw me speak at a festival. All these opportunities present a stage for me to talk about what I do and to grow a loyal following.


As part of our series about how to become known as a thought leader in your industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bex Band. Bex is an adventurer and founder of the women’s adventure community Love Her Wild. Her expeditions have included hiking 1000km across Israel, kick-scooting the length of the USA and crossing the Jordan desert. She believes that everyone should be able to access adventure as it builds confidence and connects people to the natural world. Seeing a gender imbalance outdoors, Bex launched Love Her Wild in 2017 to provide support and opportunities for women in adventure. Now with over 6,000 members, Love Her Wild has taken hundreds of women on life changing expeditions around the world. As well as having an online forum, the community runs a mentoring program and funding schemes to break down financial and social barriers. Bex has been recognised by Business Leader as UK’s top 30 inspirational entrepreneurs and was award the Next Generation Award by Enterprise Nation. For her work advocating women in adventure she has been shortlisted for a National Diversity Award and in 2018 was given ‘Legacy Maker’ status on the San Miguel Alternative Rich List.


Thank you so much for doing this with us Bex! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

As a child, I struggled in school with dyslexia and bullying. It left me with low self-esteem and a sense that I wouldn’t amount to much — feelings that fed into my adult life. Just by coincidence, one day I heard about a trail that stretches 1000km the length of Israel and, wanting to shake up my life (and not really knowing what I was getting myself into), I packed my bags and left for this epic adventure.

Those 2 months on the trail rebuilt my confidence, re-sparked passion and made me realise what I was truly capable of achieving. Adventure changed my life and it seemed wrong that not everyone is able to access that. So I launched Love Her Wild to provide opportunities and support to help more women get outdoors on their own adventures.

Less than 3 years on from hiking Israel and Love Her Wild has become a successful social enterprise. I’ve become an award winning spokesperson for women in adventure, and that quiet girl with low self-esteem is no where in sight!

Can you briefly share with our readers why you are an authority about the topic of thought leadership?

In the space of just a couple of years I went from having no online presence to a reach of hundreds of thousands and recognition as an expert and advocate for women in adventure. Establishing myself as a Thought Leader in my field has allowed me to successfully carve a career and life on my terms.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

The first all-female expedition I organised was called The Everest Adventure. Our goal was to hike the height of Everest over 5 days in the Lake District National Park. We failed. I was sure it would be the end of Love Her Wild expeditions — why would anyone sign up to join an adventure company who didn’t reach their goal? Far from failing though this turned out to be a significant turning point in establishing the community! The media were really interested in running the story as it offered something different from your usual ‘claim and conquer’ expedition. And it set the ethos of Love Her Wild — sure, we might not reach the summit but we’re going to give it a go, have a laugh and make some good friends in the process. It’s what makes us stand out from the rest.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Accidentally capsizing and falling in the water in front of a journalist who had come to cover my expedition against plastic pollution in waterways. That moment pretty much sums me up…!

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define what a ‘Thought Leader’ is. How is a thought leader different than a typical leader? How is a thought leader different than an influencer?

For me, a Thought Leader needs to be paving the way and carving their own space out with what they do. In the age of influencers we see the same ideas, opinions and contents rehashed on repeat time and again. It is the Thought Leaders who stand out from the crowd who do their own thing and aren’t afraid to speak up for what they believe in.

Can you talk to our readers a bit about the benefits of becoming a thought leader. Why do you think it is worthwhile to invest resources and energy into this?

Being a Thought Leader provides a wealth of opportunities all of which help with brand awareness, growing a following and cementing loyalty. People are excited to follow those who are championing change.

Let’s talk about business opportunities specifically. Can you share a few examples of how thought leadership can help a business grow or create lucrative opportunities?

There have been countless opportunities that have come my way thanks to being recognised as an expert in my field. This includes speaking gigs, interviews in press and podcasts and award recognition. I’ve had multiple customers who have joined my trips after saying they heard me in a podcast or saw me speak at a festival. All these opportunities present a stage for me to talk about what I do and to grow a loyal following.

Ok. Now that we have that behind us, we’d love to hear your thoughts about how to eventually become a thought leader. Can you share 5 strategies that a person should implement to become known as a thought leader in their industry. Please tell us a story or example (ideally from your own experience) for each.

  1. Keep building that confidence…
    Being in a public space and calling yourself an expert takes a lot of confidence. Confidence and self-belief is a muscle that needs to be flexed and pushed in order to grow. I use adventures (like difficult hikes) as a way to grow my own confidence and to challenge the self-limiting beliefs I have about myself. Adventure helped me realise I can achieve far more than I thought possible and I was able to transfer this way of thinking into running my business.
  2. I know you know it but I’ll say it again…
    You’ve got to have a niche. It’s not enough to be an expert in ‘adventure’ anymore….but being known for ‘accessible female adventures’ can get you somewhere. Think about it logically, if you were an event organiser looking for an expert to speak on a panel, who do you think would be most knowledgeable in their field out of these 2 examples? The more specific you go, the more people will trust that you know what you are talking about. Once you’ve established your niche I would then recommend cementing this by either doing a survey amongst your followers (for example, to establish what holds women back from going on adventures) or organising a relevant event (such as a women’s adventure festival). This bold move will put your name out there as the expert in your field and will give you some content to talk about when approaching journalists or companies.
  3. Personality and fun will take you a long way…
    The most memorable Thought Leaders are the ones who open up their doors and let their personalities shine through in everything they do. Being closed and serious will just turn people away from you. Try instead to find fun ways that you can inject your ideas out into the public space — videos and Instagram/Facebook stories are a great way to do this. I try and do a video update a few times a week showing the ‘behind the scenes’ of my life and all the things that I get up to. The engagement on these are always really high.
  4. 10 emails a week
    Initially those opportunities aren’t going to come to you…you are going to have to chase them! That means putting yourself out there and asking. I set myself a challenge to send out 10 emails a week. They could be to put myself forward as a speaker or an interview on a podcast, touching base with an interesting person about a potential collaboration or seeing if a relevant brand might be interested in sharing my content. If you are always sending out emails then there is always that potential for new exciting things to come your way.
  5. Have a story
    Stories engage people which is why narratives are really important. Think if there is a story you can attach to your brand. For me, I tell the story of how going on an adventure changed my life which then led me to setting up Love Her Wild, as I wanted other women to experience these changes too. It’s a great personal story that feeds into my business and message.

In your opinion, who is an example of someone who has that has done a fantastic job as a thought leader? Which specific things have impressed you about that person? What lessons can we learn from this person’s approach.

I think Lucy Sheridan (http://www.proofcoaching.com/) is a great example of a rising Thought Leader. She has become the ‘Comparison Coach’ expert — a great niche which she has established from a personal story. She uses Instagram stories to really connect to her audience and provides great value via coaching content on YouTube and IGTV. She has a book coming out early next year and has appeared on Oprah’s life classes.

I have seen some discussion that the term “thought leader” is trite, overused, and should be avoided. What is your feeling about this?

I think if people are talking it down, being negative and hating on something then it can only be a good thing! 🙂

What advice would you give to other leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?

The journey to becoming a successful Thought Leader is likely to be a tough one. You will probably experience rejection, criticism and set backs and all this can take a strain. So it’s important to look after yourself. I do this by practicing good daily habits like meditation, exercise and journaling as well as having a business coach to keep me on track. The more positive and energised I feel, the more proactive I am with my career — it really is a case of you get out what you put in.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

That’s easy — I want every workplace and school around the world to have a week a year dedicated to going on an adventure. That means taking on a tough physical challenge in the outdoors. So many of us are caught up in our phones, work and day-to-day life that shaking up the routine, moving our bodies and having some breathing space can really teach us a lot about ourselves. It’s immensely grounding. With so many conservation issues and the rise of poor mental health, more than ever we need people connecting with our natural world.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K.Rowling

As someone who struggled with Dyslexia my whole life I thought my successes in life would be limited….how wrong my teachers were!

We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Tim Urban (Wait But What)….the greatest blogger who ever existed!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Twitter: @Bex_Band (https://twitter.com/Bex_Band)

Facebook: @theOrdinaryAdventurer (https://www.facebook.com/theOrdinaryAdventurer/)

Instagram @Bex_Band (https://www.instagram.com/bex_Band/)

You can also follow my adventures and business journey on my blog The Ordinary Adventurer (www.theordinaryadventurer.com) and can find out more about Love Her Wild via www.loveherwild.com.

Thank you so much for your insights. This was very insightful and meaningful.

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