For years, I’ve been grappling with the question of how professionals in an increasingly noisy and frenetic world can ensure their expertise is recognized. In the course of researching for my book (yes, I'm writing a book), I have looked up to more than 50 top thought leaders across a variety of different fields to elicit best practices and commonalities. I found plenty of useful techniques, from cultivating a trusted wingman to help promote you to others, to identify commonalities with the people you’re seeking to influence so they’ll be more receptive to your message. As I came to realize, though, there are three foundational elements to getting your ideas understood and appreciated, elements that underlie everything else. These are social proof, which gives people a reason to listen to you; content creation, which allows them to evaluate the quality of your ideas; and your network, which allows your ideas to spread. Without at least two of these, though ideally, you have all three, it’s structurally almost impossible for your message to breakthrough. Understanding that dynamic can help talented professionals, who may be prone to focusing their energy on the techniques that come most easily to them, know where to apply their efforts in order to ensure their true value is recognized.