Financial organizations are increasingly turning to thought leadership to grow their business. Thought leadership is loosely defined as sharing the expertise you have within your company with current and prospective clients and strategic partners. If you do this on a consistent basis, you increase your value to them as well as their respect for you and what you have to offer. You can become known by not just your clients and partners but by industry influencers and the media as an expert in your field.
Sharing Your Knowledge to Create Value for Your Company
If your brand and reputation are based on knowledge, thought leadership is a particularly valuable tool. That’s why consulting companies have been among the first to embrace this new type of marketing. They recognize that we’re transitioning from a knowledge-based economy to a wisdom-based one. This means that it’s not just about having the knowledge but sharing it with others on a regular basis to add value to your business.
Thought leadership means not only sharing your own company’s best practices and plans for the future, but also the knowledge of your subject matter experts (SMEs). These are people who have been around your industry for many years and have been able to react and find new solutions in a changing marketplace.
Gone are the days when companies were tight-lipped about these things. Transparency is expected now. Often this involves helping clients and partners get ahead of the changes that will be required of them to remain relevant in the future as technology evolves at a more rapid pace than ever before.
Thought leadership can also invigorate your workforce. The more that management teams seek ideas from people at all levels of their company, the more incentive those employees have to bring their best ideas to the table.
Thought leadership involves sharing what you are skilled at solving. You can make your business more profitable by showing current and prospective clients what capabilities you have and demonstrating that you can help them find new ways of solving problems.
Use Your Company’s Resources in Your Thought Leadership
Thought leadership also involves identifying and utilizing the following resources within your organization and sharing that information with others. This sharing adds value to your business:
- The thought leaders in the various divisions of your organization who are thinking and problem solving in different ways. These aren’t the SMEs. They are the game changers and paradigm shifters you’ll need to rely on to continue innovating. It’s essential to share their ideas if you want to be a successful thought leader.
- Best practices for your industry. These are the practices that will stand the test of a changing marketplace.
- Measurable breakthroughs that your business has made (both large and small) that will help others succeed.
- The relationships that add value, including the strategic partners throughout your supply chain.
By implementing thought leadership, you share your best practices and success stories that have made you not only a more profitable, viable company but have increased employee morale. This is something that every successful financial organization should consider a priority. This sharing of knowledge, particularly at regularly-scheduled intervals such as with a monthly newsletter or weekly blog post, will help you stand out from your competitors as you build and strengthen relationships.
Develop a Social Media Strategy
Your marketing strategy is thought leadership. You want to share your problem-solving expertise and innovation with your clients and strategic partners, industry influencers and the media. How do you most effectively do that?
Of course, social media is the leading method of communication today. However, just how is social media for financial advisors best utilized, and what platforms do you use in order to get noticed by the right audience?
A strategic social media presence is key. You don’t want to just saturate every social media platform. You need to go to the social networks that your target audiences are on to get the most value for your time and money. To do this successfully, you need a social media plan.
This involves determining the most effective way to share your information. That varies by industry and company style. Many startups use LinkedIn to get their name out there, but obvious choices like Twitter and Facebook shouldn’t be ignored by financial advisors, either.
Regardless of the social media channels you choose, consistency is the key to any effective social media strategy. Distributing educational, engaging thought leadership on a consistent, scheduled basis will help you gain real traction with your audience. This traction can increase over time as your audience comes to expect specific types of content and engagement from you according to a predictable schedule.
Find the Right Social Media Influencers
It’s essential to find social media influencers to grow your brand. They can be used as a conduit to spread your name and what you have to offer.
The annual FinCon conference of financial bloggers is a good place to look for social media financial advisors. People like Jean Chatzky, Jordan Harbinger, Clark Howard and Lynnette Khalfani-Cox are among the key social media influencers in the financial field.
If you begin by sharing their content, it’s more likely that you’ll come to their attention. It’s essential that the social media influencers you choose have credibility with their audience. You want to find people who have persuasive powers over the people you want to reach and whose own tone and mission are close to your own. There are even agencies that can connect you with social media influencers in your industry.
Social Media Marketing for Financial Advisors
Once you find out which social media platforms are bringing in the most business and getting you the most recognition, you can focus on those. Of course, new ones are always coming along, so it’s key to find out where else your audience is getting their information and where other industry influencers are going. Don’t confuse having a large audience with influence, however. You want someone who will help advocate for your brand and what you have to offer.
Using a thought leadership marketing strategy is an important step to making your financial advisory business a respected and well-known name in your industry. However, it’s essential to employ a well thought out and targeted social media strategy to help ensure that what you have to offer as a thought leader finds its way to the right people and companies. Distributing thought leadership with a high level of regularity will greatly improve the odds that you keep the attention of those people and companies.