The Ledger No. 21: Thought Leadership

October 6, 2021 Sarah Dameron

Financial thought leadership speaking in front of audience

Welcome to The Ledger where we sum up the latest finance and accounting news and trends for you. On this week’s entry, we’re diving into the topic of how to hire the right manager for your department. Read on to explore how to utilize LinkedIn for financial thought leadership, how to become an effective thought leader, top truths of thought leadership and how to stand out as a thought leader.

financial thought leadership Ledger

Utilizing LinkedIn For Financial Thought Leadership

In a world encompassed by all things digital, industry professionals are having to not only raise brand awareness for their own company, but themselves as well. So, how can leaders set themselves apart from other leaders in the industry? Experts agree that LinkedIn is the go-to platform for thought leaders to voice their opinions and knowledge. LinkedIn is known as a B2B social media channel, and its entire premise is to allow individuals (and businesses) to connect with other like-minded persons. Here are a few ways to take advantage of this platform:

  • Optimize your profile – Your LinkedIn profile is more than just a Christmas wishlist for companies – it’s a way to set yourself apart. Here’s how:

    • Headshot and cover photo

    • Headline

    • Featured section

    • About section

    • Experience and Education

  • Consistent, high-quality content – 71 percent of decision-makers say that less than half of the thought leadership they consume gives them valuable insight. Here are a few examples of content you should share.

    • Blog articles, thought pieces, essays and case studies you’ve authored.

    • Upcoming webinars and live presentations you are participating in.

    • Media interviews and appearances.

    • Relevant videos, photos and long-form text posts.

    • Related news, articles and other user-generated content with your added perspective in the post.

  • Meaningful engagement – Just posting content on LinkedIn is not enough. In order to put yourself in someone else’s line of view, you need to actively position your content in front of them. You can do this by:

    • Knowing your audience – Who’s reading your content?

    • Actively engaging – Reply to comments and participate in discussions.

  • Utilizing Native Tools – Take full advantage of the features that LinkedIn has to offer. These features include:

    • LinkedIn publishing

    • LinkedIn live

To explore more about how LinkedIn is the ideal social media platform for thought leaders, read the full article on Business2Community.com.

How To Become An Effective Thought Leader

Becoming a thought leader doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, most people assume thought leadership is about delivering some grandiose speech – when in fact – it’s about thinking more deeply about ideas and connecting with others in a more meaningful way. So how can you make your way into the thought leadership hall of fame?  

  • Start with subjects you’re passionate about – Begin with what you know.
  • Keep your company top of mind when assembling your topics – Your content will give insight into your organization.
  • Don’t worry about stepping on toes – Grab the opportunity to express your beliefs and why you think that way.
  • Keep your audience in mind – Consider who you’re trying to reach.
  • Consider where to share.
    • Social network
    • Emailing to business contacts
    • Adding it to your blog
    • Adding it to your sales proposals
    • Sharing it to Medium, Quora, or Substack
  • Make it actionable.
    • Open a conversation
    • Vet potential clients
    • Nurture prospects
    • Guide a client
    • Close a deal
    • Support a client relationship or project

To learn more about how to become an effective thought leaders, head over to Forbes.com.  

Uncovering The Top Truths Of Financial Thought Leadership

Being a thought leader is more than just being an expert in your field. It’s about being the “expert of all experts”; the person people think of when they need industry advice. However, there’s not a set path to achieve that status. Take a look a few truths on becoming a thought leader:

  • You need an audience – The bigger, the better. If you think you can get by with just 100 followers, think again. Once you accrue a big following, ask your clients and friends to follow you, run ads to gain more followers, run promotions and offer giveaways.

  • Don’t share vanilla content – Don’t focus on the amount of content you produce, but the quality of that content.

  • You need to get used to the limelight – If you want to be considered a thought leader, you need to be seen. Your content can’t all be text-based – try recording a video, going live on social media, or participating in a podcast episode.

  • Consistency is the biggest hurdle – Let’s face it, juggling a myriad of tasks in our day-to-day jobs is hard enough. Add in a new initiative like thought leadership, and your plate just got even more full.

  • Your results are guaranteed to be slow – Thought leadership is a process that leads to a buying decision. Your followers are gradually ‘sold’ as they are exposed to you and your ideas.

To read the full article on how financial thought leadership is seen as the cutting-edge professional, visit WealthManagement.com.

How To Stand Out As A Thought Leader

If you want to build connections with your audience, authenticity is key. And if you want to be the thought leader in your industry, you have to be consistent. Be authentic means being honest and if you want to make an impact on your audience, you’re probably going to have to get personal. That doesn’t mean you need to share your whole life’s story, but it does mean you need to be open to connecting with others. Moreover, it’s okay to vulnerable. No one is perfect. When your audience reads your experiences, they can place themselves in your shoes. This type of connection leads to trust. Furthermore, when you’re truthful with your experiences, you will almost always be consistent. But, if you continuously alter your experiences here or there, it will eventually snowball into a bigger lie and ruin your credibility. Lastly, when you’re in a position to inspire and make an impact on others, it’s vital to have strong communication and build rapport. Once that’s been established, your audience will be more apt to hear what you have to say.

To read – in depth - how to stand out as a thought leader in your industry, read the full article on Entrepreneur.com.

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