One of the best ways to build a name for yourself and your firm is by sharing your intellectual capital through a thought leadership effort. Financial services professionals can demonstrate proficiency and build an audience by sharing what they know. That’s how followers can decide to opt in, which is useful for building brand recognition, a prospect pipeline, deal flow and even speaking gigs.
The concept of thought leadership or content marketing can be an attractive extension to your current marketing program. Professionals publish a combination of original and third-party content through online, traditional and social media channels. Their content draws an audience or following that shares an interest in the same topics.
Early adopters of content marketing campaigns have demonstrated what works and what doesn’t when it comes to thought leadership. First, you have to think in terms of “campaign, strategy, journey” when starting this effort. Too many novices instead think “tactic, experiment, ‘event’” when considering how to use content marketing.
Thought leadership is easier in concept than execution. It takes a system – a calendar, content source and a responsible individual – is to operationalize a system for executing the full campaign. You must commit to the journey; there is nothing quick about building a reputation. The same is true for building an audience for your content. Dedicate yourself to a sustained effort in publishing to reap the benefits and establish relationships.
Create content that can be useful to multiple audiences. Whether you write original content or have access to ghostwritten content, think of your various channels for distribution:
- Online: vehicles such as company blog, the “library” on your website, newsletters, email campaigns
- Social: if you publish on LinkedIn, use Twitter or other platforms
- Traditional: your quarterly letter, local newspaper column or welcome kit
Educate, don’t sell. The mere whiff of a sales message has been known to halt reader curiosity immediately. Financial advisory firms should aim to educate investors and advance their reader’s knowledge without a strong call to action.
Publish or perish. Original content branded in your firm’s name is the most valuable. Financial advisors may have firm sources for worthwhile content. If not, you can access a ghostwritten series on HNW life events that can be branded to your firm’s specifications.
Finally, don’t give up too soon. You are embarking on an effort to build the profile and reputation for your practice. Commit to a multi-year strategy and evaluate the results in terms of followers, returning readers, prospects and conversations, not direct revenues.