Why your thought leadership strategy just isn’t cutting it

If you’re knee-deep in the finance sector and fully understand the ins and outs of the industry – you may see yourself as somewhat of an influencer; a thought leader who people will want to follow. After all, how hard can it be to catch people’s attention? You’ve just got to go online and re-hash some of the best sounding news of the moment, right?

Wrong! Unfortunately, too many people make this assumption and end up with a thought leader strategy that doesn’t cut the mustard. So, if you’re struggling to stand head and shoulders above the rest and make a positive impact on the sentiment of your brand – what could possibly be going wrong? Let’s zoom in on a few mistakes!

You don’t have any original thoughts

If you’re mercilessly trawling the likes of Forbes, Bloomberg and the Huffington Post for new and interesting content which you can then re-spin in an almost parrot-like fashion – stop!

To become a real thought leader you need to have your own ground-breaking opinions which should be communicated in a creative and wonderfully articulate way. It might sound harsh, but copying and pasting breakthrough concepts and once-fresh idea is almost a sure-fire way to annoy industry experts looking for new and revolutionary angles on hot topics.

You find social media irrelevant and annoying

The best influencers and thought leaders out there use social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram to establish themselves within a competitive industry. That’s a fact.

So, if you find posting on social media and engaging with your target audience online annoying – thought leadership might not be for you. And that’s unfortunate as the benefits of leveraging your ideas on social platforms are numerous. Firstly, it’s free! Secondly, you can connect with like-minded people easily and thirdly you can extend your outreach across numerous platforms.

A social presence can also be great for business. If you’re planning an ICO, for instance, investors want to know the team behind the project and therefore have a habit of checking profiles on sites like LinkedIn. If your LinkedIn is packed with articles that have real thought leader status there’s a high chance this will give more credibility to your ICO.

You leave it all up to an agency

The role of a content marketing agency is to strategise, seize marketing opportunities, ramp up social followers and produce engaging content that will take your brand to new and exciting heights. That said; even the very best marketing agencies can’t put awesome, industry-specific ideas in your head and make you tweet them.

If you really want to make your mark as a thought leader, it’s essential to work with your PR team and at least have a really good idea about what you want to discuss. If you expect marketing experts to ‘invent you’ and ‘put you on the map’ you’re going to be really disappointed as in a world where authenticity is becoming increasingly important, the finance sector wants to hear from you – and that means having strong opinions and being prepared to back-up your thoughts with numbers and statistics if needed.

You’re not into community involvement

Being a thought leader is not just about plugging your industry and your company – or even trying to elevate your own personal brand. It’s about engaging those who follow you and helping them to think differently about the world around them.

Some of the best influencers out there support wider causes. Take Bill Gates, for instance. He is widely followed online and has become one of LinkedIn’s top influencers alongside the likes of Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington. Despite being a billionaire and the founder of Microsoft, he’s also a philanthropist and regularly posts about the Bill & Melina Gates Foundation which aims to improve the quality of lives across the globe.

With power comes great responsibility, so if you want to be a highly-respected thought leader, it’s essential to take corporate responsibility seriously and to pursue other projects that interest you – not because you have to or because they might make your company money by improving the morals of your organisation – but because you want to.

Often thought leaders become key influencers as people respect what they have to say. Influencers therefore help to promote products. So, if you’re interested in how it’s all done, why not check out the influencer series by my agency Contentworks which covers people to follow in the fintech sector, blockchain sector, finance world and more.

Want to craft a thought leadership strategy? Get in contact.