We know that every credible finance expert needs a solid reputation and online presence.
One of the best and most professional ways to build that online reputation is to publish in your area of expertise. Sometimes known as thought leadership, creating content that showcases your knowledge is one of the strongest ways to bolster your personal brand.
For finance leaders like CFOs, fin-tech executives, CPAs, tax advisors, wealth and fund managers, insurance brokers, and so on, expert content might feature snippets of financial planning advice or your take on emerging trends and tech in your field.
Whatever you focus on, thought leadership is about establishing yourself or your business as a trusted authority and a go-to resource in your field. You share your insights in a way that adds value to your audience and gives them a reason to think of you when they need the services you offer.
In this article, we’ll share seven publishing tips for finance experts and five types of content you might create.
7 Publishing Tips for Finance Experts
Here are 7 ways to make sure your published content stands out from the crowd and boosts your personal brand:
1 Stick to Your Area of Expertise
To make thought leadership work for you, focus on one area of expertise. Identify a niche in which you excel, and establish yourself as an authority in that area. This approach will help you create a unique brand identity that consumers will trust. The more specific you can be, the better. After all, there is a ton of content out there on financial planning and analysis. If your focus is helping Latinx folks with small businesses invest well, focus on that.
2 Choose Topics Relevant to Your Target Audience
Select topics that are important to your readers and clients. Industry news feeds, forums, and SEO tools can help you identify relevant topics, but the best way to choose is to think about what you’re most interested in. Ensure that you are genuinely invested in the topics you choose to write about.
3 Connect With Your Audience
Engage in discussions about your industry and topics of choice to build relationships with your audience. Being active on social media and commenting on or sharing other quality content can help you gain exposure and boost brand awareness, as well as creating connections with other leaders you respect.
4 Back Up Your Claims With Facts
Use examples and anecdotes from your experience and gather data from other experts to support your arguments. Look for research that has been conducted that supports your idea, or offer detailed examples from your own experience. Cite your sources clearly to avoid plagiarism.
Backing up your argument with facts is essential for building trust with your audience.
5 Avoid Promotional Content
Never push your products or services through your thought leadership content.
Did you get that?
Thought leadership content published via major media outlets is not the place to sell. It’s the place to provide value. Offer intelligent, useful insights that help your audience solve their problems. (“Showoff” content like case studies and success stories that showcase your results are not value-added content. They should live on your business website or blog, so that prospective clients can come to them when they’re already impressed by your understanding of issues.)
Focus on offering your audience something they want and need in the moment and building trust with them rather than selling. Selling comes later, when they already trust you.
6 Be Clear and Concise
Make your content easy to read and understand. Your potential clients, after all, probably don’t have a deep understanding of your field.
- Use simple language
- Avoid jargon
- Break up long paragraphs into shorter ones
Clear and concise content is more appealing and more likely to be shared.
7 Get an Editor
You’re great at what you do. You’ve studied and worked for years to create great financial outcomes.
Editors are great at what they do. They’ve studied and worked for years to make words into persuasive, clear, effective articles.
If you’re a Kiplinger Advisor Collective member, you have access to a team of dedicated editors to help turn your ideas into published gold. They are experts in grammar, syntax, and style. It’s their business to make you sound great, so take advantage of their advice.
5 Types of Thought Leadership Content for Finance Leaders
Now you have a list of best practices for turning your knowledge into something people can use. But what, you may ask, should that “something” be?
Content comes in many formats; choose the ones that work for you. Written content is a strong option, but not the only one. Here are five possibilities to get you started:
Informative articles are a great vehicle to provide value to potential clients, colleagues, and partners. Choose topics that are relevant to your audience. Draw on your experiences and lessons learned. Share practical advice in this common and relatively quick to create format to give readers a taste of your knowledge and voice. You can publish short articles on your blog, on LinkedIn, or, if you’re well-qualified and persistent, you may be able to publish with major media brands like Kiplinger.com.
Longer research papers and white papers in industry publications can help establish your credibility and authority even more. If you’re able to work with a university or other respected organization, this may be a path you pursue.
Videos are a popular format for delivering content, and can be a great way to engage a lay audience. Consider creating short explainer videos or tutorials on finance-related topics. You can embed videos on your own or your company’s website, or use social media sites to share your video content.
Take the video format one step further and create a webinar. Webinars can be live or pre-recorded. If you’re good at thinking on your feet and presenting, live webinars have the benefit of allowing you to answer questions and create a real connection with your audience. If you’re less comfortable, start with a pre-recorded option, which is convenient to produce and can be posted up as a resource at any time.
People love free things.
Think of a question you answer again and again for people, and turn it into a resource. Try creating a template, checklist, or mini e-book that answers the question with practical advice. Help people make informed decisions about simple things with free tools, and they are likely to turn to you when they need help navigating more complex issues.
Bonus: you can use resources you develop as lead magnets. Offer them up on your website or social media in exchange for a user’s email address. Once you have their email address, you can reach out to determine whether they can use more of your services.
Publish and Prosper
Creating value-added content (aka thought leadership) is an effective way to bolster your personal brand as a finance leader. By following the seven tips above and creating content in a variety of formats, you can stand out from the crowd, connect with your target audience, and draw in potential clients.
If you’re an accomplished finance professional who wants to build your reputation as an expert, learn more about Kiplinger Advisor Collective. Members gain opportunities to publish on Kiplinger.com, and can connect and collaborate with one another in a members-only platform. See if you qualify.