Do you want to be a thought leader? How about the organization or firm you work for? If you do want to be a thought leader, you’re part of a quickly growing crowd.
In a study we conducted of 1,452 diverse professionals with various industries ranging from investment advisors to attorneys and from accountants to life coaches and security specialists, 78% of them wanted to be thought leaders. However, only about 5% say they achieved this goal. These types of results are seen over and over again. We’re seeing many individuals and organizations and a growing number of associations wanting to be thought leaders. At the same time, we’re finding that very few are being successful in this endeavor.
Professionals, for example, due to the structure of their businesses, have consistently been greatly focused on being thought leaders. Whether they’re physicians, wealth managers or almost any kind of coach or consultant, being a thought leader can be positively transformative for their practices, making them exponentially more successful.
It’s not only the more traditional professionals who see the advantages of thought leadership. For example, the psychic wanted to upgrade her clientele meaningfully. She justifiably concluded that it took as much effort to read the future for a wealthy person as a less affluent one, even though the wealthier client usually has a longer lifespan. Most importantly, the psychic believed she could charge the wealthy person significantly more. By being a thought leader in the psychic community, she expects to be able to garner much wealthier patrons.
The past-life coach, the karate instructor wants to build a following for his “death touch” techniques, and the necro florist (dead flowers are her specialty) all see the benefits of becoming thought leaders in their respective fields. For them, like the psychic, the appeal is in working for a more prosperous and affluent clientele. A clientele that will pay top dollar for their products and services.
It’s not just professionals realizing the business-building benefits of thought leadership. All sorts of companies, from various fields such as technology and manufacturing to retail and private equity, see the usefulness.
We’re also finding many associations and “clubs” interested in becoming thought leaders. For these associations, the principal benefits include expeditiously and profitably growing their membership and attracting more sponsors at higher fees. One of the more interesting “clubs” that approached us was a coven of Wiccans (genus: Daughters of the Earth). They’ve been having difficulty recruiting new followers lately and determined that being thought leaders could help them build up their membership.
What’s very telling is that for the international accounting firm or the wealth manager; for the high-tech firm or the psychic; for the regional association of manufacturers or the coven of Wiccans, being a thought leader can seriously help them get the results they’re looking for. The methodology to become a thought leader is applicable and effective in all these situations. That’s why being a thought leader is becoming a core business strategy for many professionals, firms and associations worldwide.
Russ Alan Prince is the executive director of Private Wealth magazine and chief content officer for High-Net-Worth Genius. He consults with family offices, the wealthy, fast-tracking entrepreneurs and select professionals.