Plenty of investment and wealth management firms try to distinguish themselves as so-called “thought leaders.” Many will fail.
“Thought Leadership: Are You Making It or Faking It?” by Fiona Czerniawska says that clients seek:
1. Something relevant to challenges they face
2. Something new and different
3. Something that is supported by hard evidence – a single case study or recycling second-hand ideas is not enough
When you write white papers, make sure you show how your ideas can impact the things your clients care about. If you fail at this, your reader may not progress beyond your first paragraph.
If you can also say something different about a topic that’s in the news, that’s even better.
Don’t use your white paper to pitch your product or service. As Czerniawska advises her consulting firm clients:
In this context, a call-to-action – perhaps some benchmarking data for clients to compare themselves to or a tool for evaluating their performance – is more likely to result in consulting work in the long-term because it doesn’t try to sell too unsubtly in the short-term.