Becoming an industry thought leader could be instrumental in building a substantial high-net-worth clientele. Thought leadership is, unquestionably, one of the most powerful and cost-effective business development strategies for most financial professionals.

To become a thought leader, you start with the strategy. From there, you create thought leadership products that are communicated to your audiences, such as the wealthy, as well as centers of influence. Then you must turn those thought leadership products into revenues. Let’s consider each of the three phases – strategizing, productizing and monetizing – of the thought leadership process.

Strategizing is the phase that permeates the other two. This is when you develop the blueprint for your thought leadership campaign. The objective here is to carefully and critically think through the other phases and the steps in the process and develop an overarching game plan. Furthermore, you will probably need to readjust the plan over time.

The more you vigilantly consider, delineate and refine the various components of your thought leadership campaign, the more likely you’ll connect with desirable, high-caliber, wealthy prospects, do more business with existing affluent clients and excel.

Productizing is where intellectual capital is first discerned and then transformed into thought leadership content. It’s then taken a step further and packaged into readily consumable forms – thought leadership products.

There are a set number of possible thought leadership products. Which ones to pursue and how precisely to package the thought leadership content is a function of the interplay of available resources and capabilities, the underlying nature of the intellectual capital and your audiences. Moreover, the way you communicate with the affluent, centers of influence or both is built into the thought leadership products.

Monetizing refers to your ability to generate revenues from the benefits and advantages accrued by the thought leadership products. The thought leadership products enable you to start building rapport with a large number of high-value affluent prospects. Then, through an integrative self-selection progression, a percentage of these wealthy individuals will decide to do business with you.

You always need to always be asking, “How does the thought leadership initiative enable me to profit?” You must never lose sight of the fact that the objective of your though leadership campaign is to generate new business from the affluent, which will enable you to become appreciably more successful.