I keep having different iterations of a similar conversation with advisors. It goes something like this…
"My Broker Dealer is really holding me back. I think I am going to...":
"...stop using their big-brother software and go rogue on social media."
"...book speaking gigs on finance and just not tell anyone."
"...start my own RIA so I can say whatever I want."
The actions are different, but the idea is the same. "My B/D is holding me back from becoming the Thought Leader I am meant to be." I love the sentiment! I do! I want you to be creating compelling content that will appeal to your Ideal Client. But I want to call BS on this trend. Your B/D is not holding you back. YOU are!
Every independent B/D that I know of has a process through which you can create content, get it approved and disseminate it to the world. (If you are with a captive, I will concede that it may be a different story). Before you up-end your practice by starting your own RIA or worse yet, getting nailed for compliance violations, prove that you are indeed the Thought Leader that you think you are!
If you are a true Thought Leader, you have to be willing to follow the rules of our industry. They may be inconvenient, they may be a pain in the a$$, but a Thought Leader isn't going out into the marketplace doing non-compliant things.
They figure out how to do what they need to do within the rules.
It's understandable that following compliance rules will require more work on your part, but do you think that running your own RIA is going to be a picnic? If you can't navigate your B/D's social media policies, then you probably aren't process-driven enough to be responsible for every aspect of an RIA. Just saying…
So, before you make a big change or put your licenses at risk, I have a challenge for you! Prove to yourself that you are indeed a Thought Leader by completing this challenge:
THOUGHT LEADER CHALLENGE
1. Write your Purpose-Driven Manifesto
2. Outline your Content Strategy
3. Create 1-3 months of content
Let's break each step down…
1. If you don't know what you stand for, what you stand against, and how exactly you want to change the world, you are not yet a Thought leader. Get more info here: https://www.theintentionaladvisor.com/single-post/2019/10/05/SIX-STEPS-TO-YOUR-PURPOSE-DRIVEN-MANIFESTO
2. What will you create and where will you publish it at what frequency? A single great blog post or article does not make you a Thought Leader. You need a strategy to share your ideas and build momentum behind your message.
As an example, here is my Weekly Content Strategy:
Blog (on my website)
Newsletter (sent to all of my subscribers)
3 Blog Posts promoting the blog with 3 different images (posted to Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn)
4 Supporting Posts linking to articles, old blogs or other interesting content (posted to Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn)
3. Once you have designed your Content Strategy, test yourself. Sit down and create 1-3 months of content. See how much work that is. Find out if you have enough ideas to keep the flow going. Determine if you can keep up the schedule in addition to your normal workload.
Once you have proven to yourself that you have what it takes to truly become a Thought Leader, your next step is pretty easy. Go to your compliance team and talk with them about your content. Determine how to avoid compliance issues. Have them review and approve your content and finally outline the most efficient way to get on-going approval.
If your compliance team just can't help you, then maybe you need to consider a change. But, if you are true Thought Leader, you will not use compliance as an excuse to cheat the system or avoid sharing your message. You will find a way to make it work or you will find a home where you can.
I know that most advisors won't take the Thought Leader Challenge. But a couple of you might find it intriguing.
Those are the future Thought Leaders in our industry! They have both the ideas and the work ethic to make a difference in the world!
Are YOU a Thought Leader!?
PS Will you pick up the gauntlet? Will you test your ideas and find out if you have what it takes to become a Thought Leader? If the answer is yes, I would love to support you!
Join the TIA Mastermind Group on Facebook and I will be happy to answer any questions, review your Content Strategies and read your content!
We need more true Thought Leaders in this industry, I hope you are the next one!