I once was an auditor but now I’m famous. Can an auditor become a thought leader?

Many potential clients come to me with this question: can anyone be a thought leader? The answer is a simple: yes – and that includes auditors. Thought leadership applies to anyone who is recognised as a higher authority in an industry. Has anyone officiated them as an authority? No — but because of their experience, insight and influence, they have achieved this status.

This status comes from different sources: clients, competitors and industry-focused establishments. The opinion and reverence of all these entities are required to be known as an established thought leader.

Now, let’s talk about auditors specifically. Being an auditor thought leader is definitely possible, but it takes time and effort to “officially” hold this title. Why is this so important? Once an auditor is established as a thought leader, their business or firm will become more successful. They’ll become trusted. They’ll be known as the compliance experts, legislative interpreters, efficiency drivers… which will lead to more clients.

You want to be a thought leader — here’s how you do it.

Becoming a Thought Leader

As an auditor, you hold an important position in the world of many businesses, firms and not-for-profits. You make sure that their financial statements are legitimate and correct, and that they stay compliant with whatever governing bodies exist for their business. This in and of itself is important.

However, this is more so the ‘why’ and not the ‘how’ of thought leadership. One of the first steps to thought leadership status is to create high-value content. This published information highlights your unique point of view and your insider knowledge of your industry. Insights and valuable information greatly elevate your potential for thought leadership.

This content must be varied when it comes to your target audience. You can’t simply create blog post after blog post, conference presentation after conference presentation, training workshop after training workshop…. with the intent to generate leads or promote your newest call to action (CTA). Create ebooks for industry peers, informative blog posts for potential clients and thought pieces on your auditing experience. Varied, insightful content is key to thought leadership status.

But — pause for a moment. You may be nervous about the idea of creating your own content. You may not be a writer, or your content marketing abilities may not be that polished. You may be a stickler for detail (as every auditor should be) and risk averse (also common amongst auditors). Content curation may provide the solution.

Content creation may not be an option for you, but content curation is.

Content curation is when a person takes content that they haven’t made themselves and a new twist is added. This can be as simple as quoting a tweet that links a blog article and adding your two cents, or as complicated as taking an opinion piece and writing a response. The content isn’t wholly original, but you are sharing it in your own way.

A really easy way to do this is to set up Google Alerts around your topics of interest and get them sent to your inbox each week. Read them and use those appropriate to curate your content. Another shortcut is to use a platform like Buzzsumo to find relevant content.

The most important piece of this puzzle is that the content is useful in some way to not only potential clients, but your industry / colleagues as a whole. Auditors can become thought leaders by recognising they have valuable information they can share with others, then by finding a way to market it in a relatable way that is meaningful to your audience.

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