Thought leaders and influencers although would've built their tribe through organic marketing on Instagram, LinkedIn or some other platform, overtime the engagement could tank and fewer people will like, comment, and buy from you. That's why you should learn paid marketing as well.
All this while it's your message that got you here, your personality, it's your ability to empathize with your market, their futuristic vision, and your ability to give hope and to help others to get to the future that they want. Although you were able to get exposure to your message, overtime your posts would become throttled by Facebook or Instagram.
Coz they somehow learn that you have the money to pay to play. These social media platforms are able to operate because influencers, and thought leaders with large audiences are paying to use their platform. So the only way you can continue to bring in sales, and have the engagement that you once had is to pay to play.
Finally, being a thought leader is one thing, and the other side of the coin is their ability to encash their reach, exposure, thoughts, etc. That's the difficult part. If they don't pay to play, it's hard chance that they will achieve their financial goals.
If you haven't sold anything to your audience yet, then you should learn to create products or services which your audience want. This is what I teach in my Business Kickstart program. Apply to work with me here and let's talk about your audience and let's talk how you can monetize your audience: https://www.ahmedmuzammil.com/apply