Many financial advisors ask us if they should have a blog. Our answer is, and always will be, “YES.” We support implementing a scheduled blog; however, blogging requires your time commitment to the task or have support staff to assist you.
Blogging, or self-publishing, is a powerful business building strategy. For years advisors have been encouraged to publish a book to gain credibility, influence, and trust from clients; and then use the book as a means to build a referral pipeline. A blog extends book publishing to a much larger audience; faster and efficiently.
In this age of digital marketing, you need to continually build your digital presence. What worked 6 years ago, or even 6 months ago, has now changed. You need to be discoverable and relevant to your target market. Position yourself to connect, develop relationships, and build trust with prospective clients.
To establish your own voice and demonstrate your expertise and commitment to clients and prospects, your social strategy needs to encompass more than sharing links to articles written by others. A blog helps build your online presence and reputation, develop new relationships, improve communication, and position you as a thought leader in your community.
THE BENEFITS OF BLOGGING
A well-planned blog can prove to be the most important aspect of your digital strategy. Once you make a commitment and define your goals, a blog provides your firm with a multitude of benefits:
- Depth to your marketing plan
- Increased search engine optimization (SEO)
- Increased traffic to your website
- Ability to capture a larger prospect and referral pipeline
- Expanded online community comprised of your target markets
- Valuable content provided to your clients and prospects
- Established credibility and trustworthiness
Think of your blog like this:
- VALUABLE CONTENT = TRUST
- TRUST = LEADS
- LEADS = SALES
FINANCIAL ADVISOR BLOG CHECKLIST – 10 TIPS
Your blog serves as the framework for your social strategy. Use the 10 tips below to get started with a well-designed blogging platform.
1) Make a Commitment
- Your blog requires a commitment. Use an editorial calendar to schedule topics you will write about. Focus your subject matter based upon the needs of your clients, prospects, and target audience.
2) Determine Your Blogging Goals
- Just like business goals, you need to establish goals for your blog. Start with simple goals; attracting readers and engaging with your online community. Ultimately, you want to move your online audience into your sales funnel and measure conversion rates. Download Ironstone’s Goal Planning Poster to track and measure your results.
3) Assign Responsibility
- Determine who will write your blog posts. Consider utilizing multiple team members, industry experts, and guest bloggers to keep your content relevant, valuable, and interesting. Assigning responsibility to a group of financial professionals will keep the pressure off one person.
4) Follow Compliance Regulations
- Ensure your blogging processes align with the guidelines of your compliance department. Incorporate your compliance regulations into your internal processes for a smooth transition as you create and publish your blog.
5) Research Your Audience
- Before writing and choosing content, research your audience. You have to understand who they are and what they need to ensure you provide valuable, quality content.
6) Be Intriguing With Headlines & Content
- Content is the driving force behind your blog. Without quality content, your blog is doomed. Don’t forget the headline of your article is as important as the content of your post. Grab your reader’s attention with short and concise headlines; including enough information to describe your story.
7) Blog Frequency
- We preach to every advisor we work with that the quality of your blog carries a greater amount of influence than the quantity of posts. Keep your blog page fresh with updated content, but avoid the quantity craze. When you first begin blogging, start with a minimum of once or twice a month, increasing to weekly.
8) Use Personality
- One of the best ways to create reader loyalty is by letting your audience get to know you. Personalize your stories with your professional experiences.
9) Promote Your Blog
- There are several ways to promote your blog and let others know you provide quality content. Spread the word about your blog through social media channels, email notifications, and newsletters.
10) Always Include a Call-to-Action
- At the end of every blog post, include a call-to-action (CTA) that tells readers exactly what you want them to do next; leave a comment, subscribe to your blog, download a research paper, read a related article, or register for an event. Your CTA benefits the reader by providing additional resources and benefits your firm by generating new leads.
Social media has moved beyond a “thought to entertain” to a powerful, here-to-stay marketing channel not to be ignored. To position yourself as a trusted authority and an innovative financial advisory firm, you need to create, publish, and share content that resonates with your target market.
Request more information from the Ironstone team or join the Ironstone – Financial Industry Professionals Practice Management Group on LinkedIn and start a discussion.
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