One of my jobs, at least in my mind, is to be a watcher of trends. Sitting in the space between financial advisors and their clients, I try to keep my eye on what advisors are delivering and what consumers are looking for. Consumers are reeling from the national quarantine, watching the markets gyrate daily and the continuous bickering of politicians and the media. Advisors, for the most part, are doing a great job of providing personal advice and reacting to their individual client needs. Some are being proactive by taking advantage of the current planning opportunities. What I see missing, however, are consistent and personal communications. More importantly, communications that are not necessarily formal, like and email or a phone call, but rather communications that the clients/prospects can focus on when they have available time — like a blog.
I’m not the only one talking about advisor blogs
Blogging, to me, is one of the easiest ways to set yourself apart from others. A blog is personal and lets the consumer into what you are thinking about and doing for your clients. It differentiates you from the noise. It personalizes you.
Over the last few weeks I have noticed a number of others promoting blogs for advisors too. Three come to mind quickly:
- Tony Vidler wrote a great blog called 8 reasons financial advisers should have a blog
- Matthew Bryan writing for WealthManagement.com had an interesting piece called Seven Essential Parts of a Financial Advisor's Blog
- Susan Weiner continues to discuss blogging and has an entire coaching program to help advisors.
You don’t need me to repeat Tony, Matthew and Susan’s thoughts and ideas, but I can offer some ideas that I picked up on recent call with RIAs from around the country.
Blogs are keeping advisors in touch with clients and prospects
Last week I participated in a call with some very successful advisors who were discussing marketing during the pandemic. One of the advisors shared how his blog had kept him in touch with clients and prospects. Here, in no particular order, are some of the insights that I took away from him and the other advisors on the call (and some of my opinions, too).
- You are reaching out to clients that need help and that have questions, but most advisors can’t reach out to their entire book every week (and most clients wouldn’t want that anyway). A blog can be an easy form of communicating that allows the clients/prospects to read at their leisure.
- Anyone who ever gave you an email address can be sent updates, ideas and your thoughts. It’s a great way to keep in touch (make sure you give them an opt out too).
- Consumers are Googling about financial advice. More frequent activity on your website (a blog) can drive up your SEO, especially the more narrow your themes or specializations are.
- Online marketing is a numbers game; the more you do, the more potential you have that a prospect will show up.
- Dynamic websites and messaging that reflect the current pandemic show you are proactive and responsive to client needs.
- Cut though the noise of the “we are in this together” and “in times like these…” messages. Be distinctive by asking, “What do my clients and prospects want to hear”?
- Use your everyday interactions to look for themes and stories you can tell.
- Make it personal, share what is going on in your life too. Check out Andrew Rosen’s blog from a few weeks ago: Important life lessons from a Covid-19 victim: My grandmother. It’s a great read. I tipped a glass to his grandmother after I read it (and you will want to as well).
- Forget about the markets or the economy. You are not differentiated if you spit out the performance of the S&P or what the GDP is. You are differentiated by being you and by the planning and assistance you provide clients. In the immortal words of one of our past contributors, Brian Briggs, “You be you!”
Lastly, write often and consistently, but mix it up once in a while. Have fun while you do it. I publish almost every Thursday, but you don’t have to do it weekly. Once every other week or even every three weeks is a great start. Throw in a homemade video once and a while to keep it interesting. Most of all, just be out there.
I am on the mailing list for a few advisor blogs and would love to see more. Send me your blogs, sign me up on your site or send me a link to sign up myself. I want to share some of the best ones I see. You are doing great work out there — why not share it with everyone?
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