If you're a financial advisor, chances are you've got a website. And with most websites, you'll find a blog. So it begs the question: are you using your blog?
Now before you start running away screaming about how much you hate the idea of blogging, or how much it scares you to subject yourself to more compliance reviews, let's have a look at why you might actually want to consider blogging as a financial professional.
A blog, after all, is simply a collection of brief (or long, if you'd prefer) articles that you write and post on your website. Sure, it will need to go through compliance before you share it publicly, but consider these benefits of blogging…
When you blog consistently, your website gets more love from the search engines.
That means it will become easier for your prospects to find you. And when you strategically incorporate keywords (or search phrases) that your ideal prospects might type into Google, your blog post (and by extension, your website) will have a higher chance of showing up.
Blogging provides you the opportunity to be timely and relevant.
Is there a hot topic in the news or in your community? Your blog is a terrific place for you to share your perspective or expertise on the subject.
Blogging gives you a platform to be a thought leader
When you post to your blog frequently, you have your very own property where you can demonstrate you expertise and knowledge in your niche.
Your blog gives your readers a chance to “share” you with others
When you provide existing clients with valuable content, they are more likely to share it with others they know. This is a great way to attract additional awareness and drive more inquiries about your services.
Blogging can set you apart from other financial advisors
When you blog, it's a good idea to add a little bit of your personality and perspective to the content you create. Acan be fulfilling to express yourself and share your knowledge with your network.
Now, hopefully, you can see the value that blogging can bring to you as a financial advisor. Of course, you may still have some concerns surrounding compliance. Not to worry… because I'm about to furnish you with a few insights that will help you minimize (or even eliminate) the need to make changes to your blog posts before hitting “publish.”
Keep your content broad
Although I advocate narrowing your target market as much as possible, you need to recognize that each of your prospects and readers have different situations and different priorities. So the less specific you are about describing certain products or investment types, the better.
Show your personality
I've found that many advisors are uncomfortable sharing too much personal information. Maybe they think their clients won’t find it interesting or relevant. But you need to remember that old adage about doing business with people we “know, like, and trust.” The more you can share about yourself, the greater the chances you'll attract prospective clients interested in working with you. After all, financial advice isn't the most exciting topic in the world… so consider showing more of your personality and personal story through your blog to win over new clients.
Watch your language
As I'm sure you know, compliance won’t allow any kind of promissory language like “working with me will make it possible to achieves your financial goals,” but you should still take advantage of every opportunity to outline the benefits of working with you. Just watch you language, and consider some nuance in how you say things. Here are some of my favorite “softening” phrases:
I like to describe products are programs as being “designed to” accomplish something.
Instead of claiming a specific outcome, use the words “My goal is to. . .” or “I'm committed to. . .”
When you describe what you do, it shouldn't be an absolute. Instead try using phrases like “I help clients pursue. . .” or “I create strategies. . .”
Of course, if you want to be extra sure, reach out to your compliance officer to determine which wording will be acceptable.
Blogs are a great forum for getting responses. But when you are a financial advisor, it's important to control the content that appears on your website. Therefore, since you can’t control what a reader might say in a comment, most broker-dealers require you to disable the comment section of your blog. But that doesn't mean you can't solicit feedback. Instead, simply include a call-to-action in your blog content for readers to reach out to you by email or schedule an appointment with you (It's a clever way of getting your readers to take action).
Transparency and disclosure
Your broker-dealer might already require you to use disclosures on your blog just as you do on your website. For example, if you mention certain products, services, or specific advisors, you may need to include a disclosure at the end of your post.
Know your rules (and play by them)
Every broker-dealer has their own set of rules, so it's important to remember that just because another advisor with another broker-dealer say something isn’t allowed, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s true for your home office. Be sure to know the rules you need to play by before you start writing your blog posts. The more often you blog, the better you'll get to sticking to them.