Advisors are always on the lookout for ways to increase their visibility. The Yellow Pages, billboards, newspaper ads and radio spots are some of the standard ways. Technological advances have increased the options in the visibility stable, and the latest vehicle for getting one’s name and face in front of more people is the blog. Do you have what it takes to be a blogger?
What is a blog? It’s an online journal. The name is short for ?Web log’ and it can be anything from a running commentary on the state of your golf game to tips for financial success. But who is posting these blogs and how can they help your business grow? The best way to explain the ins and outs of the latest technological craze is to break the process down into the hows and whys.
A blog requires only the most basic computer skills. The subject matter is determined by the writer and can be updated at the blogger’s will. Each entry is called a post and features a title, body, section for readers’ comments and trackbacks, which let other bloggers show they have written about or referenced your posting.
Blogs can be aesthetically pleasing or basic black and white. The blogger can format the text and background color or insert the company logo. And with more seniors looking for financial information online, the opportunity to be read has never been better.
A business boon?
There are several advantages to having your own blog. The space for comments allows constant feedback on your topic and invites discourse. It can help establish a brand and build trust.
Koo Glogauer, co-founder and chief operating officer of Washington-based KUMA Digital, a firm that offers advertising and Web site production services and whose clients include Goldman Sachs, says, “A blog is a powerful communication tool. Used correctly, it can make contacts and expand your networking, creating a sense of community. And allowing anyone to read it and respond creates a dialogue and a sharing of philosophies and debates. Establishing a personal relationship with the audience accelerates the trust process. You, and the forum, are seen as a reliable, informed resource that people can rely on.”
Though the cost to maintain a blog varies, it has the potential to generate a high return on investment, in the long run.
Charles Rotblut is a chartered financial analyst and senior product manager with Zacks.com, a company that provides financial advice to both institutional and individual investors, and he has created content for financial Web sites since 1998. His most recent launch was the Zacks Equity Research Blog, which provides analysis and insight on breaking news events, earnings news, and market action from the company’s equity analysts. He says financial advisors have a unique opportunity with blogs.
“Although it may not be feasible to provide analysis on a single stock because every client has differing needs, there is a constant demand for insight and advice,” Rotblut says. “A blog gives a financial advisor the ability to personally communicate with current and potential clients, without having to call each individual client. During times of market volatility, a quick post to a blog can soothe clients’ worries. This, in turn, builds confidence and boosts goodwill.”
He attributes successful blogs to relevant content, a regular publishing schedule and reacting to news events, such as market volatility.