As the years advance, some things change and some things never change.
The need for advisors to connect with prospective clients remains a business imperative from year to year. But the ability to do so has increased exponentially in today’s digital reality.
Rather than confine oneself to whoever shows up at a Kiwanis Club meeting, with all the difficulties inherent in generating quality discussions, an advisor today can develop his thoughts privately and reach a potentially unlimited audience through blogging.
“A blog lets you communicate some of your knowledge and passion; in the pre-blog days, this was impossible to create,” says Susan Weiner, an independent financial writing consultant and author of the new book Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients.
“Now, [with the advent of blogs],” she tells ThinkAdvisor in a phone interview, “by the time an advisor connects with a prospect, they already know the advisor is a good fit for them.”
Incidentally, while an advisor might not necessarily know who’s reading (or passing on links to) their blog posts, there are nevertheless successful strategies for getting in touch.
“Offer some kind of incentive or special report to get readers onto your e-mail list,” says Weiner, who offers a mini e-book with investment writing tips to those who subscribe to her free e-newsletter.
While the advantages of blogging are available to advisors today, the challenges of blogging may well remain.
“Everybody wants to do it, but these people are not professional writers. That’s not what their training prepared them to do,” Weiner says. “Advisors can feel overwhelmed sitting at the computer typing a blog post.”
That’s where her book comes in, with its practical step-by-step guidance, including worksheets and checklists.
“Starting a blog can seem overwhelming,” she says. “I try to take that feeling away from folks.”
Weiner, a CFA with a professional background in financial services, initially faced her own struggles with effective communication.
“I didn’t start as a good writer, so what I share in this book are some of the techniques that helped me along the way,” she says.
What’s more, before publishing her 107-page book, she tested its ideas with “real, live advisors” through a private online community “where I posted lessons and advisors posted their homework.”