The only things in life that offer security are real, tangible assets. Even in the online world, advisors striving to gain tangible benefits need to apply that lesson.
So, what do you own and control on the Web?
The only true answer is your websites and blogs, and these should be the central marketing hubs of any advisor's online presence.
This doesn't mean you should abandon platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In fact, you should use these social tools to drive traffic to your blog—the one place where you call the shots.
Position yourself as an expert
Once you've created your blog, make sure it's branded and speaks directly to your ideal client.
Instead of naming it "My Accounting Blog," make sure the name addresses the issues and topics your potential clients are searching for.
For example, one accountant in B.C. chose BusinessGrowthStrategies.ca as his domain name since his target market is looking to build up their businesses. He also highlights decreased taxes in his slogan and offers a variety of market-insight articles on his homepage to grab their attentions.
The content of his blog is geared toward providing solutions to the problems his clients face. Though some advisors get stuck in the trap of trying to sell their services through their sites and blogs, they'll fail to gain followers if they aren't client-focused.
Finding your voice
If you are struggling with finding a rhythm or groove when writing content for your blog, you're not alone. There's a learning curve associated with finding your blogging voice, but it's a simple process.
Most advisors who aren't used to writing content will revert to instincts learned at school. Abandon these reflexes in favour of an easier and more natural approach.
Always write in a conversational style and avoid formal or technical jargon. Also, remember that topics that seem boring and second nature to you may be interesting to prospects.
The last point is especially important since most advisors aren't sure what to write about. Clients come to you with problems and questions every day, so draw from these experiences to start compiling a list of entries.
It's crucial to ensure all examples are anonymous so you don't run afoul of compliance requirements.
High-value content boosts credibility
Advisors often say they're afraid of giving away too much free advice on their blog, meaning clients won't feel the need to pay for advice.
But a 500-word article can't replace your services.
Your goal is to become the advisor for prospects that land on your site. They should be able to deduce within seconds that they're in the right place, so make sure your content speaks to their needs.
That way, you won't need to jump over hurdles to impress them when they reach out to you—they'll already know you're an expert. Not to mention, anyone who visits your site that isn't yet ready for an advisor may enjoy your blogs and bookmark them.
And when it's time for them to get financial assistance, they'll contact you.
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