Are You Blogging Yet?
It is a common misconception that blogging is a personal, not professional, endeavor. There are a number of reasons why it is not only helpful for financial advisors to blog, but even necessary. Blogging is an accessible way for your clients to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings of your practice. Blogs are also a great way to market to prospective clients. Combined with e-newsletters, blogging keeps your name in front of your prospects, showing them your expertise in retirement planning. There is a variety of benefits to blogging, which are outlined below.
Blogging for Current Clients
A blog allows your clients to follow the latest happenings of you and your firm, as well as to keep current on the latest investment and retirement plan trends. Clients can follow your blog in their RSS feeds and be updated automatically as they review the latest postings from other blogs that they follow. If you can’t think of blog topics, consider your current clients as your target audience. Are most of your clients interested in the latest compliance issues or in increasing participation rates? Are they large or small plans? Sending out surveys is a great way to discover what is interesting to your clients. Blog posts can open up conversation between you and your clients and allow you to offer additional services to them.
Blogging for Prospective Clients
Your prospects may not be following your blog, but if you have their email addresses, you should be sending them your e-newsletter. Your newsletter should contain a snippet of your blog post, which will link to your blog for the full article. In this way, viewers can see the entire article and other useful information available on your website. If you’re using an e-newsletter platform, such as Constant Contact, you can see you is interested in your blog and who signs up for the blog.
Although you should focus your blog on issues that pertain to current clients, by having a target market in mind when writing posts, you will be able to attract similar (or new demographics of) clients. E-newsletters containing posts should be a part of your drip marketing campaign since they will keep your name in front of your prospective clients. This creates top of mind awareness, and when they need a retirement plan advisor, they will be more likely to call on you.
Blogging for Unknowns
Although your blog is geared towards clients and prospects, it may attract people that you don’t even know. Search engines, such as Google, increasingly rely upon blogs to provide information. If your blog contains relevant information regarding fee disclosures, your post may show up in the results of people searching for more information on the topic. If those people are plan sponsors looking for a new retirement plan advisor, they might contact you for more information, a meeting, etc. If you optimize your blog for search engines, your post could show up in the top results of Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. When managed correctly, having a blog also pushes your website up in search result rankings. If people are searching for a financial advisor in your area, this could give you a huge advantage over your competition.
Popular blog platforms include Blog.com; Blogger, owned by Google; SquareSpace.com; WordPress.com; Weebly.com; TypePad Micro; Live Journal; Jux and Posterous Spaces. Most of these platforms are free.
Having a blog not only helps you to retain current clients, it also aids you in marketing to prospects and unknowns. Blogs can drive visitors to your website and have a number of advantages. Posting regularly will increase your chances of gaining more visitors and, potentially, more clients. If you don’t have a blog yet, you should consider starting one.