"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
- Aristotle

Are You Blogging Yet?

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It is a common misconception thatblogging is a personal, not professional, endeavor. There are a number ofreasons why it is not only helpful for financial advisors to blog, but evennecessary. Blogging is an accessible way for your clients to stay up-to-date onthe latest happenings of your practice. Blogs are also a great way to market toprospective clients. Combined with e-newsletters, blogging keeps your name infront 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 yourfirm, 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 asthey review the latest postings from other blogs that they follow. If you can’tthink of blog topics, consider your current clients as your target audience.Are most of your clients interested in the latest compliance issues or inincreasing participation rates? Are they large or small plans? Sending outsurveys is a great way to discover what is interesting to your clients. Blogposts can open up conversation between you and your clients and allow you tooffer additional services to them.

Blogging for Prospective Clients
Your prospects may not be following your blog, but if you have their emailaddresses, you should be sending them your e-newsletter. Your newsletter shouldcontain a snippet of your blog post, which will link to your blog for the fullarticle. In this way, viewers can see the entire article and other usefulinformation available on your website. If you’re using an e-newsletterplatform, such as Constant Contact, you can see you is interested in your blogand who signs up for the blog.

Although you should focus yourblog on issues that pertain to current clients, by having a target market inmind when writing posts, you will be able to attract similar (or newdemographics of) clients. E-newsletters containing posts should be a part ofyour drip marketing campaign since they will keep your name in front of yourprospective clients. This creates top of mind awareness, and when they need a retirementplan advisor, they will be more likely to call on you.

Blogging for Unknowns
Although your blog is geared towards clients and prospects, it may attractpeople that you don’t even know. Search engines, such as Google, increasinglyrely upon blogs to provide information. If your blog contains relevantinformation regarding fee disclosures, your post may show up in the results ofpeople searching for more information on the topic. If those people are plansponsors looking for a new retirement plan advisor, they might contact you formore 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. Whenmanaged correctly, having a blog also pushes your website up in search resultrankings. If people are searching for a financial advisor in your area, this couldgive you a huge advantage over your competition.

Popular blog platforms includeBlog.com; Blogger, owned by Google; SquareSpace.com; WordPress.com; Weebly.com;TypePad Micro; Live Journal; Jux and Posterous Spaces. Most of these platformsare free.  

Having a blog not only helps youto retain current clients, it also aids you in marketing to prospects andunknowns. Blogs can drive visitors to your website and have a number ofadvantages. Posting regularly will increase your chances of gaining more visitorsand, potentially, more clients. If you don’t have a blog yet, you should considerstarting one. 

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