The world has changed for financial advisors. In the past, you relied on your ability to sit across the table and gain a potential client’s trust, either one-on-one or in a group environment. And you and your team probably excelled at it. Unfortunately, in today’s digital world, you probably don’t have that opportunity as often.
Instead, your prospective clients sit in the comfort of their own home or office and simply type your name into Google. They pull up your financial advisor website and decide if there’s a compelling reason to contact your firm. You must get past that hurdle before they even consider meeting with you face to face or, in the case of virtual advisors, agreeing to a phone call.
The good news is those trust-building skills are still relevant, but you must get people ‘in the door’ first. And with the internet, the door is a virtual one.
So, now you need a new set of skills: you have to create trust online before you have the opportunity to reinforce it in person.
Trust isn’t instantly created with social media or CRM systems, although these can help you reach more people once you have the right tools. Instead, trust is created with your content. Rather than you talking, your content must do the talking for you:
- Blog articles on topics your firm specializes in
- Educational eBooks offering tips to a niche you serve
- Videos that capture your philosophy of serving clients and/or best advice
That’s just a few examples. As you can see, if you Google any financial topic, the possibilities for generating content are really endless.
However, the critical distinction is it has to be your content, not anyone else’s. In other words, it has to be original. Simply posting subscription content, no matter how authoritative the source is, won’t help differentiate your firm. Instead, content should be original (or ghostwritten for you), so your content reflects the unique strengths of your firm.
Fortunately, creating good original content is within reach of everyone. It just requires an investment of time. Alternatively, if your time is better spent on other aspects of your business, it may require an investment with a content development expert or ghostwriter familiar with the unique challenges of marketing for financial services.
To get you on the road to developing better content, here are three keys to creating great financial advisor content:
Your Content Must Provide Value
The internet has turned the sales process on its head. Instead of holding out your advice for just paying clients, now you must show what you can offer first.
You are asking people to entrust their life’s savings with you, so, of course, you need to earn their trust. One easy way to do it is to provide value up front with educational content. In the process, you can show how your firm is different and display your expertise on the topic. This can be done with blog articles, eBooks, webinars, videos or other ways. The creation of short eBooks is a particularly powerful and affordable vehicle to jump start your lead generation efforts.
Simultaneously, you’re putting yourself in the position of a subject matter expert.
But be careful…you build trust by providing true education…not thinly veiled sales materials. While it’s fine, and recommended, to include a call to action at the end to invite readers to contact you for a free financial review session, be sure you do that only after providing value. There’s nothing that turns today’s consumers off faster than getting hit early on with a sales pitch.
Be As Transparent As Possible
Another aspect of building trust is being transparent about touchy topics like fees. Think about it. If you need an electrician in a new city, let’s say you pull up three different websites. All three electricians provide general information but one details their prices. Assuming the prices were reasonable, who would you call? The beauty of this approach: if you’re willing to be transparent on your website and other advisors in your area are not yet doing that, you will project trustworthiness simply by comparison.
In addition to being transparent in your web content about your firm’s fees, there are other ways you can use this strategy. For example, include an article on your blog about the long term importance and impact of investment expenses.
Keep Your Content User-Friendly and Approachable
Today’s investors are looking for help with more than just investments. At the same time, financial literacy is at a low across generations and income levels. So, not surprisingly, many people experience anxiety when thinking about meeting with an advisor. As a result, rather than inundating clients with technical details and confusing jargon, advisers must understand the stresses associated with revealing financial realities to a stranger. Acknowledging that in your content makes your firm seem safer to contact, and easier to talk to.
Don’t Forget Your Website Copy!
One last tip: make sure your website copy is user-friendly and approachable too. Instead of presenting a who/what/where format that focuses exclusively on your firm, ensure the focus stays on your prospective clients:
- What will they gain by working with your firm?
- How will their life improve after using your services?
- Why hire your firm, instead of others?
With all these tips, really, it’s all about putting yourself in your clients’ shoes. You likely do it every day in your practice. Now’s the time to put those same skills to work on your content and reap the rewards of increased lead generation.
Jeanne Klimowski is the founder of Wavelength Financial Content Inc. Wavelength is a provider of content for financial advisors and white-label financial wellness programs for employers and retirement plan advisors. Contact us for more information.