How to Write Blogs that Attract Prospects
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You understand the challenges of connecting with new clients. There's also the added challenge of clients finding you – and ultimately choosing to work with you.
With more than 300,000 financial advisors in the United States, how can you differentiate yourself?
What if prospective clients could connect with you and see your expertise via useful content they're already seeking – content they're used to reading in the form of blog posts?
Blogging is key to connection
A blog is online content intended to educate or share information about any topic. Blogging connects your already-interested audience to your insightful and educational content and helps you stand apart from other advisors.
Not only is blogging a cost-effective way of showcasing your expertise, but it also creates a new information-sharing platform. Effective blogging builds brand awareness and establishes authority and credibility, generating long-term engagement with those who find value in your content.
It's particularly valuable if you focus on a niche or demographic.
The Kitces report on How Financial Planners Actually Market Their Services (2022) found many advisors are creating marketing content in a variety of newer media, including blogging, podcasts and videos. According to the report, there's an indirect payoff in the use of blogs, podcasts and videos, given their correlation with high-growth practices, which are the most likely to be investing in these tactics to enhance their growth.
Research shows that 60% of people engage with blogs in some way and 39% read blogs up to three times a week. Additional studies found that 59% of 55-year-olds prefer to engage with more news-type posts.
Your potential clients aren't just reading online; they're making purchasing decisions. In fact, 70% of consumers prefer learning about a company from a blog post versus an ad, and 61% made a purchase after reading a recommendation on a blog.
If you're not creating valuable blog content, regularly posting it on your website and sharing it through social media, you are missing attention from countless potential clients.
If you're not a writer, have no fear. You can still be a blogger. The key is getting started. Put pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard and jot down some thoughts.
Your first draft is never your final revision. Ask a colleague (or spouse/partner) to review your draft and, if required, make sure you get compliance to sign-off.
Need some tips for getting started?
- Write for your audience. Your blog should resonate with your ideal client, including any specific niche focus you have.
- Don't be generic. For example, "Retirement Fundamentals for Doctors" is much more interesting and specific than simply, "Retirement Fundamentals."
- Tell them what they need to know and skillfully integrate the benefits of your services.
- Target a challenge they may be facing. Then offer tips, advice or strategies to help with that challenge.
- Showcase your expertise. You're an expert in your field. What you offer, including your perspective, is unique.
- Less is more. Be concise. Use words your audience understands and break up your content into short, digestible paragraphs (using bullet points is helpful, too).
Optimizing your content
A note about search engine optimization (SEO). Search-engine spiders crawl the internet collecting information about web pages and creating an index a search engine uses to quickly find appropriate information for each query. Search-engine spiders identify websites with blogs as valuable resources; therefore, they're indexed more frequently.
The more relevant your content is, the better chance it will appear in search results. So, be sure your blog post integrates key search phrases (the group of words readers type into a search engine when they're looking for information about that topic).
Don't let your content get stale. Add a new blog to your website at least once a month. A blog that hasn’t been updated in many months means your content is outdated – a bad look that can also damage your SEO (remember, those spiders are constantly looking for fresh content).
The right length for your blog
Determining your blog length depends on a few factors. Whom are you trying to reach? How will your audience engage with your blog? What is the goal of your blogging – are you trying to convert leads?
Most likely, your audience is looking for information-driven and educational blog posts. In this case, your average blog length should be 600 to 2,500 words.
That's quite a range. Let's break it down:
- Shorter 600- to 1,000-word blogs effectively educate your audience and gradually build your search engine engagement.
- Mid-length 1,000- to 1,500-word blogs help with lead conversion by boosting organic website traffic.
- Lengthier 1,500- to 2,500-word blogs provide the most value for both readers and search engines. (Remember, search engines favor longer posts, believing the source to be relevant.)
The key takeaway? It's challenging to provide value in a blog with fewer than 600 words.
Deciding what to write about
Not sure how to get started and choose a topic to write about? Generator tools can help you decide on subjects as well as headlines. Simply search online for "blog topic generator tools" and you'll be on your way.
Not all blogs need to start from scratch. Blogging can be as simple as linking to a story or other third-party content and adding some comments.
Your next steps
Promote your blogs on social media. Not only will that drive traffic to your website, but it also extends the reach of your post and enables readers to share it. Use the idea of “create once, publish everywhere” (COPE) to maximize the reach and utility of every blog post.
Your blog should generally include a call-to-action (CTA) instructing the reader to perform a desired next-step action, such as schedule a call, book an appointment on your calendar or download a whitepaper.
Develop a content plan – and keep going. Create a cadence for your blog delivery. Will it be monthly? Bi-weekly? Weekly?
If you can't blog at least monthly, you probably shouldn't be blogging. That's why planning is essential. It enables you to map out topics for each month or quarter and holds you accountable.
Lastly, use a calendar tool to schedule your topics and posting dates. You'll be setting an expectation for your readers, creating long-term engagement and potentially landing your next client.
Content expert, writer and editor Nan Price is content strategist at Symmetry Partners, LLC. Nan has spent 20+ years helping small businesses and individuals create engaging content that makes an impact, including in-depth interviews, bylined and ghost-written blogs, marketing materials and newsletters for various industries. If you have any questions or would like more information visit Symmetry here or give us a call at 800.786.3309.