After writing the social media handbook for financial advisers and many articles on social media, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, I am asked all the time by advisers, “Matt, should I create a blog?”
Reading Josh Brown's recent article Conquer social media – it's like falling off a blog, I was forced to re-think my position on blogging. His insights are spot on about how, but we need to decide on what and why before how. I believe that anybody can have a blog, but they should only have a blog if they actually have something unique to say.
This is the problem. You've been told that you need to send communications to your clients weekly, no matter if they read it or not. Well, I asked my clients' clients. They don't want it unless it is personal, special and focused on things that matter to them, not what matters to you.
So many advisers want to go out and blog. So many advisers want to write, but they're just writing the same tripe that every other adviser is writing about. Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and other super powers that nobody else really understands. (Oh, and they don't care.)
You need to write from a specific technique, a specific specialty, a specific niche; that's what a blog is about. A blog isn't something that is supposed to be generally applicable to the masses of society.
Who do you work with? Do you even know?
Who are your favorite clients? Do you even know?
Do you like focusing on people who work at a specific location or industry?
Have you looked at your client roster lately?
Do you like working with a specific type of people? Men, women, married, widowed, divorced, LGBT; who do you like to work with? Have you thought about it?
If you are able to answer these questions about your practice, you can begin the process of learning how to blog. You need to use the answers to those questions to help focus your blog. This will give you a target audience that you write to. You have a voice speaking to them. It has to be something special and something unique.
FREQUENCY DOESN'T MATTER
I do not believe it matters how frequently you blog if your blog has great content. There are conflicting reports and opinions to that statement. Many feel you have to blog every single week and it needs to be at least 800 words. No! You are not a professional writer, you are an adviser. If you try to write when you don't feel it, you're will be forced to write the tripe your clients won't read and do not care about. Don't write tripe; write good, focused and specialized material.
Write something close to your heart; something that you're passionate about. Then you can set up a WordPress site to host your blog. It is incredibly easy and compliant. It also gives you the chance to easily repost it through your other social media channels straight from WordPress.
You can use this blog for email to existing clients and drip marketing to prospects, but please don't write unless you are good at it and you have something to say that's unique. This is going to separate you from the herd of advisers who put out the same stuff every week that clients don't read.
Matthew Halloran is president and chief executive of Top Advisor Coaching. A certified coach for advisers, he wrote The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors: How to Use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to Build and Grow Your Business.