10 Awesome Content Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors
Not too long ago, I put on a webinar that showed financial advisors how to double their book of business in the next twelve months.
I figured that since a lot of people are in the goal-setting mood this time of year, I should take advantage of everyone’s motivation and show them exactly what it takes to get double the clients they already have.
In addition to social media, direct mail, email marketing, cold calling, etc…. I talked about content marketing.
To my surprise, I got a LOT of emails, comments, and questions about content marketing. Because people showed so much interest in content marketing, I decided to put together this post outlining some of my favorite content marketing tips for financial advisors.
Effective Content Requires A Mindset Shift
Before you can be ready for some of the best content marketing advice around (just sayin’), I gotta debunk some myths.
In this episode of my Financial Advisor Marketing podcast, I shared this key piece of advice about content marketing: You can’t create content for the sake of it.
Not all content is good content, so avoid the mistake of cranking out one blog post after the other just to have stuff on your website. What you should be doing with content marketing materials is creating an asset that’ll continue to lure in prospects today and in the future.
Here’s how you have to shift your mindset: Don’t just think of your content as a short-term deal. Rather, it’s a commitment to the long-term success of your business — so, the longer your content exists, the more content you create and the higher your returns will be.
Think about it like compound interest, where the returns add up over time.
For example, my podcast episodes will continue to be a marketing machine for my business long after I record them. They only take me 25 minutes tops to record, but they’ll benefit the tens of thousands of advisors who tune in. And because listeners find timeless value, their next stop will be my blog, social media and more.
Plain and simple: Aim for longevity and relevancy when you create your niche-specific content.
1. Content Is NOT Just Blog Posts.
Whenever I talk about content marketing, people immediately think about blog posts. I think the thought of writing blog posts leaves a foul taste in people’s mouths, because you might think back to high school, where you pulled one all-nighter after the other to rush together term papers and book reports before the deadline.
No matter the negative connotation, blog posts are a ridiculously powerful way to build your business. After all, companies that blog get much more traffic than those that don’t. If you get more eyes on you, your services and your company, you make more money. It’s really that simple.
Alas, content marketing isn’t just about blogging — in fact, it doesn’t even have to be written content at all. It could be videos, podcasts, a PDF guide, infographic, a direct mail drip or whatever you’re comfortable with.
What I’m saying here is if you’re one of those people who hates blogging or writing articles, you don’t have to do them. You can simply produce another form of content.
I’m going to be completely transparent, though — I’ve used blog posts to get in front of millions of people and think that, while the written word is awesome, the most important thing is that you do something at all.
2. You DO Have Time For Content Marketing.
After I showed financial advisors in my webinar how to double your business in 365 days, I started to read through the comments. One of them, in particular, caught me off guard: It was someone who said content marketing takes too much time.
I call this stepping over dollars to pick up pennies. Let me illustrate why this kind of thinking is dangerous by using myself as an example — no theory or abstract concepts.
Now that I’ve written this blog post, I’ll probably share it on my LinkedIn, where a few thousand people will see it. If people engage with the post, it could be tens of thousands of people.
Then, I’m going to send it out to my email list. Some will ignore my email entirely (their loss), while others will open but not click. Other people will click and read the article, because they know the value I provide financial advisors.
I’ll also boost the post on social media for a short period. But even then, the article will still be on my website, where it’ll continue to get traffic.
💡 This article took maybe an hour to write, then I spent another 30 minutes to share it online and put it on my site. Maybe. If 100,000 people see this article over the next few months, that means only 90 minutes of work equates to me reaching 100,000 people.
After it’s on my website, I don’t have to do anything — the article will continue to work for me whether I’m sick, sleeping or on vacation.
...Yet, content marketing “takes too much time.” Well, what’s the alternative? How many people can you reach on the phone in an hour? How many pieces of direct mail can you send out in an hour? It probably won’t be anywhere near 100,000.
I completely acknowledge that it takes a lot of work to build up to the point where this many people will see your content at such a low cost, but I’m telling you it’s worth it. You know why? Because a week from now, I can write another post, reach even more people and keep the cycle going.
Content marketing allows you the reach and scale you could only dream about before.
3. Your Content Shouldn't Be About You Or Your Company.
Rather, your content should be about your niche.
Often when financial advisors get started with content marketing, you think it’s best to write about how long you’ve been in business, how good you are at what you do and why prospects should work with you — that type of thinking won’t get you very far in content marketing.
Keep this in mind: Content marketing is not about you; it’s about the people you target and serve. In this area of your business, you’re not the hero; your prospects are, so position their needs at the forefront of your content creation.
If you’re a financial advisor and you target teachers, for instance, every single piece of content you put out there needs to be relevant to teachers and help them.
Soon enough, you’ll attract a following, and people will come back and check to see if you’ve posted anything else that can help them. Plus, if you target teachers, guess who they have in their network? Other teachers! The same is true with the vast majority of niches out there. In today’s digital world, you’re just a hop and a skip away from your profile getting shared with others within the same niche.
There are many ways to cook an egg, but I want to talk about one. Picture this: You have a piece of content on your website about how teachers should plan for retirement. A teacher in your area searches for this topic online, and either through organic rankings or paid ads, you show up on top.
They click on your article, and rather than try to sell them on how great you and your company are, you tell a story or provide valuable insight or help. Of course, you can’t give specific investment advice, so always remain compliant, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create content that’s valuable to people.
And I’ve got news for you: If you can’t effectively market yourself online — whether that's through content marketing or another strategy — you’ll get left behind. There are some advisors out there whose companies still won’t let them do certain prospecting activities online, and they're getting crushed.
According to a company called LookBookHQ, 44% of marketers say content production is their biggest challenge. I imagine this percentage is even higher for financial advisors, who aren’t usually content marketers and may struggle to generate ideas.
When you choose a niche, you can solve this problem immediately — the more involved you become in your niche, the more you’ll become attuned to their interests, challenges and talking points.
Do you understand the gravity of what I just told you? Choosing a niche can help you solve the biggest problem 44% of marketers face.
Candidly, one of the ways I generate content ideas for this blog is by surveying my LinkedIn connections and asking my email list. I may ask them a question like this:
“Which topic would you rather see me write about?
Depending on the survey results, I will write about one (or in this case, both) of the topics.
Here’s another piece of absolute GOLD for you…
Set up a Google Alert for “your niche + money”. For example, if you’re a financial advisor who specializes in working with plastic surgeons, you want to set up a Google Alert for “plastic surgeons money”.
That way whenever any content is published online that mentions those keywords, you will get an alert so you can see it. That can give you TONS of content ideas by itself. 😎
ALSO READ: 5 Best Niches for Financial Advisors
4. You Cannot Hire Someone To Create Your Content For Five Bucks
OK, the jig is up. Everybody knows that with a few keystrokes, you can hire talent for super cheap and have them write content for you.
This isn’t a big secret anymore. Because of varying exchange rates, I can literally have a writer from another country write a blog post for $10 in less than an hour — or, I could go to Upwork, Fiverr or any other content farms or websites.
However, we’re way past this. The problem with today’s content marketing is a lot of people and companies put out content just for content’s sake. They read they need to be doing content marketing, so they jump on the train as quickly (and poorly) as possible.
Ultimately, I’d much rather have 10 high-quality blog posts that actually provide value to people than 100 meaningless pieces of content, because some sales guru told me content marketing is “in” this year.
Because your content is an investment in your business and an asset that’ll always work for you, think quantity > quality.
5. You Still Have To Promote Your Content.
Unfortunately, the old “if you build it, they will come” adage coined by Kevin Costner’s character Ray Kinsella in “Field of Dreams” doesn’t apply here.
This might be a tough pill to swallow, but it needs to be said: Just because you spent an hour or two writing a piece of content doesn’t mean anybody cares about you, your company or what you offer. Honestly, they don’t even care about your content.
🔑 The only way your target market will care about your content is if they see it. And the only way they’ll see it is if you promote it. Even high-quality content won’t share itself and may need a little boost to gain momentum.
And I don’t mean to just slap it on your website. To give your content a boost, share it on social media, send it to your email list or put a little budget behind it. For example, you can write a piece of content for teachers, then go right over to Twitter and create an ad that targets people who follow teacher-related accounts. If you’re only licensed to work in certain states (as most of you reading this probably are), just filter down to your state or location.
You can spend $100, get 100 to 200 clicks and generate your own leads that way. The best part is they’ll be location-specific and within your niche, which you’ve already demonstrated tremendous value for. See how awesome this is?
Here are some other ways you can promote your content:
💡 Link your best piece of content in your social media header. If you look at my Facebook header (above) you’ll see I do this with my podcast, which you can listen to here.
💡 Share your content with online groups. Continuing with our plastic surgeon niche example, you can promote your content in LinkedIn and Facebook groups dedicated to plastic surgeons.
💡 Create a call-to-action on your website’s homepage. One reason this works well is new things attract people. If you put a button on your homepage that highlights your newest content, it’ll likely get some activity.
💡 Create a content library. This differs from a blog, because it won’t contain only written content. Your content library can have various types of content you’ve created, broken down by topic for people. If you have a video and a blog post about 529 plans, put them together in your content library to give your visitors multiple ways to engage with you.
💡 Share the link with other content creators in your niche. Send your content to bloggers, podcasters and more in your niche to see if you get any traction.
💡 Advertise your content via online ads. If they don’t come to you, go to them. By the way, I have an entire article about how financial advisors can use Facebook if you’re interested in learning more about how to run ads successfully.
💡 Remember, there’s no time limit. Keep sharing your content over time and adjust it when needed to maintain its value. Even if six months go by, share it again and include it in your posting schedule. A good rule of thumb is, if you have the content, post it.
💡 Create evergreen content. Rather than tie your content to current events, try to stick to topics that’ll always be relevant. If you have a niche, readers can view your content one year from now, and that evergreen content can continue to help them.
See why it’s so important to shift your mindset about content marketing? You’re creating assets for your business that will continuously help you grow, so prepare to be in it for the long haul.
6. Learn How to Repurpose Content.
This is an especially valuable tip for financial advisors, because you can create niche-specific content one time and have it continue to work for you again and again.
Repurposing means taking one piece of content and reworking it for your website, social media, your podcast or another platform. To really get your time and money’s worth, create content with repurposing in mind — that way, it’s easier to adjust across formats. Next time you write a blog post, consider how you could turn it into a podcast episode, for example, and vice versa.
If things change, you update your content and re-publish. If things haven’t changed, you can take similar content and put it in a different format. Or, if you're constantly growing your social media accounts, you can post a link to the repurposed content so new people (who haven’t seen it before) can see it.
Plus, people prefer different formats. Some people might come back to your site or social media accounts to see if you’ve written anything new, while others will be on the lookout for video or audio updates. If you don’t repurpose your content, it won’t go as far as it could.
ALSO READ: 19 Email Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors
7. Understand The Lifecycle Of Getting A Client.
Acquiring a client from content marketing isn’t always as simple as writing something, putting it online and getting a phone call from someone. In my experience, content marketing works amazingly well in tandem with your other marketing efforts.
For example, if you send out a postcard or direct mail piece to someone, they might go to your website, where they’ll see the content you’ve written specifically for people with their unique challenges and situation — this makes an incredible impact.
There are lots of client-getting life cycles, but one might look like this:
You create some content related to a niche ⏩ You’re invited to speak somewhere after someone sees you’re an expert on the topic ⏩ You get some press coverage after speaking at the event ⏩ Prospect sees your press coverage and/or is at the event itself ⏩ Prospect sets an appointment with you.
8. Don't Forget About Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
This article isn’t about SEO, so I won’t dwell on it too much. However, the purpose of SEO is to help you show up at the top of the search results when people search for a term.
🔑 For example, if someone searches “Financial Advisor Chicago” and you’re a financial advisor in Chicago, you want to be pretty darn sure you rank for that term.
From the outside looking in, SEO seems pretty complicated, so I’m going to simplify it for you: Two things that matter the most for SEO are content and links.
Now, the question becomes, “How do I get these backlinks?” It’s simple, but it’s not easy.
It’s all part of the content promotion process — once you create an awesome piece of content, you want to reach out to different sites that could benefit from it. If you wrote a post about helping teachers plan for retirement, you could reach out to various teacher blogs and websites and ask them to share and/or link to your site.
Many people are reluctant to spend their time doing things like this, but that’s also why nobody knows them. If 1,000 people search for a term every single month, you show up at the top of the results and 32% of searchers click on the top result, that’s 320 more prospects right at your fingertips.
9. Be Consistent And Track ROI Over Long Periods Of Time.
Content marketing should be part of your overall marketing strategy, not the entire marketing strategy. Unlike direct mail, where you can send something out, wait two weeks, and see the ROI, content marketing takes a little longer.
That’s not to say that you can’t get some clues along the way, because you can literally see how much traffic and activity a particular post is getting. If you’re seeing certain types of content do well again and again, do more of them! For example, I’ve noticed that my list-type posts do extremely well when compared to other posts I’ve done. So guess what? This is another list post!
It’s hard to put tangible dollar figures on content marketing (because every piece of content is different and can perform differently). However, if you’re increasing your exposure and your traffic month after month, your income should eventually go up as well.
10. Make Longer Content
Somewhere along the development of content marketing, longform content became a kiss of death for your website, email or social media. Here’s the truth: The average top-ranking blog post has somewhere around 2,000 words, which means, on average, longer posts drive more organic traffic than short ones.
When creating niche-specific content, sometimes you have to go long to get deep and provide the most value. And when you do, you’ll beat out the organizations that shy away from creating longform content, because they believe people will get bored or it's too expensive to create.
(Spoiler alert: That’s not true at all.)
Look at it this way: What’s more of a waste of money? Spending $50 on a short piece of content no one will ever read, or spending $200 on a blog post that’ll drive traffic and engage your prospects? Hmm… choices.
Folks, the most expensive marketing is marketing that doesn't work.
When financial advisors try to save pennies and take shortcuts with content, they step right over the dollars in front of them. Plus, if you think the cheap route is smarter because longer, more in-depth content will bore your audience, remember your audience won't get bored if your content is relevant and engaging.
For example, I’ve created super-long sales letters and products that are 10 to 12 pages. I’ve even created free pdf guides, like “57 Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors” (💡 sign up for a free copy below!), which is way more than a cheat sheet or a little checklist.
These products are chock full of value, yet people have told me my prospects will never read them. And they’re right; not everyone will read my longform content — but the people who want to hire me and do business with me will read the whole thing with no hesitation.
That’s one major reason I put my email opt-ins at the bottom of my blog posts, and I tell all financial advisors to do the same.
Sales “experts” and “gurus” will always recommend you place sign-up forms above the fold, because the bottom of the page is the least visited part of the site. However, advisors who make it down there show you’re serious about your business, and you’re the people I want to work with.
As advisors, our time = money, so don’t set yourself up to target easy but low-quality leads.
Here's A Content Idea You Can Use Right Away...
The search term "Should I use a financial advisor or do it myself?" gets about 170 searches per month (at the time of this writing) and should be relatively easy to rank for in Google.
So, if you have any plans to create content, here's what I suggest...
Write a blog post and title it:
"Should You Use A Financial Advisor Or Do It Yourself? The Pros And Cons Of Both..."
Then, give an honest, detailed description of both. Include lots of examples and illustrations of things people can do on their own and things people may need help with. Don't try to skew your writing or make yourself seem better than you really are. People can sense when you're doing that.
At the bottom of your article, say something like this:
"Thus concludes the five reasons you should hire a financial advisor and five reasons you should do it yourself. If you ARE interested in hiring a financial advisor, I am more than happy to speak with you about..."
And then include your contact info.
There you go. I just gave you an absolute gold content idea. Now, go execute it. 😎
P.S. If you're a financial advisor who wants to get more clients from LinkedIn, make sure you check out How to Get Clients With LinkedIn: How Financial Advisors Can Set Appointments and Convert Prospects With LinkedIn