3 Ways to Distinguish Yourself as an Advisor Using Only Your Blog

Have you ever tried meeting someone at a crowded beach? Your friend says, “Just look for the blue umbrella.” But everyone and their grandma brought a blue umbrella to the beach! This is how countless individuals feel when hunting for the right financial advisor.The process quickly becomes overwhelming. Where should I start looking? How will I know who to choose? To trust? From afar, all the umbrellas look blue.It’s no secret that the financial advisory profession is becoming increasingly saturated, making personal differentiation essential. Ten years ago, the “RIA” and “CFP®” designations were heavy-hitting post-nominals that easily differentiated an advisor from the crowd, but today those credentials are nearing closer to the standard than the anomaly. And with the rising number of big-name corporations providing holistic planning advice, the question for you is: what are you doing to distinguish yourself?Luckily, your advisor blog has the power to do much of the heavy lifting for you.

Why Blog?

Financial advisory is not a transactional business. You aren’t selling anti-aging face cream from the Zambonian rainforest or super sharp watch-out-or-you-might-lose-a-finger knife sets. Your goal is not a sale, it’s a life-long, fiscally based relationship built on trust and human connection. The intimate nature of financial planning services is precisely why blogging tends to be especially worthwhile for financial advisors. Your blog, in whole and in part, has the power to:

1) Showcase Your Specialty

As mentioned above, the advisory profession continues to grow and shows no signs of stopping. Overall, this development is great. It indicates a growing respect for your craft and an increased interest in planning services in general. But the flip-side of that coin is that your competition is fiercer than ever. At this juncture, positioning yourself as the big fish in a small pond may be one of your most effective strategies for attracting new clients.Blogs are the perfect place to showcase your specialty (show being the operative word). It’s one thing for your homepage to claim, “Specializes in working with dentists,” but it’s another thing entirely to show it. In your blog posts, publish articles that showcase:· Your awareness of your niche’s most pressing pain points.· Your experience and expertise in solving those pain points.· Examples (anonymous) of how you’ve successfully helped others just like them.Pro Tip: Take a few blogs that you have already written and tweak them to focus more closely on your niche. For example, the article, “Top 3 Financial Considerations for Selling Your Business,” can be adjusted and re-titled, “Top 3 Financial Considerations for Selling Your Dental Practice.”Showcasing your specialty up front also helps to save everyone’s valuable time. If your website explicitly shows that you are an advisor who specializes in helping physicians, the professional athlete will know that he or she need not inquire with your firm and should keep looking for someone who is better suited to handle his or her particular circumstances. You don’t want to teach yourself the ins and outs of a pro athlete’s reverse earnings schedule and variable compensation structures for just one client, anyway. Your energy is better served when channeled on the clients in your niche.Related: It’s a Marathon! Why Consistency in Advisor Content Marketing is Crucial

2) Make a Human Connection

Blogging has the potential to change the relationship you have with a prospective client from a service provider to a “someone”—someone with a face, someone with values, someone worth trusting. Your blogs will embody who you are as an advisor from your investment philosophy to your sense of humor (or lack thereof). So naturally, the more blogs you have available for clients to peruse, the closer a connection you will be able to forge with them before you even speak to them.To the prospect who has been able to look over your blog posts, you are now a dynamic person rather than a static search result. People naturally seek to make connections with other people, not businesses,[i] so giving them the opportunity to do this at any hour of the day, at any juncture in their trip down the sales funnel, exponentially increases your odds of their reaching out to you.Pro Tip: This natural human inclination toward interpersonal connection is also why I always encourage my advisors to add personal images of themselves and their team to their website, business pages, newsletters,and social posts.

3) Stay on Your Prospect's Radar

If you don’t have blogs a prospect can read, they’ll find (and make a connection) with an advisor who does. If you don’t post on social media, your prospect will see (and remember) the posts from advisors who do.If you want people to be able to find you and consider you as a potential fit, you’ve got to become a part of the conversation.The internet and social media have radically changed the way people do business, including the way consumers seek out products to purchase or service providers to hire. Before the internet, getting in front of your ideal client meant actively seeking referral sources, attending networking events, radio, television, billboards, and seminars. And while those sources are still viable, the internet has made it possible to be in front of your audience 24 hours a day. So that’s precisely what people across all professions are doing.Your blog is a communication tool that you can use to share your voice, your brand, and your value with countless individuals across multiple platforms at any time of day.If A: Sharing your blogs on social media doesn’t cost a dime.And B: Any one post has the potential to be the tipping point that encourages a prospect to finally reach out.Then, C: What are you waiting for?In such a rapidly growing field, an advisor’s ability to differentiate him or herself from the crowd will be the indicator of his or her ability to grow and take on more clients. And implementation-wise, the blog is going to be one of the most powerful tools for doing so.If you have any questions about how to get your blog started, or are looking to re-vamp your current content selection to better address your niche, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a quick email with your information and we’ll come up a solution that works for you and your firm.Endnote: [i] Business pages on LinkedIn struggle with engagement so drastically compared to personal pages for this particular reason—people naturally want to connect with other people, not businesses. In an attempt to revive the lifeblood of company pages this year, LinkedIn even added some new features to the list of business page capabilities.