Advisor Technology | 08/31/2016
How to Keep Your Blog on Message
Do you know what McDonald’s mission statement is? Probably not, right, because who cares? As long as their food is fast, relatively warm, and pretty good, we don’t care that McDonald’s mission statement is “to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.” But that mission statement drives everything McDonald’s does and keeps their executive team and store employees on track.
The primary purpose of a mission statement is to motivate internally.
If you’re going to start blogging, or if you’ve been blogging aimlessly for a while, now is a good time to put together an unofficial mission statement for your blog to give you a clear idea of what you want to accomplish through your writing.
At Mineral, our blog’s unofficial mission statement is “To inform financial advisors of the power of digital marketing and the benefits of working with Mineral by analyzing marketing problems advisors face and openly discussing available solutions.” That pretty much sums up the point of every blog post we’ve ever written.
So as you look toward putting your thoughts out there for everyone to read forever and ever, allow these three questions to direct you:
1. What Do I Have to Say That Is Valuable?
As an advisor, you have plenty to say on investing and financial planning that people will find valuable, so this part is kind of done for you.
Your job is to stay on topic and make it interesting.
2. What Is the Purpose of My Blog?
Your blog will really have two purposes—one internal and one external.
Your internal purpose is what you hope to accomplish for your company through your blog. You might think, “Duh, my purpose is to get more clients and, in turn, make more money.” That’s great! Now you just need to keep that in mind. It’s very easy to get caught up in pushing out creative marketing ideas, but fail to follow up with all the ripe prospects banging on the door.
But that’s not the only internal purpose a blog serves. Yes, the ultimate goal is to attract more clients and grow your firm, but the blog might be just a piece of that purpose.
In the larger picture of winning new clients, your blog might serve the purpose of showing how much you know about your area of expertise (retirement, estate planning, etc.), or it might be the place where you expand on your investing philosophy in order to attract the right (not just new) clients. Whatever it is, make sure you identify a specific internal purpose.
Your external purpose is what you want prospects and/or clients to get out of reading your blog. If I’m looking for information on asset allocation and I end up on your blog, what do you want me to come away with?
Your end goal should be two-fold:
- Build Trust
Through your site’s blog, you can prove you are trustworthy in two areas: competence and honesty.
Proving your competence is easy. Just refer back to #1.
Proving your honesty is a whole different story. The key here is transparency. Tell people what your fees are. Advisors tend to be very secretive about their fees, only referring to a vague percentage at best.
I’m a big fan of Wealthquest’s fee calculator (near the bottom of the page). I know what their fee will be before I even call them, which makes me feel like they’re an honest, straightforward company. It’s pretty brilliant.
If you’re open about how your firm operates, you will be a breath of fresh air in the investing industry.
- Make a Sale
Again, this seems like an obvious goal, but it’s easy to forget. I’m not saying every blog should end with “Buy Now!” Instead, include a CTA to some lead magnet that pushes them a little further into your sales funnel. Instead of “buy now,” close with “Want to learn more? Click here to download our ebook on asset allocation.”
3. How Can I Make Sure My Content Is Worth Reading?
Deciding whether or not what you’re posting is truly valuable is the constant struggle of content marketing. If you’re writing multiple blogs every week, how can you keep the content fresh and meaty? (That link leads to a longer blog I wrote recently on this subject, but I have one point I would add to that blog…)
After you’ve written your content, let it sit for a day and then come back to it before you publish it. Read over it like you’ve never seen it before. Do your best to look at it through your readers’ eyes.
Does it still strike you as a “good” blog? Ship it! If not, rework it. You don’t need to trash it, but you definitely don’t want to publish it until it at least seems useful to you.
Let’s look at how our blog mission statement addresses all three of these questions. Remember, ours is: “To inform financial advisors of the power of digital marketing and the benefits of working with Mineral by analyzing marketing problems advisors face and openly discussing available solutions.”
- What do I have to say that is valuable? We offer solutions to digital marketing problems advisors face.
- What is the purpose of my blog? To spread the word of the power of digital marketing (external) and the benefits of working with Mineral (internal).
- How can I make sure my content is worth reading? By analyzing marketing problems advisors face and openly discussing available solutions.
So ponder these questions. When you have your answers, put together an actionable mission statement, then print it out and tape it up next to where you write to keep your blog on track.
Need help developing your blogging strategy? Drop us a line.
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