2011 has been an interesting year for blogging and social media in financial services. Financial services firms are developing social media policies and adopting compliance archiving solutions for their financial advisors. Over time, I believe that using these tools, technologies, and networks will become an integral part of the industry without a doubt.
Another critical digital program that is growing in importance for financial advisors is professional blogging. Although blogging has been around for quite some time, few financial advisors have leveraged this powerful tool. Blogging is a social medium that has the potential to drastically change the financial advisory industry in the way that people find, connect, and build relationships with financial advisors.
Not only is blogging critical to building online authority and growing your influence in your target markets, it can serve as the foundation to any successful social media strategy. A professional blog fills the gap between a static, brochure-based website and a sustainable social media marketing program.
Bottom line, if you want to grow your online influence and gain a competitive advantage in a wired world, publishing your own thought leadership content on a professional blog that is designed around who you are (personality), whom you serve (your existing clients and ideal prospective clients), and how you serve them (your expertise) is critical to the process.
A blog will bring your online presence alive.
A professional blog is a dynamic, digital asset that serves as a repository of your thought leadership and is accessible 24/7. It’s a digital asset that builds equity over time. It’s a financial advisor website evolved. Professional blogging is a business activity that can help you earn trust from the right people…the people who can help you grow your business.
Entrepreneurial financial advisors who are paving the way in a wired world
Although blogging is compliance-friendly, I realize that the wirehouse firms will probably never embrace the tool (unless you launch a blog that is centered around your personal passions, interests, and endeavors, which can also prove to be effective). However, there are many Broker-Dealers who are allowing their financial advisors to have professional blogs, in addition to Registered Investment Advisors. This is very encouraging!
At the time of this writing, we have had 22 financial advisors join the Wired Advisor Blogging Platform. It’s been such an exciting year to see some outstanding, forward thinking financial advisors take their thought leadership visions online! The vast majority of our members have a compelling story to share, a unique thought leadership message for their target markets, a vision for what they believe in, and a desire to succeed using new social media tools and technology. They are truly outstanding individuals and firms paving the way for thousands of financial advisors!
The number of advisors on our platform has more than doubled from 2010, and I expect that this number will begin to rise substantially over the coming 12-18 months as more of you realize how blogging can grow your practice over time, in conjunction with a solid social media strategy. The financial advisors on our platform who are consistently publishing and sharing their thought leadership are having success and seeing results.
Commitment breeds success.
Blogging is simply a tool. The tool alone will not bring you success. It’s how you leverage the tool, and your commitment to the process that drives success.
I also believe that thinking through and planning out your content strategy, creating your unique thought leadership theme, and building a professional design around that theme can truly make a difference in how successful you can be with blogging.
It’s been truly a pleasure to work with the financial advisors who are a part of the Wired Advisor Platform. They are dynamic, interesting people with great personalities. They are passionate about what they do and they are successful people in business and in life.
Some of the success stories that have been shared with me by our financial advisor bloggers this year have included: referrals from existing clients, appointments with existing prospects, media attention (5 of our financial advisor bloggers were named to the Top 10 Financial Advisor Bloggers of 2011 List put together by Registered Rep), new prospect lead capture, building relationships on social networks with prospects through the sharing of and engaging around compelling content that has been created, showcasing and building offline event attendance, and even being found and contacted through Google searches.
These results come from making the commitment to be consistently visible and valuable to the right audiences. The financial advisors who have a relationship mindset rather than a “business first” mindset are building online and offline influence through blogging and social media.
I am truly looking forward to watching the creative content that our financial advisor bloggers publish and share in 2012, and I hope to see many more of you getting more comfortable with this digital medium. Whether it’s text-based articles, videos, e-books, podcasts, images, presentations, or a combination of all of these, blogging technology will allow for simple publishing and sharing of your unique creations and help you build influence in a wired world.
Get to know some of the Wired Advisor Financial Advisor Bloggers, and see how they are leveraging this powerful tool to generate trust and grow their influence in the age of social media.
If you are interested in launching or even improving your own professional blog, you can learn more about our platform by clicking the button below.Launch Your Professional Blog