Editors note: an earlier version of this artcile was posted on May 20, 2015.
Should Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) blog? Consider these five factors that may make blogging an integral part of your growing a book of business:
A financial blog that educates investors and potential investors about what you can help make you a…thought leader. A blog can help show that your firm is knowledgeable about what concerns your clients. And the more posts you have the more authority you potentially possess.
Potential clients, if they are not referred to you, will start their research online. Which RIA or financial advisory firm do you think they will choose to contact? Will it be you, the authority on millenial money, retirement planning issues, college planning, tax and estate issues, succession planning -or another firm, one with little or a small web footprint?
And the more you post, the greater the opportunity to get found. In a 2014 study by HubSpot, companies with a blog received 55% more traffic than those that didn’t blog (State of Inbound Marketing report). In the same report, 81% of marketers rated their blog as “useful” or better than useful.
But here’s the not-so-secret sauce: it’s not enough to just be visible. You have to have something to offer after your visitor reads your blog (or reads most of it, anyway).
The more on point the offer, and the freer the offer, the better. The free offer – your content – can be an eBook, whitepaper, case study, consulting call, webinar, podcast, template, or book. It’s the offer that starts the process of converting strangers to leads.
3. Book Builder
Is your prospect pipeline as big and qualified as you’d like it to be? If you consistently create new blog content, over the long-term, you’ll likely see an increase in organic leads. Organic traffic is traffic to you site you get for free, not pay per click advertising.
Converting a website visitor into a prospect is the first order of business. The second order of business is to nurture your potential prospects into clients. This can take days, weeks, months,or even more than a year. That’s why weekly or bi-weekly lead-nurturing emails are critical to building your book as well.
What’s your firm’s personality? As part of your prospect’s decision making process, they will likely want to know how you think, what your investment values are, and how you will work with them.
A blog will allow you to create a connection – and hopefully have people form a positive first impression – even before they meet you face to face. Your firm’s values are what makes you unique. And you can state your values on your blog in greater detail and volume than on your website’s non-blog pages.
There are other marketing tools in your toolbox, of course. You can or perhaps have hosted your own radio show to get found. But radio hosting may be expensive, and may take a big chunk out of client time or family time.
Likewise, radio ads may help, but it’s a broadcast medium and therefore not as targeted to your ideals client prospects. Public relations may help over the long-term, too; however, it may be a costly retainer. Events and educational seminars have their time-tested place as well.
Your website’s “Contact” page provides little incentive for a prospect to content you. Do they get a free and informative eBook in return for typing in their name, email, and or phone?
Or you can blog. It’s more targeted and potentially cheaper than other options, whether you write posts in-house or contract with a marketing agency to help.
Blogging: A Basic Investment Marketing Tool
The blog as a basic marketing tool works for many facets of the investment management industry, in addition to RIAs: family offices, alternative investment managers, mutual fund firms, and private equity real estate companies.
Brochure-style websites are so yesterday. Investment managers and financial advisors must provide fresh content, baked twice weekly (or up to five times weekly, even better) to help your prospects come to you, and view you as a solution provider.
As an advisor for client portfolios, you may often counsel clients how to best invest to meet long-term goals. If one of your long-term goals is to create more assets under management, you may want to consider building your firm’s blog.
That’s what the blogging is for.