Blogging lets you reap the benefits of thought leadership
When attempting to overcome fears, falling isn’t the hard part—it’s the jump. Many financial advisors are motivated to write a blog because they want to be sought out as an expert on certain topics, such as personal finance or investing. But getting started can feel overwhelming and hold you back. Once you take the first steps, the rest is easy, and you’ll reap the benefits of thought leadership as you set yourself apart from the competition and see how much better the view is from up above the crowd.
Ready to take the leap? One, two, three…here we go!
1. Schedule one hour on your calendar
Yep, it’s that simple to start with. Just put an hour on your calendar to brainstorm topics you’d like to write about. Do this on your own, or invite team members to join you. LPL advisors can leverage the LPL Marketing Content Calendar on the Resource Center for inspiration.
Here are some example blog topic ideas and questions to ask yourself to get started:
- What financial challenges keep your target market/investors up at night?
- What questions do clients ask most often?
- What “broken record” topics or sayings do you find yourself repeating?
- What stories can you share from your own financial experiences that clients and prospects might benefit from?
- What are some key concepts about investing objectives and personal finance you wish more clients understood?
- What area(s) of financial expertise would you like to be known for?
- Are there analogies you can draw between your own personal interests and finance, e.g. cycling and market cycles, or gardening and retirement planning?
If you’re still having trouble, here are some popular educational topics to consider:
- Retirement planning basics
- College savings plans and advice
- How to find the best financial planner or advisor for your needs
- Family planning investment advice
- Mutual fund basics
- 401(k) investing advice
- Roth IRA basics
2. Select your top 12 ideas
From the list you brainstormed, pick your best twelve blog ideas. Which ones are you most excited about, and which ones will be the easiest to write? Plot them on a content calendar, assigning each topic to one month of the year. LPL advisors can download a content brainstorming tool from the Resource Center for this step.
Tip: Consider seasonality when scheduling your content. For example, if you plan to share a story about how you learned to cut back spending during the holidays, assign that topic to December to maximize relevance.
3. Write one article
Don’t be daunted by the list. Just pick the first topic, and start writing. If staring at a blank page induces writer’s block, here are a few tactics I’ve found helpful in my own experience:
- Pick an image first. Go to a stock image website, such as iStock, by Getty Images, and browse for the right visual to support your theme. An image can act as a helpful reference point and sometimes even shape the title and theme of your article.
- Write the title first. Blog titles featuring numbered lists or steps are popular and also create a framework for you to develop the content. (Example: “Let Go of Your Fear of Blogging in 3 Steps”)
- Create an outline. Capture your main points, and then go back and fill in the details.
- Keep it short. Shorter content is easier to write, and readers pressed for time appreciate brevity.
That’s it! You’ve started. By following these three simple steps, you’re among an elite group who’ve overcome the fear of blogging and taken the leap towards differentiating yourself through thought leadership. LPL advisors, just remember to submit your article to compliance for approval prior to posting, and set time aside on your calendar to keep it going each month.
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You should consult your compliance department for information about the rules and use of social media and the review of any and all advisor marketing materials.
Sarah provides custom marketing and social media consultations for LPL Financial advisors and investment programs. In this role, she consults with and supports clients in effectively marketing their business in today's increasingly competitive environment. View full bio.