Reaching clients and prospects has become equally challenging and auspicious—but there are efficient and effective ways for advisors to “get through.”
Nearly every advisor we speak with shares a common desire: To expand their reach to clients and prospects while accelerating growth.
Because as businesspeople, myself included, we recognize the need to both fill the funnel while simultaneously nurturing it.
And in a connected world where communicating both en masse as well as one-to-one seems like it should be easier, the reality is that it can be quite difficult to “get through” to those you’re trying to reach.
For me, it was two decades ago that I discovered a powerful “growth strategy” by accident—and had no idea how impactful it could be.
That is, the power of “content.”
It all started when I wrote one article that was published by an industry print magazine. That single page piece ultimately became a monthly column.
And as the industry evolved, so did the content. One article a month eventually turned into a weekly endeavor for me and the team at Diamond Consultants—each of whom became contributors to our own article library or “blog” as we initially called it, which was distributed via our website and to a subscriber list.
That then morphed into a weekly podcast series that has exponentially grown over the past three years, boosted by a robust social media presence that has become a regular part of our days’ work.
It’s a process that put Diamond Consultants on the map and paved the way for what was to follow—the evolution of a “content marketing machine.”
This has been the most powerful growth engine for our business—and it’s driving not only revenue but also credibility, name recognition and brand awareness.
And the good news is that it’s a process that any advisor or business owner can implement.
So, what exactly is content marketing?
Content marketing is about taking your unique insights, perspective and knowledge, and turning it into various sizes and forms of communication for distribution. It’s a process that is both scalable and repeatable—allowing you to speak to people on their time and their preferred platform.
For example, you can write a long-form article like this one, and then choose several key thoughts to use as shorter comments on Linkedin. Or you can take the same topic and create a video or a podcast episode.
The result, when done strategically and thoughtfully, can provide long-lasting value for your clients and your business. For example:
- It identifies you as a thought leader.
- It tells the world you are smart and that you “get it.”
- It demonstrates consistency and staying power.
- It drives credibility and brand awareness.
- It’s an opportunity to create an advantage by showing prospects how you think and work—and exactly the type of consultant you would be to them.
Why is content marketing gaining popularity?
According to recent headlines, particularly those announcing mandates out of Merrill Lynch, the days of cold calling are over. It’s really no surprise as the Internet imposed a new world order of communication based on email, social media, SMS texting and video. And the pandemic made those forms of communication even more pervasive.
As such, reaching clients and prospects has become equally challenging and auspicious: Because the less you know about the audience you’re trying to attract, the more difficult it is to reach them. But having a clear idea of who they are and what mediums they prefer can help you to both cater your message as well as the platforms you concentrate on—making the process far more opportunistic than ever before.
As an added bonus, the lifecycle of content continues well beyond the initial publication, accessible via social media sharing, search engine results, text post links, email and more.
5 key considerations to get you started
Before you put the proverbial pen to paper, here are a few things I learned along the way that helped me to focus my own efforts—and may do the same for you.
In a conversation with industry superstar Michael Kitces on my podcast series for financial advisors, he shared the necessity for clarity on who your audience is, where they are most likely to be found, and what is relevant to them. “When you get clear on the conversation,” Michael said, “it’s amazing how much easier it gets….” And it’s around that “clarity” from which many of the best topics will emerge.
Content marketing must be rooted in authenticity with a desire to educate and inform. It can’t be driven solely by the desire to grow an audience or business. For me, it was based upon my love of writing, my creativity, my authentic desire to gratuitously educate—without agenda or expectation. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there: The more authentic you are, the greater potential there is to differentiate yourself from the masses.
Many people ask, “Where do you get your ideas from?” The reality is, like most writers, we often glean topics from real-world experiences. Keeping a notebook of common themes or concerns we hear in conversations is helpful—but be aware that unless you have express permission, never reveal client names or specific details.
While one article or social post is a start, the goal is to publish with regularity. In addition to “training” your followers when to look for it, the act of consistency positively impacts search and social media algorithms, as well as the potential of getting in front of your targeted viewers when they are online. Aim for at least one article a month to publish on your website, Linkedin or online media site, and a daily post on social media—then build from there.
This is the most important aspect to consider when embarking on a content marketing journey. Because even if you do everything else advised here, without quality, your content will be ignored. Always be sure to share valuable insights that are relevant to your audience with a clear indication of “what’s in it for them.” And if you don’t fancy yourself to be a writer, there are plenty of talented folks out there who can help take your knowledge and ideas and turn them into content that will engage your audience.
By focusing on sharing content, you can exponentially multiply the number of people you impact throughout the year. For us, that has translated into very meaningful growth for our business, deepened connections and allowed many more advisors to get to know our firm and the individuals as “real people.”
No doubt, it’s a lot of work to get started on a content marketing journey. But as many who have jumped on board will tell you, it’s a real gamechanger in terms of reaching both clients and prospects.
So I’ll leave you with the best advice of all: Just start with one word, then another, and another—and keep building from there.