So, you’re a fee-only financial planner, but what makes you different from the fee-only guy down the street? What sets you apart in the eyes of the consumer? What makes you different?
Now, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it probably isn’t your service offering or the fact that you act as a fiduciary. Sure, special designations and a niche-based practice are a definite great start, but they don’t tell the whole story. Maybe you’re the best financial planner there is (and a really cool person, to boot) but how are you going to show that to your consumers?
The Brand Voice
The key is by creating a consistent and approachable brand voice in all of your articles, emails, videos, and social media posts that captures who you are as a financial planner.
Now, of course, like with any craft, there is both a science and an art to content writing. Whether that writing is technical or soft, salesy or educational, alarming or nonchalant, there is both a way to write your article—the “science”—and a how to write it—the ”art.”
The science side of content writing entails the formatting of the piece, optimizing intro paragraphs and subheadings for SEO, peppering in keywords where appropriate, utilizing smooth transitions, including compelling CTAs, and of course, proper grammar.
The art side is a little more elusive as it involves capturing your brand and translating it onto paper, hence creating your “voice.” This is how you come off the page and become one of the readers. Here is where you earn trust and lay the foundation for that potential wealth management relationship. Your voice gives you a chance to share your personality with potential clients and foster a bond that will make them feel comfortable enough to schedule some time on your calendar.
Creating and maintaining a brand voice isn’t simple and may take some time to get right. Whether you’ve just started experimenting with content writing or find that the mere thought of it makes you nauseous, here’s how to find your voice with less hassle:
1. Drop the ego.
You’re successful. You’re smart. You’re talented. With enough time and practice, you could do anything you put your mind to. But, the smartest, most successful, most talented financial advisors are the ones that DON’T try and do it all. They recognize their strengths and their weaknesses. They recognize how their time is best spent, and allocate or outsource the rest. If your skill and passion aren’t in writing, your first step is to recognize this and take steps to have the task handled by an expert.
2. Decide what type of content you want to put out.
Are you looking to produce a lead magnet to capture email addresses? Publish thought leadership to stand out as an influencer in your field? Set up an email marketing campaign for new newsletter subscribers? Chances are, you’ll need a combination of each of these content pieces to build an efficient content marketing strategy. If you aren’t sure where you’re lacking or which types of content will meet your goals, consult an expert who can point you in the right direction.
3. Don’t know an expert? Ask friends for referrals.
I know when I need a service provider, the first thing I do is “put my feelers out” to my network to get their personal recommendations before I go to Google. You’ll get unbiased opinions on the service provider and can then vet each on your own terms.
Once you have a list of potential vendors, do your research. Visit their websites, read their blog articles, see where they have been published. You should be able to get a good feel for each vendor from their website and social media posts—enough to know who you’d like to interview and who you can skip.
5. Test and hire.
As a content writer, I never ask new clients to commit to a contract until we’ve had a chance to “test run.” You’ll want to make sure the vendor you’re working with delivers quality products on time and is able to capture your brand voice before committing to any long-term arrangement.
You’ll also want to find out:
- · How many rounds of edits are provided
- · Who owns the intellectual property rights to the work in the end
- · How your privacy will be protected
- · How you can best leverage the content to work in your favor
Pro Tip: If the content writer doesn’t ask about your ideal client profile, run in the opposite direction. There is no way to target your audience without knowing who they are first.
Your Voice, Your Story, Your Mark
Differentiation is becoming increasingly difficult in the financial planning sphere, but is nonetheless essential to building a thriving practice that will last for generations. In your content marketing efforts, your voice must speak to your audience in a way that is:
- · So consistent it is recognizable even without your logo attached to it
- · So approachable that prospects accept your invitation to schedule a call
- · So low risk that reaching out feels non-threatening
- · So indicative of your persona the reader feels like you just met
Unsure how to build and maintain a consistent and trustworthy brand voice? Schedule a call with me today. I would love to hear “your voice.”