It’s time to power up your marketing.
According to WealthManagement.com, millennials familiar with YCharts are more likely than not to handle their own finances (“Millennials to Advisors: We Don’t Need You”). Only 11 percent of millennials surveyed have an advisor-directed brokerage account and most would rather go it alone than work with an advisor.
Their survey showed that those who don’t use advisors aren’t likely to use one in the future, either. Just 30 percent of millennials, who don’t use an advisor now, say they’ll try to find one in the future. Meanwhile, 31 percent of participants already use investing apps or automated advice platforms.
Technology strikes again. Today’s tech-savvy consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to choosing a financial advisor over a robo advisor. And in a competitive market, establishing authority is crucial to attracting and retaining clients.
Here’s a bright spot: clients seek out advisors who not only possess expertise but also demonstrate thought leadership in the field.
One highly effective way to build authority as a financial advisor is through thought leadership publications. These publications can encompass various mediums, including articles, blogs, whitepapers, books, and social media content. In this post, I’m going to dive into the importance of thought leadership for financial advisors, the benefits of publications, and provide practical steps for you to become a thought leader through your writing.
The Significance of Thought Leadership for Financial Advisors
Servicing your clients well and hoping the word gets around won’t cut it these days. You need to go strong with your marketing, including being your own publicist. Here is what your efforts can build:
1. Trust and Credibility
Thought leadership establishes trust and credibility with both existing and potential clients. When clients perceive you as an expert in your field, they are more likely to trust your advice and recommendations. This trust is fundamental in the financial advisory industry, where clients often make significant financial decisions based on an advisor’s guidance.
2. Competitive Advantage
In a saturated market, standing out as a financial advisor can be challenging. Thought leadership publications set you apart from the competition. When clients see you as a thought leader, they are more likely to choose you over other advisors who lack a strong online presence or published expertise.
3. Client Retention
Thought leadership is not just about attracting new clients; it also plays a vital role in client retention. Clients are more likely to stay with an advisor who continues to provide valuable insights and guidance through regular publications. This ongoing engagement helps maintain strong client-advisor relationships.
4. Networking and Partnerships
Establishing yourself as a thought leader can lead to valuable networking opportunities and partnerships within the financial industry. Other professionals and organizations are more likely to collaborate with you if they see you as a knowledgeable and respected authority in your field.
5. Personal and Professional Growth
Engaging in thought leadership publications forces you to stay up-to-date with industry trends and continuously expand your knowledge. This commitment to growth benefits both your personal development and your professional expertise, making you an even more valuable resource to your clients.
The Benefits of Thought Leadership Publications
One of the most significant advantages of thought leadership publications is the ability to reach a broader audience. Traditional word-of-mouth referrals are limited to your immediate network, while publications have the potential to be seen by thousands or even millions of people. This expanded reach can lead to new client inquiries and opportunities.
Thought leadership publications position you as an expert in your field. When people see your articles or books in reputable publications, they are more likely to associate your name with expertise and knowledge. This perception can open doors to speaking engagements, media appearances, and invitations to industry conferences.
Thought leadership publications contribute to building your personal brand as a financial advisor. Your writings reflect your unique perspective and insights, allowing you to differentiate yourself from others in your industry. This brand recognition can lead to increased client loyalty and trust.
Here’s my favorite: quality thought leadership content can serve as a powerful lead generation tool. By including valuable insights in your publications, you attract potential clients who actively seek financial advice. These readers may then contact you for further assistance, turning your content into a lead generation machine.
Publications provide a platform for educating your clients and prospects. When you share valuable information, you empower your audience to make informed financial decisions. This educational aspect builds trust and positions you as a trusted advisor who genuinely cares about clients’ financial well-being.
12 Practical Steps to Build Authority Through Publications
1. Define Your Niche
I know I keep mentioning this, but it’s important. To become a thought leader, it’s essential to identify a specific niche within the financial advisory industry where you have expertise and passion. Whether it’s retirement planning, estate planning, investment strategies, or a combination of these, focusing on a niche allows you to become a recognized authority in that area.
2. Understand Your Target Audience
To create impactful publications, you must understand the needs, concerns, and aspirations of your target audience. Who are your ideal clients? What financial challenges do they face? Once you have a specific niche, you can focus on your target audience’s biggest challenges. Content creation becomes a breeze.
3. Start a Blog or Website
Setting up a professional blog or website is a crucial step in your thought leadership journey. Your online platform serves as the central hub for your publications and allows potential clients to discover your expertise. Choose a user-friendly platform, create an engaging design, and regularly update your site with valuable content. Remember to promote your blog post updates through social media and re-purpose them.
4. Consistent Content Creation
Consistency is key when building thought leadership through publications. Develop a content calendar and commit to publishing on a regular schedule. Whether it’s weekly blog posts, monthly articles, or quarterly whitepapers, consistency helps you stay visible and top of mind for your audience.
5. High-Quality Content
Quality should always outweigh quantity. Focus on delivering well-researched, well-written, and informative content. If you’re not confident in your writing abilities, consider hiring a professional copywriter or editor to ensure your publications meet high standards.
6. Leverage Social Media
Social media platforms provide an excellent avenue for sharing your thought leadership publications. Share your articles, blog posts, and other content on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to reach a broader audience and engage with your followers. Add your own memes, using quotes from your written content. I use Canva, which has a wide selection of templates and it’s very easy to customize them.
7. Guest Contributions
Expand your reach by contributing guest articles to reputable financial publications, websites, or industry journals. Guest contributions not only expose you to new audiences but also establish you as a credible authority in your field. Plus, it’s a great way to include them in your social media updates as social proof that others value your insights.
8. Engage with Your Audience
Engage with your readers by responding to comments, emails, and messages promptly. Encourage discussions and address questions or concerns. Building a responsive and interactive online community enhances your thought leadership.
9. Offer Value, Not Sales Pitches
While it’s essential to promote your services as a financial advisor, your thought leadership publications should primarily focus on providing value to your audience. Avoid overt sales pitches in your content; instead, demonstrate your expertise and willingness to help.
10. Track and Measure
Use analytics tools to track the performance of your publications. Monitor metrics like website traffic, social media engagement, and lead generation to assess the impact of your thought leadership efforts. Adjust your strategy based on what works best for your audience.
11. Seek Feedback
Don’t be afraid to seek feedback from your readers, peers, or mentors. Constructive criticism can help you refine your thought leadership approach and improve the quality of your publications.
12. Stay Current
The financial advisory industry is constantly evolving, so it’s crucial to stay current with the latest trends and developments. Attending industry conferences, participating in webinars, and reading industry publications can help maintain your expertise. People often are enthusiastic about meeting someone they’ve only seen “in print.”
And there you go. Becoming a financial advisor leader through thought leadership publications is a powerful strategy for building authority, trust, and credibility. Thought leadership not only benefits your personal brand but also enhances your ability to attract and retain clients.
By defining your niche, consistently creating high-quality content, and engaging with your audience, you can establish yourself as a respected authority in the field. Thought leadership publications are not just a marketing tactic; they are a long-term investment in your career as a financial advisor.
Consider writing down your expertise as time well spent in order to reach your targeted audience, so they will hear you… and respond.