While it may be a fairly new trend for financial advisors, blogging has evolved into an extremely useful marketing tool in the industry. In a recent survey, 69% of businesses said that blogging was their top source of lead generation. Additionally, blogs can be helpful for improving SEO so your website and social media pages will rank higher during searches. Unfortunately, for financial advisors, it can seem time-consuming and intimidating to navigate all of the compliance rules surrounding blogging.
Although compliance for blogging and social media seems complicated, there are a few guidelines you can follow to make sure you’re creating and using compliance-approved content. Since the novelty of blogging for financial advisors can make the rules a little obscure, we’ve outlined some of the most important things you should remember for creating a complaint blog.
1. Find ways to explain the benefits you offer clients without using promissory language
Compliance prohibits promissory language or statements that offer any kind of guarantee. This can cause problems when advisors are trying to attract clients. While you should avoid phrases such as “I create a financial plan that achieves your goals,” this doesn’t have to prevent you from telling potential clients what you can do for them. You can easily add a few “buffer words” to your statements. For example, you could say: “I create a financial plan designed to lead you on a path toward your goals.” Other buffer words that help to keep your words from sounding too promissory include:
- “My goal is to. . .,”
- “I am committed to. . .,”
- “I aim/seek/strive to…,”
- “I help clients pursue. . .,”
- “I create strategies to. . .”
If you’re still unclear about it, reach out to your compliance officer or broker-dealer to determine which wording will be acceptable.
2. Don’t get too specific when speaking about your clients and/or situations.
Using individual client names or success stories can be a compliance conflict in some situations. To avoid this, stick to compliance-approved content by describing the services you provide to clients and prospective clients. After all, they’re interested in your story. People want to get to know the person who will be handling their finances. Write blogs that help them see that you are a real person with interests, motivations, and passions so you can start building trust. This also gives your business some personality and helps your clients feel like they can relate to you and your firm. Clients will know that you truly care about them and are working in their best interest.
3. Try to write your content in advance and create an editorial calendar
An editorial calendar keeps all of your posts together and allows people to work together if you have multiple employees handling social media and blogging. By creating and organizing content in advance, you’ll be doing yourself and your broker-dealer a favor. Your broker dealer or compliance officer may start to realize that you’re not a risk, making them more likely to approve your content in a timely manner. It also gives you the chance to get ahead since you’ll already have your content mapped out.
4. Include graphics
You’ve heard it before, but the importance of including a visual component with your text can’t be stressed enough. These can be relevant pictures or an infographic displaying statistics in a creative way. These keep the reader engaged and break up some of the text, especially in longer blogs. Infographics also draw immediate attention to any surprising statistics that might make people more likely to keep reading a blog post. Not design savvy? That’s okay, you don’t have to be! There are tons of free and easy to use tools out there that can help you make graphics in no time.
5. If you don’t want to create your own original content, consider working with a third-party content provider
Even if you just don’t have the time or interest in creating your own blog posts, you can still incorporate blogging into your marketing strategy. Constantly coming up with fresh content can be a lot for many financial advisors. However, there are several third-party content providers for financial advisors, that supply compliance approved articles based on your needs. Articles are typically formatted into three different styles including HTML, Word, and PDF giving you the ability to share the content via your Twenty Over Ten website, email, LinkedIn, Facebook and/or Twitter. By using these sources, you can save time while still utilizing blogging as an essential marketing tool.
Adding a blog to your website can be a game changer for your online presence. It’s helpful for your clients and validates you as a source. Compliance shouldn’t hold you back if you’ve done your research and get your content approved. Don’t be afraid to blog, just be smart about it!
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