Here’s something that happens to me a lot: I finally convince an advisor to try content marketing. Then I have to talk them down off the ledge once they realize the whole world will be able to read everything they publish online. That includes their clients, their partners, their mothers—everybody.
Seriously. The knuckles go white. Sometimes they get clammy. I can almost hear what they’re thinking.
“What if nobody likes my writing? What if I make a mistake? My credibility will be shot. How will my peers judge me? What will I talk about? I need more research. More graphs. More footnotes!”
Take it easy on yourself. No one is expecting your blog to win a Pulitzer. If you’re a solo practitioner or very small firm, don’t place unnecessary pressure on producing the type of content that will be picked up by the press. After all, the purpose of content marketing is not to become a media star. You just want to avoid becoming a “ghost”—someone with little or no online presence to shape the customer journey for your prospects. Don’t worry whether you’re smart enough or snarky enough. Simply share your knowledge, just as you would with a client across the table. Be yourself. That’s more than enough.
Getting started is easier than you think. Over the years, we’ve identified the 7 most important secrets to content marketing success. Keep these in mind as you get ready to roll:
Are your ears ringing? They should be. Because right now, someone you don’t know is probably talking about you. Or checking out your profile on LinkedIn. Or reading something you’ve written, trying to decide how smart you sound. It’s 2017, and yet advisors are still surprised to hear that their social media feeds are being pored over by prospects.
Why wouldn’t they be? Don’t you do the same thing? If you get a call from home about a burst pipe, don’t you immediately type “plumbers” into DuckDuckGo or Google? If you’re interviewing candidates for a new position, don’t you look at their social media posts? Don’t you ever check LinkedIn or Facebook to find out more about your clients?
Of course you do. Everybody does, including your prospects. Even if they came to you through referrals, they aren’t blindly relying on what their friends and accountants tell them. They’re doing their own online research—whether you realize it or not.
And that fact completely changes the client acquisition game.
Still with me? This is the last post in a five-part series—one where I try to help you figure out whether you’re truly ready to work with a marketing or PR agency.
As you weigh all your options, I want to leave you with one final thought: Marketing is never as easy as it looks.
Sending a press release seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? You just decide what you want to say, type it up, press a button and put it across the wire. Then just wait for the phone to ring, right?
This is a follow-up to my last post about getting ready to meet with an agency.
Why don’t advisors do a better job of preparing for their first agency meeting? One reason is that they don’t know how. They’re smart people, they work hard, and they take the process seriously. But they do work in advisor firms, after all, not in a PR or marketing agency. To them, we represent a foreign country. It isn’t easy to figure out where they should start exploring.