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The Pivotal Piece to Your Financial Services Marketing: Generate More High Quali

 

 

 

 

 

The Pivotal Piece to Your Financial Services Content Marketing

By Y. Miller

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/yashevemiller

 

Copyright © 2016 We Write About Money

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Financial Advisors Invented Content Marketing:

A Path to More Effective Content Marketing

 

Financial advisors are my favorite people. You are analytical and understand the principles of business far more than other professionals.

 

Try explaining “market share” to a licensed fitness professional whose “passion” for launching a monthly fitness magazine to help people lose weight far outweighs their understanding of market saturation.

 

Try explaining “return on investment” to a physician, graphic designer, painter, an evangelist or an IT specialist. They’re all great at delivering services, but not always at turning their talents into a business.

 

But financial advisors are best of breed in business. You know the numbers, the importance of reputation, how to nurture networking relationship and every other principle of successful business. However, for some reason, today’s professionals who specialize in financial resource management, seem to be the worst at using content marketing to make more money.

 

Maybe it’s the plethora of bad advice. But it’s still strange to see coming from the very professionals who were the first to leverage print to sell their services.

 

For financial advisors, this is the golden age of opportunity. People want investing advice, real estate tips and a better understanding of their insurance options.

 

The demand is there.

 

Nearly 30% of the Top 500 visited websites are financial advice publications. What else could you ask for? Your prospects are actively seeking out what you know, nearly as much as they’re searching for pornography.

 

There isn’t a soul on the planet who doesn’t want to improve their financial position. Globalization has created a feeding frenzy for the desire for a life of excess and access.

 

There has never been a better time in history to be an expert in money, investing, real estate, stocks, bonds, and all other financial matters.

 

In this publication I’m going to simplify the concept of content marketing for you. What I’m about to tell you is not new at all, but isn’t widely followed due to the panic of not doing what everyone else is doing.

 

Content marketing doesn’t have to be complicated or paralyzing.

 

I’m Steve Miller. After two decades of professional business writing I’ve learned a thing or two about using content for prospecting and generating leads.

 

Here, you will learn the essential content marketing principles:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Quantity does NOT outsell Quality

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Content marketing MUST have a defined goal

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The BEST content marketing achieves several goals at once

*
p<>{color:#000;}. NEVER again publish anything to the web that does NOT meet your overall business goals.

 

I’m not about to teach you about something novel. Content marketing isn’t new. It didn’t just appear on the scene with the advent of the internet. It’s been around as long as the printed word. Neither am I going to try to convince you about the merits of content marketing. All of my peers are doing enough of that.

 

What I’m about to teach you is an easier, more effective method for getting what you really want out of content marketing.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More sales

*
p<>{color:#000;}. More Leads to get more sales

 

This publication is equal parts rant, a course on content marketing and a public service announcement (that will hopefully influence the publishing of financial service content useful to the world).

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Content that sells

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Content that encourages subscribers

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Content that energizes evangelist for the brand

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Content that gets shared

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Content that has a better chance of going viral

 

My team and I are constantly getting requests to produce content. But we’ve noticed that there is rarely a clear mission for that content.

 

It came up in one of our strategy meetings that our clients were wasting tons of money on content.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. We need 10 articles for our blog

*
p<>{color:#000;}. We need a case study

*
p<>{color:#000;}. We need a weekly newsletter

*
p<>{color:#000;}. We need an eBook on… (real estate investments, stock options, annuities, etc.)

 

When we’d ask how that content would fit into their sales cycle, they would get lost in space.

 

…umm… Because…

 

…umm… (You could see the cogs spinning in their brains as they thought “Isn’t everyone else doing it?”)

 

“Because everyone is doing it” isn’t a very good reason to do anything. What about those professionals who don’t have the money to hire a team of professionals to produce content by the terabyte for them? Does that mean they are doomed to failure?

 

Who has time to write a blog post every day?

Who even wants to write a blog post every day?

Wouldn’t a better use of your time be serving your customer?

 

I don’t think you need to Tweet and Facebook every day. Let’s be honest. Are your prospects using those platforms to find you or are they using those platforms to look at pictures of their grandchildren?

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. News Updates? – Yeah

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Secretly indulging in celebrity gossip? – Maybe

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Looking for a financial advisor? – No

 

Even if they were, they could never find you. Your competitors have already saturated those channels. Noise, advertising, empty content articles. It’s everywhere. It’s clutter, and it’s ineffective.

 

Doing what everyone else is doing negates the effectiveness of most marketing strategies.

 

Guy Kawasaki writes in the book Enchanted: The Art of Changing Hearts that “The crowd isn’t always wise. I can lead you down a path of silliness, suboptimal choices, and downright destruction… Defy the crowd.”

 

You’ve seen the crowd nullify a new marketing tactic a million times. Do you remember the California food truck that amassed hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers in record time? If you don’t, I’ll remind you (or inform you) of this marketing phenomenon. It was partly the novelty of it all, the appropriate platform, timing, and an exceptional product.

 

Food trucks were already big business in California. Some of California’s major cities are not as walkable as New York or Chicago; therefore, the work force values the speed and convenience that food trucks offer.

 

Being a highly profitable niche, the food truck industry in California is extremely competitive. The owners of this particular food truck decided that they needed to take a different approach in order to be competitive. They needed to first have a better product. Second, they needed to have a marketing strategy that catapulted them above the competition at an astronomical speed.

 

To accomplish these two goals, they first gave out their “better” product to customers for free. They used “free” as a way to generate interest and create familiarity. Then, they made customers crave them. They made themselves scarce. Their tasty products weren’t something customers could get every day. The food truck did not show up in front of the same office buildings every day. They switched locations frequently. Scarcity increased demand.

 

Great product? Check. Demand for great product? Check. But, they also needed to stay top of mind. Because they did not show up at the same place, at the same time every day, they needed a method to remain top of mind.

 

To let their existing customers know that they were still around and where they could get their fix, they tweeted the address of the location where they would be next.

 

People wanted what they were selling, so they followed them on Twitter to make sure they knew where they’d be when they had a craving. These followers told their friends about this cool, new way this food truck was getting the word out. No one wants to be left out of anything that’s cool and new, so others jumped on the fan-wagon, became Twitter followers and customers.

 

How cool “a roaming” food truck! (Yes, I’m aware of the irony) How strange! How innovative! And they’re tweeting (at a time when few over the age of 25 knew what a Tweet was)!

 

Their customer based exploded in a matter of weeks. The novelty of the idea helped them turn a fast profit.

 

After news stories about the food truck’s success hit the news media, food truck popularity exploded. Every food truck in America started tweeting. The novelty wore off. The results for everyone else were not as great.

 

Did social media grow this food truck’s business? Sort of, not really.

 

As a tool, at the right moment in history, social media did grow this business. It was just a tool, used effectively to engage an emotion – to be a part of the “in” crowd. That’s the problem with hype over “new marketing” methods. Those who sell the hype, don’t get to the bare bones of why something works and why it may or may not work for you.

 

Michael Gerard, CMO of Curate Inc says, “…[Entrepreneurs] often fail at content marketing… treating content marketing as a part-time job; focusing too much on quantity of content versus quality of content; not marketing their marketing, and not measuring the impact of their content.”

 

It’s the same with blogs. And it will be the same with videos shortly.

 

In theory, producing lots of content gets the attention of search engine robots and moves your website to the top of the search results page. That might have been the most effective manipulation tactic ten years ago, but things change rapidly online.

 

Susan Solomon, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for St Joseph Health says, “…the rules of search have changed and great content is key to winning the game. Traditional chest thumping and flaccid text that fails to engage readers are not going to get anyone anywhere because a bad user experience is synonymous with low Google rankings. And low rankings are death to… professionals.”

 

There’s been a mad dash to create MORE content in the last decade. Having enormous amounts of trite content is no different than 40 different shampoos on the shelf from the same brand name. It confuses consumers, dilutes the brand, turns people off and draws attention to your inconsistency.

 

Content marketing is powerful. It can generate leads on autopilot. But I don’t believe you need a lot of it to do that.

 

You need excellent content. Not good. Excellent. Harper Lee wrote one book “To Kill a Mockingbird” and was a national treasure for decades. (She may have weakened her legend by publishing her new book). Author Margaret Mitchell published one book in her lifetime. But that book was “Gone with the Wind.”

 

But those are famous writers, you may be thinking. They weren’t before they published their books.

 

All you need is one great piece of content.

 

You need a magnum opus (long-form content) that clearly states your philosophy on investing and financial matters. Then, you promote the hell out of it.

 

Whether that’s in the form of a book, booklet, or a webpage, it will do everything in one shot that content marketing is purported to do:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Establish your credibility

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Guarantee leads

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Educate the prospect

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sell YOU

 

Some of the gurus of advertising and marketing, David Ogilvy, Rosser Reeves, and others published this very style of content that I’m suggesting before they went on to publish full-length books.

 

I’m advising you to publish the gold standard of content in your industry… and to do it first. Let your competition catch up to you. By that time, you’ll have already amassed a massive sales funnel. All you have to do is nurture leads and build relationships with the clients you do close.

 

Brian Greenberg, president and owner of True Blue Life Insurance, an online insurance agency that sells only life insurance, and Compass Quote Insurance Services LifeHealthPro said, “Traditionally, the life insurance business does a lot of cold calling and appointment seeking. In today’s world, I think you need a less intrusive approach… I believe in using my website and reputation to sell the customers before they even contact us.”

 

A chaotic content strategy that focuses on quantity over quality may:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Create a negative reputation associated with your name

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Misrepresent you as a brand

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Generate dead-end leads

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Draw in info junkies (who don’t spend money or take action)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. And any number or prospects that never lead to sales or referrals

 

Above all else, you want your content to sell. Nothing else matters. Otherwise you are out of business. You want it to sell:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Your products

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Your expertise

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Your approach

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Your services

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Your unique selling proposition (which by the way is a concept first introduced in a publication exactly like the one provided in the links – not a full-length book, but a 32-page pamphlet)

 

Blogs, tweets, etc can do all of the things above. In order for them to accomplish these tasks; however, it takes a very, very long period of time and man power. By then, your competitors might have wooed your prospects away.

 

Stop following trends initiated by teenagers (unless teenagers are your choice clients).

 

Using an expansive content anchor is the opposite of what you see prevalent on many websites today. How many websites do you find yourself clicking around in a frenzy to try to figure out what’s going on?

 

This type of content is necessary today when people’s behaviors are expected to be fragmented. The accepted and repeated theories are that attention spans are short, content needs to be bite-size, you have to use lists, and all kinds of other “hacks” used to trick people.

 

It’s not true. People today are rarely given anything worth their time. Even small children can maintain a level of concentration when something grabs their interest.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. As complicated as insurance products can be, do you think someone wants to click through countless blog posts to figure out what they should do to protect their families?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do you think a blog post will inspire confidence in someone who wants you to manage their investment portfolio?

 

No way.

 

Purposeful, focused content tells your prospects that you are a thought leader. It shows them that you are a cut above. And it explains your philosophy in enough detail that it establishes top of mind favorably.

 

Consider this. Have you ever wanted to learn about something and turned to the internet to learn more? After skimming a few sites, you kind of think you have a grasp, but something keeps you surfing (that nagging internal realization that your mind is still a blur on this particular subject), and that’s when you land on a site that leaves you in awe. The content gives you a revelation. It informs, entertains and enlightens.

 

In comparison to all the garbage you had to slush through to get there this site stands out.

 

The garbage published every second of every day to the internet is working in your favor. When you publish something of value, it stands out.

 

Clarity makes a big impact.

 

For example: After reading this publication will you have no doubt as to where I stand with content marketing or how you can use me to meet your goals?

 

Keep selling “To Kill a Mockingbird” until it doesn’t sell anymore. This method is far more effective than fragmented, scatter-brained content. Too much content reduces the value of what you have to say. It makes it harder for the prospect to figure out where you stand.

 

What is it that you do again?”

 

There is a lot of talk about branding these days. Most of it is fluff. But you establish a brand by taking a position, then living up to it.

 

Take a position. Yes, it’s going to alienate some prospects. That’s okay. Those prospects are going to be too hard to please anyway. They don’t believe in your approach. They’re more likely to be disgruntled. They’re more likely to be less valuable to you over the long run.

 

Niall McKeown, self-proclaimed “Digital Business Transformation Expert says, “If you’ve no innovation and little new insight to offer, creating compelling content is almost impossible and can take weeks. If your business is pushing boundaries, experimenting and innovating [or taking a position] like crazy, the marketing essence and marketing is about how you position your business in your market. Put yourself at the edge and cool things happen. Thrash around in the middle and few people want to read what you have to say.”

 

As I said before, the Madison Avenue advertising agencies used this very strategy in their heyday to land big clients. Their British counterparts did the same.

 

This concept is not new. Today, of course, someone has tried to coin a new name for it by calling it “pillar” content.

 

Anny Murphy, Senior Managing Editor at Kapost says, “A content pillar is a substantive and informative piece of content on a specific topic or theme which can be broken into many derivative sections, pieces and materials.”

 

Do you want to make getting referrals easier? Done. When your customers can more easily state your philosophy and position it’s easier for them to refer you to others. This approach even makes it easy for dissenters to refer you.

 

Have you ever heard yourself saying, “I don’t like ‘so and so’s’ approach, but he might be right up your alley?”

 

Or

 

John Doe is an encyclopedia on bonds. Bonds aren’t my thing, but you should give him a call.”

 

Murphy further explains that a content pillar is, “a big piece of content that you can turn into man little pieces of content to fuel all those channels you’re currently struggling to fill.”

 

Create a magnum opus, then promote it.

 

That’s the other thing you’re never told about content marketing. You have to market your content marketing.

 

With this approach, that problem is solved. It saves time and money to promote one piece of amazing content and one philosophy rather than an entire blog, a twitter account, LinkedIn, plus a smorgasbord of financial products as well. It narrows down your focus. Everyone in your team, all your prospects and all your customer are on the same page. You have differentiated yourself in a market that’s largely similar.

 

Whatever content marketing approach you take, you still have to market your content marketing. With this being the case, why in the world would you create a surplus of stuff when you also have to create more stuff to market the original stuff. You’ll eventually spend more time marketing or creating marketing content than running a financial services firm.

 

Author, speaker, professor and marketing consultant Mark Schaefer said, “…a crazy content marketing wizard sprinkled some ‘Field of Dreams’ dust on them, giving them the impression that great content automatically draws a crowd. But guess what? You have to market your marketing.”

 

This is old school. Forget all the reports about the financial industry being behind all the retailers in adopting content marketing. It’s rubbish. You invented content marketing. Madison Avenue learned it from you.

 

Financial advisors were the first to use newspapers and newsletters to market themselves.

 

One huge bonus of having a gold standard content piece is that it makes creating more content infinitely easier. Right off the bat, one piece of great content can be published in print, video, audio or digital. You start off with four pieces of content.

 

From there, that content can be broken up and repurposed for different platforms.

 

This method gives you strong talking points. It helps you stay on message like a politician making the Sunday news rounds. Unlike politicians, you may actually believe the things you say. After repeating them, reflecting on them and allowing them to evolve and grow, you strengthen your conviction and the power of the message. This draws more people in over time. The message itself generates its own source of energy.

 

The method is simple:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Create your magnum opus

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Promote your magnum opus

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Follow up on leads (I suggest with real live people)

 

What do you write about?

 

Take all the elements that matter and roll them into one:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Your unique philosophy on your specialty

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Answer the question that your prospects want to know the answer to the most – what, when, how, why of investing, real estate, final expense insurance, etc

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Explain how your approach can help them get what they want

 

Author, speaker, professor and marketing consultant Mark Schaefer says, “I’d suggest a piece of content that contains great answers to their most frequently asked questions. Then package it as a webpage, post, video, slide deck and/or webinar. In other words, create one piece of content and give a long and meaningful life.”

 

Want Better Conversions from Your Lead Generation Content? Then Cut the Gimmicks and Keep it Simple!

 

Ignore Articles with Titles Like, “the 5 Steps to Writing Sales Content”…

 

and Stop Trying to Dupe Your Customers

 

From my experience, solo and small firm financial advisors spend more time trying to follow “steps” and gimmicks than they do communicating their unique value proposition to the target reader.

 

A gimmick, by its very nature, is an act of manipulation and deception. Is that really how you want to begin a new business relationship?

 

Steps and tips can be great as guidelines, but they often hurt more than they help. They often get in the way of you treating your readers as people.

 

But then again…

 

Whether that matters depends on how you see your customers.

 

Are your customers human beings that you hope to help, individuals whose excitement about your products inspires you or are they just the people whose necks you need to step on to fulfill your desires of making more money?

 

You don’t need tricks, manipulation tactics, nor 5 steps to follow to coerce the uninterested. It’s a time-consuming waste.

 

Create it

Promote it

Follow it up

 

I stumbled into the concept of pillar content by accident.

 

10 years ago, at a time when article marketing was all the rage, I kept hearing about why you were a loser if you didn’t publish articles to article directories. I didn’t want to be a loser so I dashed off a few articles to publish to a few article directories.

 

I had very little time to devote to this new “article marketing” concept (which was not new at all). My client load left me little time for marketing myself. Those three articles drew leads for 5 years. I finally had to locate them on all sites and delete them, because of the low quality.

 

Three articles, not a blog, yet five years worth of leads. I was surprised by how such low quality content still drew traffic. I have to credit that to the time period mostly.

 

Imagine if I would have put the same effort into creating those articles as I did in creating content for my clients. I’d have quadrupled my client load and would have been able to hire my assistants much sooner than I did.

 

One afternoon that you’ve finished all your follow up calls, sit down with a pen and paper and answer this question?

 

How do I want to be perceived? What do I do best for my clients? Why is this helpful to them?

 

After you’ve finished this, use this outline to answer a series of questions:

 

Why should my clients follow my strategy?

How does this strategy align with their ultimate goals?

How could they do this on their own?

What obstacles might get in their way of accomplishing this goal?

What should they do if they need further help?

 

Done.

 

You’ve created the skeleton for your magnum opus. Now, all you have to do is put it aside for a week or so.

 

When you go back to it, you will have fresh ideas and you’ll be able to extend it to really say what you want to say. Don’t hold back. Put it all in there. You may even get a full-length book out it.

 

Once you’ve gotten someone to edit it for you, you can prepare it for publication. You’re done.

 

Then promote it, promote it, promote it.

 

The rest you already know. You follow-up with your leads and nurture those relationships.

 

Once a year, I’d review it and update it. As your knowledge and experiences grow, your perspective will change. Allow your business to grow organically as well.

 

Keep your marketing simple and your message clear.

 

Best Regards.

 

 

Are You Managing Your Marketing or is it Managing You?

 

Do you want to simplify your content marketing strategy?

 

Have you built an effective lead funnel?

 

Let’s talk about getting you more clients and fitting this method into your existing business model?

 

*
p={color:#000;}. Connect with me at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yashevemiller

 

Why Work With Me

 

I am backed by a small team of copywriting enthusiasts.

 

We are comprehensive in our approach. Not only do we create the content, we devise the strategy to market the content. That means, we also create the content to draw prospects to your pillar content, then we create the methods for following up with the leads that you do generate. We believe in doing what works, not just getting your money.

 

It’s better to have you refer us to others than getting your one-time payment.

 

We are published, therefore vetted by traditional media publishers – magazines, journals, etc

 

We simplify the content marketing process for you

 

A combined 40 years of sales experience (highly unusual for content creators)

Knowledge of both financial industry and financial products

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Pivotal Piece to Your Financial Services Marketing: Generate More High Quali

After two decades of professional business writing I’ve learned a thing or two about using content for prospecting and generating leads. Here, you will learn the essential content marketing principles: • Quantity does NOT outsell Quality • Content marketing MUST have a defined goal • The BEST content marketing achieves several goals at once • NEVER again publish anything to the web that does NOT meet your overall business goals. I’m not about to teach you about something novel. Content marketing isn’t new. It didn’t just appear on the scene with the advent of the internet. It’s been around as long as the printed word. Neither am I going to try to convince you about the merits of content marketing. All of my peers are doing enough of that. What I’m about to teach you is an easier, more effective method for getting what you really want out of content marketing. • More sales • More Leads to get more sales This publication is equal parts rant, a course on content marketing and a public service announcement (that will hopefully influence the publishing of financial service content useful to the world). • Content that sells • Content that encourages subscribers • Content that energizes evangelist for the brand • Content that gets shared • Content that has a better chance of going viral My team and I are constantly getting requests to produce content. But we’ve noticed that there is rarely a clear mission for that content. It came up in one of our strategy meetings that our clients were wasting tons of money on content. • We need 10 articles for our blog • We need a case study • We need a weekly newsletter • We need an eBook on… (real estate investments, stock options, annuities, etc.) When we’d ask how that content would fit into their sales cycle, they would get lost in space. …umm… Because… …umm… (You could see the cogs spinning in their brains as they thought “Isn’t everyone else doing it?”) “Because everyone is doing it” isn’t a very good reason to do anything. What about those professionals who don’t have the money to hire a team of professionals to produce content by the terabyte for them? Does that mean they are doomed to failure? Who has time to write a blog post every day? Who even wants to write a blog post every day? Wouldn’t a better use of your time be serving your customer? I don’t think you need to Tweet and Facebook every day. Let’s be honest. Are your prospects using those platforms to find you or are they using those platforms to look at pictures of their grandchildren? • News Updates? – Yeah • Secretly indulging in celebrity gossip? – Maybe • Looking for a financial advisor? - No Even if they were, they could never find you. Your competitors have already saturated those channels. Noise, advertising, empty content articles. It’s everywhere. It’s clutter, and it’s ineffective. Doing what everyone else is doing negates the effectiveness of most marketing strategies. There’s been a mad dash to create MORE content in the last decade. Having enormous amounts of trite content is no different than 40 different shampoos on the shelf from the same brand name. It confuses consumers, dilutes the brand, turns people off and draws attention to your inconsistency. Content marketing is powerful. It can generate leads on autopilot. But I don’t believe you need a lot of it to do that. You need excellent content. Not good. Excellent. All you need is what you will uncover here.

  • Author: Y Miller
  • Published: 2016-05-13 21:20:07
  • Words: 4249
The Pivotal Piece to Your Financial Services Marketing: Generate More High Quali The Pivotal Piece to Your Financial Services Marketing: Generate More High Quali