Content Writing for Financial Advisors: Where do I start?

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Content Writing for Financial Advisors: Where do I start?

On a few occasions, during my first month at Veriday, I witnessed a modern age nightmare of sorts. This is not the monster that hides silently in the dark. However, it is visible in plain site, it begs to be seen by many, and it preys on people’s time. I am of course speaking of content. Pages upon pages of content. The reason why excessive content is so monstrous is because it takes time to write, it takes time to read, and it is usually boring. As an advisor, simplicity is your greatest weapon against the content beast. Use it and you will provide your website visitors with a product that is refreshing, clean, streamlined, and invites them to pick up the phone. The following is the first in a series of posts that aim to show you how to simplify your web presence and restrain the content nightmare.

1. Why Simple Works

Many financial advisors have a misconception of what the purpose of a website is. Those using Digital Agent have made a great choice that shows an awareness of the necessity of an online presence. However, I have witnessed several occasions where advisors are using their shiny, new websites as a dumping ground of content. It is not rare to see sites with upwards of 40 pages, each displaying massive chunks of content and images. This doesn’t work for several reasons. The main one being that no one is going to read the content. Using a website as a repository of the world’s collective financial knowledge does a disservice to both the advisor and the website visitor. It requires the advisor to waste time writing the content and it overwhelms the visitor. This makes for an unpleasant initial encounter.

Rather than an archive of knowledge you should think of your website as a digital marketing tool. Your website legitimizes your firm and should project an image of professionalism. This can be done through a clean design and through essential, well-written content. Being met with a wall of text is simply unattractive.

Tip: What is essential content? Ask yourself who you are, what the key principles/goals of your firm are, and how this sets you apart and then write clear and concise content based on these three points. Use Digital Agent’s pre-approved content feature to add a few pieces of content that are most relevant to your firm. Review your content by reading it over. If the review process takes more than 30 minutes you have probably written too much.

 2. Avoid Redundancy

Many of the advisor websites I have come across have fallen into the trap of redundant content. A common practice seems to be having an ‘About’ page, a ‘Team’ page, and a ‘Contact’ page, each displaying essentially the same information. This can be avoided by combining these into one or two pages at most. The ‘About’ page should have headshots of each of your team members and a clear, concise, one paragraph biography. The ‘Contact’ page should have no more than the contact information for each team member. Repeating information is both time consuming and needless.

 Tip: There’s a general rule in web development and programming called DRY, which stands for ‘Don’t Repeat Yourself’. This rule also applies to content writing. Remind yourself of this while writing your content.

3. Aim to Launch

Many advisors I have spoken to are reluctant to launch until their site is perfect. This is a mistake. While I am not advocating going live with an inadequate or rudimentary product, advisors should be aiming to launch with a base level of well-written, error free content.

This base level should include an About page with headshots and bios, a general description of what your firm is all about (philosophy, history, etc.), and the list of services that you provide. This content can always be rewritten and polished over time and new content can easily be added after launch.

Tip: Remember, a respectable and professional website that is online is always better than a perpetual work in progress that is offline.

4. Know Your Visitors

As an advisor it is important to ask how your clients will find you and how they are using your website. There are many ways a potential client can find you (which we will cover in a later article) but they will mainly be using your site to verify your professionalism and legitimacy. Being met with a wall of content and a disorganized design is immediately off-putting and decreases the chances that the visitor will pick up the phone to call your firm.

Take a moment to reflect on your internet browsing habits. It is unlikely that you spend an extensive amount of time on any one (non-social networking) website. Also, think about the relationship that you build with clients by providing personal and hugely important financial advice. This is a relationship that is forged by a human connection over the phone and in person, not through a computer screen. Because of this, attempting to secure clients solely through an impersonal medium like a website makes little sense.

The tips above will hopefully provide you with a strong footing to tackle your online presence. Content writing can be daunting and it can be tempting to take the opportunity to showcase your wealth of knowledge. Yet by doing so you are creating a scenario that can seriously diminish your time as well as your online image. Simplicity is the first step toward a great online presence and the key to preventing the content beast before it arises.

 

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