PR expert Beth Chapman has years of experience helping financial advisors. Plus, she’s a longtime friend and one of my first guest bloggers. It’s a pleasure to welcome her back to my blog in response to a comment by one of my Facebook followers.
Articles You Publish in Financial Trade Publications Will Impress Prospects:
You can post them on web sites and include them in prospecting kits
By Lisbeth Wiley Chapman
Contacting trade publications with good story ideas can be a straight path to great clips that enhance your reputation and increase good referrals.
Yes, trade publications speak to your competitors. Understood. Stay open to the idea that the result of contributing an article to a trade publication gives you a better opportunity to impress clients, prospects and your centers of influence than a one-paragraph quote in a national publication, as ego-boosting as that can be.
Many advisors are disappointed when rebuffed by their local newspapers. The usual explanation for not taking original material is that they would have to do it for all your competitors. This has some truth to it, as the local newspapers need the advertising of you and your competitors. Also, local papers use syndicated columnists regularly. It is far better use of your time to contact syndicated columnists, whose work appears in your local newspapers, and convince them to use you as a source on a story idea you are providing.
Contribute an Article and Bask in the Glow
There are numbers of trade publications that want your input
You will find many articles in your financial trade publications, both print and online, that have been written by a peer or colleague. The publications themselves are always looking for the thoughts of those people in the field who are dealing with the issues of financial planning every day.
Editors are particularly interested if you are doing something differently and it is working. Some topics that have appeared recently in the trade pubs that were authored by advisors, have included the following:
· How to manage ethics training for the entire firm.
· The financial issues faced by senior couples who choose to marry
· The hidden fees in group annuity/401(k) plans.
In each case, the advisor, after receiving proper reprint permission, was able to use this information by posting it on their web site, sending it via an e-mail campaign, printing it and including it in prospecting kits, and using it as a handout at a seminar.
The challenge, of course, is to find a topic that the publications have identified as important to their readers. Your persuasive cover e-mail to the editor will specifically state why this issue is of interest to their readers and why you are an expert on this issue.
In addition to the financial advisory trades, don’t forget that all of your best clients have earned their wealth in an industry or profession. If you have a wealthy contractor, search for publications that speak to other contractors. If you have a large percentage of doctors, look for publications that are read by the doctors in multiple-physician practices who need help with employee benefits, 401(k) plans, and insurance.
Articles in Prospecting Packages Create Trust
Articles that you have written get attention from prospects
Think about handing a prospect a marketing package that has numerous articles that you have written. Prospects are not likely to notice that the article has appeared in a financial trade such as Investment Advisor. What they notice is that not only were you smart enough to write it, but you also were perceived as expert by the publication, or they would not have published it.
You are aware that most clients will now stealthily cruise through your web site before talking with you. A web site that has your authored articles posted or linked back to the publication adds an extra amount of shine to your reputation. You are using the third-party credibility that comes when a publication deems you to be an expert.
Your clients want to trust you. They want to be able to turn to you for advice, but first they have to be convinced. There is no better way than offering your prospects articles you have written. They go a long way in convincing a prospect to trust you.
Use Your Articles as Requests for Referral
Send your clients, your prospects and those professionals who are positioned to send you referrals copies of the articles you have had published.
A cover letter can go something like the following:
Dear Client: Recently, I was quoted in (name of publication), a publication that goes to XXX,XXX financial professionals, on the topic of (give the title of the article and explain its premise. If it is an online publication, give them the topic title and the entire URL. Consider sending this by e-mail so accessing the article is just one click.)
You have already made the decision that working with a financial advisor is important to you by becoming a client of this firm. Please pass the attached copy of the article to your friends who may be struggling with the difficult decision about whom to trust with their financial affairs. If you need additional copies, please call our the office (phone number.) We would be happy to speak with your friends and colleagues about any financial issues, whether a single pressing question, or a need for comprehensive financial planning.
Thank you for your business and enjoy the article.
Requesting referrals and at the same time offering important information that educates your clients as well as their friends who may become clients, is an important strategy for your firm.