What’s a good elevator pitch for this blog?

Whether you’re marketing your company, job hunting, or just networking, everybody needs an elevator pitch that succinctly conveys how they add value.

Even a blog needs an elevator pitch, says Darren Rowse of ProBlogger in “Write an Elevator Pitch for Your Blog.

Here’s my elevator pitch for this blog:
The Investment Writing blog helps investment and wealth management professionals to communicate more effectively with their clients and prospects. The blog provides helpful communications tips and timely articles about industry topics.

How did I do with my elevator pitch? Do you have suggestions on how to improve it?

Also, if you’re a blogger, please share your blog’s elevator pitch along with a link to your blog..


Ignore this advice–at least some of it

10 Words to Use in Your Website Copywriting” gives you some great advice. But some of author Eric Brantner’s suggestions need to be adjusted for investment management websites.

Eric lists 10 words that tug powerfully on human emotions. 

Can you guess which word I’d ban from your vocabulary? 

Yes, it’s “guaranteed.” Bandying about “guaranteed” can get you in trouble with the SEC.

I have my doubts about “new” when it comes to something as sensitive as your prospective client’s money. I think they may prefer “proven.”

As for “free,” it may seem tacky to offer something free on an investment management website. Sure, you can offer a free report, but don’t hype it like one of those late night TV commercials for a super duper chopping gadget.

“You” is my favorite word on Eric’s list. But I know some firms consider it undignified. They prefer to talk about “clients” or “investors.” What’s your preference?

Which social networking sites do you use to promote your business?

Investment and wealth managers, which social networking sites do you use to promote your business or your career? Please answer the poll that will run in the right-hand column of my blog until a date in May 2009.

If you’re not familiar with the sites I’ve named, here are links to their home pages:

Are there other social networking sites that you’d recommend to investment and wealth managers? If so, please name them in a comment to this blog post. 

I’ve been using LinkedIn for awhile, but am a recent convert to Twitter. Initially, I hated Twitter. But I’ve been impressed by how many new connections Twitter has made for me. I mostly ignore the other social networking sites.

Related posts:

My top five tips for financial advisors dipping their toes in the Twitterverse

Every day more of your clients, prospects, family, and friends get on Twitter. If you’re ready to dip your toe in the Twitterverse, here are the top five tips from my personal experience.

1. Use Twitter Search to check out Twitter before you begin tweeting. Go to http://search.twitter.com and type in your company name or other keywords that interest you. For example, you could type in “Fidelity Investments.” Even if you don’t start tweeting, you can set up ongoing Twitter searches, similar to Google Alerts, and have them delivered to your RSS reader. By the way, if you need motivation to research your company on Twitter, read “Commonwealth Bank all a-Twitter over mortgage approval tweet.”

2. Find interesting people to follow after you set up your Twitter account. Reading their tweets will help you understand how people use Twitter. If you’re a financial advisor, here are some folks who may interest you
* Bill Winterberg, technology specialist for financial planners and the writer of “Yes, Financial Planners Can Benefit from Twitter,” which helped put me on Twitter
Russ Thornton, financial planner and investment advisor
* Kristen Luke, marketing consultant to independent financial advisors
* Lawain McNeil, the Advisor Blogger
* Marion Asnes, editor in chief of Financial Planning magazine
* Cathy Curtis, owner of financial planning firm focusing on women and money

Also, look to see who’s followed by people you respect. For example, I believe I discovered Kristen Luke when Bill Winterberg directed a tweet at her. By the way, Kristen has written “Twitter Your Way to New Clients, Part One” and “Part Two.”

3. Learn the nitty-gritty of how to tweet. I like “Getting Started on Twitter” on the Tech for Luddites blog written by Elizabeth Kricfalusi. There are lots of social media gurus out there. Many of them are good, but few are as consistently helpful as Elizabeth with my technical questions. She gives great step-by-step instructions for non-technical people like me. 

4. Interact with people on Twitter. The people who get the most out of Twitter interact with others on Twitter. They answer questions posed by other folks on Twitter or get a conversation going in some other way. The few times I’ve posted questions on Twitter, I was surprised by how quickly I got answers. 

5. Figure out why you’re on Twitter, so you can plan your time–and tweets–accordingly. But be prepared to adjust your expectations. I got on Twitter to promote my blog. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I’ve learned from people on Twitter. I hope I can give back as much as I’ve gotten.

If you dip your toes in the Twitterverse, let me know how it goes. Also, feel free to leave your Twitter tips–or questions–in the comments. I’m still a Twitter novice, so I can learn from you.

December 2010 update about AdvisorTweets:

Thanks, Pat Allen, for the following reminder.

Great advice then and now but may we add one source to your list? On AdvisorTweets.com, which launched in September 2009, we’re aggregating the tweets of U.S. based financial advisors. We encourage advisors new to Twitter to let us know via email or start following our Twitter account @AdvisorTweets–we’ll add those who are using their accounts for business purposes to our database, which should help build their following.

Related posts:
* What the heck is Twitter?
* Should stock analysts use Twitter?
* Compliance makes social networking tougher for registered reps than for RIAs

A top marketing blog for financial advisors

The market has slashed your clients’ wealth and your revenues based on assets under management. So gaining new clients is more important than ever. If you’d like to get some fresh ideas about marketing, check out Kristen Luke’s Financial Marketing Wire blog.

Are you puzzled by how to leverage social media? Kristen has posts on topics such as
* Using Facebook to build business in “A Social Media Marketing Success Story
* “How to Host a Webinar for Your Clients
* “Twitter Your Way to New Clients”–By the way, you can follow Kristen on Twitter

If you don’t like social media, Kristen has advice for you, too. I especially like this one: “Touch Your Clients 24 Times a Year without Breaking a Sweat.”  She’s delivering a webinar on the same topic on April 6.

Are there other blogs on marketing or communications that you’d recommend? Please let me know. I have a couple in mind for future posts on this blog.

Website lessons from the Obama administration

You can learn about good website design from the Obama administration.

Writer Matthew Battles explains how in “Extreme makeover WhiteHouse.gov edition: How should we read the new Obama home page?”, in today’s Boston Globe.

Some of the key lessons illustrated by the new whitehouse.gov website:

  • Prioritize. Put your most important information first. Remember the top half of your page will get the most attention.
  • Use active verbs. They raise the energy level of your web page.
  • Use white space effectively.

New "Wall Street Week" seeking participants

Contact Jeff Salkin (jeff AT wallstreetweek.com) if you’re interested in appearing on a new version of  the “Wall Street Week” show.

Here’s what Jeff says:

We are launching a web-based revival of the venerable “Wall Street Week” franchise. We think there’s a need for a higher-level (and lower-decibel) program than CNBC etc. Looking for potential panelists (some of whom will also host the program.) Please email ideas/suggestions to jeff AT wallstreetweek.com

"The Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say in Email Subject Lines (Plus 100 Others You Shouldn’t Use, Either)"

You don’t want your emails to get tagged as spam. So stay away from the words listed in “The Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say in Email Subject Lines (Plus 100 Others You Shouldn’t Use, Either).”

This list is old, so keep your eyes open for updates. If you ever look at your spam folder, you can probably identify questionable words that haven’t made it onto the list yet.

This website helps you with acronyms

Puzzled by an acronym? 

Acronyms are abbreviations formed using the initial letters–or syllables–of a phrase.

The Acronym Finder will uncover the complete phrase that underlies the acronym.  Like “grantor retained annuity trust” for GRAT.

Boost readership of your e-newsletter with powerful subject lines

More people will open your email newsletters if your subject line shows value in the first two words. That’s according to “4 Takeaways from MarketingSherpa’s Newsletter Subject-Line Analysis” (accessible only to MarketingSherpa members).

How do you show value? Start your e-newsletter subject lines with phrases such as:

  • Top Five
  • How to
  • Best Time

Your subject line should focus on the benefit that your content provides to readers. It’s especially powerful to indicate that you’re giving readers information they can act on.