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Ready-to-use content for financial advisors

Financial advisors with tight budgets and limited time sometimes buy ready-to-use content from publishers who offer a library of resources. I list some of them below, including links to their sites. I am not endorsing any of them. Some of the content comes from names that I know, such as Litman Gregory, Wendy Cook, and Bob Veres’ Inside Information.

Using ready-to-use content

These resources typically offer ready-to-use content that can be presented as if it has been created by the advisory firm that shares it. This is different than curated content, with which you share material (or links to material) for which its creation by a credible third-party source is part of its appeal.

Please check that the content is right for your firm. Some of the resources cater more to registered representatives (including getting content preapproved by FINRA), while others may appeal more to registered investment advisors.

Each resource is listed in alphabetical order with a description provided by the resource.

The marketing professionals who told me about some of these resources have a good tip for you. When you buy standardized content, do something to customize it, to make it yours, assuming this is allowed by the terms of your agreement with the provider. I’ve written about this in Canned newsletters can hurt your marketing.

Sources of ready-to-use content for advisors

 

AdvisorFlex

AdvisorFlex says:

Tired of the boilerplate market commentary available from many of the industry marketing services? Don’t have time or staff expertise to create your own? Want to differentiate your firm? Let AdvisorFlex do it for you. They provide market commentary for your practice, custom written monthly articles, custom website copywriting or editing, automated content marketing, and RIA branding services.

Advisor Products’ FINRA reviewed content

Advisor Products says:

Business websites that post new content consistently get their pages indexed by search engines 434% more than the sites who don’t. Blogs and articles using keywords that are relevant to your target audience help Google improve your ‘relevancy’ score [and] your rankings.

Broadridge’s Advisor Resource Center

Broadridge says:

Differentiate your advisors as thought leaders. Expand your advisors’ library of resources and save time by leveraging original content created by our team of in-house subject matter experts. Advisors can share content with their audiences, quickly respond to requests for information and convert more clients with custom presentations.

Inside Information’s Client Articles

Inside Information says:

Receive articles and cartoons to send to clients, use in quarterly newsletters or as part of your drip-marketing campaign. This service may NOT be sent to centers of influence or professionals.

Litman Gregory AdvisorIntelligence Communications

Litman Gregory AdvisorIntelligence says:

White-Labeled Materials to Guide Your Client Conversations

One of our goals with our AdvisorIntelligence service is to make available everything we do in our own practice that might be of value to other advisors. Beyond the considerable resources we devote to providing our research and investment strategy, we also share the communications we use to establish and maintain our client relationships. Importantly, through our communications, we seek to instill client confidence in our competence, investment approach, and core values (integrity, excellence, passion, and courage). This sets the foundation for a successful, long-term client relationship and requires clear and regular communication around our investment philosophy, approach, and the reasoning underlying our decision-making on our clients’ behalf.

MarketingPro Marketing Library

MarketingPro says:

Downloadable and professionally pre-written content with compliance review built right in. Keeping up communication with clients and prospects is pivotal to the success of your practice, but why waste time trying to draft your own messages, then wait weeks for compliance review? Our MarketingLibrary service offers Financial Professionals 24/7 online access to high-quality, high-impact content written by seasoned financial copywriters. And if your Broker/Dealer supports the system (hundreds do), the content you need may be pre-reviewed and approved for immediate use. Thousands of messages, with new content added every week – all for one low monthly fee.

Wendy J. Cook Communications

Wendy J. Cook Communications says:

Wendy offers a content-sharing library with affordable, turnkey content written especially for use by the evidence-based advisor. For your client letters, e-newsletters, video scripts and more, stop settling for tired financial speak that doesn’t speak to you.  Also, custom content.

Warning from my experience with this list

I originally created this list on Storify, a platform for sharing content. I kept it off my blog because I didn’t want to seem to endorse any providers. However, one day I tried to access my list, and found that it had disappeared. Oops, Storify had gone out of business!

Any time you share content only on a third-party platform, you run the risk of losing it. I’ve blogged about my earlier experience with this in Ouch, LinkedIn, why did you do that to me?

Luckily, I was able to recover my list using the Wayback Machine. However, it was a tedious process. I could have made my life easier by posting this list on my blog from the beginning.

Focus on readers with “The Language of Trust”

The Language of Trust tells you why and how you can sell more effectively by focusing on your buyers. The following statement stuck with me:

The first rule of building trust is to accept the fact that selling a product or idea has little to do with your company, what you’re offering, or your ideas. It has everything to do with your audience and what they believe, think, and want.

This is an important lesson and the reason why I urge my clients to talk about “you,” the reader, instead of “we,” the firm.

I believe financial advisors will find this book especially appealing because the authors use many examples from the worlds of financial planning and investments.

Marketing communication notes from #fpaexperience

Here are some highlights from sessions I attended at FPA Experience 2012, the Financial Planning Association’s annual conference, in San Antonio, Texas. You’ll notice my notes focus on marketing and communication, even when that wasn’t the speaker’s focus.

Client engagement, according to Julie Littlechild

Truly engaged clients are the clients who will refer business to you. While 84% of clients in Advisor Impact’s surveys say they are comfortable making referrals, only 2% provide referrals to people who actually make it into your office to meet with you, said Julie Littlechild, CEO and founder of Advisor Impact, in her presentation on “Cracking the Code: Tactics That Drive Engagement and Growth.”

The best and most frequent referrals come from clients who see someone with a need for financial advice that you can meet. At least this is how I interpreted Littlechild’s words.

Littlechild got me thinking that consistently blogging about a financial challenge specific to a narrow target audience is a good way to guide referrals. Your blog helps your clients identify the problems you’re best at solving. Plus, your blog posts will boost your credibility with your new prospects.

For more on research by Advisor Impact, see Littlechild’s article, “4 Ways for Advisors to Better Engage Clients,” which originally appeared in the October issue of Investment Advisor magazine.

Tailor your written communications, says Zywave CEO

Advisors are missing opportunities to deepen their connections with their clients, according to Jim Emling of Zywave in “Expanding Your Firm’s Potential with Compelling Communication.”

Advisors need relevant content delivered at the right time via a medium that will reach clients, said Emling. This is a common sense approach that isn’t often practiced, he added. This is a big issue for advisors’ Generation X clients. More than 40% of them are less than “very satisfied” with current communications from their advisors, according to Emling.

Here are some of Emling’s ideas for boosting your communications:

  1. Send communications driven by life events like having a baby — When Emling’s wife had a baby, he “never heard a peep” from his advisor.
  2. Send a series of communications focused on specific client goals, such as managing a problem with debt.
  3. Send communications that go into more detail on new ideas introduced in meetings — Emling had no idea what ILITs were when his advisor introduced them in a meeting. He would have appreciated a follow-up explaining ILITs in writing.
  4. Figure out your clients’ pain points so you can focus your communications on those topics.
  5. When you target younger clients, you may also need to target different referral sources.

By the end of October 2012, Emling’s company is launching Advisor Briefcase, software to help advisors deliver targeted communications.

Engaging women in money discussions

The need to engage your clients and prospects ran through many of the sessions I attended at FPA experience. I was intrigued by Elizabeth Jetton’s discussions of the need to find better ways to empower and engage women. Jetton is a co-founder of Directions for Women.

Engage women with you, so they can see the value of your guidance and you can increase their financial literacy and well-being, said Jetton. She uses circle gatherings of five to 20 women and conversation cafes of larger groups to foster interactions where everyone, even an expert, shares stories.

During her discussion of these techniques, Jetton made some comments that relate more broadly to communications:

  1. Stories help people learn. When a story is told, the whole brain focuses.
  2. Don’t ask people to process more than three to four pieces of information at once.
  3. People use their guts to select you as their financial advisor, and then they rationalize it.
  4. Clients like to hear advisors’ stories and to know that you’re human and imperfect.

I think #3 speaks to why blogging, social media, and showing some personality in your writing are so important.

In case you’re interested in learning more about circles, either Jetton or Directions for Women plans to publish an e-book, Guide to Circle for Advisors.

FPA Experience through my eyes

Here are more of my blog posts inspired by FPA Experience:

Use personal stories in your communications

“In a sea of competition, you’ve got to capitalize on what makes you unlike anyone else.”

This advice from “Feel Great Naked: Confidence Boosters for Getting Personal” is aimed at bloggers. The author urges them to share personal stories. But it also applies to financial advisors, especially solo practitioners or small firms, when you communicate with your clients and prospects.

Sharing your personality—and even a bit of your personal story—can help you connect with your clients.

One advisor’s personal story

For example, in a sales letter, one salesman shared his story of how his family had suffered needlessly because of an estate planning mistake. That mistake fueled his passion for bringing new clients to his firm. After sharing that story, the letter shifted to discussing the benefits his firm could offer his prospects.

I’ll bet that personal story prevented some prospects from dropping the salesman’s letter into their wastebaskets.

Sharing your personal stories to connect

Don’t focus your communications exclusively on yourself. Ultimately, your client or prospect will care more about the WIIFM (“what’s in it for me”). But a bit of sharing can create a connection that goes deeper than dollar and cents.

Any financial advisor can heed this advice in one-on-one meetings. It’s more challenging when you work for a large firm and you get into written communications. There’ll probably be a company-wide communications policy that sets an impersonal tone. This gives an opening for advisors with smaller firms to outmaneuver their colleagues at larger firms.

Have you tried taking a personal tack? I’d like to learn what your experience has been.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy my two-part series on “How to add personality and warmth to your financial writing.”

NOTE: I updated this post in Jan. 2017.

 

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.