It’s great to see the amount of top quality content being produced by so many Financial Brokers in Ireland today! These Brokers have really grabbed the opportunity of staying front and centre in the minds of their clients and prospects, by sharing valuable, useful content on a consistent basis.
For some this is a relatively straightforward task. For others, it fills them with dread! They get cold sweats at the thought of producing a regular stream of content to share out.
Yes, this is a task that you can always outsource (I’ll always be happy to have that conversation!), but it is also one that you can do yourself if you are willing to invest the time. So here are some thoughts to help you with the challenge.
Be Organised & Committed
We’ve all faced that looming deadline to produce an article we’d promised for a newsletter or as an update on the website. It’s tough when you’ve no idea what you’re going to write about! This is the single biggest challenge faced by everyone tasked with writing content.
To avoid this, set up a “Content Calendar” for the full year. Get all the potential contributors into a room for an hour or so and brainstorm loads of article topics. As potential subject areas come to mind, drop them into the calendar with a few bullet points of what the article might cover.
What will this achieve? First of all, it gets you started each month – you know what you’re going to be writing about. Secondly and as important, as new ideas come along over the year, they get inserted ahead of other articles that mightn’t be as strong. So now you’re driving up the quality of your topics. You’ll actually find after a while that you’ve too much content and now can actually start being selective about what you write. Hard to believe but it happens, every time you have a Content Calendar. Now you’ve just got to commit to actually writing the articles each month.
Stand in the shoes of your audience – they are far more likely to engage with your content if it is relevant to them. So as you develop out your content topics, spend time thinking about them from your audience’s perspective. What are their pain points?
They want to know about topics that will impact their lives, so develop your content with them in mind. Of course you need to know who your audience is before you can do this. Are they business owners, professionals or are you focused on personal protection etc. for families? If you have very diverse audiences, you might need to target specific content at specific people. All pretty straightforward to do with the wonders of modern technology!
Be an Educator
Your audience will quickly switch off if you simply push sales messages at them. At the end of the day, they will see your content as simply an ongoing sales campaign and will disengage. Add value by writing about financial issues or challenges that affect them in their lives, in which you can exhibit your expertise. Aim to be seen as an expert, an educator, someone with valuable insights that will help your clients.
You see the world of marketing has changed. Rather than trying to constantly interrupt people with sales messages, successful advice businesses are establishing themselves as thought leaders, as educators and as experts. So then when potential clients at their own time of choosing have a financial need, they will naturally gravitate towards these advice firms that they already see as valuable.
Great topics to write about will emerge from a range of sources. Presentations you attend, conversations you have, comments from other clients. Once your antenna is up, you’ll start to identify nuggets from what other people say – their challenges, their areas of interest, the issues they want to read about. So write about these!
Also when reading a newspaper or surfing the web, you’ll come across loads of topics of potential interest to your audience. Put your own spin on these topics and write about them too.
Be expert but also be brief. The purpose of your content is to engage your audience, not to demonstrate that you know every intimate detail of a topic. Typically an article of 750 to 1,000 words can be read (and written!) quickly and will perform well in search results. If you only have 500 (good) words though, go with that – don’t pad it out to get to 750 words.
Make your content easy to read too. Use headings and/or bullet points to make it easier for the reader. If the topic is just not capable of being explained in anything close to 1,000 words, break it out into a series of articles. And now the challenge next month has just got easier…
What has this got to do with Content? Well, one of the key drivers of strong performance in Google search results is original, good quality content. While this might not have been a driver behind your efforts to produce a regular stream of good content, it’s a very valuable bonus!
At the end of the day, I reckon the initial thought of producing a lot of content is far more daunting than the reality! I hope these thoughts help you with your challenge.