If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times... blogging is an integral part of building your online presence. Besides the technical side of SEO and creating fresh content for your website, blogging allows financial advisors to connect with their clients and prospects and build a unique rapport that is incredibly cost and time efficient. So, what’s not to love? We hear it every day: What am I suppose to blog about? How do I get my audience to speak up?
If you’ve found yourself wondering the same questions, you’re not alone. Here are five suggestions on what you should be doing in order to gain followers and build audience engagement.
1. Educate Your Readers
Believe it or not, your blog is not really about you. It’s about your audience. Teach them something they don’t know. Position yourself as an expert in your field and offer your insight and knowledge. One great way for financial advisors to come up with fantastic, original content is to answer questions. Chances are, if you get regular emails from your clients (or prospects) asking about retirement, there are probably thousands of other people who are looking for the same answers.
2. Become a Comedian
Statistics show that your online audience is most receptive to humour. How funny is that? Comedy in the written word can walk a fine line though and you don’t really want to test your limits on this one. This rule-of-thumb comes with an air of caution: Don’t offend your readers. Maybe you could post a funny video from YouTube once a week (Monday-Funday?) or intrige your readers with weekly joke. The key in being an online comedian is knowing and understanding your audience.
3. Ask for a response
At the end of your posts, ask your readers how you did. What did they like about it? What parts did they hate? Ask them what they’d like to see next.
4. Show Your Soft Side
Research speculates that blog audiences engage the most with authors they feel a personal connection with. Show people the “real” you and use an authentic voice. If you’re writing about something that you don’t even enjoy, it’s unlikely that anyone else will find it interesting. Write about something you’re passionate about. Hey, even an article about your weekend is not a bad thing. Provide pictures and show your audience who you are! People want to connect with people, even if it’s over the internet.
5. Provide Value
This is by far the most important suggestion. Everyone’s time is finite so, more than anything, make their visit to your blog worthwhile. The easiest way to do this is to provide quality knowledge, ideas and advice. But why not go a step further and give readers something they can use long after they’ve read your blog. Offer a downloadable template that will help with their monthly budget. Or, a guide advising executives to consider three key ideas before retirement. The possibilities are endless. Provide your readers with something that is valuable to them and they will continue to come back for more.
Once you understand who your audience is it will be easy for you to provide content that will engage them. So, what did we miss? What steps do you take to engage your readers online? How do you continue to build your audience? Please share!