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by Sara Grillo, CFA
on September 15, 2017

Tags: Marketing

Do you ever wish you could get more sales from your blog postings? A financial advisor blog is great but the reality is that a good one takes a long time to write and most of them don’t get any shares, likes, or engagements. As any financial advisor knows, attention is the only way to get leads. If you want to open the floodgates so the sales rain down, here are the five blogging hacks I’ve found that have worked best for getting me and my clients the online attention we want.

#1: Use the hero story and offer an immediate solution

Behold, Blogger Secret #1

Here’s a little known secret that only we expert bloggers know about: nothing does better than the case study. If you can describe a painful problem that you or someone you know had, and how you solved it and created dramatically better results, there’s no reason that you should not get leads from the blog. The case study is the Holy Grail of all blogs.

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But don’t make it dry and scientific. A case study works best when disguised as the “hero story.”  Nobody likes reading clinical research while everyone loves reading a hero study, right? It’s in our DNA; we’ve been programmed to love these fairy tales ever since we were little and we read about how the little pig saved the other pigs from the big bad wolf by building a house of bricks rather than straw or word. Right? Or the Iliad and Odyssey we had to read in high school (even if you only caught the Cliff Notes version).  How about the Rocky movies? It’s programmed into our psyche; use society’s love of the hero story to your advantage by formatting blogs this way.

Everybody loves a hero.

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The basic format of the hero story is:

  • Introduce the problem,
  • Agitate about the problem,
  • Describe the epiphany moment when you decided to strive to solve it,
  • Chronicle the path to solve it by giving clues about your product or service,
  • Climax the hero story with the glory moment where solution was reached and the end results that your work heroically achieved.

Then offer them a great call to action that will solve the problem for them in a similar way. Example:  Contact me for examples of hero stories if you want to try this in your own blog.

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#2: Use easy and quick distribution channels.

Most blogs end up in what I call the Internet graveyard. This is where most content goes, garnering few likes, shares, or other engagements. While SEO is a great way to get more eyes on your content, it’s expensive and takes forever to get onto Google page one. If you’re like me and my clients, sales need to happen today. Here are some distribution techniques that will make it so.

Mention a micro influencer in the blog

Or two, or three, or four. Influencers are a great cost free way to get people to read your stuff naturally. Here’s my Blogger Secret #2:

Whenever I write a blog for a client, I require the client to give me three names of people in their network that they promise to ask to distribute the blog on either their website, newsletter or social media.

If you do the math on that, doing this every time you write a blog you can potentially double or triple your exposure depending what kind of following these influencers have. Not everybody has connections to Forbes and the New York Times, but the reality is that wisely chosen influencers who are in front of audiences (even small ones) that your content is relevant to will go very far.

If you are aiming for a lofty influencer such as Marc Zuckerberg or some kind of public figure, you could always try mentioning them in the blog and tagging them for example on Twitter, but this is not as strong, quick, or easy a method as making contact directly with the influencer.

Use the “one up” technique for guest blogging

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Simply put, here’s how you “one up” the competition with a guest blog. Find out where your competitors are blogging and contact the editor of the blog. Say you have better insights to offer than was done in this article (phrase this nicely, by the way), and would like to appear as a guest blogger on their site. Yes, this is grueling and combative but it’s not like you are breaking any rules. Business is competitive, and you’re only doing their readers a service but offering better content. Right?

Fix someone’s broken links.

Have you ever been reading a blog from a few years ago only to click on a link that renders a “404” error or goes to a websites that doesn’t exist anymore? The editor will be glad to hear you calling it to their attention, because broken links are frowned upon by Google. Simply inform the editor that you saw their link was broken and you have a great article that he or she should consider as a replacement. They’d be foolish to deny you.

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#3: Offer up some juicy visuals to snack upon.

As someone with 3 children under 3 years old, I always have a toddler (or two) or an infant in my lap whenever I am doing something. While this is clearly an inconvenient situation, it’s given me great insight as to how the most powerful of business people operate -- which is in a state of utter distraction and chaos, overwhelmed by all they have to do, 99% of the time. 

Blogger Secret #3: Blogs should be formatted in a way that is so visually engaging that even a highly distracted individual like myself with tons of children climbing all over her all the time would be able to follow it. 

Use videos, engaging photos, infographics, charts, or any other visual means to convey your point through symbolism and imagery.

#3.5 Break It Into Snack Bites

Also, you may want to lay off the block text as it’s really hard for people scrolling on their phone to not lose their place. Use bulleted lists and bold text if you have something really lengthy to convey to make it more “skimmable.”

#4: Title, Title, Title

The title is for blogging what location is for real estate. I would attribute more than 95% of the blog’s attention-getting success to the title. To make sure you create a sizzler, don’t just think of one. Write down at least 5 options and run them by a few friends before publishing.

The title can be hard to nail if you’ve got those industry specific keywords like “Dallas Texas conference room” or “anesthesia technique” that you have to include for SEO purposes. Do your best to make it exciting despite this, even if it means you have to (gasp!) break the Yoast rules and lengthen the title. I’d rather see a long title than a boring one.

Remember that getting onto Google page one is great but in order to do that, people have to click and read the blog first.  Nobody gets to page one with blogs that nobody reads just because they have perfect keyword placement.

Summary: The Sales-Driving Blog Post

There you have it. Blogs can drive sales for financial advisors, but you have to pay more attention to your distribution, titles, visuals, and most of all present a problem solving scenario that is relevant to your audience.

The next blog you write, try some of these techniques and let me know how it went in the comments below.

5 Ways to Source Content for Your Financial Advisor Blog & Website