3 Signs You Need A Copywriter

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Why do Presidents hire speech writers? So they can deliver a comprehensive vision that appeals to individuals across the political spectrum. By consulting an expert with a different point of view, they can broaden their perspective and reach the hearts and minds of the people.

Financial advisors often find themselves in a similar position. While nurturing your current relationships, you seek new opportunities to expand your network and grow your business. As you lay the groundwork for your new website, you may have considered consulting a copywriter. There are the standard advantages of working with an experienced writer: it saves you valuable time, provides the assurance of having grammatically-sound content, and removes the school-like stress of writing.

However important those elements may be, a copywriter’s value extends well beyond the surface level.

Here are 3 Reasons You Need a Copywriter:

1. You Want A Broader Perspective

Great copywriters provide far more than verbiage alone. They give advisors perspective on their services, their principles, and the qualities that separate them from the competition. The copywriter’s primary job is to step back from the proverbial painting so they can see the full picture of the advisor’s business. Not unlike a prospective client, they are essentially an outsider who comes to your website free of preconceptions. While guided by the advisor’s industry expertise and vision for their new site, the writer can bring an objectivity to the content that individuals in your own firm might not be able to match.

By asking advisors how they work with investors, what services they provide, and why people should seek their guidance, advisors are compelled to think critically about their business. This process not only inspires the creation of compelling copy, but it helps advisors be reminded about the strengths and uniqueness of their firms.

For professional copywriters and amateur authors alike, great content depends on first building a broad perspective and then taking a specific approach to writing. At Advisor Launchpad, we start with phone calls and questionnaires geared to better understand who you are, what your firm provides, and how we can help define your business in the marketplace.

By adhering to this approach, we often find that many advisors bring exciting and unique ideas to the conversation. While we endeavor to create impactful and original messaging on your behalf, we often times simply draw out your own vision and find the best ways to apply it to your website. Through this discovery process, we can guide your biggest advantages into truly original copy.

2. You Need a Content Game Plan

In the landscape of website content, there are slogans and summaries, home pages, mission statements, services sections and more. If you’re starting from scratch, envisioning the scope of your website can seem daunting. How do you fill out all those individual pages while keeping the copy fresh?

Before writing the content, we work with financial advisors to understand the major pieces of information they want to convey. Given modern readers are more distracted than ever, there is a limited window of time to deliver your message. This demands a content game plan to help guide readers through your website. From identifying the heart of your home page message to constructing the truest mission statement, you need a map to get customers to the center of the maze: your contact information and the opportunity to get in touch.

A copywriter can help you organize your library of content in the most potent way possible.

3. You Want Better Biographies

Most people dislike writing about themselves, especially when trying to convert their job experience into a reasonably interesting biography.

This is where copywriters provide their greatest value. Whether you’re a team of two or ten, your firm needs strong biographies that not only speak well of each member, but that contrast with one another to enhance the team dynamic. By focusing on the working process of each advisor and the values they employ on their job, biographies begin to take shape.

Because copywriters come to your business with an unassuming perspective, they can help select the bits of information that are most pertinent to your bio. By striking the balance between your professional accomplishments and your personal interests, they can strengthen your appeal in the eyes of prospective clients.

About Advisor Launchpad

We specialize in helping financial advisors craft unique copy that speaks to the value of their firm. Our team focuses on understanding you and your company, and we work closely with advisors to match our messaging with the brand you hope to build.

Wherever you are in your website journey, we can help you create content to capture your readers’ attention and grow your business.

Reach out to Advisor Launchpad to get started on building a website, optimizing your existing content, or ensuring your digital marketing plan is effective.

New Year’s Resolutions for Marketing Magic

2018 is right around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to optimize your marketing strategy for the new year. But where do you start? Before you begin setting new goals, take some time to consider what strategies worked best for you in 2017. Ask your team:

  • What specific marketing strategies were most effective?
  • What (if any) marketing strategies didn’t work at all?
  • Should you re-allocate resources to the more effective strategies?
  • Has your target audience or geographic location changed in the past year?
  • Were you able to stay within your marketing budget?

Having an honest conversation about your performance over the past year is the optimal way to pick the best path forward. Once you know what worked best for your team in the past, you are ready to create marketing resolutions for the next year. Focus on creating goals that are SMART.

  • Specific (targeted to a specific area of improvement)
  • Measurable (gives a quantifiable result you can monitor)
  • Achievable (a goal that is challenging, yet still completable)
  • Relevant (something that will further your marketing goals)
  • Timely (set a certain deadline for completion)

Here’s an excellent example of a SMART Goal: ”I will grow my social media presence to 250 followers by the end of the year, and post content on my social profiles twice a week.” Now that’s a SMART goal!

Though it can be daunting to draft out your marketing resolutions for the new year, these tips can help you focus your efforts and input a successful strategy for 2018.

Content Marketing: It’s Not Just For Leads!

You can’t even glance at a marketing blog nowadays without seeing two phrases: “content marketing” and “lead generation.” And for good reason! Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads. But traditional content marketing is targeted mainly towards prospects, trying to expand your reach and draw in new clients. 

But why limit yourself to prospects? Focusing only on new leads can be a costly mistake, especially when you consider that the cost of converting a new prospect is anywhere from 3 to over 30 times higher than retaining an existing client. Here are some tips for creating content that will wow both prospects and existing clients in one go!

1. Quality over quantity

In order to establish trust with your audience, you want to ensure that every piece of content you push out is engaging and valuable. Think about the needs of your clients and share articles, videos, and whitepapers that help them navigate through their financial challenges. 

2. Tell a story

Humans are emotional and empathetic beings, even when it comes down to the numbers. Crafting a compelling mission statement and company narrative can inspire prospects to use your services--and remind existing clients of why they came to you in the first place. So what’s special about you? Are you a family-owned firm? Why did you become a financial advisor in the first place? Highlight your unique stories and share them with the world! 

3. Slow and steady wins the race

When you first venture into the realm of content marketing, it can be tempting to inundate the world with your content. However, a slow and steady stream of content is more likely to drive engagement. Schedule monthly emails and weekly social posts to ensure that you are connecting with clients in a timely and consistent manner.

4. Invite engagement

In every social post and email, encourage the client to start a conversation with you. Asking “What do you think?” or “How does this affect you?” invites the client to reach out to you. As always, be sure that you respond to their questions and concerns in a timely manner, and don’t forget to add a personal touch!

By following these key tips, you can ensure that your content is as relevant to your existing clients as to new leads. In the long run, this is key to establishing trust and credibility with your customers, and it can even lead to referrals down the line! 

 

How To Angle Your Marketing To Capture Your Prospects

Even if you offer the world’s best service, you need to establish trust and rapport with a prospect before you convert them to a customer. An effective way to look at this process is to compare it with sport fishing. Tug too aggressively after the first nibble, and the fish will swim away. It takes strategy, dedication, and a lot of patience to finally reel in a nervous prospect. Here are some helpful tips to become a masterful marketing angler:

1. Have the best bait
Catching the attention of a prospect can be a tricky task, but offering something irresistible is a surefire way to draw them in. Providing eBooks, quizzes, and whitepapers that speak to their financial situation incentivizes the prospect to come to you. ALP can even eliminate the work on your end by adding an eBook or Quiz Lead Capture to your homepage, allowing the prospect to enter their contact information in exchange for this valuable content.

2. Maintain Your Equipment
It’s much easier to catch a fish with a top-of-the-line titanium rod than a piece of string and a stick. Having a sleek, clean website, a polished social media presence, and targeted email campaigns optimize your chances of catching that award-winning tuna. Ensure that your branding is consistent between all platforms so prospects grow familiar with your company.

3. Cast a wide net
Though you may have a prime demographic that you try to reach with your marketing, it’s best to appeal to a wide variety of potential clients. Utilize a multitude of different marketing strategies in order to ensure that you are reaching a wide range of ages, incomes, and life stages. Posting on social media, sharing in LinkedIn Groups, presenting at conferences, and good old-fashioned networking can help you reach an expansive audience.

4. Reel it in!
Once you have engaged with a prospect, had a conversation about their pain points, and expressed what you can do to help, don’t be afraid to jump in with a little honesty. Asking questions like “What is preventing you from taking the next step?” is an open and comfortable way to invite their feedback, and this can help you perfect your messaging in the future…even if this fish gets away!

Striking up a conversation is only the first step in converting a lead to a client. By being strategic and patient with your marketing, you can convert a little nibble into a big catch.

Rocket Talk: Types of Visual Content

One of the most powerful ways to communicate with readers through your blog is to use different visual assets to get your point across. In this month’s Rocket Talk Raudel Enrique and Kirk Faulkner talk about the different types of visual content and how to best execute them.

 

Use Content Marketing to Appeal to Millennials

As the Millennial generation makes strides in the workforce and begins to gather their nest egg, it is exceptionally important for financial advisors to adjust their marketing strategies to speak to this up-and-coming demographic. This is easier said than done, however. Millennials were born between 1982 and 2003, growing up in an age bombarded by digital advertising on all sides. As a result, they are more skeptical of traditional advertising than any generation before. Their lack of trust in the business world as a whole requires financial advisors to use a light and gentle touch when trying to get their attention. So how do you begin?

  1. Socialize!

In order to reach a Millennial audience, you have to establish a presence on social media. The statistics here are astounding…The Pew Research Center reports that 88% of all American adults aged 18-29 are on Facebook, 59% are on Instagram, and 36% are on Twitter. Utilize these existing audiences by sharing social content that speaks to millennials. 

  1. Say what?

So you’re on social media…What now? You want to speak to the current financial priorities of your Millennial audience. Share content that is most important to this key demographic. Information on first-time home purchases, Roth IRA’s, and student loan repayment establishes you as a trusted source of information and emphasizes that you have the knowledge to address their financial dilemmas. Encourage your users to share your helpful content with their friends, and engage with all comments and shares to start a meaningful conversation. 

  1. Showcase your values

Being inundated by advertising at such a young age has created a general mistrust for corporations among the Millennial demographic. These feelings were amplified by the financial meltdown of 2008, which occurred right as they were entering the workforce. As a result, the “profits-over-people” mentality is extremely unpopular, and they want greater moral accountability from the companies they invest in. Crafting a meaningful mission statement, offering Socially Responsible Investments, and highlighting your volunteer work makes it clear that you are dedicated to making the world a better place…Something that Millennials will respond to. An astonishing 70% of Millennials will spend more on brands supporting causes they care about, so make sure your brand stands for something! 

  1. No mobile, no go

It should be no surprise that Millennials are the most mobile generation. Not only are Millennials more likely to browse the web on their mobile phone than any other generation, an astonishing 18% are mobile-only. Confirm that your website passes Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and that all content loads quickly and easily on mobile devices.

Using these tips, you can ensure that you are including the next generation of investors in your marketing plan. Though they are less trusting of advertising than any previous generation, they can be won over by authentic messaging and engaging content. 

How to Use LinkedIn Groups to Become a Thought Leader

With more than 467 million users, LinkedIn is the new powerhouse for innovators, business professionals, and aspiring entrepreneurs. The ability to reach large audiences with a few clicks has created the opportunity for financial advisors to build a reputation as a “Thought Leader” and gain respect through an expanded network. But how do you begin?

  1. Personalize Your Profile

In order to garner respect from an audience you have never met, your profile needs to stand above the crowd. Ensure that you are personalizing every aspect on your LinkedIn profile, including custom backgrounds, banner images, and a headline. Create consistent messaging for your personal brand and ensure that it will grab the attention of your audience.

You have minimal space to make an impact, so every word counts. LinkedIn allows you to bring in a headline of up to 120 characters and a summary of up to 2,000. Use as many keywords as possible to ensure that you are attracting the right people from your industry.

  1. Better Get Blogging!

Blogs are an excellent way to expand your network, both with clients and other financial advisors. Pay attention to shifting trends in the financial services industry and try to be one of the first to report on them. Breaking news is an easy way to get likes and shares! 

If you already create blogs for your website, don’t just hit the share button to publish on LinkedIn. Bring in the same content as a new LinkedIn Article to give yourself a boost in their sharing algorithms. They want you to republish your content on their platform!

Share your articles in relevant groups and encourage conversation with your readers. Ask their opinions about the topic to increase engagement and foster a sense of community. 

  1. Expand Your Horizons

Though you should always join financial services groups throughout the LinkedIn platform, important connections can come from surprising places! Join groups based on your interests, education, and local pastimes in order to cast a wider net. Passionate about baseball? There’s a group for that! Volunteer at your local animal shelter on the weekends? There are groups for that, too! Reach out to new contacts in your community to establish yourself as a thought leader outside of your traditional industry.

  1. Treasure Your Connections

More than anything, people will remember how you made them feel. Be sure to engage with your contacts at every opportunity. Let them know that you value their input, especially when they comment on your posts and articles. Be quick to respond with insights and advice when the people around you ask for assistance! 

By standing out from the crowd and delivering insightful content, you can attract new clients and cultivate respect from your peers. The networking tools at LinkedIn are revolutionizing the way that advisors market themselves…Use them to your advantage! 

How to Create an Infographic

Information is only useful if you can get people to pay attention to it. When trying to communicate an idea quickly, one of the best strategies available is to couch your information in a colorful infographic.

Studies that track eye movement have shown that audiences pay more attention to images that carry information. Infographics are also shared three times more than other media on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Infographics communicate ideas better than regular text. In another study, participants who followed directions paired with graphics did 323% at successfully following the directions than those who had only text-based instructions.

All of this equals up to a great opportunity for you and your online content marketing. But where do infographics actually come from? Follow these simple steps, and before you know it, you’ll have an infographic of your very own.

The Info Part of Infographic

The first step to making an infographic is gathering the info. There are a number of reputable sources for new information. Financial advisors will find interesting statistics and facts on sites like:

Always trace your information back to its original source. Make sure you are getting the context for your statistics correct and always link back to the original study that provided the material. This is not only a good way to establish your credibility; it will help improve the SEO of your site by connecting you with top-rated websites.

You can also use information that your organization has gathered itself. Be sure not to violate any fiduciary standards of revealing information, but feel free to use insights that you have gleaned from working with your clientele and represent them in a way that preserves anonymity.

Finding something that has not already been put into an infographic is a great way to make a big splash on the web.

The Graphic Part of Infographic

There is a multitude of sites now that will allow you to use templates and they’re online design tools.

The different infographic generators differ slightly in their user experience and range of templates they make available. However, it is hard to pick one that stands out above the rest. It has more to do with finding the right layout for your vision among the thousands of options available. Here are five of our favorites:

Freelancer Sites for Infographics

If you want something done right sometimes, it is best to hire a professional. There is no shame in handing over your infographic project to a dedicated graphic designer who specializes in changing hard data into colorful visualizations. There are several sites that allow you to search through hundreds of eager freelancers just waiting to sink their teeth into your new project. Here are a few of our favorite:

Get Your Infographic Out There

While hosting your infographic on your home blog is always a good idea, it is also true that infographics do extremely well on social platforms. They are 2.3 times as likely to receive engagement on Facebook, and they receive 150% more retweets on Twitter. Unfortunately, Facebook and Twitter’s image size restrictions don’t allow people to see an entire infographic. A good strategy is to create a preview picture for these platforms that fit into their 1.91:2 ratio and then an include a link back to your blog for those who want to see the entire infographic.

Another platform you may consider utilizing for sharing your infographic is Pinterest. While platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook will only show a portion of your infographic as the preview, Pinterest displays the entire picture as the preview. This can do wonders for inspiring people to click through and give it a closer look.

Creating an infographic can take a little bit of work, but the results can be massive. When you produce the kind of content that gets noticed and shared you are adding a massive boost to the efficacy of your content marketing strategy.

These Four Website Tweaks Will Change The Way Visitors See Your Site

We don’t have to tell you the importance of having a website in today’s marketing age. But, simply having a website isn’t the final step. Your website must be engaging, user-friendly, and lead-generating. Let’s look at four simple tweaks you can implement today to take your website from flat to fantastic.

Making it Responsive

Mobile traffic continues to surge in popularity and if your website isn’t mobile-responsive, you are likely losing many visitors and potential clients. There are few things worse in the marketing space than a website that doesn’t display correctly on a variety of devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

All Advisor Launchpad websites are built with mobile in mind. Our Concierge and Exclusive themes look beautiful on all different screen sizes and translate well on Apple’s iOS, Androids, and other operating systems.

Make it Stylish

This one comes down to personal preference, but there are common design trends that must be considered when building your site. Your website designer will understand terms like “white space,” “user experience,” “typography,” and more, but all you need to know is that design matters!

Check out this article we wrote about some do’s and don’ts of website design for financial advisors for a few more guidelines.

Make it Easy to Navigate

Piggybacking on design, the navigation of your website is one of the most important things to consider when thinking about usability. A simple navigation is a successful navigation because you want your website viewers to be able to get the information they need quickly and easily without getting lost in your site.

Our Advisor Launchpad sites have parent navigation (the navigation items on the top) and child navigation (the items that fall below). Some websites may have grandchildren navigation items that go one step further, but this can get a little convoluted if not used correctly.

Make it Legible

There are many rules to follow when writing and designing your website content. Writing for the web is a lot different than writing other long-form pieces such as newspaper articles or books. Attention spans are shorter, the content goes into less depth, and website visitors don’t read every single word.

So what does that mean for your website? When creating your copy, make your paragraphs short and focused, only use one of two different fonts, and create division in your content with headers, sub headers, and bullet points. These tweaks will make your website much more legible and increase conversions and leads.

Is your website up to today’s design standards? Meet with a marketing expert today to find out!

3 Necessities Every Advisor Biography Should Have

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To build a great biography, you need a game-plan. Whether you’re writing it yourself or working with a copywriter, it’s crucial to articulate the total effect you want your bio to have on readers.

There’s a great scene in Mad Men, where famed antihero, Don Draper, writes, “When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him.” So it goes with your biography. However overwhelming it may seem, your bio is the summation of your life, at least the parts you want prospective clients to appreciate. It serves as your direct statement and a testament to your professional accomplishments. To round out your expertise with a touch of humanity, a particularly strong biography incorporates elements of your interests outside the office.

Your bio is a very personal thing, and while we certainly won’t tell you how to write it, we have a few suggestions you should consider including to put your best foot forward.

Discussed through questions (as Socrates would do!), here are The 3 Necessities Every Advisor Biography Should Have:

1.     What do you do?

In face-to-face meetings as in the online world, first impressions are everything. While iPhone-toting readers become increasingly desultory and distracted, the first one or two sentences in any piece of content become essential.

Don’t bury the lead with your bio. Start strong, and hit your readers with your most pertinent information right at the top. If you are a veteran of the financial services industry, start by mentioning your years (or decades) of experience. While creativity is key in any professional endeavor, advisors should lean into their professional accomplishments first, even if it may appear to be less “entertaining” than alternative routes. If you’re a CFP® or an award-winning advisor, embrace those credentials. Now is the time to assert your achievements.

Ultimately, the opening sentences of your first paragraph should include some aspects of your experience and your role in the company. From there, you can personalize your biography however you like.

2.     How do you work?

Some firms may want their biographies to evoke a less hard-edged, corporate quality. If that’s the case, and you want your team to have a more accessible appeal, write about your areas of expertise, specialization and client focus.

For example, if a values system drives your approach to planning, then lead with those principles. If you are a gifted listener and have an innate ability to understand client goals, or if building custom budgeting strategies is your forte, then move that towards the front half of your biography.

While it’s important to state your professional focus, go a step further and describe the process that guides your work. Let clients know the way you do business, how your experience informs your approach, and most importantly, how you can help them achieve their goals. By speaking to the way you work with clients, you not only differentiate yourself from the competition, but you create a niche that even defines you amid other advisors in your company.

On that note, if you’re building a gameplan for an office of two or more advisors, take care to delineate the strengths and specialties of each member. It’s all too easy to let biographies blur together on your company’s team page.

3.     What do you do for fun?

You know what they say: “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” 

Effective biographies strike a balance between the professional and the personal. With a solid foundation of your industry experience and focus, a sentence or two about your extracurricular interests and family can go a long way. Don’t put pressure on yourself here, just briefly talk about the things that get you jazzed. If you love watching comedies, golfing on Saturday mornings, or spending time with your pets, add that to your bio.

Specificity goes a long way here. Listing general activities can seem a bit bland, but if you specify the comedies you like to watch, the courses you like to play, and the pets you have, you add a bit of flair to the content.

As for community service and philanthropy, these sections are very valuable to rounding out your biography. If you volunteer your time or are involved in charitable efforts, don’t hesitate to include that information.

Getting Started

These are just general guidelines for writing your biography. You know yourself and your target audience better than anyone, and so long as you are direct with what you do and how you work with clients, you’ll be in good shape.

As always, if you need help with getting started and want a second perspective, our copywriting team is standing by. Reach out to Advisor Launchpad to get started on building a website, optimizing your existing content, or ensuring your digital marketing plan is effective.