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Why Your Advisory Firm Needs to Create Content Now More than Ever

When you look for marketing advice, there is one constant refrain that comes from every source—from a one-person creative agency in Tuscaloosa to the biggest marketing thought leaders in the world.

That constant? Create content.

If you follow the marketing thought leaders of today like Neil Patel or Gary Vaynerchuk, a resounding theme throughout much of what they have to say is similar

Publish more content. Quantity will lead you to quality. If you want to be in front of the right people at the right time, you’ve got to be in front of them all the time.

Heck, even I talk about creating more content all the time.

But what’s missing in so much of this conversation about what type of content to create, and how to create it, is why you’re creating it in the first place.

- Is it to get leads
- Is it to drive up your revenue?

Those are good and necessary things for a business. 

But I don’t believe they can be the focal point of why you produce content. They aren’t the purpose.

Leads are an outcome of good content. Higher revenues are an outcome of more interested leads.

But if the purpose of your marketing is solely focused on making your firm more money, I don’t think that’s a very effective focus. (See: Why firms with vision statements about people, not profits, grow faster.)

There’s a more productive way to think about marketing than to look at it solely for the dollars it can create.

Communication Means Education

One of the reasons I like working within the financial advice industry is that I feel like the fiduciary business model is a perfect fit for inbound marketing.

Inbound (or content) marketing doesn’t try to throw itself in front of people and demand their attention, even if they don’t care. It presents itself, and allows people interested in what’s being discussed to come be part of the conversation.

To paraphrase the words of Seth Godin, it’s the confidence to say to some people, ‘This isn’t for you, so feel free to move along.’

In short...content marketing is about giving solid, valuable information to people who need and want it. It doesn’t try to force a bad decision. It puts the prospect first in the relationship, much like how a fiduciary puts their clients’ interests first.

But it goes deeper than that. When the purpose of your marketing is to educate you have a much more solid foundation than simply a desire to ratchet up your year-over-year revenue growth. 

What is Good Content?

I often talk about how you have to create good content for your marketing to be effective.

But what the hell does “good content” mean anyway?

You can start by looking at what you’ve created and asking yourself two questions:

- Does this educate?
- Does this entertain?

If you can only do one of the two, drop some knowledge bombs and educate. But if you can do both, do both.

Notice what I didn’t include in a criteria of good content? Anything about selling.

Maybe it’s because I’m an Enneagram Type Four, or a Gemini, or that I see the world a little more altruistically or optimistically than some, or whatever...but if you want to reach into the heart of someone viewing your content and get them to want to work with you, you don’t do it by hard selling them.

You do it by demonstrating your expertise. You do it by showing empathy. You do it by being authentic. 

The people who you want to work with will be attracted to you when you follow these guidelines. And when the purpose of your content is to simply provide good information to good people, good people will want to work with you.

The Last Temptation of the Marketer

The content you create that’s educational and entertaining should still be related to what you do, of course. 

I’m a marketer, so I create content that attempts to help advisors think about their company’s communications more cohesively.

It wouldn’t make much sense for me to write a bunch of movie review blogs. It might be entertaining, it might be educational {doubtful}, but it wouldn’t do anything to advance Three Crowns.

So even if the purpose of your marketing is to serve, your marketing still should relate to what you do well.

Now, there is danger here.

When the content you create to serve people also ties into your profession, there’s a temptation to make that “educational” content a thinly veiled pitch for why it’s so important to work with you or why your product is so important.

Don’t succumb to this temptation.

There’s one easy way to make sure you’re creating content with purpose, not pitch.

Start by asking “How does this help the person who’s reading it?”

Don’t start by looking at your services or products and reverse engineer ways you create thought leadership that ties back to you. That approach can be useful at times, but it can also easily lead you into the danger zone.

People can smell a fake without much effort. If your content ends up being a thinly veiled way to simply get to the “call us” action, that’s not going to attract. It’s going to deter.

If you want the tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) version of this blog, here it is. Just four words.

Be positive. Be purposeful. 

If you do that, I know you’ll not only enjoy creating content more, you’ll also enjoy better results. 

Related: 6 Ways to Create Content Faster