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Okay, so we may be a bit slow on the uptake here at Elixir in embracing social media and the blogosphere, but that’s not going to hold us back from getting into it now! We’ve been exploring and learning as much as we can about social media – especially from gurus like Baz at The Social Adviser. (And I can’t help but plug him – I’ve heard lots of people talk to advisers about harnessing social media but there is noone who understands it better than Baz – what he doesn’t know about successfully engaging with people as a professional adviser online is not worth a tweet!)

Our coaches have been writing articles for industry magazines for years, and we’ve even published books. But in all honesty, our team has been so busy with our clients, and I added to my workload with having my twin girls, that my plans to start a blog have taken some 18 months to come to fruition. Am I disappointed about that? Not really, I like to see it as an opportunity – we’ve learnt a lot about it, and we can now show all our clients and our followers that it’s actually not that hard to get started.

You just need to bite the bullet and put your focus on it. Or get a team member to champion it for you. (Thanks Nick!)

I can probably also help you get over a few fears as well:

1. I can’t start a blog from scratch – how will I build up followers with no content?

We’ve been looking through the archive of articles that we have written over the years and where they are still relevant (surprisingly, most are!), we are writing a post about them and linking to them to provide people with additional info if they want to dig further. Most financial advisers have been sending their clients newsletters for years. If you go back to some of the articles you’ve used over time, you might find that you can re-purpose that info and blog about it! It’s the ultimate in getting maximum value from work you’ve already done, and the universe will love you for recycling!

2. What if I don’t get any followers?

The first logical place to look is your client base – your blog could actually replace an outdated means of communicating with them via email newsletter anyway. And if you’re active on LinkedIn you can also let all your connections know – there will be many who will visit, and some who will subscribe. In any case, it doesn’t actually matter how many followers you have, it can be a great source of generating new business for you.

3. What’s the point anyway?

A good blog can do many things.

  • It can keep your clients informed and connected with you – by discussing matters that affect them.
  • It will do fantastic things to your Google ranking – without having to pay a fortune to SEO companies.
  • Most importantly it can help people get to know you before they approach you or make an enquiry with you. The biggest requirement for people to do business with you is that they can overcome their fear of experience (props again to Baz) and drop their barriers enough to allow you to get to know about them in order to see if you can provide advice!
  • A good blog can do more for you than a warm referral from a Centre of Influence. Really! Prospective clients can stumble across you online – or they can search for you if people have suggested your name. They can feel like they get to know you by reading your thoughts, views, and get a feel for the fact that you know what you’re talking about. And you can do all this without writing the actual words that describe what you do or what a great adviser you are. That’s the key. Paul Resnik summed it up brilliantly when describing Twitter to me: ‘Think of it as the ultimate in philanthropy – you’re sharing important information and providing value to people, without the requirement for them to do business with you. And yet some of them probably will!’

4. But my licensee won’t let me provide advice online.

Let’s get something straight – your blog is not designed to provide advice. You can use it to educate people about financial concepts, inspire them to save, seek assistance, etc. You can even bring relevant content that has nothing to do with financial markets. If your target market is retirees, provide info on holidays, exercise, volunteering etc. You can tell stories, and most importantly, you can give people some insight into who you are and your approach to life. It’s a great way to build trust, or at least alleviate clients’ fears before they come to see you.

5. It’s too expensive/I don’t know how.

Google “How to start a blog”. Enough said.

If you want to get started with your blog, don’t let fear hold you back. If you don’t want to run your own, we’d love you to keep visiting ours and even commenting once in a while!

Sue