Writing for Investment Advisors
By Dan Solin
Most advisors understand the importance of writing blogs and social media posts.
Original content posted once or twice a month is important for SEO and broader marketing. Search engines and social platforms prioritize unique, relevant and easy-to-read communications.
When I discuss this subject with advisors, a common response is: “I can’t write.”
Yes, you can.
Believing you “can’t write” is like saying: “I can’t play the guitar.” It would be more accurate to say: “I haven’t learned how to play the guitar.”
No one is born a writer. It’s a skill to be learned and nourished.
Here are some tips that may help you.
Write in your voice
We all have a unique perspective. Your prospects and clients are interested in yours.
What are you passionate about? What’s different about your approach to helping your clients? What is your investment philosophy and why? What fees do you charge and why did you adopt your fee model?
Your audience wants to know the answers to these questions and many others.
Your writing should share your views.
Talk to me
One client was adamant about her inability to write. Here’s what I told her: “If you can talk, you can write.”
Good writing isn’t a lecture. I try to picture someone reading my blogs or books. I want them to feel like we are having a conversation.
The highest compliment I receive is when a reader tells me: “I felt you were talking directly to me.”
When you review your draft, ask this question: “Does it read like a conversation or a lecture”?
All my writing goes through an editing process. I find it helpful to have the perspective of others before I publish.
When I started writing, my editor would often note in the margin: “Sounds preachy.” That really hit home.
That’s not how I want to be perceived.
Keep it short
Here’s an insight that changed my writing style: Eliminate every unnecessary word.
It’s amazing how many words fit into this category.
Here’s an example: “There are many choices you can make.” That sentence has 7 words. I would revise it to: “You have choices,” which only has 3 words. Better yet, take it out. You know you have choices.
Sometimes I find entire sections of my writing are unnecessary. In the first draft of this blog, I wrote:
“Eliminate all words that aren’t necessary. When I review my first draft, I start by eliminating every word that doesn’t add value. It’s amazing how many words fit into this category.”
In the edit, I shortened the first sentence and deleted the second sentence entirely.
Headlines and subtitles improve readability and keep your audience engaged. Make them creative and punchy.
Communications like newsletters should be professionally designed, with layouts that encourage engagement.
Writing begins with a single step. Start with a small post on social media.
Then try to write a blog. Keep it short. I suggest 750-1000 words.
Show the draft to someone you trust to give candid feedback.
Be patient and cut yourself some slack. When I draft the manuscript for a book, it’s not uncommon for it to undergo 20 drafts.
You can learn to play the guitar…and to write.