After having been presented with two long posts over the last two weeks, you might conclude that I needed to turn to a guest blogger today because I ran out of words.
Um, no. Susan Weiner of InvestmentWriting.com volunteered to write a post as part of a virtual book tour she’s conducting in support of her new book, Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients, published last Thursday.
I follow Susan on just about every public social platform she's on (see her bio below for the links) and I recommend her wit and wisdom and new book to the Rock The Boat Marketing readership. Susan is the real deal.
By Susan B. Weiner, CFA
Blog posts written by portfolio managers help investment firms to market themselves, as Pat has noted on this blog. However, investment professionals may lack the time or skill to turn their ideas into persuasive content. What can their marketing staff do?
Some marketers skip blog posts, while others substitute podcasts or videos. However, sometimes only a written post will do. I have suggestions to make it easier for experts to blog and easier for marketers to capture the experts’ insights.
1. Explain why blog posts matter
If your reluctant portfolio manager is a good writer, you might inspire him or her with a good explanation of why you need a post. It’s one thing for you to ask for a quick-turnaround post for no apparent reason. It’s different when you explain in advance how the post fits into a marketing campaign that will boost flows into that manager’s fund.
Offering support can also help. As a marketer, you can suggest topics and word-count targets. You can also provide editing, which takes the heat off managers unsure about their writing skills.
2. Brainstorm topics with your portfolio managers
Your portfolio managers are more likely to blog when they’re enthusiastic about a topic. This is why I suggest you brainstorm topics with them, seeking an intersection between your marketing goals and their interests.
I like mind mapping as a way to capture ideas because it focuses creativity, as I discussed in “Photo + Mind Map = Blog Inspiration.” Also, mind mapping software allows you to share a map for online collaboration.
By the way, the farther out you develop the map’s branches, the more likely you are to find ideas that are narrow enough to work on a blog. I give more ideas for brainstorming topics in Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients.
3. Offer an easy-to-use structure
Staring at a blank page can intimidate folks who aren’t professional writers. Luckily, you can start a post for them by giving them an easy-to-use structure.
For example, take the classic topic of “why invest in this asset class now.”
Here’s a structure you can share:
Investors who seek [fill in the blank] should consider [name of asset class]. We believe it is attractive because
- 1. Factor one...
- 2. Factor two...
- 3. Factor three...
Once your expert fills in the blanks, you have an introductory paragraph and a framework for the rest of the post.
If you know the investment discipline well enough, you can fill in the blanks yourself. You can even draft topic sentences. This allows the manager to simply add her or his distinctive voice and up-to-date knowledge in fleshing out the details.
4. Write it for 'em
Sometimes you have no choice but to ghostwrite blog posts.
Whenever possible, incorporate what you’ve learned from hearing your managers speak or reading other materials they’ve approved. That will help the blog post to be distinctively theirs.
Susan Weiner, CFA, is the author of Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients, which is tailored to financial planners, wealth managers, investment managers, and the marketing and communications staff that supports them. Read her blog or follow her on Twitter, Google+ or the Investment Writing Facebook page.