Blogging is great for business, but it's not right for every financial planning, wealth management, or investment management firm. You can assess whether blogging is right for you and your financial firm by answering the questions below.
1. Is your compliance department on board?
Whoever runs compliance must be on your side. A good compliance professional will give you helpful guidelines and timely reviews of your content.
Obviously a blog is out of the question if your compliance department doesn't approve of blogs. There are less obvious roadblocks, too. For example, if compliance officers don't allow you to express your personality or opinions (within the bounds of what's allowed by the regulators), you may struggle to find an audience. For advisors, sharing your personality is one of the few easy ways to differentiate yourself from the competition. There's nobody else like you. Also, the best blogs are opinionated.
2. Can you stick to a commitment?
I've seen too many blogs and bloggers run out of steam. If you can't commit to blogging regularly, your blog will not deliver the results you desire. An erratically updated blog won't boost your visibility in online searches. It may also suggest to readers that you won't follow through on initiatives that you start.
A student in my blogging class experienced this first-hand. His blog brought in new wealth management clients when he posted regularly. When he stopped updating it, new business stopped coming from the blog. It's easy to see the cause-and-effect relationship.
3. Are you fired up about ideas that touch your target audience?
If you're enthusiastic about a topic, this will help you stay committed and attract clients. Enthusiasm can be contagious. It appeals to your readers as they evaluate whether you're the right person to help with their financial challenges.
If you answer "no" to these three questions, a blog probably isn't right for you. However, if you answer "yes," then you're cleared to start blogging. I look forward to seeing your blog.
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.