I am a writer.
It took me six years and hundreds of articles and publications to confidently write those four words. And although I am a writer, sometimes the words do not easily flow from my brain, to my fingertips, to the keyboard, to my blog and are ready for me to hit “Publish”. Nope – far from it many days.
Yet, I am a writer telling others they should consider writing even though the process is fraught with insecurity (“Will anyone read my words?”) and roadblocks (“What the hell will I write about today?”). I can’t help you with insecurity other than to say, “Go!” but I can help you with the latter of the two questions.
What the hell will I write about today?
In financial services, it’s not always easy to come up with ideas on what you should write about…and then add fun things in there such as legal and compliance and oh boy – doesn’t that get your creative juices flowing right away? Hardly – I know, but…I still insist you need to write.
There is so much we do in our respective communities each day to help others. The ideas are there; they are just masked as tasks, processes, etc. That doesn’t sound too interesting or sexy, right? But you know things – important financial things – that the world needs to hear. The written word is one of the best ways to capture those thoughts.
Today, I will share some ideas to help get you from the idea of writing to the actual work of writing. You just have to ask yourself one question, really:
What do clients want me to write about?
If you stopped yourself today and did this exercise, “What are the last 10 questions clients asked me that I can rattle off the answers to easily?” Then you already have 10 blog posts waiting to be written. Yep – it’s that simple.
As an example, I get asked, “Sheryl, what’s the ROI of social media?” about forty times per week. So I wrote about it. (Relevance and the Bottom-Line) Or I also get asked, “How do I find new leads on social media?” I wrote about that, too. (Who Ya Gonna Call?)
I only tell you things I do myself. So, what about the ideas, right?
What you’re really here for…
Here are seven ideas right off the bat to get you thinking and past your writing block. Talk with your team members, too, about ideas they come up with for the blog. Nothing is too small, I assure you!
Lists – People love things in lists. If you create a 401(k) rollover checklist, you should write about it. What about the five things to do when you have new health benefits? How about the three ways you can maximize your social security? Everyone loves a list!
How To – Yeah, I know you’re in the advice business, but what about some how-to guides on creating a budget for your clients’ teenager? What about a how-to guide to teach a child about their allowance? Can you provide a how-to guide to shop for car insurance? The DIY in so many of us loves the idea of downloading a guide. You can help with this.
Solutions – What about an idea you have that solves a problem? People enjoy hearing outcome stories. This could even be a case study of a situation from your office.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Question blogs could actually help not only your client but your staff have a go-to reference on how something is done. What about a loan on a 401(k)? What about changing a beneficiary on your life insurance? FAQs work!
Book Reviews – I’ve been writing a #FridayReads column for YEARS. Believe it or not, this has been not only beneficial to me as I read books now for not only pleasure, but with a purpose to share. AND – these book reviews have been helpful in others finding me on the web.
Interviews – What about interviewing your clients and publishing your discussion? (If you got REALLY crazy you could even do a podcast based on this! WHAT??? Right??) You get a double-whammy here: content for your blog AND content for your client to repurpose with your name. Hollah!!
Q&A’s: So kind of like the FAQs but you can take actual questions from clients and answer them via your blog. Keep it anonymous and you’ll be a great sounding board for your clients.
Be A Person Of Action:
You have a whole lot of year left to get things going. What will you write about? Plan a brainstorming session. Who can edit your writing? How can you implement this immediately in your office? Let me know if you need help!