How blogging can bring in clients … if you're patient

Content marketing is an increasingly useful tool but one advisor says it's a long play that requires discipline and effort

How blogging can bring in clients … if you're patient

As an advisor, you are a brand. Your personality, professionalism, strategy and investment approach can all play a crucial role in attracting new clients and keeping current ones.

Content marketing is one avenue advisors can take as a means to get their thoughts and offerings out there. The potential reach is huge but it requires works. Sam Rook, Associate Portfolio Manager, RBC Dominion Securities, has a blog and video series called Byte Sized.

He understood that blogging to get leads was never going to be an instant impact endeavour. Instead, he settled into a writing rhythm that recognised he needed to play the long game.

Speaking at the recent WP Advisor Connect: Technology - Redefining the Future of Advice, he said: “I built in [to my plan] that 18 months was the minimum – that if I had anything by 18 months, it's just gravy. It worked out; it was 19 months when I had the first prospective person say,  ‘I've read what you wrote and I really, really like it’.”

In his experience, Rook said it’s a fantastic way to cement relationships with people you have maybe just met in passing at a golf tournament or as a neighbour down the road. Suddenly, people are Googling you and sharing it on social media. He warns others embarking on the blog journey that you have to go into it with the right mindset. “It’s not six months,” he said. “It's a year or two before anything really meaningful comes in.”

Rook releases content once a week. Typically, in a month this consists of three written blogs and one video. Written was his first step but, ultimately, video is the most important element, particularly if you are branding and networking via social media. A visual gets more engagement, which is really the aim of the game and can then lead to more people reading your content.

Whatever route you choose, however, Rook said everything goes through compliance and you have to work with that.

He said: “Everything that I write, whether it's a script for the video, or it's a written blog that goes on my website, it all goes through compliance. Don't expect that to change in your own dealings. But it's there to help you.”

He added: “A good editor makes all the difference, particularly at the start. I have a very good editor, so I'm very happy with the work that gets out and she edits both the written and the video script. But you have to make sure that what you're writing is something that's going to get through compliance but is also going to speak to your own voice and your own views.”

Rook divides up the written and video into two mentalities. The former is more current and about what's happening in the world, while he tries to keep the video evergreen and something you can read two years later. His videos typically last four to five minutes and require re-shoots and editing.

He explained: “You think you're being really expressive with your shoulders and your body, but you're very stiff in the camera. You have to move, you have to feel it and it's hard to get that energy. For me, four to five minutes is perfect because shooting it takes me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.”

The next WP Connect virtual event will focus on alternative investments and will take place on September 24.