30 Apr 10 Tips to Excel at Financial Copywriting
Financial advisers are highly knowledgeable about their subject matter. But how do you effectively put that onto paper (or a blog post) in a way which engages clients and produces results?
Copywriting is a skill. To be good at it, financial advisers not only need to practice. It also pays dividends to have a solid grasp of the foundational principles of good writing.
Here, we’re going to assume you want to write great blogs for your clients, which is great.
However, it’s important to remember that this is different from other forms of writing. Certainly, it’s different from writing a novel. It is also different from writing copy for adverts or a direct mail communication piece, for instance.
Blogs need to be engaging, “to-the-point”, relevant, value-driven and more.
Here are ten essential tips for financial advisers who are looking to start copywriting for their blog:
#1 Know your audience
This is actually harder than it might sound. You cannot write for everyone, so you need to focus on your ideal client or prospect and target them with your content.
Don’t just ask yourself what their defining demographics are (e.g. age, gender, income etc.). You really need to drill down into their psychographics as well – what problems they are facing, their hopes and dreams, their fears and worries.
How can your content speak into these emotional features of your readers?
#2 Know your purpose
Before you start writing, it’s important not just to know who you are writing for. You also need to know why you are going to be writing for them at all.
What is your main objective with your copywriting? Are you looking to generate more brand awareness amongst your target market? Or, are you more interested in using content to build loyalty, trust and relationships with existing clients?
#3 Know your content plan
For the best copywriting results, it’s important to have a good idea of what you are going to write over the coming weeks and months – as well as when.
One useful approach is to consider planning out your topics for the next 2-3 months. Really think about your choice of topics – why are you going to talk about these specific subjects?
Factors which might influence your choice of topics for the quarter might include your search engine rankings for certain keywords, trending subjects in the news, and which topic your clients have historically engaged with the most in recent months.
#4 Find your angle
You might know your audience, why you are writing and what your content plan is. Yet if you just churn out the same old content as everyone else, you are going to have a hard time making your copywriting stand out to your audience from all the other noise they face on the internet.
Is there a unique angle or slant you can take which will make your content especially unique, valuable or interesting? For instance, perhaps you can focus on financial planning for women, or British expats?
#5 Make it interesting
It can be hard for financial advisers to admit to themselves, but the reality is most people find pensions, investments and the like quite boring. These are areas of our lives which we tend to think about when we know we have to, not because we get really excited about them.
So, you need to find ways to make your content especially interesting and engaging. This is no small feat in financial services! Yet there are ways to do it.
Could you adopt a humorous tone which people find funny and want to keep returning to? Perhaps you might want to go after controversial topics which other financial advisers shy away from?
#6 Make your headlines exceptional
Look at any newspaper, and you’ll see that the main thing which keeps or loses your attention is the headline. Journalists know this, which is why they spend so much time crafting their headlines!
Make sure you are giving your own headlines special care and attention in your copywriting. Good places to start are to consider list-based headlines, such as “5 Ways Higher Taxpayers Can Save On Tax.”
How-to headlines are also quite powerful, such as “How To Cut Inheritance Tax: A Simple Guide.”
#7 Break up your content
If your blog or article is just a huge wall of text, then your readers are not likely to read it. Most people these days have short attention spans and want to put minimal effort into content consumption, even if they are deeply interested in the subject matter.
Good ways to do this include keeping sentences and paragraphs short, using images throughout your content and breaking up your writing using headings, sub-headings and bullet-points.
#8 Give the audience what they want
How many times have you clicked on an article in Google after making an internet search, only to be greeted by lines and lines of waffle?
It’s incredibly annoying to the reader and it typically makes them bounce off the page. So, keep your introduction as short as possible and get to the point. Give the reader the answer they are looking for.
#9 Avoid unnecessary jargon
Financial planners and advisers are used to banding around words and phrases like “final salary pension”, “venture capital trusts” and “estate planning”.
Your target audience, however, probably has no idea what even half of these things mean. Be careful not to assume that just because you understand your industry jargon that your audience also grasps it, and is not put off by it.
Of course, you don’t want to dumb things down too much in your copywriting. It’s important that you show yourself to be knowledgable and competent. Be careful to strike a balance.
#10 Don’t sell
A lot of financial planners see copywriting for a blog as a reason to keep pushing their services to readers. However, if you do that too much people simply won’t read it anymore.
Think about it. How many newsletters or blogs are you subscribed to where a business is only ever interested in pushing their product to you?
Maybe in certain other industries, you can get away with it a bit more – such as retail. Clients and prospects of financial planners, however, typically do not want to be aggressively sold to. They are happy to hear from you, however, if you can continually offer them value.