Driving Content Via Social

Dec 13, 2018


For most of us, the next few weeks are going to involve a lot of windshield time. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. They’re all about seeing family, lots of football, and of course all the food, but I am not enamored with traveling up down I95 or the PA Turnpike’s northeast extension – been there done that, many times.

Picture me driving the “Wagon Queen Family Truckster” (Google it) as we are heading over the river and though the woods.  My lovely wife is sitting next to me working on her laptop as our boys (ages 12 and 14) have their headphones on watching a downloaded movie or two. Sure, I wish it was more of a scene out of Norman Rockwell painting but this how we roll on long trips. Completing the picture is me, with my PowerBeats wireless headphones cranking a Kitces or How I Built This podcast.

Practicing what we preach

You probably saw the post from Heather Wilson earlier this week that Practically Speaking is going audio too. After a lot of research and comments from our readers, we decided to share our voices alongside the written content. I think it’s a natural extension of what we’ve discussed for years. We have always believed – and continually suggest to you – that differentiation in a crowded marketplace is important. Key to that is providing useful/meaningful content to your audience in the way or ways they want to consume it.

As we begin this foray into a new medium, I think it might be helpful to share how we got here and more importantly, how you can leverage what we’ve learned to build your own approach.

Driving content via social Click To Tweet

The quick history

As you may remember, the idea for Practically Speaking came out of the financial crisis of 2008 – 2009. At the time, I was managing a sales team in the Midwest. At that time I was systematically sending emails to advisors during that difficult time with useful content and ideas to keep them talking to their clients and providing them with news and stories that I picked up along the way.

After moving to the head of practice management in 2010, we looked for ways to build a process for those messages, and in early 2011 we started the Practically Speaking blog.  For the first 18 months, I wrote two posts a week, then in 2013 we added, contributors Amy Sitnick, John Frownfelter, Missy Pohlig and Raef Lee to expand our reach into discussing social media, investments, a millennial point of view and FinTech. We often share our path so that advisors can start building a path for themselves, by blogging and now even podcasting.  If it works for us, it can work for you.

We are, so can you

People looking for an advisor are much more educated than before (and not just the ones who work here.) Sure, they’ll take a referral from a friend or family member, but they also do their homework by searching the name and firm of the referred advisor. They are looking for details about how an advisor can help them, what experience they have. They want to know what the experience will be like before they walk in the advisor’s office. Your existing clients want you to be a resource that will continue to guide them and share knowledge. To that end, we have always advocated for a strong, targeted social media presence to position the advisor for success. And we like to also walk that walk, thus the podcast.

As you follow us into podcasting, we have a plan and this is what you’ll hear:

  • As we begin to get our feet wet, the podcasts will be interview style instead of conversations.  Matt Halloran from Top Advisor Marketing is guiding us each through the first few shows.
  • There are now bonus episodes that get a bit (uncomfortably) personal to get to know each of us.
  • The first few shows will also be a bit more scripted on topics that we have presented, or written about often.  It will be good information, but for now we’ll be talking at Matt instead of with him.
  • As we get more comfortable, we will take the reins. I already have a list of people and topics that I want to share, and I’m sure everyone else does too.

It won’t be perfect right away but we look forward to the experience, and learning more about what you want to hear from us. (Also getting used to how different my voice sounds when played back as opposed to how I hear it.)

For any advisor launching a blog, podcast or even a self-published newsletter; success takes time, so don’t think it has to be perfect from day one either. The key is to get started, get your message out there.

I hope you will subscribe to the new Practically Speaking Podcast, but even better to start your own messaging and content using whatever form of social media you can.  I would love to listen to you during future drives on the Turnpike.

John Anderson

John Anderson

John Anderson is the creator and lead author of Practically Speaking blog and Managing Director of Practice Management Solutions for the SEI Advisor Network.

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