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Building awareness and credibility by becoming a thought leader

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Advisers can expand their practices by becoming “thought leaders” in media outlets.

Writing these articles in a tone that makes decision-making and financial issues approachable can help advisers differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace, says Joe Anthony, president of financial services at Gregory FCA in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

“Think of published articles and media interviews as a way to let your prospective customer sample that advice and see how you might approach an issue of concern in their financial advice,” he says. “Write or speak in a manner that addresses the issue from the potential client’s point of view.”

Using a variety of media outlets as a resource can help build awareness and credibility and help answer questions on planning topics, says Claudia Mott, a CFP and the principal of Epona Financial Solutions in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

“Most folks have questions about their finances and don’t always know where to turn to get the answers,” she says.

“A sense of trust can start to be developed when a topic of interest appears in a local newspaper, website or blog that is familiar to them that is written by someone who is geographically close by. Becoming a regular contributor helps develop that sense of reliability and knowledge that many look for when they seek out financial planning services,” Mott says.

Even if very few people read a thought leader piece in one media outlet, an advisory firm can repost the article on its own Facebook page, as well as on LinkedIn and Twitter, says Andrew Bellak, founder and chief executive of Stakeholders Capital, based in both Amherst, Massachusetts and Santa Monica, California.

The advisers at Monument Wealth Management in Alexandria, Virginia have had thought leader pieces published in Financial Planning magazine, The New York Times and The Washington Post, says Dean Catino, a CFP and the firm’s co-founder and president.

“It’s nice to get that recognition, and we would post to our website and push out the articles to our clients in various mediums, including Facebook Twitter and email,” he says.

Monument Wealth Management also has a weekly blog that goes out to clients, advocates and prospects, capturing weekly financial events, planning and investment advice from the firm’s independent perspective, Catino says.

“It is relatively short and to the point and written plainly but with flair,” he says.

This story is part of a 30-30 series on strategies to boost your practice.

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