10 Rules For Financial Advisors Who Want To Be Their Clients’ Financial Referee; Applying Rules Of Journalism To Your Role As A Financial Advisor

Monday, June 18, 2012 20:46
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10 Rules For Financial Advisors Who Want To Be Their Clients’ Financial Referee; Applying Rules Of Journalism To Your Role As A Financial Advisor

 

Precious few resources presently exist for writing news on the Web. It’s surprising. Here’s some help, a list of 10 ideas for financial advisors who want to be their clients’ financial referee. In this story, I’m going to tell you about applying basic rules of journalism to your job as a financial advisor.
 
While some journalists would undoubtedly be offended at the idea of being replaced by financial advisors, that’s what’s happened in the age of the Internet. We’re all journalists, we're all publishers now. So here are 10 rules of journalism for financial advisors:
 

Tell Stories. News writing is storytelling. Storytelling is an effective way of engaging people and advisors want to be storytellers. Stories about people make excellent social media content, which can help you become an “influencer,” a thought leader. Of course, the stories you want to tell are all true. They’re about people you help and about helping people.

 

Only Say What You Know. If you’re not sure, don’t say it.

 

Keep It Short. As short as possible. Nothing more.

 

Attribution. Facts need to be attributed to authoritative sources. You can make a statement like, “the economy gained 69,000 jobs” without saying “according to the Department of Labor.”

 

Quotes. Quotes are the exact words of a person. However, if the person stumbles in a sentence or says a lot of “uhs” and “ahs,” you can clean it up. I clean up other people’s quotes if it helps make their point and serves the reader well and the person I am quoting would agree that it clearly articulates their ideas.

 

It’s Always About People. Telling stories about wealth management is not about charts and tables. Sure you need some of that. But all great stories are about people. For example, the Titanic could be written about as an engineering failure, but Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio’s characterin the 1997 movie) — a penniless Wisconsin man who wins two tickets for third-class ticket on the ill-fated voyage — tells the story better. Always write about people.

 

Compliance Is Not A Problem. While advisors bellyache incessantly about compliance, it’s really not onerous if you know the rules. If you tell the truth plus offer some key disclosures about what an idiot you might be, you can say almost anything — except for promise a return, tell people their money is guaranteed to earn a profit, or mention specific securities, partnerships, or derivatives.

 

News Matters. Immediacy matters. Last night, after the Greek election results were in, I scoured the Web and found now great posts addressing the implications of the election for the euro zone and the American economy. If you write a blog reacting to a market event — even one of global magnitude — your posts will get picked up by search engines if you cover it before the general media. This could be an amazing opportunity.

 

Act Like A Financial Referee. Advisors should be their clients’ financial referee. Your clients don’t speak finance. You are their moderator, translator and arbiter of all things financial. Your website site a social media profile is where you want clients to go for accurate analysis of what’s happening in the financial world.

 

Be Generous. It’s really easy to steal other people’s ideas on the Web. Changing a few words in a sentence may technically make you not guilty of plagiarism. But you’ll be respected more if you cite sources and give them credit.

 

This Website Is For Financial Professionals Only


Comments (1)

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hilarymartincfp
Yes!!! Fantastic article, thank you so much. I printed it and it'll be my bible for a while. Do you know of anyone telling success stories well? I'm not worried about compliance, I'm worried clients might have privacy concerns? Obviously there won't be any identifying details, but just wondering who's doing this well. The public would be so much better served if financial services professionals were providing the market and investing content people were reading, consuming and believing. Yes. Be a financial journalist. Thanks again!
hilarym408 , June 25, 2012

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