The Efficient Advisor: Newsletter Edition

Why should you, an independent financial advisor, have a newsletter?

A Broader Connection

Your edge over the big firms is that you’re a person. You know your client’s names, their spouses’ names, and how old their kids are. You speak to them as a friend; maybe you even have coffee together on a regular basis.

Your job is to make sure that your client’s money is well-managed, thus ensuring their financial future. That’s what they pay you for. Your job is not to sell them shit. That’s why they choose you over Merrill Lynch.

You keep multiple communication channels open, phone, email, text, and more. Why shouldn’t you have one that is a little less business, a little more fun, and a lot more interesting?

We’ve talked about the benefits of personality in the trust equation, and how your personhood can help you survive the advisor apocalypse. A monthly newsletter is a great way to deepen your client relationships, especially if the only emails your clients are used to are snoozefest quarterly reports.

So what exactly will be the contents of this newsletter? Thought you’d never ask…

News-Letter

One part news, one part letter. Equally personal and informative. That’s what your newsletter should be. Well, that and interesting.

I’m not going to tell you how to write your own newsletter, but the key is finding a balance between personal, “this is me talking” stuff, and the longer, article-style content.

A simple formula for a newsletter from an advisor to a group of clients might consist of:

  1. A short introduction–the content here doesn’t really matter so long as it is short, warm, and friendly so that it makes your client want to read through to the bottom. Also, you should prepare them for what to expect in the body of the email, and why it’s relative to them.
  2. Body content–this content is extremely important. I’d recommend no more than three pieces, and if you’re blogging yourself, at least one piece of content should be original. You should really have one original piece of content, regardless, so if you’re going to start a newsletter, might as well start a blog, too. Give excerpts from the content, and be sure to link any images, too. I’d have one piece of content come from an outside source, something you think will be original and interesting to your clients. For a third piece of content, I would consider something of a different nature. Something your clients can really relate to. Maybe it doesn’t have to be directly related to finance, just something that they will really enjoy reading.
  3. Outro–again, keep it short, and if you had a theme–did I mention that you might want to keep a theme for each newsletter?–be sure to see it through here. Leave your clients with a bit of a call to action, whether you want them to reply with questions, or suggestions, or if you want them to have something prepared for your next meeting. The reason behind this is to avoid the “why did I just read all that?” reaction. Leave them feeling informed.

Easy Email Newsletters

SUPER EASY, well-designed, professional quality email newsletters are well within reach. While there are multiple different services, we at Blueleaf prefer Mailchimp.

Easy. Email. Newsletters.

What more do you need to know? Mailchimp has great analytics, a really easy user interface, and great design tools. Plus they integrate with just about every other service you might be using.

The dots are on the paper, just draw the line!

DJ DJ is a freelance writer, hopeful photographer, and social media has-been. He writes to financial advisors about lifehacks, science, technology, business and marketing for Blueleaf, a software that helps create dramatically simpler, more scalable financial advisory businesses. You can find DJ across the web (about.me/djswitz) or you can just follow him on Twitter (@djswitz)!
  • How often do you guys do your newsletter? I agree that it has to be compelling & educational, not boring or boilerplate. If there’s someone who has cool, interesting content I’d read them every week. What time frame do you like?

    • I think it depends who “you” are. 

      We do our newsletter weekly, but our list consists of finance professionals who have already given us their emails for more information. So they’re primed for regular communication.

      Imagine you’re one of your own clients. I think a batch of content once a week from your portfolio manager might be a bit much. While their money is important to them, they’re paying you to manage it. But that doesn’t mean they wish to be ignorant.With that in mind, as a finance professional with a group of clients, I’d say anywhere from bi-weekly to monthly would be appropriate.But, hey, if you can craft a killer weekly email that’s got a decent bounce rate after the first month or so, then I don’t see any need to slow down!