See how collaborative article marketing works and the steps you can take to easily create your first collaborative article
Are you looking for additional ways to market yourself authentically, establish rapport with your clients, and easily create marketing materials? Let me tell you about a simple way financial advisors can write articles and create "buzz" among clients and strategic partners. It’s called Collaborative Article Marketing. The advantages of collaborative article marketing are many, the uses are endless, and the rewards very much outweigh the effort you put in.
Over the years, I’ve created a few collaborative articles. I’ve collaborated with an expert in the field of web design to create the article, 10 Parts of a Financial Advisor’s Website
I also collaborated with 3 groups of business owners to create "10 Ways To Say No To Freebie Seekers Who Want To Pick Your Brain" http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/freebie-seekers-turn-them-into-clients-and-referrers-or-turn-them-far-far-away/.
Top 10-type articles are the best to collaborate on. These lists are highly readable and engaging to people. Hey, it has worked on Letterman for years!
As a financial professional, you know that "high-touch" practices are linked to profitability; however, there are only so many ways to remain in front of clients and strategic partners and to ask for referrals without appearing "salesy". There are many buzz-generating advantages to writing an article with this collaborative process, such as:
- Collaborative articles are easy and fun to write, especially if you format them as Top 5, Top 7, or Top 10 lists.
- You can dramatically build and strengthen relationships when you collaborate with strategic referral partners and your clients.
- You have a reason to touch base with your referral partners or clients without it being a sales call. It’s actually a compliment when you request their contribution to your article. Your clients will enjoy helping you, as you’ve been helping them.
- You can write articles without dinging the compliance bell if you write about passions or hobbies (wine, golf, boating, travel, knitting, etc.), general business ideas, tips from executives, and other creative topics. Note: Please always check with your compliance department for its guidelines!
- You will strengthen your rapport with others as you connect on different subjects of common interest, which could tip the "likeability" scales in your favor and land you more referrals.
- You’ll gain respect as an authority in another area of life that you love to communicate about, whether it’s golf, the best area restaurants, or staying organized.
- Collaborative articles are a great way to get your name “out there” and reflect your uniqueness in a marketplace teaming with financial advisors who just blend into the status quo.
- Because people like seeing their names "in lights", you’re bound to attract traffic to the online version as all your contributors share the article with their friends and colleagues.
- You’ll be marketing smarter and marketing with integrity, too!
A collaborative article represents a gold mine of marketing material for a financial advisor. It’s a remarkable timesaver and efficient marketing tool. You only have to do the work ONCE and then can re-purpose it in many different ways:
- Post it on your blog.
- Print it in your newsletter or send it in your ezine.
- Send a nicely formatted copy to your clients.
- Market it on your LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media accounts.
- Put the article on your firm’s stationery and distribute it at networking events. I love leaving someone with business-boosting tips or advice that saves time. I bet you do, too! It imparts more meaning than a business card…and is much more likely to be remembered and kept!
- For people who aren’t as computer literate, send the article via physical mail. This keeps you in their thoughts–and on their desks.
You’ll be able to find at least 10 ways to use your collaborative article! And you’ll have 10 people “marketing” each other in a non-pushy way. Now that’s a win-win (or should I say, buzz-buzz?)…100 times over! For more re-purposing ideas, read this article on my blog: "15 Ways to Promote Your Business by Article Marketing" http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/ways-to-promote-your-business-by-article-marketing/
Here’s the process I use to write a collaborative article:
- Send an email to your contacts (other business owners or clients) that announces you’re writing an article on a specific topic through collaboration.
- Explain that you’d like your contacts to contribute their tip to the article. Ask them to write their tip in a simple paragraph and to embellish the tip with a good intro title.
- Tell them that you’ll identify them as a contributor with their name, title, city, website and/or Twitter URL after their contribution, or at the end of the article.
- Include a sample of the kind of tip you’re looking for in the format you want to receive it in.
- Include any restrictions as to the topic or the type of responders you’re inviting to participate. Often, I like to invite submissions from financial professionals and small business owners whose ONLY niche is financial professionals (like me!).
- Give them a deadline to submit their tip.
- Don’t feel bad if you either don’t get a response, or a positive responder doesn’t actually follow through. Just shorten your Top 10 to a Top 5 or sprinkle in more of your own tips.
- Pull together your submissions (or have your assistant do it) and then pen a headline, an introduction, and a final thought to end the article.
- Make sure you have someone proofread your article! I’m an idea, thought, and solution-type person, so the most difficult part of writing an article for me is proofreading and putting my thoughts in a readable format. That’s why I run it past Chris Mifsud of WordPower Marketing, my firm’s marketing partner. She makes sure that my errors don’t show up. Take the time to shine and make everyone else who contributed look good, too.
- Remember…it’s important when you collaborate to include each person’s name, title, website and/or Twitter URL after their contribution or, at a minimum, at the end of the article.
- When the article is ready, send it to your collaborators with profuse thanks and give them ideas how they can use it to market themselves (and the others), too!
For an example of a finished collaborative article, read the "8+ Email Productivity Tips" article I wrote with other financial professionals, here: http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/?p=4212
As you can see, collaborative articles are a powerful way to strengthen relationships and stand out in the market. Very little time and a lot of good will can create a "buzz" about your firm and for other businesses, too. Go ahead, be a catalyst for 100x the marketing power with collaborative article marketing!
P.S., I posted a note about my next collaborative article to a few of my LinkedIn groups. One teacher wrote to me that he’s going to create a collaborative article for their next student newsletter. A business owner is going to ask her clients to collaborate on an article. If you use this tip, drop me a line and let me know how your firm benefits from it.
©2013 Maria Marsala guides high-achieving independent financial advisors to reach their 5-year business and personal goals in 24 months. She is a business coach, speaker, and a former Wall Street Trader. Named one of the Top 30 International Coaching Gurus in 2011, and a pioneer in article marketing in 2003, Maria has been recognized as a thought leader whose ideas have been published in Financial Planning Magazine, RIA Biz, Advisor Max, Dow Jones, The Street, Entrepreneur Magazine, and numerous books, trade journals, and magazines. She has authored four business-building workbooks including, Attracting Clients You Love Working With: 6 Steps to a Profitable Client Base.
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