Three Financial Writing Lessons My Dad Taught Me

Posted by Scott Wentworth on Jun 1, 2017 9:15:40 AM

I have been influenced in many wonderful ways by my dad, both personally and professionally. While it’s not uncommon for a son to say that his dad was a big influence on his career, in my case it is a bit unusual given how different my dad’s career is than mine.   

My dad, Steve Wentworth, is a corn and soybean farmer in Central Illinois. Like me, he is the owner of a small business, but the fields that we work in (pun intended) are very different. His farming business is capital-intensive and somewhat dangerous, requires in-depth mechanical skills and scientific knowledge, and creates a commoditized product. My business—leading a team of financial writers who work with clients in the asset management, investment banking, private equity, and consulting industries—is basically the opposite of those things.

Despite these differences, my dad has had a profound impact on my career as a financial writer. Here are three of the most important lessons about financial writing that I learned from my dad:

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Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, Financial Writing Tips

Three Financial Writing Lessons My Mom Taught Me

Posted by Scott Wentworth on Jun 1, 2017 9:03:10 AM

Everyone knows how special moms are and everything they do for us. In addition to all of the normal “mom stuff” that my mom, Pam Wentworth, has done for me, she also has played a huge role in shaping my career as a financial writer.

In her career, Pam, who retired in 2016, was a high school math teacher and the business manager at the church my parents attend in Decatur, Illinois. While those careers may not seem directly related to financial writing, my mom has been a major influence in my career.

Here are three of the most important lessons about financial writing that I learned from my mom:

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Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, Financial Writing Tips

PAICR Content-Creation Roundtable: Telling Your Alpha Story

Posted by Scott Wentworth on May 25, 2017 7:01:35 AM

In a bygone era when the value of active investment managers was accepted as a matter of fact, asset management firms could focus their marketing efforts on the quality of their firm. As a result, most marketing materials tended to center on the four Ps: people, process, philosophy, and performance.

But in today’s investment landscape—one that is defined by continued outflows from active to passive strategies and investors who are increasingly skeptical of active management—asset managers can’t afford to simply describe why their portfolio managers are great at capturing alpha. Rather, asset management marketers need to explain why alpha exists in a specific corner of the market and explain how their portfolio managers are going to capture that alpha for investors.

In other words, asset management marketers need to become better at telling their alpha story. And that is the topic I discussed as the keynote speaker at PAICR’s May 23 Regional Roundtable.

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Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, Financial Writing Tips

Seeking Alpha's Senior Editor: Financial Content Must Be Relevant

Posted by Scott Wentworth on May 11, 2017 9:21:04 AM

If you think your inbox gets filled with a bunch of articles about investment strategies and other wealth management content, you should try being Gil Weinreich. As the senior editor for Seeking Alpha's financial advisor content, Gil's job is to sort through the thousands of articles that get submitted to Seeking Alpha from outside contributors and select the ones that will provide the most value for financial advisors.

For marketers at institutional asset managers, mutual fund companies, wirehouses, and other companies looking to create content that reaches a large number of financial advisors, Gil is a great person to know. Seeking Alpha has become one of the largest platforms for contributed content on all things investment-related, and Gil is charged with building the site’s Financial Advisor Center, which launched in February 2017.

“Seeking Alpha's Financial Advisor Center aims to tackle this important constituency's key issues, including wealth management, retirement advice, building a business and industry news,” Gil wrote in an article announcing the site. Gil joined Seeking Alpha in 2016 after spending 18 years as editor-in-chief at Research Magazine and ThinkAdvisor.

Gil said that he views his job as being a "curator" more than being an editor in the traditional sense. In addition to deciding which articles go on the site, each morning Gil publishes his "Financial Advisors' Daily Digest,” which includes summaries of and links to some of the best articles he has encountered.

Gil Weinreich on Three Key Trends Facing Financial Advisors

I recently attended an event hosted by Seeking Alpha in Chicago where Gil shared his thoughts on some of the biggest challenges facing the wealth management industry and how financial advisors can meet these challenges.

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Topics: Financial Writing Tips

PODCAST: 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Data-Driven White Papers

Posted by Scott Wentworth on Apr 19, 2017 1:26:35 PM

It's impossible to write a compelling financial white paper without data to quantify and validate your investment thesis. But unless you're smart about how you incorporate that data, the numbers can actually detract from the overall impact of your white paper. 

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Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, White Papers

Hitting the Podcast Circuit to Promote Your Financial White Paper

Posted by Scott Wentworth on Apr 3, 2017 9:11:36 AM

If you watch Jimmy Kimmel Live or any other late-night talk show for a week, you are sure to see a steady stream of actors showing clips from their latest movie and bands performing songs from their album that just dropped. Clearly these actors and bands understand the promotional value of tapping into a platform that has already created a large following in their target audience.

Marketers in the financial services industry should adopt a similar approach when it comes to promoting their white papers, research, and other forms of thought leadership. No, network talk shows like Kimmel aren’t looking to book a portfolio manager who can come on and talk about PE ratios or tax reform. But there is a forum that can be very valuable for financial brands: podcasts.

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Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, Whitepapers, White Papers, distribution

Bloomberg’s Keys to Working With Outsourced Financial Writers

Posted by Scott Wentworth on Mar 12, 2017 6:21:16 PM

I recently attended a conference hosted by the Chicago chapter of the Business Marketing Association. There was a great lineup of speakers, including representatives from LinkedIn and Rightpoint. But by far the most interesting speaker was Michael Eisenreich, the global head of content and digital marketing at Bloomberg.

Eisenreich talked about how Bloomberg is now using content marketing to support the company’s growth and stay constantly engaged with clients and prospects around the globe. Bloomberg’s marketing department is relatively young; it wasn’t created until 2009. Eisenreich talked about the challenges that his group has faced in starting the department from scratch and creating an internal agency that is capable of creating and managing vast amounts of content on a multi-channel platform.

While Bloomberg’s marketing department operates as an internal agency and prefers to handle as much in-house as possible, it uses outside partners to supplement content creation efforts, particularly when it comes to blogging. I was somewhat surprised to learn that Bloomberg uses outsourced financial writers (a.k.a., financial ghostwriters or freelance writers). In the financial media, Bloomberg is renowned for its rigorous editorial standards. Even though Eisenreich’s marketing department is completely separate from the editorial side of Bloomberg, it’s all one big brand. Clearly, Bloomberg won’t allow content from the marketing department to tarnish or dilute the company’s well-earned reputation for accuracy and precision in any way.

During the Q&A session, I asked Eisenreich how Bloomberg was able to ensure that the quality of the content created by outside writers lived up to Bloomberg’s impeccable standards.

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Topics: Ghostwriting

Create a Search-Friendly Financial Services LinkedIn Profile

Posted by Scott Wentworth on Feb 27, 2017 8:55:07 AM

Nearly everyone in financial services understands that LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool. But to maximize the power of LinkedIn as a business development tool, you need to think about LinkedIn from an SEO perspective, not just from a social networking perspective.

LinkedIn is a powerful search engine, and you want your profile to come up when people in your target audience are searching for a financial advisor, investment banker, accountant, etc.—whether they are searching within LinkedIn or via a search engine such as Google or Bing. Just like you probably (or at least should have) spent a lot of energy building targeted keywords into your firm’s website, you also should make sure your LinkedIn profile contains the keywords that your potential clients use when searching for someone with your expertise.

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Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, LinkedIn Marketing

Should You Care About Other Investors' Newsletters?

Posted by Scott Wentworth on Feb 13, 2017 8:05:53 AM

There are many stats you could cite to indicate that equity markets may be due for a pullback—eight straight years of positive returns, PE ratios that have reached their highest levels since before the financial crisis, etc.

Now there is one more indicator that you can add to the list: investment newsletter sentiment.

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Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, Newsletters

3 Lessons Financial Advisors Can Learn From Mary Tyler Moore About LinkedIn

Posted by Scott Wentworth on Jan 31, 2017 4:02:19 AM

I was born in 1979, two years after The Mary Tyler Moore Show went off the air. So I didn’t get to experience first-hand the impact that the landmark sitcom had on the entertainment industry and, more importantly, on attitudes about single, career-focused women and the workplace. But whenever I heard my Baby Boomer colleagues and media commentators talk about Ms. Moore and the show, they did so with a tone that made it clear that The Mary Tyler Moore Show was more than just a brilliantly written and acted sitcom.

When actress Ms. Moore passed away on January 25, many of the obituaries and tributes that have been published further articulated just how influential the show and the lead character that Ms. Moore played, Mary Richards, have been. The character showed that you could be ambitious without being overly self-promotional; while Mary Richards was very serious about her journalism career, it never prevented her from forming deep relationships with her colleagues. One of the groundbreaking aspects of the show was that, unlike most sitcoms that preceded it, The Mary Tyler Moore Show showed that there didn’t need to be a clear delineation between our work lives and our personal lives.

These challenges—building your personal brand without being overly self-promotional and knowing how to balance work and personal lives—are some of the main challenges that financial advisors, investment bankers, and other financial professionals face in their marketing and business-development efforts. Building a LinkedIn profile and using LinkedIn to reach prospects are two areas where these challenges play out directly.

If you’re a financial advisor and you’re struggling with how to fill out your LinkedIn profile, take note of some of the lessons that Mary, Lou, Rhoda, Phyllis, Murray, and Ted taught us.

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Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, LinkedIn Marketing