“Helping people do sensible things with their money is just as hard as getting people to do the right things for their health,” Moira Somers tells financial advisers in the Journal of Financial Planning. Financial planners’ advice, she believes, is too often unskillfully given. (As business blog content writers, I wondered, are we falling into that same trap?)
The field of adherence research, Somers points out, has led to a revamping of medical education. What would make it easier for patients to do the right thing? In financial planning, she adds, advisers “contribute mightily” to the problem of advice being ignored. Key advice-giving “sins” she names include:
- using incomprehensible jargon
- disregarding the emotional side of the client experience
- acting as though the prospect lives in a social vacuum
- failing to plan for “non-adherence”
- dominating meetings by talking too much
- take a judgment-laden stance towards clients
Valuable to-dos we promotional business writing professionals can glean from this article:
- Make all content as free of professional jargon and specialized lingo as possible.
- Aim for shorter “meetings” (break technical information into bite-sized pieces).
- Do not assume understanding of critical points. Offer anecdotes and focused testimonials to prospects can really “see” the advantages of what we offer.
- Make it clear that we have an understanding of our target readership’s needs.
- Project warmth, showing our “human side”.
- Use clear typeface, bullet points and bolding to draw attention to important points.
- Suggest questions readers can ask themselves while choosing among options.
It matters where on the page we put our Calls to Action in each blog post. I often remind business bloggers to provide several options to readers, including “read more”, “take a survey”, “comment”, or “subscribe. On websites with no e-commerce options, of course, “Contact” is the ultimate reader “compliance” step
“Does your advice stick?“ Moira Somers asks financial planners. “Learn strategies for giving advice that clients will follow,” she concludes.
Does your business blog offer advice that sticks?