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In content we trust: tips for using content for professional services

Producing content for those in the professional services sector is a particular craft. You are seeking to nurture and build personal relationships, while also demonstrating your valuable expertise and specific know-how with which you can meet your clients’ and prospects’ needs. What it really comes down to is building trust. In this blog, I look at how carefully crafted content can help show you have the integrity and ability your clients deserve…

man and woman shaking hands

Do you have the trust factor?

Creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content helps to lay a firm foundation for building trust with your clients and prospective customers. Willingly providing your information and demonstrating your expertise goes a long way towards forging future profitable relationships. It’s also worth mentioning that not only are you looking to target your content at current and future clients, you also want to connect with those who refer business to you – for example, like an estate attorney would want to with a financial planner.

For both audiences you want to show that you have their best interests at heart – whether that be solving your clients’ problems quickly and thoroughly, or assuring your referral partner that you have done just that so they are safe in the knowledge that they can pick up where you left off knowing that they will be received in a positive light.

I must, I must, I must improve my trust

While you know that you are capable of meeting your clients’ needs, you will need to prove that you can do so in order for them to trust you enough to give you a chance. After all, business and financial advisers, lawyers, and health professionals aren’t dealing with the small stuff – you will be at the side of your client during some of the most significant points in their life. They are relying on you. Your content is one way in which you can demonstrate your expertise, show you care about your clients’ success, and so build your trust factor. I’ve outlined some key messages you’ll want to communicate below:

Tips and advice: “Trust me, I’m helpful”

I know it is perhaps quite obvious, but openly sharing the solutions to your clients’ common queries is a great way to show that you are ready and willing to be helpful (and that you know your stuff!).

Publishing a regular blog on your website is a great platform to do this. Remember to write your blog articles in response to a highly-trafficked keyword to ensure that your content is seen organically (your content writer will know the keywords!).

The case study: “Trust me, I can achieve what you need”

Case studies are a great way to show that you care about the end result and that you can achieve it – perfect for those in your target audience who require a little more convincing! They have a whole host of benefits, some of which I’ve touched on in my blog here, and paint a picture of what prospective clients can expect of your wider process, not only through your eyes but in the words of a real-life client. The way in which a case study illustrates a working, trusting relationship between a client and adviser is invaluable.

Analysis of relevant current events: “Trust me, I know what you’re going through and can help in any situation”

From Government elections to Budget announcements, to the financial crises of the late 2000s and Brexit, and now the current Coronavirus pandemic – these are all significant events which send out ripples in every direction, impacting on the economy and lifestyles of everyone.

Thinking critically and presenting your professional insights into wide-reaching events such as these not only shows that you are in touch with your audience but means you can capitalise on hot topics of discussion and demonstrate your problem-solving capabilities at the same time.

Five top takeaways for today

So now you have an idea of the kind of messages you can weave into your content to build trust, here are five practical tips that you can implement now to make your content work harder.

1) Present your blog posts as a question

Presenting your advisory blog posts as a question is a good way to increase engagement and get your content appearing in search engines – after all, we’re usually asking Google a question so it makes sense to match that Q&A format.

It’s also been proven that writing articles as a listicle (list format) i.e. ‘Top 5 ways to minimise inheritance tax’, ‘Ten things to do now to prepare for your retirement’ entices readers in – presenting the number of items you’ll be covering in your article is attractive for your time-poor audience and helps cut through the other streams of online content.

2) Include a call-to-action

It’s so important to include a call-to-action at the bottom of your blog posts to help your readers to reach conversion point. For example, for an advisory piece, the ideal action will be for the reader to make contact with one of your team members to use their services. Ensure you include a link to the relevant contact details and perhaps the associated service webpage, similar to the below:

‘For further information visit our Trusts & Estates service page here, speak with your usual adviser here, or contact Joe Bloggs, Trust Manager here to ensure you are fully informed of the tax implications.’

3) Make an adviser the author

Attribute your articles to a specific adviser. As a professional services business, the personal brand of your advisers is just as (if not more) important as that of your company. People buy people as they say, and I bet that the web traffic coming through to your team webpage exceeds that coming to your services page (go on, check!).

Google looks at professional services personnel differently (it’s called ‘Expertise, Authority, Trust’) due to the impact their advice has on people’s lives, and therefore high importance is placed on the accuracy of online content associated with them. This content dictates how they appear in search so you will want your advisers to have compelling, and importantly correct content attributed to them that will rank positively in Google.

4) Ensure your team’s profiles are up-to-date

Following on from the above, ensure that your adviser’s bio pages are complete and up-to-date. This helps inform Google when ranking them to appear in search. In addition to a professional headshot, profiles should include the following:

  • Full name
  • Relevant qualifications
  • Job title
  • Contact details (email and phone number)
  • Specialisms (link to your relevant service webpages)
  • Further information (professional background and experience, touching on the types of clients they currently advise e.g. size and sector)
  • Personal interests (a chance to highlight their personality! Include anything from sports to socialising, and charity fundraising to community work)
  • Articles authored (link to blog posts they have written to further demonstrate expertise)

5) Give blog posts their own webpage

It may sound simple to give posts their own page on your website, but I’ve increasingly found professional service companies including numerous blog posts on one page. For example, if the company rightly has a dedicated news area for updates regarding significant events e.g. Brexit or Coronavirus, some are listing the articles in chronological order on one webpage.

Google finds it hard to categorise a webpage when it houses multiple articles, so it is best to separate them to increase the chance of them appearing in search. It also makes the content more readable for your audience so they will more likely get to the end.

If you work in the professional services sector and would like some help in crafting content, whether it be blogs, bios, social media posts, or case studies, please get in touch.