If you manage or oversee money for your financial planning clients, then there’s a good chance that you are providing investment commentary for them in some form. But are you getting the results that you want from providing this service? Does it motivate your clients to take action? If not, then perhaps it’s time for a fresh perspective on how you write your commentary and dispense it to clients.

Here are some steps you can take to improve the quality of your market information and other updates. (For related reading, see: Blogging Tips for Financial Advisors.)

  1. Research continually: Don’t wait until the end of the quarter to start collecting information for your newsletter or periodical. Take the time to do some research throughout the quarter to find the best material that you can possibly include in your letter. This will help you to produce high-quality material that addresses the questions that your clients and associates have about the markets and how they work. Commentary that focuses on the issues that matter to your clients on a daily basis is also much more likely to be well-received and processed. Expanding on preset commentary that you use, such as broad-based market commentary to show how it affects your audience is another good way to target your audience with a minimum of time and effort.
  2. Outline and organize: Make sure that your information is arranged in an organized manner when you start to write it. Don’t just spit out a stream of haphazard thoughts about the markets; start from a specific place and move to your desired conclusion in a logical fashion. A well thought out draft will have a much bigger impact for your readers than a disorganized one. Take the time to list out all of the points that you want to include in your commentary and give each one adequate attention. Skipping over one or more points may leave your readers confused and unable to discern the points you want to make. (For further reading, see: Becoming a Financial Writer and 5 Top Ways Advisors Can Land Clients.)
  3. Don’t procrastinate: Don't wait until the last minute to start writing. Write a little bit at a time as things transpire to keep your ear to the markets and capture all of the little details that you want to include. It will also give you time to go back over what you’ve written later in the quarter and see whether you still agree with your previous commentary. Final figures such as index returns can be added at the end just before publication so that it is up to date. Writing your commentary throughout the time period of your newsletter can improve the quality of your writing because of the additional hours you're taking to process and interpret your raw data. You might want to test out at least a piece of your writing on another platform—like social media—to see how people respond to it. If you get a favorable response there, then you can rest on that section of your commentary with confidence.
  4. Bounce it off someone: Have at least one other person read your work before sharing with clients to ensure that it is readable, understandable and relevant. Have him or her edit for grammar and other errors, so that you can provide a finished piece of high-quality work. And, of course, have your compliance officer or department read it to ensure that you are not overstepping your regulatory boundaries.
  5. Blast out your work: Don’t just send your commentary out to your current clientele. Post it on Facebook and other social media sites for additional exposure and advertising. Use a catchy headline that will attract more readers and point up the value that you can provide.

The Bottom Line

Following these steps can help you to produce financial commentary that your clients and prospects will enjoy reading and take as a call to action. Don’t think of newsletters as a marketing chore. The information that you disseminate can ultimately have a big impact on your bottom line. (For more, see: 6 Essential Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors.)

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