You know you need to write those nasty things – you know – blogs, newsletters, columns, even client communications.
But writing for most people is about as much fun as getting a root canal – on the dot once a week, forever.
Here’s a simple way to kill the dread and generate compelling topics easily – for a long time to come.
All you need to know are eight words – simple, workaday words even a fifth-grader knows.
And you’ll never have to experience that dreaded feeling again.
The Picture That’s Worth a Thousand Words
Before you start, dust off the word-picture you built of your ideal client. You have one right?
If you don’t, go and get it here. Take your time, no rush. I’ll wait.
Remember, if you aren’t talking to somebody in particular, you’ll get the attention of nobody in general.
Got the picture? Good.
Now keep this person front and center in your mind for everything else you do in this exercise.
Remember everything about them: how old they are, whether they’re married, have kids, what they do for a living, the whole nine yards:
“John who’s 54 years old, married, with two kids in high school. His division just got shut down and he’s been laid off.”
Imagine this person is sitting across the table from you and describing to you what’s keeping them up at night.
What’s the primary pain that caused them to seek help in the first place?
Zoom in on this one thing. It could be:
- They got laid off and don’t know how to put their kids through college and save for retirement
- Worries about a parent needing care
You’re going to have an imaginary conversation in your head with them and give them the best you have to help them through.
The 8 Magic Words
Photo by Ramón Salinero
Take a sheet of paper and start writing your answers to these 8 word prompts for your ideal client:
For your ideal client to solve their current problem, what do they need to:
- Watch out for
Start writing as many phrases, ideas and topics for each – quickly without a lot of deliberation.
This is where a tight market focus really pays rich dividends. The tighter your focus, the better the chance that you’ll really nail the thing that your market really struggles to have others understand, empathize with and respond.
Know: What facts, trends, restrictions and rules do they need to know about they they typically may not be aware of?
Understand: What facts or realities require mental (and emotional) processing for their impact to sink in?
Photo by John Baker
Watch out for: What are potential blind spots or risks that typically trip up people like your ideal client?
Avoid: What are some common mistakes people make? What benefits are overlooked? What potential opportunities are missed?
Hear: What new information, emotional assurances or factual support does your client need to take in when they achieve readiness to act? Remember that you may be addressing people who are at different stages in their individual journeys. Keep that in mind as you generate your themes:
Have: What back-pocket items would you give to your ideal client to take back with them to help them take action and move forward? Cheat sheet tips?
Decide: Support with making high-stakes decisions is one of the biggest sources of value you can provide as a financial professional. You don’t know the specifics of each individual, so you can’t provide individual advice. Instead, highlight the most important decisions that will move the needle in solving their problem
Do: What specific “no-regrets” actions can your client take to start building a foundation right now? What can they do to get control, clarity and momentum?
There you have it.
This simple exercise should give you plenty of ammunition to write compelling, valuable and helpful content for months.
Photo by Hugo Rocha
This isn’t all. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can extend this list to add many more verbs to generate new threads of thoughts. For example, what does your ideal client want or need to:
- Support (for example, with a family member)
The list can go on. The key: keeping that picture of your ideal client front and center and diving deep into their situation, mindset and aspirations.
What words are you going to start with?