The last few years have seen a massive change not just in the way people communicate and consume media, but in the way they learn. That includes learning about investing, personal finances, and managing money. If you want to know what info they're being fed out there, you need to know where they're going. In addition to understanding your clients better, this will allow you to put yourself in front of potential clients by showing up where they're looking. Based on Wealth Noirs 2020 State of the Community survey, we have insights on where potential clients are looking for investment advice, i.e. looking for you, whether they know it or not.
Podcasts are the most popular medium, with 51.5% of survey respondents saying they tune into podcasts to learn about money and investing. Over the last few years, podcasting has become the fastest-growing medium in America, with an estimated 120 million Americans tuning in to podcasts last year. They run the gamut from comedy to current events to education. The most popular investment podcasts pull in millions of downloads. We Study Billionaires, the flagship show of The Investor's Podcast Network, has over 70 million downloads.
Does this mean that you have to start your own podcast? You certainly can; costs are minimal, guides to creating your own show are absolutely everywhere, and it's a lot of fun. But if doing your own show every week is more of a commitment than you want to make, podcasts looking to add value for their listeners are always hunting for experts to come on their shows.
The Reddit r/podcastguestexchange is a great way to connect with podcast hosts, or you can sign up with a podcast booking agency as an expert-for-hire. Podcast listeners engage with their shows more strongly than traditional media, and the format tends to be looser and more in-depth, so you'll have the opportunity to really share yourself with the audience. The right interview on the right podcast can immediately put your expertise and firm in front of thousands or millions of potential clients, and the long-format can let you demonstrate your expertise.
Just behind podcasts at 50.9%, finance and investing blogs pull in big audiences. Although many of us remember the days when blogs were just solo projects with a few hundred readers at most, the modern blog is more akin to a digital magazine, and many are eager for contributors.
Before reaching out to a blog, study their content to see if you can identify anything they haven't covered that might interest their readership, or a topic on which you can offer a fresh perspective. As a bonus, having your name in the byline on one or more of the big blogs will do wonders for your personal SEO. Rather than writing on every topic under the sun, try to pick a niche in which you have special expertise and write on it in as many places as possible, so folks will find you first when searching for that specific topic.
And don't forget the importance of having content on your own company's website. Corporate blogs, especially when targeting important keywords with in-depth articles, can lead Google and social media traffic directly to your website and can help convince potential clients of your expertise.
Amidst all this digital media, actual books are still going strong, selected as an important source of information by 50.3% of respondents. Podcasts and blogs are a great way to start learning about a subject, but when you want to go deep, there's no substitute for a book.
If you've got wisdom to impart, a story to share, a unique perspective to offer, by all means, start working on that book. But if you want to start engaging with readers right away, writing reviews or responses to longer works, sharing your own perspective and experience in the process, is a great way to connect with a large audience. 93% of customers read online reviews before buying a product, including books, so they're likely to learn about you even before they learn about the book's author.
Why not offer to do a book review for an investment blog and feed two birds with one scone?
Next on the list, and more than just funny cat videos, YouTube is also many people's first stop for instructional content, including finance and investing. As with podcasts, there are two basic ways to engage with an audience: upload your own videos, keeping your content specific and therefore searchable, or set up a guest spot on someone's else's channel/show, which works much the same as described for podcasts above.
These days, with the ubiquity of Zoom and other video conferencing apps, a lot of podcasts are recorded with video and then cross-posted to YouTube, so you may well get two audiences in one fell swoop. And if there's one upside to the way meetings have changed in the last couple of years, it is that we've all been cured of camera-shyness.
And if you do webinars or other virtual events, for yourself or as a guest, post the content on YouTube to increase the reach. You can even use videos as a way to train and teach clients in a scalable fashion, using links to videos in onboarding or as an answer to common questions.
Bringing up the rear but still selected by nearly 40% of survey respondents, many people still find the online content of traditional media outlets to be a reliable and authoritative source for information on investing.
And when the journalists of those media outlets are coming up on a deadline and need a quote to add additional context or credibility, there are services that connect them to experts. Although you likely won't get the same opportunity to share your expertise in depth as in other media, the audience for traditional media is still large and broad. And once you've built a relationship with the reporter, they may call on you again. In fact, many in-house experts for major news outlets get their start by being a handy resource for reporters.
As you can see, the overall trend is towards a deeper connection between the audience and the experts. Modern consumers are jaded by advertising and want to know more about you than your name and credentials. They want to get to know you and hear in your own words what you can do for them. They do their own research before choosing an expert to rely on, which means they'll give you an opportunity to make your best case for yourself. If you can do that, it's the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.