XY Planning Network is the leading organization of fee-only financial advisors who specialize in serving Gen X and Gen Y clients. Because of this, we share something in common with many financial bloggers -- we want to provide high-quality, valuable financial advice that will help our audience reach financial success.
We believe in promoting financial education and literacy, and in dedicating ourselves to a market that’s been woefully underserved by the traditional financial industry. Both financial bloggers and our network of advisors (who always work as sworn fiduciaries) share a common goal: sharing information, experiences, and knowledge to help improve the lives of others.
It’s for that reason that we love interacting and connecting with the financial blogger community.
How XY Planning Network Interacts with the Blogger Community
We enjoy doing this in a variety of ways. We’re currently trying to expand our outreach efforts so we can develop genuine relationships with more folks who share our goal of helping others achieve financial success.
Here are some of the ways we recently made an effort to interact with financial bloggers:
- Made plans to co-host and serve as guests in financial Twitter chats: In addition to having XYPN team members joining in Twitter chats, we’ve tapped the collective knowledge of our members who will be providing a few hours of their time in these chats to provide expert answers on consumer questions.
- Worked together with a number of financial bloggers to produce a free consumer resource: Along with XYPN members, we gathered financial tips from financial bloggers to compile a PDF download with links back to contributing bloggers that we’ll provide to our site visitors who are looking to start developing more know-how on money.
- Sponsored fun contests with prizes including a free pass to everyone’s favorite conference: We're currently running an essay contest where the winner will receive a free FinCon15 pass (the conference to be at for financial media) along with a free pass to our #XYPN15 National Conference, money for travel expenses, free nights in the conference hotel, and some XYPN swag. Everyone is welcome to enter!
- Invited bloggers with relevant experience to speak at FinCon15: Our co-founders Alan Moore and Michael Kitces are helping PT organize the first-ever Advisor Symposium at #FinCon15, and invited members of the FinCon community to speak.
- Provided fun freebies: ...just because we love our blogger friends! In honor of Carl Richards’ upcoming keynotes at #XYPN15 and FinCon15, we’re working on giving away 100 copies of Carl’s new book, The One Page Financial Plan. And no, there are no strings attached. Bloggers were welcome to use two copies of the book however they liked.
- Spotlighted a number of rad bloggers on our own site: One of our favorite things to do is help consumers find even more resources to help them get on the right track with their personal finances. We loved highlighting some of our favorite bloggers for Gen Y, and we were honored that we were asked to take part in The Debt Myth’s #DebtIsNotForever campaign.
At XYPN, we hope we can continue interacting with the blogger community. We love getting the opportunity to connect with like minded bloggers on a mission to spread financial knowledge -- and who we can nerd out with over spreadsheets and investments returns.
Why We Interact with Financial Bloggers
That’s how we engage with bloggers. But why do we do it -- especially as many of these interactions demand work, time, and effort on our part (and even some freebies with no strings attached)?
Because, again, we believe in what many personal finance bloggers are doing. Because we share a mission to empower and educate consumers so that people can start doing more with their money and get on the right track to financial success.
It really is that simple.
We want to develop great, sincere relationships with the financial blogging community because we appreciate anyone who’s shaking up the accepted way of doing things and questioning old school, outdated methods. We love connecting with the bloggers who are innovators and who are willing to try something new.
We interact with bloggers because we share a similar message with many in the blogging community: helping consumers live their great life through financial education and empowerment.
How Your Financial Firm Can Successfully Interact with Other Communities
The biggest challenge in engaging with bloggers seems to be their natural (and probably healthy) skepticism of brands and businesses. And your financial planning firm is a business. This isn’t completely unwarranted.
XYPN’s marketing manager, a former financial blogger, still receives spammy emails from companies and PR firms hoping to convince her to promote their product, to review their book, to link back to their site, to interview their CEO -- all on a blog that was rolled into her professional site months ago (so it doesn’t even technically exist!). Oh, and all for zero compensation.
It’s frustrating when you’re on the receiving end of emails that rudely demand your time and effort, sent by contacts who promptly disappear, never to be heard from again, when you mention that you’d like to receive something in return for your work.
But this makes for a difficult blogging nut for businesses with good intentions to crack. Remember those free copies of Carl Richards’ new books we offered to members of the financial blogger community?
Even though we explicitly stated that the books would be the recipients to keep and do what they wanted with -- even if they wanted to use the hardbacks as coasters -- we still had bloggers refuse to accept them unless we purchased some sort of advertising or sponsorship package from them.
Without a doubt, there’s some degree of mistrust if you’re running more than your own personal blog. But you can successfully engage with bloggers and have a great experience as a business.
We define a successful interaction as one where both parties walk away feeling great about each other. Sure, it sounds a little fluffy, but it fits our goals. We believe in establishing genuine relationships -- and friendships -- with the individuals and other brands in the financial industry that share a message similar to ours.
And we think that’s the only way to interact with anyone: with the end goal of developing a real connection with the other person involved.
There are no secrets to breaking into other communities and becoming part of them. It doesn’t matter if you’re an individual or a company. The way to success is the same for us all.
Be real. Be genuine. Do nice things for folks because you can. Express appreciation for someone else’s work. Engage and have a real conversation (and leave the sales pitch at your office).
Want more support to help start, market, and grow your own financial planning business? Learn more about XY Planning Network and what we have to offer Gen X and Gen Y advisors looking to do business, better.