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FinCon 2014: Takeaways (and Beignets) from New Orleans

FinCon 2014: Takeaways (and Beignets) from New Orleans

Money and media met last week at the fourth annual FinCon in New Orleans, and CSG was on hand to discuss best practices and industry trends with the prominent bloggers, podcasters, financial advisors, journalists and authors who also attended.

As second-time attendees, we remain impressed by the passion demonstrated and the wealth of knowledge shared at one of the most unique conferences in the financial services industry. Here are some of the tips we picked up this time around.

 

Be Original

The #FinCon14 hashtag was active throughout the three-day conference, with roughly 5,300 mentions. Jeff Goins’ tweet spreading Chris Druckers’ message about originality (below) was the most shared during FinCon14.

Chris Ducker’s sentiment was echoed throughout sessions across the conference by industry-leading bloggers, authors and speakers. One of the best ways to connect with your audience and build a loyal following and a successful brand platform, they said, is to be original and personalize your message.

For example, Paula Pant, author of the popular blog Afford Anything, uses self-deprecating humor and personal anecdotes to engage her audience and make personal finance messages fun and interesting. On his site My Wife Quit Her Job, Stephen Chou displays 25 fun facts about himself and his wife and posts regular podcasts in order to humanize his brand, making his story relatable to his audience and business prospects.

The nature of money is transactional, but talking and writing about money should be much more personal. In the financial media community, it’s important to remember that your voice is just that—yours. Being original and personalizing your message will go a long way with your audience.

 

Podcasting: So Hot Right Now

Whether attending Joe Saul-Sehy’s session on podcasting, listening to one of the nine live podcasts hosted during the conference or casually bumping into the guys behind the Money-Guy podcast at a networking event, one thing was clear: Podcasting was a big presence at FinCon14. Podcasting isn’t new—the Money-Guy Podcast started in 2006, But it has gained a lot of attention in the past few years, as the digital media landscape has become more interactive and portable devices, like tablets and phones, have made it easier to download and stream on the go.

 

Viral is Not Always the Goal

A viral post is often a dream for a journalist or brand, but it’s important to remember that going viral should not always be the goal. As Emma Johnson of the blog Wealthy Single Mommy reminded us at FinCon: if your audience is niche, your goal should be to engage with that particular audience. Delivering relevant, high-quality content to your target audience should always be the top priority.

Of course, increased exposure doesn’t hurt, and there are a few things that may help generate buzz:

  • Cameron Huddleston, Kiplinger, suggests putting a negative or number in a headline to secure and clicks from readers.
  • Jennifer Barrett, CNBC, recommends provoking a strong reaction from your audience.
  • Afford Anything’s Pant suggests using Click to Tweet to encourage social sharing of posts.

 

FinCon Buzzword: Beignet

Aside from the typical FinCon topics—content development, engagement, social, freelance, podcast—CSG noticed a different kind of word trending at FinCon14: Beignet. Emma Johnson said it best when she tweeted, “You know you’re in NOLA when you walk around in your fancy chiffon navy blue dress covered in beignet powder and no one notices.”

No one at the conference could resist tasting, and sharing, one of New Orleans’ most tempting treats!