How to Approach Sensitive Subjects in Personal Finance

As online physical and mental health services become more affordable, content creators are becoming more open with their physical and mental health issues. Sharing your own experiences and being authentic helps your audience connect with you and your content.

Multiple studies have shown connections to money, mental health, and physical health. As more content creators in the personal finance and financial independence community become more open about these issues, here are a few tips to approach these sensitive subjects when creating your content:

  • Know You’re Not Alone
  • Find a Professional
  • Avoid Shaming Others
  • Be Respectful
  • Know Your Audience
  • Build Community

Content creation, degree programs, books, and more are making the connection between money, physical health, and mental health. Awareness of the intersection of these areas is increasing rapidly.

During times of inflation, down markets, and other negative events having secure physical and mental health is vital to success. Secure physical and mental health leads to better money management. By creating personal finance content that promotes financial literacy and well-being, we help alleviate our audience’s financial anxiety.

Know You’re Not Alone

Mental illness is more common than you might think. The CDC states that over 50% will be diagnosed with mental illness in their lifetime and that 1 in 5 Americans experience a mental illness in a given year.

As mental health becomes less taboo, people are discussing the connections between this topic and their niches. There are several content creators in the personal finance community that blog, podcast, and create videos about the intersection of money, mental health, and physical health.

For example, Daniella Flores of I Like to Dabble shares tips on these challenges to mental health when starting a blog or business:

  • Getting Started
  • Dealing With Rejection
  • Financial Anxiety
  • Regulating Your Energy

Daniella recommends accessing free courses, building community, asking for feedback, getting professional help in creating a business, focusing your energy, and prioritizing your mental health.

As a creator, you have the power to decide how much to share with your audience about your personal experiences and struggle. You can share your story as you utilize different tools in your own life to manage and heal – taking them along your journey. You may also choose to relay information based on lessons and resources you have accumulated over time.

Wherever you are in your journey, and however you choose to engage with your audience, remember that you are not alone.

Find a Professional

Amanda Clayman, a mental health expert in money issues, recommends seeking professional help. An expert in mental health or a financial planner eases financial anxiety for those who feel it. Tax experts are recommended for complex tax issues, and mental health and money experts need to be recommended for complex mental health issues revolving around money.

Some content creators are becoming experts as well. Degrees and education in the fields of money and psychology are becoming more common and available. Some of these degree and certificate options include:

  • Behavioral Finance
  • Financial Psychology
  • Financial Behavior Specialist
  • Psychology of Finance
  • Financial Therapy

Pursuing further education on the intersection of finance and psychology is another avenue to better connect with your audience and articulate your purpose of addressing the internal factors that drive the money behaviors of many.

Avoid Shaming Others

Your audience may already be feeling shame, guilt, and financial anxiety. Increasing those negative feelings around money may not be helpful for your audience. Shaming others about their financial situation compounds negative feelings associated with money.

Being sympathetic and empathetic with and to your audience builds deeper connections and rapport. Authenticity and connection build trust. Trust leads to more sales and profits.

Be Respectful

When words and content are your career, respect is a must. Be respectful of your audience and new audience members.

One way of being respectful is to use content or trigger warnings. If your content even has the possibility of affecting the emotional state of a part of your audience, consider using a warning statement that is clearly seen to warn the viewer of what is to come. You want to give them the option of avoiding the content if that is best for them.

In writing on the internet, TW is used for Trigger Warning, and CW is used for Content Warning. Taking the time to consider your audience’s possible discomfort and traumas in this way shows that you respect them and their concerns. Everyone has a unique perspective. Be mindful and understand that your experience is not the same as your audience’s experiences.

Know Your Audience

As with any other content know your audience. What are their pain points? What is your audience’s intent in searching for your content?

Know why you’re sharing these sensitive topics. Money is an emotional topic and many have negative emotions surrounding it. Money is still considered taboo to be talked about in some parts of society.

There are a few ways to know your audience better. You can interact with them on social media. More than respond with ‘likes’ and ‘hearts’ when they comment, seek out more probing questions to learn about the areas that matter to them.

You can also use polls on different social media platforms to find out what content they are looking for and would like to see.

Build Community

If you know a content creator in personal finance or another niche that has experience with a sensitive topic, share their work. There are many content creators that share their experiences with issues like mental illness, chronic pain, financial insecurity, disability, and more. We can learn so much from each other.

You can connect with other creators by consistently supporting their content and commenting. You can also look for online groups where creators gather. You can search for mastermind groups or mentorship opportunities with those who align with your goals. You can also find creators you enjoy and share their work with your audience.

In addition to sharing other content creators’ work, consider a collaboration with other creators. There are many ways to do this like guest posting on each other’s platforms. Pooling audiences is beneficial for both parties. Audience members can draw from multiple experiences.

Collaboration builds community.

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