Not another generic “Budget Update” (or, how not to bore your clients to death)

A week from today, weary from a night in front of the tele, hundreds of finance geeks will collectively knock out a seemingly endless stream of articles about Joe Hockey’s night of nights — the Federal Budget.

Financial product providers and dealer groups will then collate, primp and brand their versions of these Budget Updates, and send them (in a pointless quest to be first) to financial planners across the country.

Finally, in a vomit of mass communication, financial planners will then share these updates with their clients in one face-palming blast of irrelevance.

Make. It. Stop.

Budget Update Flowchart

So how do you keep your clients informed about the Federal Budget?

Break it down into bite-sized chunks

Rather than communicating all the budget changes in one large blog post or email, think about breaking it into chunks.

Shorter, more specific articles, that have headlines which clearly explain what it’s about and who it’s for, helps your clients quickly pinpoint what is relevant to their situation.

Help by being the filter.

Explain the implications

Your budget updates can either be a set of facts, or you can use them to educate your clients in a meaningful way.

  1. Try explaining why the changes are being implemented or proposed

  2. Make it clear whether each point is a proposed change, immediate change or future change

  3. Add a “what that means for you…” statement to explain the relevance to their situation

Tip: Listen to Mark Bouris' first podcast as an example of how to explain economic concepts in a simple way. The f-bombs are optional.

Use client-focused language

Learn from the best financial communicator out there — Scott Pape. He knows his audience and communicates in a way that appeals to them. It's educational and entertaining.

  • Use simple language

  • Use analogies

  • Ditch the jargon

  • Avoid clichés

  • Make it relevant to your audience

  • Have fun

Take the Budget Update challenge

To help stop the spread of boring, generic Budget Update disease, I'm issuing a challenge to use the following three phrases in your communications.

  1. Shirt-front

  2. Rainbows and unicorns

  3. Ice cream

Points will be deducted if you mention, "at the end of the day" and "working families".

Go on. Have fun with it.

And don't forget to send me your updates.