Why you should explain your financial planning process (beyond the standard 5 steps)
Please stop marketing
Most people have never been to a financial adviser before. Nor do they know someone who has. You're the person they're relying on to explain how it all works.
So let people into your process. And don't let a lack of information be the thing that stops someone from saying yes.
Some things are not marketing opportunities
In the coming weeks, you're probably going to hear a whole lot of, "How financial planners can rebuild trust and reputations in a post Royal Commission world" opinion pieces.
Spoiler alert. This is one of them.
But this isn't about writing to your clients and reinforcing the good work you do.
It’s something very, very different.
What to do when a guru says to...
It’s 8.21am on Anzac Day. Already in my social feeds I’ve seen posts from financial advisers saying "Happy Anzac Day", and connecting Anzac Day with the need to buy insurance.
Anzac Day is not a marketing opportunity.
Today is not about your business.
Want more positive stories about financial planning in the media?
Most financial advisers I speak to, aren’t short on marketing ideas.
And in addition to the pressure they put on themselves to have a crack at it all, they’re faced with consultants, experts, and gurus telling them they “have to” use some specific tactic.
Truth is, you don’t.
Identify pain points and improve your financial planning process
Hardly a week goes by in financial planning land, where there isn’t someone bemoaning the lack of positive stories being told about the profession in the general media.
But “news”, particularly in the digital space, is no longer controlled by the mass media.
The common folk — yes, you and I — can now, more easily than ever before, tell stories that matter too.
Your marketing plan is just like a long-term investment strategy
Sometimes I think we overcomplicate things.
We spend a bunch of time surveying our entire client base, instead of just having a conversation with our 10 favourite clients.
And sometimes we miss the obvious. The small cues that tell us every day whether something is working, or not.
Financial adviser marketing mistake: Not knowing your ideal client
One of the things that typifies many financial planners’ marketing tactics, is a flurry of activity once or twice a year, followed by deathly silence. It’s the marketing equivalent of investing $12,000 when you think the market’s bottomed out, rather than $1,000 each month.
But if your marketing activity is dictated by your enthusiasm, how busy you are, or how full (or empty) your bank account is, then you might want to consider a different, more consistent approach.
Is your annual review process about you or your clients?
When you know who your ideal client is, how you structure and price your services gets simpler; how and where you reach new clients through marketing becomes more targeted, efficient and effective; and how you communicate your value becomes more obvious.
And the time you spend getting that clarity, will be repaid many times over.
Do your clients love or loathe money saving tips?
Do your clients jump at the chance to attend their annual review, or are they reluctant participants in what they see as an administrative part of your process?
Review or progress meetings are an important element to maintaining an ongoing relationship with your clients. But it you're finding your clients are less than enthusiastic about attending, there are a few things to consider.
What's missing in the transition from industry to profession?
If you're sharing money saving tips in meetings, on your blog, or via social media, don't forget to consider whether this style of advice really resonates with your ideal clients.
You need to ensure you’re matching your message to the people you’re trying to reach.
Your website is like a financial plan — to be successful it needs goals
Earlier this month, Matthew Rowe, chair of the FPA, came out asking members to stop referring to financial planning as an "industry", and start referring to it as a "profession".
But simply telling people to refer to you as a profession and relying on old fashioned evidence like degrees, legislation and membership organisations, seems pretty backward to me. And it’s missing a giant step.
Should you use stock photos on your website?
When you create a financial plan, you start by understanding your clients’ needs and goals. Because without deeply understanding point A (now) and point B (future goals), creating a plan that helps bridge the gap between the two becomes an endless journey with no signposts and no map.
And it’s the same for your website.
You can purchase some pretty decent stock photos these days, but there’s also a tonne that are more cheesy than a cheddar factory. Unfortunately, it’s the cheesy ones that can have a big, and often unwanted impact if you’re using them on your website.