Marketing: how do financial planners get it right?
For his latest Intelligent Adviser podcast, Robin Powell spoke to Martin Bamford. Martin is an experienced financial planner who in 2017 launched his own agency, Bamford Media, to help financial services businesses with marketing.
Now a prolific personal finance writer and commentator, he has received multiple awards for his work, including Best Blogger of the Year and Best Social Media Adviser.
In this podcast, Martin tells Robin what's most important for an adviser to get right when it comes to their website, and what kinds of content have been most effective during the coronavirus crisis.
Listen to the podcast by clicking above. If you don't have half an hour to spare, here are some of the highlights:
On investors' reaction to the crisis:
"We have a firm with around 500 individual clients, and they have been incredibly well behaved, if I can put it that way. Out of those 500, I would say two, possibly three panicked in the early days when it came to some market volatility.
"I don't think that individual, particularly advised clients, have seen anywhere near the level of losses or volatility that some of the headlines suggest."
On how the crisis might change the planning profession:
"Lots of change was already happening and all this crisis has done is served as a catalyst to speed up that change. So for example, remote meetings are now a widely accepted practice... It's just a good way to hold a client meeting."
On what makes a good adviser website:
"I think we have to recognise that writing for the web is very different to writing for a publication. We're looking for short sentences, easy to scan words... Key messages rather than huge essays about what we do.
"I'd always say to financial planners, go that extra mile, take it seriously, because... the website really is the hub of what you do online, and if you scrimp and try and save a little bit with an off the shelf website... long term, unfortunately, there's a loss involved."
On the importance of content:
"Content is really about demonstrating that you have a particular authority in an area... it's about building trust and rapport, and the way we use content... is to answer their [clients'] questions.
"You do that enough, and people when they're searching for the answers to their questions, find your content, and realise you're genuinely helpful - you're not trying to sell them anything, you're not talking about products or funds, you're simply answering questions people genuinely have. And what a fantastic way to position yourself."
On content which is working during the crisis:
"I'm seeing a lot of good response from video marketing right now. I think there's something very powerful about being able to see the whites of someone's eyes. Whilst we can't see people face to face we're missing that a little bit.
"Reassuring content which tries to unpick some of the economic and market ramifications of what's going on... If you can create content which explains the government support packages for businesses and individuals, which answers common questions around those, that's fantastic."
On social media:
"It's vital... it's where we go these days for a recommendation to somebody."
You can listen to the podcast here.
If you missed the previous episode of the Intelligent Adviser podcast, here it is:
If you would like help with content marketing, investor education or client communication, my colleagues and I at Regis Media will be happy to help you. Just drop us a line via the website or email Sam Willet at firstname.lastname@example.org.