I’m sure we’re all glad to see the back of March 2020!
Earlier in the month, we produced a free guide to help financial advisers and planners communicate more effectively with their clients during the coronavirus pandemic. You can still download it by clicking here.
Last week, we explained why these unprecedented times are an opportunity for those financial advisers and planners who choose to take it. If you missed that article you can read it again by clicking here.
This week we want to offer you some practical hints and tips to take advantage of the coronavirus lockdown. If you were on our webinar last night, please forgive us for repeating these tips here. We want as many advisers and planners as possible to benefit from them. So, here they are:
1. Call your clients
We’ve heard some advisers say that they are being reactive, and that their clients know where they are if they need them. There are many reasons why a client might not contact their adviser or planner right now. Some might be worried about admitting they are anxious, others might have been too busy. Whatever the reason, silence isn’t a guarantee that clients aren’t worried.
That’s why our first tip is to pick up the phone to your clients. Talk about the markets, the weather, how they are coping. It doesn’t really matter. The simple fact that you’ve made the effort to call will be remembered in years to come.
I’ve been trying to think of a downside to calling clients for the past month now. I still can’t think of one. If anyone reading this can, please let me know, I’m happy to be convinced otherwise.
2. Update your website
Clients and prospects will still visit your website during the lockdown. It’s important that they know you’re open for business.
We’re not usually a fan of pop-ups but it’s the best way of ensuring that whoever lands on your website sees your message. Add one, but remember to keep it up to date and take it down when this all comes to an end.
3. Update your Unbiased and VouchedFor profiles
We’ll all have more time on our hands during the lockdown. Some people will use that time to engage with an adviser or planner. Some might be worried about how the market volatility will affect their financial future. Others might be taking advantage of the extra time to sort their finances out. Either way, many people looking for advice will head to VouchedFor and Unbiased.
So, why not update your profile to make it clear that you’re open for business? I’ve not seen anyone do this yet. If you do it soon you will stand out from the crowd. Something that’s always useful!
4. Update your Google My Business listing
Many people first encounter your business following a brand search (one run for your business name) which displays your Google My Business listing. Now is the perfect time to update it to make it clear that you are still open for business.
Also, why not ask clients with whom you have had video meetings to leave a review specifically about their experience. This will help to reassure potential clients that they can still get the advice they need without meeting you face to face.
5. Update your social media banners
Each of your social media accounts allows you to display a banner image. These are often overlooked and rarely updated. Now is the perfect time to update yours to include your contact details, and make it clear you are still open for business and taking on new clients.
6. Create and distribute hero content
Hero content is a notch above the content you usually produce. It could be a guide, checklist or infographic. Either way, it’s something which is timely, engaging and incredibly useful.
Create it and add it to your website. Google will love the unique content. Next, turn it into a lead magnet by distributing it on social media via organic posts and use adverts to drive traffic to it. Remember though, to collect people’s email addresses in return for downloading it.
You can learn more about lead magnets by clicking here.
7. Send newsletters more frequently
Picking up the phone to clients is vital, but it’s not scalable long term. That’s where newsletters come in. They are perfect for communicating with larger audiences.
Your clients, prospects and professional connections need information, confidence and reassurance right now. Some will welcome a little light relief too. So, for the lockdown period, why not give them what they need more frequently?
8. But mix it up
Financial planning is important, but as we said, some light relief might be welcome. As might articles related to the current situation but aren’t directly about financial matters.
Topics we’ll write about in April include:
- World Book Night celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, top 10 books from 10 years
- How to speak to children about coronavirus
- How to keep yourself safe from scams during the coronavirus pandemic
I know some of you reading this might be sceptical. We monitor open rates and know that clients of advisers/planners find this content valuable. Try it, you might be surprised!
9. Embrace social media
Lockdown means we’ll all spend far more time online. Much of that will be on social media as people interact with friends, family and work colleagues. Sure, very few will discuss their finances. But, if they see your content while online, they might engage with it.
Answer questions through posts or your own content. Be helpful, sensitive and useful, and it’ll pay dividends.
10. Don’t forget previous prospects
There will be people who you’ve spoken to over the past few years who would make great clients, but for whatever reason didn’t engage you. They will need the same confidence, information and reassurance that your clients need. Perhaps even more so as they’ve not benefited from your knowledge, wisdom and coaching.
Now’s the time to reconnect with them.
Pick up the phone, send newsletters, email your hero content. Remember though, be helpful, sensitive and useful.
11. Make professional connections look good with their clients
All accountants and many solicitors will have been very busy over the past few weeks helping their clients through this difficult period.
So, why not help them by creating content they can use with their clients. Take the initiative, produce the content, brand it for them (consider dual branding, with your logo and theirs) and send it to them.
Some won’t use it. But many will.
They’ll also remember you for the act of kindness for years to come and it’ll open doors with their clients.
12. Run webinars
Webinars are another great way of communicating to large audiences.
Consider running webinars for your clients alongside your newsletter communications. Invite your professional connections to a webinar or go even further and invite people you don’t know. Even if a handful of people show up, it’s still a very efficient use of your time.
A note of caution though. The number of webinars has risen sharply in recent weeks. Look at what other people are doing and head in a different direction. Give people what they want, for sure, just not what they can get elsewhere.
Finally, check your mindset
I know some firms are pulling back from marketing right now.
That’s exactly the wrong thing to do. Sure, I’m biased, I run a marketing agency, but now really is the time to be on the front foot. If you want the proof, we’ve been very active in the past few weeks and have had a record number of new enquiries in March, despite coronavirus.
With the same caveat that I gave last week*, the lockdown period is a huge opportunity, I hope these practical tips help you take advantage of it.
If we can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to ask, by emailing email@example.com or calling 0115 8965 300.
*When I talk about ‘opportunity’ please don’t think that I am in any way belittling the threat to us all from coronavirus. As a business owner, who employs 22 people and has a son and parents who are in the high-risk group I’m all too aware of the threats. I just believe that there are always opportunities in every situation, and we all know, only too well, what the threats are.