As I wrote about a few weeks ago, we’re all wired for stories.
There are no better people to explain the benefits of financial planning than your clients telling their story.
It’s also why we were excited to set out on a road trip last month taking us to Bolton, London and Hitchin to film 16 more client videos. Meeting people who’ve had their lives changes by financial planning was a fantastic experience, reaffirming why you do what you do, and why we do what we do.
So, with the client’s words ringing in our ears, here are five things we learned on our road trip.
1. Traditional testimonials are dead
Short anonymous testimonials displayed only on one page of your site are frankly pointless. They have no authenticity, provide no value to the person reading it and our research shows only 1 – 2% of your website visitors will ever look at them.
You might as well not bother!
It’s far better to tell longer stories through case studies or films. Ideally, these short films will follow a similar pattern:
- The set-up, explaining why and when the needed financial advice
- The challenges they had and how they were overcome
- The outcome, what’s changed in their lives after they’ve experienced financial planning
The final video only needs to be 120 – 150 seconds long. Nevertheless, it’s far more authentic than a testimonial and gives prospects a deeper insight into the benefits of financial planning.
2. You won’t find it hard to find clients willing to take part
Many advisers and planners react negatively when we first suggest interviewing their clients for written case studies or filming an interview with them.
“I’m not asking my clients to do that.” (Why not? What have you got to lose?)
“My clients won’t want to be filmed.” (Ask the right clients, in the right way, and you might be surprised how readily some clients agree to take part.)
“I don’t want to ask them to reveal personal information.” (They won’t have to.)
If you believe in the value of financial planning, who better to showcase your work than existing clients? It’s only natural to be nervous about asking people to appear in front of the camera. But that’s not a reason to be closed-minded. Approach clients in the right way and you’ll be surprised at how readily they agree to help.
3. Planners should be proud of what they do
I love filming these interviews. They are always fascinating and reaffirm the benefits of financial planning. Selfishly, they also reaffirm why we do what we do here at The Yardstick Agency. After all, the more effectively we market the financial planners we work with, the more people who will benefit from financial planning.
Without exception, the clients we interviewed on our nationwide tour spoke of their:
- “Confidence to take big decisions”
- The comfort they get from having “a safe pair of hands” look after their future
- How their adviser/planner has become “a trusted friend”
If only some of the people who insist on putting down our great profession could be on set with us. In the meantime, be proud of what you do and how you change your client’s lives. Let’s shout the benefits of financial planning from the rooftops rather than shouting at each other online.
4. Recording the films is only half the job
In many ways filming the client stories is the easy bit. All we are doing is have a chat with some nice people who want to say lovely things about their financial planner
The hard work comes next. As a minimum the films need:
- Editing, a process which can take four or five times as long as the shoot
- Adding them to your website, ideally, each film should have its own page along with with a transcript (valuable keywords!)
- Prepping for use on social media; ideally with short clips perfect for LinkedIn or Facebook
- Adding to your newsletter (it does no harm to remind existing clients about the benefits of financial planning)
Filming client videos requires an investment of time, resources and money. It would be a tragedy not to squeeze every ounce of value out of them.
You can read more about the nine ways to promote your client videos by clicking here.
5. A boost for your team
There’s always a buzz in the office or the location chosen for the shoot. There’s a sense of nervous anticipation in both clients, the planners and their teams.
- Will the clients turn up?
- Will they say nice things?
- Will they be okay in front of the camera?
On every shoot we’ve done, the answer has always been a resounding “yes” to all three.
Filming, and the resulting stories, definitely give a boost to your team. Remember, they might not see the benefits of financial planning first-hand as you do. The client stories confirm the great work that your team does to support you.
Take the leap
If now’s the time to take the leap from boring, stale and pointless testimonials, feel free to get in touch. We’d be happy to talk to you more about how we create client stories to showcase your work.
Drop an email to email@example.com or call the office on 0115 8965 300.
In the meantime, you can read our top 10 tips for creating client videos by clicking here.