News article

From bullied to a sigh of relief, what my son’s homeschooling journey reveals about great websites

My son, Will, was going through a difficult time at school a few years ago.

It was his second year of GCSEs, and he was being bullied. He moved schools (twice) to try and solve the problem, but nothing changed.

Late one night we were in A&E after Will suffered a panic attack. In the early hours, a nurse pulled me to one side and told me something I’d been in denial about: changing schools was never going to work, and Will needed to be homeschooled.

I was happy to accept the principle, but where do I start? I’m not a teacher!

So, I did what most people would do – I consulted Google.

The local authority’s website didn’t help. Another organisation offered a partial solution, but only in the evening.

It was a crucial year for Will’s education, and I was getting increasingly desperate because time was ticking away.

Finally, a solution that fits

Then, I stumbled upon the website for a local firm specialising in tutoring children who were being homeschooled.

Even better, they were a 10-minute walk from Nottingham city centre. I can still recall breathing a massive sigh of relief when I landed on their website. I knew I’d finally found exactly what Will needed.

And this whole experience serves as a powerful reminder.

People search for a financial adviser/planner when they have a trigger – usually a challenge they need to solve, or an aspiration they want to achieve.

Stumbling across your website should trigger that same sense of relief I felt while researching options for Will – namely the feeling that they’re “home” and have found precisely the expert they’ve been looking for.

You do that by including three things on your website’s homepage and throughout the site:

1. Empathy: Don’t talk about products and services.I Instead, replay their problem, challenge, aspiration or objective to them, show that you understand, and explain how you will help.

2. Your team: Showcase your team and allow potential clients to start getting to know the people they’ll develop relationships with.

3. Your existing clients: There’s nothing more powerful than people you already work with telling potential new clients about the benefits of working with you. Short testimonial videos are the best way to do this.

You’re in the minority if you do all three

We recently reviewed the websites of 500 advice/planning firms and found that most didn’t include key things on their home pages.

74% didn’t feature photos of their team and a massive 94% didn’t showcase their clients.

That’s not surprising when our recent social media poll showed only 35% believe an adviser/planner’s website homepage should display images of their team and clients.

If you decide to do both there are two “wins” to be had here.

Firstly, if you include images, photos or videos of your clients and team on your website’s homepage, you’ll stand out from the crowd.

Secondly, by doing all three, on the homepage and throughout the site, potential clients are more likely to feel the sense of relief you’re looking for.

As Donald Miller says in Building a StoryBrand: “The customer is the hero of the story, not your brand. When you position your customer as the hero and yourself as the guide, you shift the focus to how you can help them, which is ultimately what drives engagement and sales.”

And finally

I should point out that I have Will’s permission to tell his story. In fact, he’s always been happy to talk about his mental health in a bid to help others.

He successfully completed his GCSEs, went on to get better A-level results than his old man, and is now a professional ice hockey player at Coventry Blaze, where his sponsor last year was Energise, a charity dedicated to improving people’s mental health through physical activity.

If you’d like to chat about your website, or your child is experiencing the same issues Will did, I’m always happy to chat.

Just drop an email to or give me a call on 07785 284429.

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