3rd April, 2020 - Webinar replay
30 minutes 12 quick fire marketing wins for financial advisers and planners
Phil Bray 0:01
Good evening, everybody. It is seven o’clock, our appointed time. And first of all, I just want to take a opportunity to welcome everybody. This is the first evening webinar we’ve ever done. Sun is shining, it seems like a civilised time of the day. Can everyone just give me a quick thumbs up or do something in chat to say that you can hear us? That will be, that will be fantastic. And I’m assuming everyone can hear us. Let me just check. And yeah, fantastic. Thanks, everybody. You can hear us which is great. So thanks, thanks for coming at such short notice. We only put this out yesterday afternoon. It seemed like a good idea at the time. And what we’re going to be doing today is having really practical hints and tips to help you with your marketing during this Coronavirus lockdown. So we’re going to have have 12 – it was originally 10 – but it’s now 12. Had a couple of other ideas. 12 quickfire marketing wins for financial advisers and planners right now. As usual, we’re joined by Dan Campbell. Dan, can you hear us, do you want to say hello to everybody?
Dan Campbell 1:06
Hi, everyone. Good evening. If everybody could just let us know if you can hear me as well. Because we’re practising good social distancing, and we’re about 20 miles apart. Perfect. Thanks, everyone.
Phil Bray 1:21
So, Dan is going to field the questions. We’re going to keep it to 30 minutes. As I say, it’s 30 minutes, 12 quickfire tips. I will hang around afterwards if anybody’s got any questions. But I’m sure we all want to finish at eight o’clock so we can all pop outside and say thank you to our carers and the NHS workers in what seems to be a traditional manner, at least in the last two Thursdays. But if anybody wants their questions answering, drop them into the chat, drop them into the Q&A. Dan will handle them, he will stop me, he’ll ask the questions and we’ll, we’ll see how we get on. Hopefully, that’s okay with everybody. So what I want to start with… let me get this right, there we go. Number one tip. It’s pretty obvious, but call your client. It’s not too late to do it but the window is closing. And I’m astonished by the numbers of advisers and planners who haven’t, and this is anecdotal, but haven’t got in touch with their clients. And just because I saw a few tweets go through earlier on the week where advisers have said, “well, my clients know where I am if they need me”. But just because they haven’t called doesn’t mean that they’re not worried. They could have been in crisis management mode for the past two or three weeks, because they’re managers in large businesses that are moving people to remote working, because they’re business owners, and they’re struggling for their very existence. But I would really encourage you to, if you’ve not done it already, to pick up the phone, talk about markets, talk about how they’re feeling, talk about the weather. But how we act now as, in my case, as a marketer, and as your case of advisers and planners, will be remembered in years to come. And that simple human gesture of picking the phone up will be remembered long after this current crisis passes. And it will help turn clients into advocates and it’s advocates which will help build your business by giving you testimonials, by being on client videos, by referring you on to others, by advocating on your behalf. And I’ve spoken to a few planners who have literally spent three or four days sat down ringing their clients. And to a person, they’ve benefited from it, both the adviser the planner and their clients as well. So first thing I would really recommend. It’s not too late but, as I say, the window is closing. Get on the phone to your client and see how they are doing. Dan, I saw a couple of things come through, do we need to stop there? Or should I carry on?
Dan Campbell 3:54
No, carry on, I’ll, I’m going to collate a couple of questions till the end as just general, general queries, I think.
Phil Bray 4:01
And the next thing, update your website. Include a business as usual message. And, as I say, this is practical stuff. This is stuff you can go away and do, hopefully tomorrow, over the weekend, early next week. And, if there’s stuff you don’t know how to do, then give us a shout because we do and we can help. So, update your website. Include a business as usual message but empathise as well, explain to people that you know how they’re feeling as you’re probably feeling fairly similar as well. And also explain that you’re taking on new enquiries from new clients. We don’t want people to think, and prospects to think, because you’re practising social distancing, because you’re not going into the office, that you’re no longer open for business. We’re starting to see some really cracking messages come through about Zoom meetings. I saw one while I was waiting for this webinar to start from Damien at Otter, Damien Clyburn at Otter, talking about a Zoom meeting he had today that was… made use of timeline tech, and it went really, really well. So, make it clear that you’re still taking on new enquiries. And the way to do that, for me – I’m not a fan of popups, I hate the things – but, from right now, a popup message on your website, talking about the fact that you’re open for business as usual, clients can contact you in the normal way, you’re very happy to take on new enquiries from clients, people who might be worried about the current situation, people are using lockdown as an opportunity to sort out their personal finances. That message, I think, should be part of the popup. Yeah, put it on as a blog as well. But there’s no guarantee someone’s ever going to visit the blog section, where if this is a pop up on your site, and it appears on whatever page they enter your site, then that’s a good thing to do. Get the cookies, right. And what I mean by that is, it’s a bit annoying if the popup is still there when you go onto every page on the site, or if you come back to the site, and the pop up appears again. So if you, you can set it… set pop ups so that they might only ever appear once or would start reappearing again in seven days. There’s a number of different options. And you could… if it’s a pop up, you can update the messages as well. So updating your website, top tip number two. Number three, update your Unbiased and VouchedFor profiles. I had a quick look, I have not seen anybody do this. So change your opening statement. I believe that doing the lockdown period is an opportunity to talk to prospects, to talk to people who aren’t clients yet but are using the lockdown period to sort their finances out, or they’re worried. And if your clients were worried then prospects, people who don’t have the benefit of your knowledge, wisdom and coaching over the years, they’re going to be even more worried than your clients. And they’re going to be concerned, do they have enough? Do they still have enough? What does the market mean, movements mean for them? Should they come out? Should they go back in? All of those different things. So we could see a rise of people searching on sites such as Unbiased and VouchedFor. They were popular in normal times, if I can put it like that, why wouldn’t they continue to be popular? So consider changing your opening statement on Unbiased, you’ve got a 20 word opening statement, actually, it’s a bit longer. Consider changing the main 200 word statement on Unbiased. Explain that you’re still available for initial meetings via Zoom, it’s business as usual. But also show that you understand how people are feeling right now. And I believe that firms, advisers and planners, will be able to take advantage of this opportunity. If they’re helpful, sensitive, and useful. Those three things. Being helpful, sensitive, and useful. I think that’s really important right now. But updating your Unbiased and VouchedFor profiles, I personally think is really important. I’ve not seen anybody do it yet. So, by doing it, you will stand out. You could even change your image. Don’t put your logo there, especially if this would apply on Unbiased. Don’t put your logo there, put on a graphic “still open”, something like that. It would really catch the eye. So, number three, look at your directory profiles, Unbiased and VouchedFor. Number four, your Google My Business listing. So update it. Your Google listing, a search results page for your business, is often the first time a prospect meets you. And they might have been referred to you, they might have been given your details by a professional connection, they might have found you on Unbiased, VouchedFor, driven past your office, seen you on social media, whatever it is. And then headed to Google, because that… between someone becoming aware of your business and taking action is Google. And they may well have run a brand search. So, a brand search is one that’s done for your business, or yourself individually. And that means that they will probably have seen your Google My Business listing, which is the listing that appears on the right hand side of a search result for your brand. And now you can go in and give a Coronavirus or COVID-19, as they call it, update. So you could change your working hours, if you’ve changed your working hours. You can have a message on there to confirm that you’re open for business. You could ask… you could put a little blog on there to explain what’s going on. But update your Google My Business listing to make it clear you’re still open. You might also… Google reviews are really important. They’re a ranking factor, they will impress people when you’re doing a brand search. And there’s loads of other reasons why they’re important as well. We talk to firms about putting processes in place to make sure that they collect Google reviews. But I will be going to a couple of clients now. Maybe the first two or three where you’ve done a Zoom call and they’ve said “right, it’s really good”. You’ve had some good feedback. Just go and ask them to give you a Google review, that specifically talks about the fact that the Zoom call, or whatever system it is that you use, worked really well. And I think that would be really quite useful now. You could use it on Google, and you could use it elsewhere in your marketing, as well. Dan, I’m going to take a slurp of my tea. Is there anybody… any questions? I’ve seen a couple of things.
Dan Campbell 10:19
Yeah. So, on the subject of Google My Business accounts, we’ve got a question in from Wasim, who asks, “Do you need a Google account to have a Google My Business account?”
Phil Bray 10:30
That’s a really good question, I don’t know what the answer is to that. Because when I registered for… no, I don’t think you do, Wasim. I will check it out but I don’t think you do, thinking about it logically. Someone may correct me. But you should make sure, everyone should make sure that A) they have claimed their Google My Business listing. If it happens that you do need a Gmail account, then set up a Gmail account specifically for it. But I don’t think that you do come to think of it. And then make sure it’s populated and make sure you’re asking for reviews. Gut feel, Wasim? I don’t think you do but I will check it out for you. Anything else, Dan, or shall I move on?
Dan Campbell 11:13
Yeah, so we’ve got a note from Shabar in their chat. “Google reviews. If they don’t have a Google account, they can’t leave a review. How do you get them to leave a review if they don’t have a Google account?”
Phil Bray 11:26
You get them to set up a Google account. It is a hurdle. It can be a hurdle. So I would, we would always suggest that you ask clients to leave you reviews in two places, Google and VouchedFor. Some clients will do both, some clients will do neither, some clients will do one. There’s various reasons why we recommend Google and VouchedFor, probably don’t have time to go into that today. If they have a Gmail account, then there’s no barrier for them to leave you a review. If they don’t have a Google account, I’ve seen some clients set up Gmail accounts, which is easy enough to do, just specifically to leave a review. And also remember that it isn’t necessarily obvious someone’s account is a Gmail account. So, for example, if you email us at The Yardstick Agency, you wouldn’t actually know our emails are run on Gmail. So don’t assume just because somebody had… it isn’t obviously a Gmail account that isn’t a Gmail account. But you’re right. At the end of the day, that is a barrier and it’s one we just have to accept. But I’ve seen firms with 30, 40, 50 Google reviews. So it isn’t an insurmountable barrier. Shall we crack on, Dan?
Dan Campbell 12:44
Yeah, let’s go.
Phil Bray 12:46
So, next one, update the social media images, banner images. So Dan loves doing these, as head of our branding team. And banners… a lot of, so often forgotten and are rarely updated. And these are the big pictures above your Twitter page or your LinkedIn page or your Facebook page. Sometimes they’ve got logos on there, sometimes they’ve got nice big pictures, and oftentimes, there’s nothing there anyway. But it’s prime real estate online. And during lockdown, more people are going to spend more time online and more people are going to spend more time on social media. So, if you can update your banners, with maybe your contact details, a message that you’re still open for business, that sort of stuff, that has to be a good thing, as well. And it’s really quite easy to, really quite easy to do. Next one, create and distribute what I’m calling, and what we call, hero content. So an example of hero content. Hero content is, is content that is probably longer form than a blog. It’s really informative, it’s very useful, and it’s relevant to the person who receives it. So for example, we put out our Coronavirus guide, two and a half weeks ago, and it’s had over 3000 downloads. And Google started to index it. I was looking earlier and it’s getting Google organic traffic already. It’s got an average read time of seven minutes on the page, which is massive. So create and distribute hero content. Might be a guide, a checklist, an infographic, but it needs to be specific to the current situation. But be creative. And we’ll talk a bit about being creative in other ways. So it might be something along the lines of plugging into people’s fears right now. Will they still have enough? Paul Armson obviously wrote the book Enough? and he was bang on. So many clients want to know, do they have enough to do what they want to do, when they want to do it? And, as markets have dropped, some are going to be thinking and wondering whether they still have enough. So creating hero content, add it to your website, include a call to action, push it out on social media, and consider paid ads on social media. Select your social media platform based on the type of client you work with, not necessarily your preferred social media platform. Two things aren’t always the same. And push it out on there. Make sure you’ve got a mechanism for collecting the name and email address of people who download it. If you’ve got any doubts about this, come and talk to us, we run lead magnet campaigns all the time. But don’t use Google AdWords for lead magnet campaign. Far better off driving traffic from the appropriate social media account. So, number six, create and distribute hero content. It’s quarter past, we’ve done six, this is going okay, we’re on time. I would move to weekly newsletters for a period of time. Your clients will look to you during this time, as will prospects and professional connections, which we’ll come back to in a minute. Your clients will look to you during this period of time for reassurance, confidence, and information. The exact dose of each and how it’s delivered would vary from client to client. But, those are the three things that they will need right now. Phone calls are great. And that’s why we started with picking up the phone to clients. And if you’ve not done that already, I really encourage you to do it. I can’t think, I might be wrong, and some people on this call might suggest otherwise. I’m really happy to listen, but I can’t currently think of a downside. And I have been thinking of, trying to think of a downside to picking up the phone to clients for about three weeks now. But they’re not scaleable long term. So if there are some key messages you want to get out, there are blogs, guides, that sort of stuff that you want to get out, then newsletters are really important. And really useful, really effective way of doing it. You can also see what’s working and what’s not. So right now, personally, I will be moving or considering moving to weekly newsletters. Your gut might be telling you “weekly’s too much”. But if we’re different, number eight, you’ll be memorable and you’ll be useful. So, at the moment, financial planning is important. Clearly. And you’ve got a lot of people out there thinking “do I still have enough to do what I want to do when I want to do it?”. And a lot of conversations, I suspect, with their financial planner will be, will be focused on that. You’re better at telling, you’re a better place to tell me whether that’s correct or not. But mix it up. We’ve always been big fans of putting lifestyle articles into newsletters. So, typically, if we were writing a three article newsletter, there’d be a piece in there about financial planning, there’ll be a piece about there about the business, and also a lifestyle based piece. Now lifestyle based pieces are always popular, often more popular than financial planning based articles. And they’re important because it gives somebody a reason to, or another reason to, continue receiving your newsletter. Clearly, lifestyle articles that you might have included pre lockdown aren’t appropriate now, but you can still mix it up a bit. So these are just three examples of articles that we’re writing for clients this month. World Book Night celebrates it’s 10th anniversary – top 10 books for the last 10 years. You can still order books online, you can get books on tablets, etc. So that might give people just a bit of inspiration to read, pick up another book. How to speak to children about coronavirus. Again, that will be a popular article. And if you’re thinking right now, I completely understand why you might be, “my clients won’t read that”. Follow the evidence. Try it. And I would take a little bet, a little side bet, that your clients will read this sort of stuff. But because it’s distributed by email, you can check whether people are engaging, you can check how many, you can use your email system to check how many people have clicked it, and you can use Google Analytics to see how long they’ve spent reading it. Both numbers look good, do more of it. And really look forward to the day… in fact, we’re seeing it now with clients, with our clients, financial advisers and planners, where their clients are coming back to them and thanking them for the communications during this time. So I would be mixing up the content and backing up phone calls with content distributed by email. And we’ll come to some other options in a minute as well. But backup those phone calls with content that’s distributed by email but mix it up. Be different, be useful right now and clients will remember you, remember you for. Dan, anything else come in? While I have a slurp?
Dan Campbell 19:56
So we’ve had a nice comment come in from Emily. So, our comments, sorry, “Our clients have been really pleased to hear from us by phone and sometimes we’re referring them back to the regular updates we’ve been sending out. The combination seems to be reassuring them.”
Phil Bray 20:10
Dan Campbell 23:47
Yeah. So, we’ve got a few comments in. One from Matt, who holds the title of being the last client that I saw in person before this whole thing started and it seems like an awfully long time ago, doesn’t it? So Matt says, “I’ve done some emails and WhatsApp messages. Everyone has got bigger worries than their money, but they’re grateful for being contacted”.
Phil Bray 24:07
Yeah, 100%. People remember how you, that you reached out to them, that you contacted them. Completely agree. Anything else, Dan?
Dan Campbell 24:14
Yeah. So, Andrew says, “My experience is that clients know what we’re going to say, but want the reassurance of hearing it again and then the affirmation that we haven’t changed our point of view”.
Phil Bray 24:25
Yeah, 100%, 100%. Hearing someone say something is really, really powerful. Be interesting for the counter argument. If anybody thinks there’s a good reason for not picking up the phone to clients then please, please feel free to put it in in the chat. Next, number 11. Make your professional connections look good. So clients of solicitors and accountants, again, we’ll be hurting right now. If you think of the typical client of an accountant, assuming they’re not a private client, they’re probably a business owner. Business owners, they will have a varying degrees of worries right now. They might be operational worries about how they carry on working remotely, they might be more existential worries about whether the business can carry on. The clients of solicitors and accountants will probably be in crisis management mode right now. So it’s not necessarily that easy for those professional connections, particularly accountants, to be as proactive in reaching out. There’s been a huge number of announcements and initiatives by the government over the past couple of weeks to help different groups. And accountants have been trying to interpret those on behalf of their clients. I know ours have. And they’ve done a fantastic job. But it means they’ve probably not been able to be proactive, they’ve had to be reactive. So produce something that your professional connections, whether it be solicitors or accountants, back to that hero piece of content, produce a hero piece of content and give it to them, even brand it up for them as a favour. They’ll love it, getting that landing in their inbox that they’ve not asked for but you have proactively built for them, written for them, designed, created, whatever it is. It will land really, really well with them. You’re showing your proactivity, you’re showing that you’re prepared to help, your care… that fact you care, your knowledge, etc. And then encourage them to pass it around their clients. Don’t ask, don’t debate it, just go and try it and go and do it. Same piece of content pushed out to a few different professional connections. And it will make them look good. You will help them make them look good with their clients. They’ll love you for it and it will open doors with their clients. But it’s all back to creating that hero, that hero piece of content. Consider webinars. I’ve seen a couple of financial planners, I think we might have one or two of them on this call, run webinars. We’ve helped one firm this week, build, market and then set up a webinar. They’ve got running tomorrow, I think. They’ve got 70-80 people booked on and they’ve decided to go down the road of having a panel of guests. So they’ve got somebody from HR, somebody from legal, etc, on that webinar, helping them answer questions for business owners, predominantly in the Midlands. And, as well as newsletters and email communications, webinars are a great way of engaging with large audiences. It’s really easy on Zoom, I’m sure there’s other webinar packages available. And we’re not on commission! But Zoom does seem to be the default option. And you can launch webinars for your clients. So you can deliver a message to send a message to a large audience after you’ve spent some time picking up the phones. You could do… organise webinars to prospects and professional connections. It helps if you’re trying to do this to people who you don’t know yet right now, that you’ve got a bit of a database that you’ve built up, where you got a decent social media presence. We have seen some people fill some webinars with Facebook Ads, so that can work quite nicely as well. But a webinar is just another way of interacting with people. It’s another way of getting a, essentially, a bulk communication message out. And, of course, those people who sign up, providing you get their email address, that’s a way of building your database to use in the future, perhaps to pass on that hero piece of content. So consider webinars as a way of communicating with a large audience. So, hopefully, here we’ve got 12 practical things. Not everybody will do everything clearly. But hopefully we’ve got some practical things where you can take 3, 4, 5, 6 of them and go and implement in your business. Tomorrow, over the weekend, or next week. One of the things I want to finish on is just to talk briefly about mindset because I’m seeing a bit of a polarisation now in terms of mindset. We’ve got some advisers and planners who are looking forward. They recognise it’s tough out there right now. For some businesses, it’s really tough. For others, there’s quite a bit of insulation, but it’s tough for everybody. It’s a difficult time in terms of news, we’re moving to remote working. It’s different and it’s tough, but there are huge opportunities out there for those who take them and this lockdown period… I absolutely don’t downplay the seriousness of this. My son is in a high risk group and he’s been self isolating for three weeks so I completely buy this. But for those forward thinking firms, now is the time to be considering doubling down, to double down on your marketing. The lockdown period means people will be spending more time online, and more time on social media. When we get back to a bit of normality and face to face meetings can happen, I suspect there’ll be a big spike in the number of face to face meetings that advisers and planners need to do. That means they’re not going to have time to do any… the marketing that they could have done during the lockdown period. And the actions we take now, I firmly believe, the actions we take now as individuals, as communities, as businesses will dictate, in this case, the business that we have in five years time. So now’s the time to double down on your marketing. Start with those existing clients if you’ve not done it, by picking up the phone and starting to communicate with them, and then move on to prospects, professional connections, and suspects. People who don’t yet know you, but you know that you can help. So check your mindset and just think about how you’re thinking about current time. Last slide, how are we helping? So we’ve got the free guide on our website, Your Essential Guide to Successful Client Communication. We’re going to update that this weekend with a few of these hints and tips. We’ve got the Zoom explainer. If anybody wants that, you can have a look on our website. And we’ll put some links to this in the email that we send out with the recording. And we’ll probably send that tomorrow. And that will be a recording of this webinar and slides. We’ll continue to do some free webinars. We’ve got one coming up in a couple of weeks with Paul Armson, where we’re going to be debating fees on websites, whether it should be there, and, if so, how should you do it and how to communicate your value. And we’ve opened up our content team to anybody who wants to use them. Dan, do you just want to explain something about the Zoom explainer around the charitable donation for anybody who’s listening?
Dan Campbell 31:46
Absolutely, yeah. So, since we’ve sent these out, and I think we’ve… is it just over the 200 mark, we’ve sent out now?
Phil Bray 31:52
We’ve just done over 200. Yeah.
Dan Campbell 31:54
Yeah. So we’ve been following up an email pointing people in the direction of a JustGiving page that we’ve set up. And the cause that we’ve chosen is the National Emergencies Trust, and it’s their coronavirus appeal, because it seems the most apt. And, at the moment, we’ve raised 1,415 pounds for that cause, which makes us feel like we’re making a tiny bit of difference from our, sort of, cooped up inside the house situation. So what I’ll do, I’ll just drop that link in the chat box now for everyone to take a look at. And actually, it’s gone up by 50 pounds since the start of this webinar by Robin Hall, who I think is a person, sort of, tuning in right now. So, thanks very much for that Robin. Yeah, let me just pop that in there. Yeah, and we’re continuing to, sort of, beat that drum and follow that up, we’ve got a target of 5,000 pounds. So any donations would be greatly appreciated for that.
Phil Bray 33:02
Thank you, Dan. Right. Any questions? Anybody got any comments, questions, happy to answer them, if anybody has. Dan, you got anything?
Dan Campbell 33:12
So, we’ve got a few comments from a short while ago, mainly just seconding that professional connections are definitely rushed off their feet from a few people’s personal experiences. So, anything you can do to ease their, sort of, workloads and burdens would be appreciated. Somebody’s asked, “What does opening up our content team mean?”
Phil Bray 33:36
Okay, good question. And, apologies, I should have explained more what that meant. So what it means is our content team spend their day writing blogs, articles, guides, infographics, social media messages, all that sort of stuff. And normally clients who are with us are on a retainer bases with the company, and they pay us X amount each month or each quarter for producing articles and newsletters. But what we’ve decided to do is make that content team available to anybody. So you can come to us and and request a one off blog. “I want 800 words on pound cost averaging”, if that turned you on. Or, whatever it is, but we can write a blog for you on individual topic, you pay us just for that blog, no retainer, nothing, nothing like that. So trying to open up our content team for one off pieces of work, if you think that would be useful. And that might be hero pieces of content we’ve talked about. I hope that answered the question. Dan, anything else?
Dan Campbell 34:36
Yeah, so we’ve got a comment in from Emily. And she says, “Thanks, Phil, as I think, you know, we’re sending out our clients jigsaws”. And it’s something that I’ve been sending some imagery over for. So I’m well aware of the jigsaw idea. And I think it’s a great little piece of communication that you can send out to people that are, sort of, stuck in the house looking for things to do. So this is a picture that is familiar with them from our branding. And Emily’s generously said she’s happy to share details of what suppliers they’ve used for this. So, if anybody wants details of that, just drop Emily a line in the chat box, and she will point you in the right direction of how to make a jigsaw for your clients.
Phil Bray 35:15
Fantastic. Emily, if you wanted to give us that link, I’ll put it in the email follow up, if that’s okay. Anything else, Dan, in here?
Dan Campbell 35:26
No, we’ve got lots of people saying thank you, which is greatly appreciated, but no questions or notes from me.
Phil Bray 35:36
That’s cool. Well, hopefully, as I say this was this was meant to be short, sharp and punchy. So, hopefully, that’s exactly what it was. I think we were two minutes over in the end. But hopefully 12 ideas that you can take away and do something with in the business. Could be 1, 2, 3 of them. And we can go from there. I’ve just seen a few things come through on the chat. Emily, if you send me the details of that jigsaw supplier, I will put it in the email that we send out with the slides and the recording. But I look forward to seeing lots of new webinars, hero pieces of content, pop ups on the website, all that sort of stuff. If you need any help, give us a shout. Otherwise, thanks everybody for coming.
Dan Campbell 36:18
Yeah, guys. Cheers.
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