Our Top Tips

Helpful tips and guidance on writing, marketing and communicating in the financial planning world.

The best way to get referrals ... is to ask!

Everyone knows that the best way to build your business is via word-of-mouth... clients and contacts referring their colleagues, family and friends to you. It's simple, cost-effective and because these people have already seen your work, they have personal experience of the value you offer.

So how do you get more referrals?  Here are three simple techniques...

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4 ways to keep your clients excited about financial planning

It’s the job of the professional adviser to get their clients excited about investing so they maintain an active interest. This can be relatively easy at the beginning because it’s all new to the client, but what happens as the years pass and your clients start to get ho-hum about their investments?

How do you sustain their interest? And just as importantly, how do you keep them reading the information you send them?

It’s not easy, but it can be done. Here are four tips to help make your communication about market economics, investing, estate planning, and other potentially “dull” topics more interesting…

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Does social media work for financial advisers?

Since Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and other modes of social media entered the world’s consciousness we have been watching and waiting to see how these forms of instant communication would benefit our clients. We did the same when electronic newsletters (e-news) became hot in the early 2000s. Having started by offering only printed versions of newsletters 18 years ago we also took the time to determine whether and how electronic delivery would best work for our clients. Over the years clients have asked “what’s best for me” when it comes to choosing the right medium.

This is our response...

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It's all about YOU!

The premise of good financial planning is "know thy client", but what about "know thy planner?". We are amazed to see how many financial planning websites have little or nothing personal about the people offering this important personal service.

When was the last time you had a look at your "About Us" page? What did it say about the human beings behind your business? If it contains just a few feel good lines about how your practice is different but mentions no names or photographs, what type of message are you sending out to the world?

We weren't meaning to write an article about websites but we have just looked up the website of a financial planner we'd heard about. We wanted to learn more about this particular planner, not just his business, so we obviously clicked on the "About Us" tab on his website. And this is what we found out about "Us"...

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It's time to reach the next generation

If you’re tired of being asked to complete online surveys for anything from your last visit to the supermarket to the experience of buying a new car, you probably wonder where this information ends up.

Data is now likened to gold – well, actually it’s probably more valuable than gold! But it does have a role to play in helping you plan your business marketing. When I read about the findings from a few surveys pertinent to how financial advisers can reach upcoming generations, I thought I’d share some of the findings with you in the hope it might help with your marketing segmentation.

The data on financial planning

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The power of words

We’ve all heard about how body language can have a major impact on the words we actually speak out loud. How many times have you heard someone say one thing but their body conveys a distinctly different message? Well, the same goes for writing. The way we write, our choice of words and how they are phrased can deliver an entirely different message to our readers than we’d originally intended.

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The emerging importance of "content compliance"

To advisers it must seem like everyone bangs on about content marketing and its importance to build and maintain business, but is increasing regulation in the financial services industry turning something that has previously been a choice into a legislative requirement?

Instead of talking about content marketing, in our industry it should be called “content compliance”. Here are two examples why and how it might be affecting you.

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Answering your marketing questions - Part 2

In Part 2 of this series, I will answer common questions about which marketing tools to use.

However, before I go any further, I would like to make it clear that marketing is not used merely to attract new business. You might think that’s obvious, but in my conversations with planners and clients, this point has come up a few times. One planner told me last year that he had so much new business that he wanted to stop sending his newsletter “for a while” because he had all the new clients he needed. When I explained that his newsletter is crucial to staying in regular contact with these new clients easily and affordably (compared to regular personal contact), he still couldn’t be swayed. He recently contacted me asking if he could re-join the library to resume his monthly newsletter admitting that he had made an error in judgment.

I could share many anecdotes but let’s give you some answers to common questions about marketing tools.

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Aussie Helpers helping Aussies - you can too!

In 2012 I was listening to Alan Jones on the car radio while driving to a meeting. As usual he was passionate about his topic and as I listened I could understand why. I was amazed by what I heard.

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Answering your marketing questions - Part 1

I’ve had the great pleasure of talking with advisers recently and asking them about their marketing activities, in particular what they’ve tried, what each has cost and what worked best for them. I really appreciate the openness I’ve experienced and I’ve been extremely surprised, shocked even, by what I’m hearing.

The common theme of every conversation has been that the adviser is trying to stay in contact with their client base and reach their target markets but what has surprised me is the amount of money being spent on this for the little or no return.

It is also evident that most are using a smattering of communication tools with all believing that social media is the best way to reach their markets - but the majority have no idea of how to make social media really work for them – and provide a suitable ROI on both money and time.

Over the next few posts I’m going to address some of the questions and comments I’ve received about marketing and provide answers and guidance. 

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It works for Donald Trump - what about you?

Quite a few years ago I wrote an article about the role of social media in the financial services marketing space. This was in response to advisers asking us whether they should start using Twitter and/or Facebook to communicate with clients and reach out to their marketplace.

Rolling on five or so years to a time when we are immersed in a world seemingly governed by what every person thinks, says and photographs, I thought it timely to review the answer to “Does social media work for financial planners?”

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3 highly effective marketing strategies for financial planners

After years of answering similar questions about the best ways to use content in marketing campaigns, I finally got smart and wrote a book containing the answers!

Available as an e-book, "3 Highly Effective Marketing Strategies for Financial Planners" explains in simple steps how to use educational content to build a financial planning practice... and  achieve a better return on your marketing spend.

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Hot email skills - how to turn low-hanging fruit into clients

How to improve email responseEver turned on your heel and walked away from a shop-counter, money in hand? I'm sure you have, and that action is not restricted to physical shopping. In an online world, under-served prospects do exactly the same, and on most occasions you'll never know why.

Please read on to see how healthy email habits can convert the potential clients you have enticed into your digital shopfront - and keep them.

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Would you like to know who is visiting your website?

Content marketing ROIWhat if you could track each visitor through your website, knowing exactly what they’re reading, downloading or clicking on? Then, after they have progressed through a series of stages, you are presented with their contact details so you or your staff can give them a call – with the confidence that they will take it.

Would that help to grow your financial planning business?

Marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead.

If you have a website, you’re almost there

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How to make attracting new clients ridiculously easy!

Targeted email communicationHave you ever thought of employing a full-time marketing person? If your first response is, “that’s a dream, I could never afford one,” you might just be wrong. Or perhaps you are the marketing person and there is not enough hours in your days to develop, implement and measure ongoing marketing campaigns.

There is a slightly different solution available for both of these challenges and it’s now more affordable than ever.

Making the dream a reality...

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What does Warren Buffett think about marketing?

Set goals for successThe man and his investment style need no introduction, but are you aware of Warren Buffett's thoughts on marketing?

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One simple exercise to help your financial planning business THRIVE!

Financial planning website“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” W Edwards Deming 

When this highly honoured statistical consultant uttered those words many decades ago, he probably didn’t intend to sound sarcastic. After all, not everyone wants to change ... and not everyone wants to survive.

 If you use this analogy in the context of business, there are so many people whom you would swear aren’t interested in surviving either ... but if you’re reading this, thank goodness you’re not one of them. You don’t just want to survive, you want to THRIVE!

What are you telling the world?

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Educate don't speculate

If there’s one thing the majority of adult Australians don’t want to hear more of it's politics! You are probably over it all too, so I’ll leave the speculation to the mass media.

There is something far more important your clients and potential clients need to hear from you now…

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Why bother with a client newsletter?

client newsletters

Would you believe that the success or failure of a business may come down to the humble newsletter?

Don’t believe me? Read on!

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