Welcome to episode 66 of The Innovating Advice Show.
I’m joined Faith Liversedge who helps financial advisers become more successful through personalised and targeted marketing communications.
Marketing encompasses a huge range of activities and mediums, and in this episode we’re focusing on the staying power of email marketing.
Faith shares what your website should, and shouldn’t, have before diving in to email marketing. She then reminds us that messaging should be focused on the client, not you, and that great conversations happening amongst advisers and planners on the profession evolving should also be happening with clients and prospects.
And listen until the end where we chat about the power of bringing in a third-party to talk with your clients and uncover some wonderful gems to reshape your message and help you continue to grow.
At first, I wanted to be an actress in Grange Hill, then I wanted to read the news with Sue Lawley, but when Jason Donovan’s character in Neighbours said he was going to be a journalist, my ambition was set: I would move to London and work at Vogue.
Of course, I got about as close to writing for Vogue as I did to being Jason’s girlfriend. But I did get my name in print. I worked at the Press Association and an architecture mag called Building Design. But I soon realised I was never going to be the next Anna Wintour, so after 5 years I decamped to Edinburgh and launched myself headlong into financial services marketing.
I created a number of innovative, eye-catching (and often award-winning) campaigns.
Now I’m using those skills and experience to help small financial advice firms to skyrocket their businesses through creative and engaging websites and communications.
Working in partnership with a talented team of graphic designers and web developers, I provide a fully integrated service designed to turbo-boost your business, get your message understood and get your ideal clients beating a path to your door.
00:30 - Introducing Faith Liversedge
02:00 - The struggle in finding your ideal clients
03:20 - How email marketing can help
07:32 - The importance of having a modern website
16:13 - Why you should create unique content
19:06 - How much should you talk about yourself vs. WIIFM
23:00 - Discussing life planning with your clients and prospects
26:50 - Finding a balance between long and short emails
29:35 - How often you should email your list
32:09 - Being consistent
33:06 - How to add people to your email list
34:25 - How Faith can help you
39:12 - Getting feedback from clients
Kate: Hi, Faith. Welcome to the show.
Faith: Hi, thank you very much for having me.
Kate: Okay. So Faith, we are going to be talking a lot about marketing and marketing strategies and the timing could not be more perfect. Cause I reached out to about 100, 92 to be exact of my listeners and people in my audience last week. And I asked them, what is the number one thing you are struggling with right now in business. And almost all of them came back with some version of finding the right type of clients and managing marketing channels for maximum impact. And one guy just summed it up and said I sometimes wonder if there isn't just one big challenge that financial planners face and the rest are minor. It's like the challenge I'm referring to is new client acquisition. It's like, yes. And so much of that comes back to a lot of the things we're going to be discussing today.
Faith: Yes, that's really interesting. Really interesting. I think it's definitely focused people's minds on it because I'm not having the face to face and suddenly it's this gaping hole. It's like, how does that work? How does, how does the whole thing operate and how is it going to end up if we're doing this long term.
Kate: Yes. Yeah. So it's been fascinating. Everyone's just like thrust into this new world and you and I also both spoke at the recent humans under management, South Africa conference, and I loved your talk and you talk so much about the importance of good email marketing. So I want to start there because that's such an important thing, but why is email still so important?
Faith: Yeah, it's such a good question because it seems like such an old hat thing to say, because you've got all of these platforms now and it's like, well, shouldn't I be doing Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and Instagram, and why you're talking about email, but really if you're looking at kind of starting to communicate, and if you haven't done any communications before, then I would say email is the best place to begin because, well, there are tons of reasons.
Faith: So the main thing to start with is to make sure that your website's great. And then once you've done that, the way to communicate is to start talking to your current clients. So particularly with this, with the pandemic crisis, it's been a gaping hole in people's email boxes. If you haven't been communicating, because as we know everyone and their mom and dog have been emailing us to reassure us supposedly about what they're doing for their client or what they're doing for themselves during the, especially the early days, anyway, the early weeks, I think the inboxes were flooded. And so you can imagine that that is obviously the first port of call for people. And on one hand, that's really annoying because everyone hates the tyranny of the email inbox, and it can be really negative for some people, which is why, when I suggest email, people are kind of a bit taken aback by it, but it's, there's so many reasons why it's good for financial advisors because financial planners have a huge number of messages that they can translate over email, especially during this crisis.
Faith: So the reassurance piece, for example, like I say, not hearing from your advisor during this time would be an alarming thing. It would be a gaping hole. It would be like, well, this is the perfect time for him or her to communicate. Why isn't that happening? And I think lots of people realize that they didn't have an email list and they didn't have this mechanism set up. And suddenly it seemed like an issue, or if they had, they were sending market commentary or something that had been provided by a provider like a tick box exercise. And suddenly it makes it seem very cold when you're sending that in the moment of really emotional upheaval and turmoil and uncertainty. So I think it really focused people's minds on the fact that this is a kind of a given that you have this communication opportunity and if you're not using it, then it is really the first port of call to go to.
Faith: And obviously you've, you've got an, a list of clients. You've got a list of, you might have a list of prospects, whether it's in your email box or your LinkedIn that you could get together. And you've also possibly got a whole load of introducers in your Filofax or Rolodex. So even though you might not feel like you've got a list or an audience you probably have, but just not in ways that have previously been obvious. and so this is the first place to start because your email list is then your most valuable piece, because it's free. It's up to you. How many times you use it. it's an opportunity to send really good quality information. That's got that kind of human angle, that touchy feely stuff, that can respond to what's happening in the news that week, or that can reassure people about what's coming up.
Faith: And it's a really good platform for that because you've got this captive audience of clients who already are comfortable with speaking to you and hearing from you. So using that opportunity to send them something valuable, and also then something that they can refer on to their friends and family, is just, it's just so much opportunity for it. and also that's not people worry about open rates and people having email fatigue, but in this industry, the open rates are actually really high, compared to most others. And also if you're sending really valuable content, that's not something that everyone is sending. As I said at the beginning lots of people send really awful things, and you can tell it by a subject heading whether it's going to be for you or not. So if you can cut through that and be successful, then you're right in front of your client every month or every week. and that's why I think that email is just such a great place to start.
Kate: Okay. So, so much to dive into there that you just touched on, and I almost want to start in the beginning where you said, make sure your website is good. So what if somebody has a terrible website and my goodness, the amount of advisors and planners out there that still have really bad websites, does that actually matter? Should you stop and update your website before you start sending email campaigns?
Faith: That's a really good question. It depends how awful your website is, if there's sort of like glaring problems with it in terms of, if you're going to be sending your clients to your website, after your, after sending your email, and there's going to be a disconnect between this beautifully created email and then sending this to something which looks different or looks odd, then it may be a good thing to do, but it depends sometimes just crack on with the email and just tinker with the website in the background. It really depends what state you're at, but obvious things would be if your email is, if your website isn't mobile compatible. if it hasn't got the security tag on it, if it's sorry, that's my puppy in the back. - That's okay! - I tried to wear him out before this sort of fast asleep, but he's got really good hearing.
Faith: And so yes, so some basic things there that are really kind of, hygiene factors and people sort of think, well, do I even need a website if I'm a financial planner. But the important thing is that that is your kind of, especially with the fact that we don't have physical offices anymore. This is kind of your big piece of real estate. This is your big shop window. And okay. Even if you're getting tons of referrals, you're still, your referral person is still going to want to check you out. And if they don't check you out, then their kids would want to check you out at some stage to find out what was happening to all that potential inheritance, because they'll be more digital savvy, digitally savvy. So if you don't have one nowadays, it, I have to say, I think it looks suspect because people who don't have websites and if you get sent to a, an aggregator instead, it's, it just doesn't look like it's up to date that you're relevant professional, and that you've got any of those sorts of qualities that we're looking for in a real human being with human emotions and approachability and reassurance, none of those soft qualities that we want to communicate to people.
Faith: And it's so important for that. And then your email is an extension of that. So once you've set up those messages and you've made it really easy to read, easy, to navigate, easy to find the right information, you've given client testimonials and stories, and to show them that what you do works, you've done all that work. You've proved what you do, actually does work for people and the amazing transformation that you can provide. then that's a really good basis to then layer that up with blog posts and emails and that sort of communication. So you've got the high level information on your website, and then you can then leave that behind and drill down into the slightly more touchy, feely, emotional side, which talks more about you, your personality, your business, your approach, your background, the way that you've helped different people, the different, take you've got on what's happening in the world. All of those kinds of things can lend themselves much, much better to a blog post and or an email.
Kate: And you can do it all. Honestly, most of that can fit on one page. I mean, if there are people that don't have a website or have a really outdated one, so many great templates out there, whether it's on a Wix or a Squarespace, WordPress, honestly, you can get really clunky for a lot of people, but just a one pager that outlines exactly what you just said, just having those different sections. It doesn't have to be a ton of words cause people aren't going to read those words anyway.
Faith: Yes, that's true. Yeah. And people are so visual now and they can tell instantly whether something looks up to date or not, even if they're not sort of, even if they're not an expert, even they're just online shopping or they just use the internet once a month for Amazon or whatever, they just know instinctively what's right. And what's not, and that's so important when it comes to things like scammers. And so being able to tick that box really quickly, visually and mentally for people, even if they're just on your website for a second, just to say, okay, yes, he's he or she is legit. There's the web, there's the phone number There's the office. They're obviously up to date, be the copyright thing at the bottom doesn't say 2016, all of those tiny things are, so it seems so small, but when we're used to seeing everything so professionally done, now there's such a high standard that we've got to meet.
Faith: And if, if you don't, I mean, obviously that sounds really sort of negative, but there are certain things that will look very dated. And if you have that thing in your mind that that's dated, then it's like, well, is this person in touch are they going to be giving me the best advice? Is it going to be up to date? Are they out there looking at the information that I don't want to have to look at, or am I going to have to do a lot of this work myself? So there's tiny, subtle things that will come together to create that. And you're right. You could just have one page with an image and image of yourself as really good. I know people get really self conscious about that, but it does show that you're a real human being. even if it's just a tiny mugshot and then you have a beautiful image of something else that's aspirational or, identic.
Faith: And it talks subtly, it gives them the impression that this is going to be more than just talking about numbers. We're not going to be looking at calculator. It's not going to be intimidating or boring immediately. If you have a sunset or something, a bit more engaging, then people can get their heads around it. Because suddenly they, that when you start as, as your advisor to start talking about like, I'm going to help you with your goals, I'm going to help you meet this thing that you really want to do. And it just happens that I'm going to be helping you through your money, then that all starts to make sense. But if you sort of don't lay that up for them initially, then it's going to make it harder to get their heads around when you speak to them about this stuff. So that's another point as well.
Kate: But I will say, unless you actually specialize in working with people that sail, please don't have a sailboat image at the top of your website.
Faith: No, there are some real real no no's that everyone's getting used to seeing now the couple holding hands on a beach, the yacht. Yeah. The really cheesy stuff that people, again, this happens so quickly, that will seem really innovative a few years ago. And now of course it's everywhere. So people are like clicking past that as white noise thinking, that's just, you've just put that there to I can see through that. So people are so clever now. They've just, we all are. We're all consumers and we've all got the power. So as if you're trying to promote a service, you have to work a bit harder to show the subtlety of it and to really convince them that you you're, you're an authentic human being behind it all.
Kate: When I saw something recently that said, we each see something crazy, like 3000 marketing messages a day, and I'm sure that's driving around or even in our house, different product labels we see, going to the grocery store, all the marketing that's there, like all these things that we don't even think about. And so even when we're thinking about advisers, it's not that you're just, I don't want to say competing, but I mean, from a marketing standpoint with other advisors, like you just said, consumers are so sophisticated, whether we realize it or not, we're seeing more sophisticated marketing around and images and layouts and graphics and colors. And so when you get to a site or an email campaign that just looks like it came from 1998, that just doesn't send, like you said, that message of, Hey, I'm on top of things and I'm paying attention and I'm going to be there with the latest information to help you.
Faith: Yes, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Like you said, it's so subtle and it's nothing that you can really kind of necessarily put your finger on. It's just to we're imbibing all of this. We're just absorbing it just without even noticing. and things change so quickly as well. So something that might seem really of the moment a few years ago probably isn't now. so it's, it's kind of annoying cause you kind of create something that you think looks amazing and then you look back at it and you think I know how much better that can be done now. So yeah, but, but I wouldn't let that put people off.
Kate: No, no. So one thing that is still relevant, like we were talking about email marketing, so let's assume your website is okay enough. Maybe not perfect, but look, it's never going to be perfect. So we don't have to shoot for that. You've got a lot of other stuff to be working on. So email. And, I am constantly unsubscribing to email and when the pandemic happened and I was getting like 30 a day of, Hey, this is what we're doing. I was totally exhausted. I just, I unsubscribed like there's no tomorrow to all of them. That to me was not valuable content. I get that you, a lot of the companies had to send that, but it just wasn't valuable. It felt like this thing that they had to do. And it was just an inconvenience. So let's talk about the content that goes out there. And one of the things I see a lot in the advisor space is companies that will write content for you and you can buy, Hey, every month, they're going to give you an article. What are your thoughts on that versus authentic content?
Faith: It's good in a way, because you've ticked a box and at least you're doing that. So it's good, but it's not ideal. because going back to the point before people can tell when it's an automated piece that doesn't speak to them. And that's probably why you were clicking unsubscribe to all of those pieces because they were generic. They were sent mass email to people as an operational update, like a legal thing that they had to comply with, rather than being actually anything that was relevant to them as a person. so that's, that's the point that I would make about templated content. It's, it's only gonna go so far and being really, really interesting to people. And there's tons of content out there. There's tons of news that we're already looking at and reading. So what your client really wants is your take on that, your own unique, viewpoint that's relevant to them.
Faith: otherwise you're just copying and pasting things, something similar that the BBC or whatever will have on their website. So it has to be completely unique, I would say otherwise, what's the point. and also Google doesn't like it when you copy and paste things. So it will penalize you for doing that on your website. So eventually it will kind of, you're kind of like, suffer from that. So definitely, unique content is the way forward and that's how you get really good open rates. and also you have a unique take on everything that's out there, even though you might not, not think that there's always something different about you and that sort of comes from why did you get into this industry? Why do you do what you do? Why do you love it and what your clients love about you?
Faith: What are your themes? So when I talk to clients about that, I've got different clients that I work with on this basis and I create content for them in a sort of ghost rating capacities. They don't have to write it themselves. We just have a chat once a month and I'll create something from that. And each and every advisor has got something completely different about what's happening, even if the same thing is happening the same thing as like make sure that we need to write something about scammers, but they'll have a completely different take on it. So lots of my clients say, but what are other advisers saying? And I'm like, well, they're saying something so different to what you are because they've each got their own take. So, that's, what's really interesting. And that's why your client likes to hear from you in these ways. So as we know, the, the team page of a website is always the most popular page and people just love hearing about other people. so that's, that's the thing that I would say is they, they want to know what you think and what your take on things is. that's, what's going to be valuable to them.
Kate: But where's that fine line in how much is about you? When you think about the email content that goes out, how do you balance the desire for people to learn about you and have you as their guide, as their advisor, versus making it relevant to them?
Faith: That's such a good question. And it's really subtle and you've got to get the balance, right.
Faith: But when you've got an intro, you're kind of positioning the rest of the content anyway. So that's your kind of excuse to give your take on what's happening or you're going on holiday over the next two weeks, or you've been doing this or you've been doing that. So you're kind of like allowed to, people expect that, but you're right. Most of the time people just care about themselves. And I see this on websites a lot and it's like, we do this and we do that. And it's like, why should I care? You need to tell me why that's a good thing. Like you've told me this detail that is obviously really good for your business and I'm really happy for you, but what does that mean for me? I don't have a clue about why that qualification is great or you know, it's completely different.
Faith: And the trouble is at the moment. A lot of, financial planners are at this end of the scale, they're doing all the value added stuff. They're doing the goal setting and they're doing the, the lifestyle financial planning. And that's absolutely brilliant, but the client is over here and they typically have no idea. And so they're just searching for someone who can sort out their pension and give them the products they want and all of that. And so there's this gap in the middle where you've got to kind of educate them. And that's the bit where your content comes into play so that you can explain to them what it is, what the value add is that you're giving them. and so you've got to kind of subtly weave that in so that it's all about them. So if in the rest of your email, you're talking about, you're referring to the blog post that you've written, or you're giving them information that's helpful for them, it's market commentary, or it's something that you've read that you think will be interesting. Then that's what I would focus on. I would make the intro a little bit about you, but obviously there's always an angle to them.
Faith: So even if it's about you and how you've developed a piece of technology and your business, it's to help them, it's not, I mean, it might be to help you as well, but it's always about them. So everything you do, I would say has got a 'but what about me 'to it So you've just got to think about that all the time and try and take yourself out of it and think of yourself as your client. And think if I was reading this, would I really care and you have to be so critical sometimes and so harsh and I have to do it myself because I'm so pleased with myself about something I've done and I'll write something. And then I think I'm going to have to just delete that whole thing, because it absolutely means nothing to anybody because all they care about is, for me, it's can you make my marketing better? Can you make my business better? Can you take the hassle away?
Faith: And for an advisor it's an advisor's client is can you just do this for me? Can you make it simple? Can you give me peace of mind? Can you give me reassurance? Can you make the process slicker and quicker? So with all your marketing, I would say that, but there's different platforms that allow you to be more yourself than others. So Instagram, for example, which I wouldn't recommend advisors really use cause there's nothing that visual or unless you've got really young demographic. but you know that there are different, that's a bad example, but there are different media that are more kind of personal than others. And your website is probably the least, apart from your about page. so your website is where you want to be really talking about your client absolutely all the time, and putting them first.
Kate: Well, and you just brought up a good point as well. And we've kind of chat about this before. And I had this conversation a little bit with Rohan Sivajoti as well around how often advisors are talking with each other about this transition to life planning and coaching and all the great work that's being done, but we're having that conversation with each other, but it's not coming through in the messaging that's getting out to clients. And that's another thing that I'm seeing is this disconnect. And I'm constantly trying to talk to people, just friends and colleagues and people I meet and try to say, okay, what is your impression of financial advisers or financial services?And that message is not getting out to the general public.
Faith: That's so true. Yeah. And it's a really tricky one because it's so subtle and you're so right. We go to these conferences and everyone's talking about this great thing, and I'm sitting there thinking, but you're not telling your clients about it. Like, it's great that that's happening, but you need to translate that. And it's really difficult because like you say, they don't, they're not ready to hear it yet. They don't know it's a problem that needs to be solved. So that's a real issue. So all the stuff that we know is wrong about the industry and about hidden charges and the lack of transparency and all of those issues, a poor client might be completely innocent of that and might have suffered from that in the past. And you don't want to suddenly be telling them that you're not like that because they don't know that that is a thing.
Faith: So you're going to have to kind of break it to them gently. I'm not saying we're, we're transparent. That's great. They understand that. But what that might mean for them is that they are going to be paying in a lot fairer away than they have been before. But then of course, that makes them worry about things that have happened before. So it's a really difficult message to portray. And like I said before, when people are kind of Googling this problem that they want answered, that keeps them awake at night is more than likely going to be. Am I going to have enough money to retire? What do I do about all these different pension pots that I've got? What do I do with this piece of inheritance? It's, it's the product focus stuff. and that's how you get them in.
Faith: So a lot of the time, the websites that I'm created for people will have that product mentioned at the beginning, because that's the way that you're going to be able to take that search engine optimization box. Then you want to reel them in and say, look, it's about much more than that. It's about what you want your money to do, because there's no point just saying, I want to get to a million. Like, what does that actually mean? It needs to mean something for you, your friends, your family, and your life. And of course, once they've been through that, they absolutely get it and love it. And when I interview clients and they've been through that, they're all over it and they understand it and they never mention products. They just talk about their advisor and how it made them feel much better and how they got peace of mind.
Faith: But the beginning bit, when the client hasn't spoken to an advisor before, or has spoken to an accountant or solicitor, and it's been a transactional exchange that they've had, that's the only context they've got for something like this. And all they're worried about is that it's going to be very, very expensive. and so those are the sort of confusing and complex and dry and boring. So those are all the things that you've got to counter as well at the same time, as saying, by the way, we'll make you feel like peace of mind and all of that, which sounds very utopian and very different to 'but I just want my pension sorted out'. Why are you talking to me about my life goals and my living my best life? Like these two things just jar so much, unless you kind of gradually talked to them about it I think.
Kate: I like that. Yeah. I keep thinking, as you're talking about how this life planning is almost like the iPod, where it's like nobody knew that they needed the iPod, right. And there was this amazing campaign and all of a sudden, everybody in the world had to have an iPod and it made your life better and everything changed. It brought happiness and joy and all this stuff. I feel like life planning is the iPod of financial planning. So we need to get that message out there.
Kate: And thinking back on emails, one of my questions for you is how many topics do you have in an email? Cause I I've got two examples. I won't name names, but there's one advisor, I get their email and I mean, the email goes on forever and there must be 15 topics with 42 hyperlinks. And I'm about to unsubscribe because it is so overwhelming.
Kate: I don't know where to look. I don't know what content I'm looking for. And then I will give a shout out to Louis van der Merwe in South Africa. He has this Ponder email that he sends every Monday and it's like three to five things, is super short and he'll just break it down into like, here's a video to watch and with a little thumbnail and then one sentence, here's a book to read. Here's a conference to attend, just so, so simple. And I find something in his newsletter every single week that I'm like, Louis, I don't know where you're finding these things, but it is bringing me value every single week. So there's a difference. How do you find that balance?
Faith: Yeah. Gosh, that sounds really good. I must sign up to that. I guess it's yeah, you need to think about who your clients really are and what kind of people they are, because that's going to inform a lot of this, because you might have clients who have time to wade through lots of information and that would be great for them. But if you have clients that are like us who to get there to 40 links is actually we feel bad because we've opened that and we think there's probably some great stuff in there, but now I don't have time to read it and I feel awful because I might miss out and it's like, it's actually makes me feel worse. But it all depends on who your client is, who your client avatars are. And you know, if they're retired, they might have time to read that, but they might not, and you don't want to overwhelm people.
Faith: So you want to get nice balance. But the great thing about email, especially if you're sending it regularly is that you can test all of these approaches. So you can have a slightly longer one, one month and a slightly shorter one the next and see what works and see, look at the open rates. Look at the data, look at the click throughs, see who's clicking onto what information and what they're interested in. And if you do that over six to 12 months, you'll have some really interesting information and data that you can use to hone and refine what you do. Unless you have like a really interesting stance, like the person that you mentioned there, and this is what he is, and this is what he's about. And that's this persona. And if you build that from the ground up, then that naturally follows.
Faith: Whereas if you're just kind of a regular person, you don't have that sort of dynamism about you not saying that he does, but then it's going to sort of jar if you suddenly send this really kind of like different email style. so it has to be consistent and it has to be genuine and authentically coming from you and what you're about. And that's always going to resonate better.
Kate: So two things to touch on in there. First, how often should you send an email? You just mentioned monthly.
Faith: Yes. The monthly is great to begin with. I mean, just rather than nothing at all, I know that some people send things quarterly and I would say that that's not really going to touch the sides cause people will just forget about you. And the main thing, the other thing about email, which I forgot to mention was that email is a great way of showing your value when you're not in front of your clients.
Faith: So if your client or whoever, and you only see them twice a year, they might be wondering what you do during that time. And they might not realize all the stuff that you're actually up to. And so of course, you've got a great platform to just show them that and to show them why they're paying their ongoing fee. So monthly is good, but I send a weekly email and that has by far been my most active and profitable business development tool because it's just, it's, it's building up an audience. So people worry about things like, numbers of followers and numbers on the list and click throughs and likes and all of that. But that's kind of a detraction because what you really want is a following and you want people to be really interested in what you're doing and the more you send them stuff, the more you will get that audience.
Faith: So, even though it sounds very onerous, but if you think about it as being something short and snappy that you could send once a week, you'd have to make sure that that's not going to irritate your client again. It comes back to what your client persona looks like and what kind of people they are, how busy or not they are. and maybe you'd segment that into different groups. So you'd send one group a monthly one that sounds like a lot of work as well, but once you've got it all set up, it would be definitely worth investigating anyway, definitely worth looking at. But once a week is really, really good. but it's, it's not as usual. We were doing once a week with a client actually at the beginning of the crisis because they needed so much reassurance and hand holding and then we scaled it back to twice a month and that seems to be working really well. but most people do do it once a month.
Kate: Well, and what about if you have a lot of content to share, would it be better to spread that over four weekly ones versus one overwhelming monthly one with just a lot of topics?
Faith: I think so. Yes. Yeah. If you're posting a blog once a week, for example, and you're going to have an awful lot to put in front of people once a month, but if you were to send them that twice a month or once a week, then that would be much, much easier. and there's always going to be operational emails that you might want to send any way in between times, so you don't want those to get confused. so that's another thing to think about.
Kate: And you mentioned that six to 12 months to get consistency. And that's always one of the hard things. I mean, as much as time flies when you're in the middle of it and doing it and you just start out it can be like, okay, I have to wait how long to really understand what the results are and what people are responding to.
Faith: Yes. If you're doing it monthly, then that would be the timeframe. But if you're doing it weekly, you can speed that up cause you get so much more data. So after three months you'd be able to see what's working and what's not. and if you're, if you're doing it monthly, that's only 12 topics. So you've only got to think of 12 themes and have an hour set aside once a month and maybe another hour to put it all together. So it doesn't seem quite so much then. but the discipline is in the consistency, in the doing of it and in the execution. And I would definitely say that if you're committing to doing that, then don't have a month off. Don't miss one because that's sort of, that's going to upset the whole piece really. Constantly showing up as the most valuable thing.
Kate: You mentioned earlier in terms of who goes on your email list and building that up, if you don't have that set up in a system yet, and you mentioned LinkedIn, and this is one of my really big pet peeves is I will accept connections from people. And there are a lot of connections that I don't accept, but I'll accept a connection and then all of a sudden they put me on their email list and that's not okay with me.
Faith: No, that's not good. No, I always go to a connection independently and say it was great to connect. and then maybe a week later I'll say something like, I'll be sharing these kinds of posts. I hope you enjoy them. You can also get these if you'd like to be added to my email newsletter, goes out every Friday. There's no pressure at all. And 100% of people say yes and only a few people have unsubscribed following that. so I'm pretty happy with that because it, I mean, it is labor intensive to do it that way, but you build up your list really quickly from people who you wouldn't get in front of normally. so I really like that approach. It just takes a batch approach every week just to go through 10 different people. and just to add them to the list. So yeah, but you can't add people without them giving you permission. Yes.
Kate: So if you do that and you're listening, please stop doing that.
Faith: Wow, I didn't think people were doing that.
Kate: Yeah. So faith, tell us a little bit about how you help advisors with all of this. You've alluded to websites and to writing and content. So talk us through what that looks like.
Faith: Yes. So yeah, it's websites, it's branding, it's content marketing it's campaigns. So, it all depends on what stage they're at really, but typically lots of advisors come to me when they're at the stage where they realize they have quite a high net worth, more high net worth clients than they thought originally. So originally their look and feel doesn't look particularly different or professional or standout or sophisticated, but they want to actively attract more high net worth clients. So they have to sort of re shift things, shift their message. And also they're not really aware of what they do or what, what they do make some specials. So because they're too close to it, sometimes, in all of our businesses, they don't actually realize what it is that makes them different, that they could really be unpacking in terms of their messaging.
Faith: So that's when I come into kind of home in on that, zoom in on that one thing and say, right, we need to build everything around this one thing, because you're amazing at X, Y, and Z, or your client has said this, that they love about you, that you didn't know that they loved you just were doing that because it's just part of your job. So it's all about unpacking those kinds of nuggets and creating something around that both visually and with the copy and obviously making it really enticing and palatable and easy for people to get in touch, and then helping them with their content. So writing blog posts, emails, social media posts as one package. And then after that, if they wanted to advertise, your Facebook campaign or lead generation campaign of some sort, and I help them with that as well.
Kate: So sort of all of it. That's awesome. How did you get into doing this?
Faith: I started off in journalism then I worked in marketing and I moved into financial services marketing when I moved to Edinburgh in 2003 and I worked for some big providers. And then most recently I worked for a FinTech company called nucleus, which is a wrap platform and they were very kind of inspirational and dynamic and energetic and disruptive, and I really bought into that whole exciting thing and kind of the David and Goliath aspect of doing a good thing and tearing down the big providers and helping advisors provide really great outcomes for their clients. and so I got to see all of that firsthand and got really kind of involved cause it was such a small team. I did everything from, campaigns to internal marketing, to video marketing, to social media and, the whole lot, really so fun. Yeah, it was great.
Faith: It was really, really, really good fun. And I got to see the advisors sort of evolution close up as well. And so we were going through RDR at the point that I joined. And so I met lots of advisors and realize that there's a real need for marketing, which, is sort of like, a newish need, I think, compared to other industries. just because the way things were before and the lack of needing to kind of come up with these subtle messages, which is more of a, a need now. so after being a nucleus for about five years, three years ago, I left to set up my own consultancy. so that's what I do now working with a team of designers and copywriters, SEO specialists, strategists. And my take on things is to add a bit of creativity to it because it's such a dry and boring industry, but actually what financial advisors and planners do is really amazing.
Faith: And life changing and inspiring and kind of relevant to the world really. And what's happening today in terms of everyone values humanity a lot more and people need advice. They need guidance and they need help. we've got so many more choices now, but narrowing them down is impossible. unless you have someone to support you, and you can't really market that in one line or one logo or one thing you need to kind of display that over a number of different messages and different media. And that's where the kind of the marketing comes in.
Kate: So you're probably seeing a, like you mentioned in the very beginning, a whole lot of need for that now that people aren't walking by offices and seeing in person, getting that face to face, networking and events, huge need there right now for advisors to finally realize, got to step up the website game. You mentioned SEO, social media, doing that email marketing. I mean, there's still blogging you've mentioned, there's video, there's podcasting. There's so much so much out there and it sounds like you help them with all of it.
Faith: Yes. Yeah, yeah. The ones that want to do all that fun stuff. The podcasting definitely, I love that.
Kate: It's a lot of work, I'll say that, but it can be, it's a whole, it's a whole lot of fun. And you mentioned sort of getting the messaging from the client. So when you're working with your clients, do you also talk with their clients?
Faith: Yes. Yes. So I'll ask for three different typical clients from the three different avatars that I spoke about earlier. So you don't want to kind of cover, the same story in three different people. You want to kind of spread it out as much as possible so that you have maybe three different ages or three different stages or different services that you help them with so that people can get a real sense of the rounded service that you provide. and maybe there'll be someone who was, slightly jaded by a previous experience or someone who was a hard nut to crack or something like that that's got a really juicy story or someone with you know, anyone, who's got a great story to tell basically, but someone who makes it look as if you're not just cherry picking your best friends or the best clients, because you know, they're going to give you the best quotes as to be a good spread of people.
Faith: And yeah, that's the really insightful piece actually, because quite often I'll replay that piece back to the advisor and he'll be like, or she'll be really surprised that they said that stuff because we're British. We don't say that stuff to people face to face. But if you were to speak to a third party like me, then that's where the people could become quite emotional about what their advisor did for them. And tell me things that they wouldn't tell them. And so that's where it can be really quite moving for somebody to see actually what they did for that person, written down or on a video, and really unearthing all of that information. And I do that after I've interviewed and had the strategy talk with the advisor and naturally, those two stories come together, which is what you want really. You want it to be able to make the claims about what your service does for people. And then you want to substantiate these claims with the proof, which is where the client story comes in. And then at the end of that, no one can argue with that really. Cause you've given them everything they could possibly want to convince them. You'd hope anyway. So then you'd give them the, all the contact details and you say, yes, now's the time, phons us, book a consultation call, whatever, make it really easy for them to do that. And then that's the entire piece.
Kate: That's awesome. I love that. And I recommend that and do that when I work with advisors as well, there's so much power in having that third party, like you just said, the conversations, the things they'll say to a third party versus directly to an advisor, and it's so much fun hearing those stories and doing those like focus groups you can do with people that aren't yet clients. So, so much stuff.
Kate: Thank you, Faith. Thank you so much for your time, for all the inspiration for advisors to step up their game. Now that we're fully in this digital world, whether you like it or not, it's here to stay. So everyone up your game.
Kate: I linked to your website so people can sign up for your newsletter and keep an eye on your site and stuff you might have coming up and maybe we'll have you on again, because there's still so much more to chat about.
Faith: I'd love to. Yeah. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me, Kate.