Being an overthinker, I've thought long and hard about why I enjoy what I do so much. There are the obvious answers: I love writing and I've always been an idea-a-minute person. So, marketing scratches both of those itches.
But the less obvious answer is the one that solves the "why do I love working with financial advisors so much" question. If I'm being honest, I'm a pretty vague planner and numbers usually make me glaze over. I have never had any interest in the market and have happily turned over my personal financial planning duties to my sister, a CFP®.
Perhaps those are the EXACT reasons why I love working with advisors so much.
I started my business working with service providers in general, but as things progressed, I began narrowing my focus even further. I found that the more I knew about what financial advisors do, the more I wanted to work with them. And the more I felt I had something to offer.
As I got more educated about the process, I realized that good financial advisors don't just crunch numbers; they listen to their clients and deal with their goals and their fears. The problem was that their marketing didn't reflect that.
Unfortunately, the financial planning industry seems to think that all their potential clients want to know are market updates, but that's not true. What we want to know is how what's going on in the industry affects us personally. In other words, it's not about the numbers; it's about whether or not I can send my kid to college.
As I explain to each of my clients, when someone comes to a financial planner's website they're typically feeling two things:
It's our job to inform and comfort and a market analysis doesn't do that. But compassion and empathy does.
In every personality assessment I've ever had, empathy has always been one of my top five strengths. This has been both an asset and a curse, but when it comes to marketing financial advisors, it's definitely a blessing.
My clients bring me their knowledge and I add the elements necessary to let the client know that we understand what they're going through. I can say to a financial advisor, "You're talking about terms I don't understand. How does this affect me, the investor, on a personal level?" I require my clients to give me more than just numbers and ask them about their personal experiences as parents, business owners, and investors.
Between their know-how and my empathy...we actually make the perfect team.
As with many things in business and in life in general, it often takes someone who has the opposite qualities that you do to really make something work. In my own business, I don't consider myself super tech savvy when it comes to building a website, so I'll ask a designer. What I am good at is writing good copy. So, that's the perfect mix.
If you're an advisor thinking about expanding your marketing strategy, I would encourage you to find someone who brings something you don't have to the table. Don't just go with a company that specializes in marketing financial advisors if all they're going to produce is something you could do on your own. Find someone with a new perspective and the passion to engage your audience on another level.
Find your opposite.
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