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How Financial Planners Can Stay Relevant in the AI Age

Today on my walk I listened to the NPR podcast The TED Radio Hour, one of my favorites. They've put together a series on work, play, rest and how things have changed during the last couple of years.

The last person they interviewed during the "work" episode was New York Times tech writer Kevin Roose who has written the book Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation.

During the interview, Kevin - we're besties now so I can call him that - talked about how no industry is safe from automation and AI. Which of course makes us all wonder, "What happens to my job when some machine takes over?"

In the interview, Kevin brought up the financial industry quite a few times and for good reason; I know smarter technology has long been a concern for most financial planners and it should be. After all, what can I get from you that I can't get from a machine or software - and probably cheaper?

The truth is I'm not safe either. Marketing companies are always trying to automate things so you can just click on something and be done. Yes, whitepaper content is written by a person, but then it's sent out to millions of people - so why should I create my own marketing when someone else is making it easier?

The simple answer to this question - for both financial professionals and myself - is SERVICE. No machine is going to listen to you worry about how you're now going to have to take care of an aging parent and what that's going to do to your finances. And no faceless marketing company is going to stay up until the wee hours making sure your personal marketing campaign is just right and reflects you because they know who you are.

No one can provide the service you provide because you're the only YOU out there.

The next phase of solving this problem is actually the marketing itself. Service is key, but no one knows what kind of service you provide unless you tell them. And this is where effective marketing plays a huge role.

I've often said to my clients, "Don't just provide content that people can Google and easily find the answer to." Why? Because technology has already solved that problem.

The problem you're trying to solve is MINE. I can look up a market analysis and get that anywhere. What I can't get just anywhere is what that means for me and my future.

I know many financial professionals don't like the thought of being a little vulnerable and "woo woo" about what they put out there. But what if I told you that that could mean the difference between having a job and not?

As Kevin says in the description of his book, "...we should focus on being more human, and doing the kinds of creative, inspiring, and meaningful things even the most advanced AI can’t do."

In other human. And market yourself that way.


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