What this blog will do for you
If you are a financial advisor then this post will help you create content that will rank your business website on the first page of Google and vastly increase your potential to attract new customers.
I’ve been a successful marketer for over twenty years, a published author and content writer / SEO consultant for fifteen years and I also hold a Masters in creative writing. I use my combined skills end experience to help you get the most from your own marketing efforts.
How many financial advisors are in the UK?
The number of financial advisors in the UK has actually decreased from 5,746 firms in 2016 to 5,666 with overall investments down by 13.5%
What does this mean for your financial advisory service in 2021?
It means if you want to compete with the top financial advisors in the UK, you have to know your customers, know the economic climate and also be very aware of what the top performing companies are doing to attract their clients.
As a content writer I have produced promotional copy for financial advisors and am well aware of the current difficulties that you face:
- Brexit – Alongside Covid19, you need to be able to reassure your potential clients that you can navigate the minefields that the UK now face with the regulatory fall out from Brexit.
- Covid19 and tax – The chancellor will be announcing his plans to recoup the costs inflicted by the pandemic in the spring. This is something you need to be ready for.
- ESG regulations – ESG (environmental, social and governance) regulations, sometimes called sustainable investing, are coming in 2021 which means advisors MUST have (and evidence) discussions with their clients on investments that impact on the environment, society and business performance over the long term.
There are others of course, but that’s a whole different post.
Technology and the Financial Advisor.
It could be argued that as a country we were going that way anyway, but the Pandemic and resulting lack of face to face meetings with clients have resulted in an increased dependence on technology.
Even when the restrictions ease many people will still be uneasy with ‘face to face’ meetings.
There are two sides to this coin:
On the one hand, scheduling meetings over the Internet is faster, more convenient and you can fit more appointments in your diary. On the other hand however, bonding, goal setting and looking at your clients’ financial aspirations are often done (certainly on an emotive level) in the introductory small-talk, which can be easily missed with a lack of physical communication.
As a financial advisor you will need to be prepared that technology will be playing a much bigger part in your customer interactions for the foreseeable future.
You will need to emotionally charge your clients, to show that you understand their wants and needs and that, in their mind, they can see you as their trusted financial advisor.
As a financial advisor your web copy is key.
It takes a web user on average, 50 milliseconds to form an opinion of your website. If you don’t speak to your clients immediately with something that shows that you understand them, their goals and your ability to help them, they will simply click off and you will have needlessly lost a potential client.
One of the top firms in the UK ‘Quilter Financial Advisors’ rank high on Google for a variety of search terms. Lets see if they pass the 50 millisecond test.
Aesthetic of the financial advisors site
Green is a good calming colour, which is why traditionally theatres have a green room, to relax and focus nervous actors. As far as your potential clients are concerned – if they are on your site, it is probably because they are looking for a firm they can trust to look after their wealth management. This is not a decision to be taken lightly and is nerve racking in and of itself.
Imagine the site with a shocking red – you’d click off immediately!
You also have an inter racial picture, not of employees in suits looking ‘all professional’ but of the typical clients that Quilter are trying to attract, displaying the emotions that they would typically be feeling by using Quilter Financial Advisers.
This photograph, together with the green site colour creates an emotive air of synergy before the user has had time to read a single word.
The lady in the photograph is also looking directly at the web user. I’d like to think that this was not accidental. Research has shown people are more likely to purchase from a site in which people are (for all intents and purposes) looking at the web user.
So far, as a client, I’m sold on the design, but for me to WANT to trust the financial advisors’ website, the copy must be just as effective in highlighting my wants and needs.
Financial advisors’ web copy that works
Let’s look at the first paragraph:
Rather clever, the green box with ‘Welcome’ as the first word almost makes it look like a welcome mat to something more inviting.
They then follow with a simple claim that appeals to every person looking to protect their financial future:
‘We can help secure your financial future with advice that makes the most of your money.’
Your eye then naturally gravitates to the centre of the screen where as a potential client I am comforted because they have highlighted one of my main concerns. This gives me confidence that they may be able to satisfy my needs:
Notice the use of rhetorical questions here. They ask a question based on a fear emotion then follow up by asking a question based upon finding a solution.
Rhetorical questions are designed to make the person being questioned think and to put them in a particular frame of mind.
When you wander in at 3am and your significant other is standing by the front door, clearly agitated, and says:
‘What time do you call this?’
The idea isn’t that you simply tell them the time, smile sweetly and enquire as to where your dinner is. Your disgruntled other half wants to place you in a particular state of mind and have you consider a particular point of view (theirs).
The rhetorical questions on the site lead you on a mini journey and a desire to ‘find out more.’
If I am captivated by this point and ‘sold’ by this point I might click to find out more. If not, then my eye looks to the left to see my first hint at social proof:
‘We are one of the largest face-to-face financial advisory firms in the UK’
By this point, the user is emotionally invested in this company and is looking for practical reasons to support the emotional decision that they have ALREADY made.
Simplicity is the Key
Steve Jobs once said that if you can’t describe your product or service in simple terms then you don’t know your audience and product well enough.
The initial section speaks to the end user in a language that they can relate to using emotive language that they can understand.
I’ve worked on copy for so many financial advisors in which the original document that I was given looked like it was written by financial advisors FOR financial advisors.
They then wonder why they have a low conversion rate.
Notice also, that there is a nice balance between text and space in this section. There are very few sections and the user journey has been carefully planned out with a maximum of two sentences in each section – Clarity and simplicity in action.
Why is Emotion Important?
As a content writer I do a fair amount of research into the human brain and what triggers an end user to commit to a purchase decision.
According to professor Steve Peters (The Chimp Paradox), the brain is divided into three sections:
- The emotion
- The practical
- Data store
The emotional part of the brain is ALWAYS the part that makes the initial decision. How many times have you landed upon a website that you hated the look of but decided to read on anyway? As long as there are alternatives, I would guess almost never.
Once you have been sold on a product or service emotionally then your brain will look to the practical part of your brain to support your buying decision. In some cases you are so emotionally charged that even if it doesn’t make financial sense, you purchase the item anyway!
As financial advisors you are selling a dream of abundance and security for loved ones. Until your clients have those riches they only exist in their mind as something that they desperately want.
Once you sell them on the dream then you can continue on to provide the practical reasons as to why you are the logical choice.
Financial Advisors Blog
Quilter Financial Advisers have a regular keyword rich blog under the title ‘News and Views.’
If you want your website to rank on the first page of Google, you NEED a regular blog.
- Having a blog sets you up as a trusted expert in your field.
- Because of the informal nature of blogs you are also seen as approachable.
- The latest stats indicate that web users are thirteen times more likely to click on your site (and use you) if you have a regular blog.
As a final note I will say that there are so many barriers that potential clients will have to trusting their riches to you. If you can break down those barriers and create a synergy before they even speak with you then their resistance to using you will be minimal.
I hope this post has helped. If you have any specific queries relating to your own financial advice business I’d be happy to help.
I work alongside AWE Business Networking, an amazing group with members from all across the UK. It is a great way to meet new business contacts, pass business and receive real time business support and insight to take your business to the next level.
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Till next time
AWE Networking / Your Content write