Many financial advisors do a good job of staying in front of their clients and prospects by sharing content consistently. The most common types of content we share are market/economic reports and content available through a marketing library. Advisors seldom put much thought into the content itself. Most share content they have not even read themselves. But the content is important; it is essential if we truly want to add value and connect with others.
In this post I share the highest rated content I created for advisors last year. This is white-labeled content that advisors in The Behavioral Finance Network use with their clients and prospects. But first I discuss pitfalls of the most common content shared by advisors.
Know What You Send…
When was the last time you sent content to a client or prospect without reading it? Does this happen all the time? Marketing libraries can be very convenient. They are highly scalable. But convenience and scalability are characteristics of low-cost providers. They will leverage ineffective content much better than full-service advisors; their technology is often superior. If you are trying to compete on convenience and scalability, you are fighting a losing war.
When you send untimely, watered-down content you may actually encourage a client to disconnect with you (they don’t care that it is pre-approved by compliance and easy for you to use). They view it as noise.
…And It’s Affect on Clients
Sending market and economic updates encourage clients to watch the markets and worry about what is going on. Unless you want your clients to watch the markets and question your plan, sending such material conflicts with your message. This isn’t to say you never opine on the markets/economy, but that should be done by you. Take a market report, synthesize main points in your own words and share some helpful perceptions. Anything more than that with respect to market/economic updates may do more harm than good.
Content that Resonates
Financial advisors may live and work in a rational world, but our clients are human beings who live in a world of complex feelings. People value things more than money. What good is a large account value if you are miserable. I strongly believe that an advisor’s job is to help clients increase their quality of life. Money is certainly an aspect to that since it can provide freedom to do what you want. But we also can help them ignore the noise, focus on what they can control and share positive and uplifting messages with them.
A positive or uplifting message may not help a client make a better financial decision, but it could help them have a more positive outlook on trials they are going through. Such help creates lasting value and strengthens bonds. Sharing some “soft” content interspersed with effective behavioral finance messages is the ultimate content plan. It is valuable, durable and sharable.
The Highest Rated Piece of 2020
I wrote the following piece for Behavioral Finance Network advisors to share with their clients on April 1, 2020. Remember way back then? It was a difficult time. Lockdowns were extended indefinitely and we were trying to adjust to this undesirable normal that was forced upon us. The market had started recovering, but not our mental psyche. I got tremendous feedback from advisors who said their clients loved it – it was just what they needed to hear.
The challenges we face today are unique and significant. The Coronavirus has unleashed uncertainty, economic pain and shelter-in-place for much of the population. Any one of those alone can impact our mental health; the combination of all three can wreak havoc on us.
It is completely normal to experience feelings of loneliness, fear and anxiety during these unprecedented times. We may not be able to control the initial feelings, but we control our internal dialogue. What we tell ourselves and what actions we take can either alleviate or intensify the negative feelings.
We protect our mental health by focusing on things we can control. There is no sense worrying incessantly about those things we cannot control. We accept our situation as fact and figure out what we can do to make the most of the situation. Finding joy isn’t so much about our circumstance as it is in the actions we take.
Choosing to act, rather than be acted upon, supports a healthy mindset. I have included a list of actions that may be helpful:
- Turn off/take a break from the news and social media
- Continue your daily habits/routines to the extent you are able
- Exercise, walk, stretch – get the blood flowing
- Perform an act of service for someone else
- Think purposely about today; accomplish something each day
- Appreciate the simple things in life, count your blessings
I included several actions that have to do with our individual self-care. Yet, one of the most powerful ways we can feel good is to forget ourselves and do something nice for someone else. Whether that is mailing a card, dropping off some cookies or just talking with someone and lifting their spirits. For some reason whenever we serve another person, we are usually the ones that benefit the most.
Stay healthy – both physically and mentally!
– Signed By Advisor
This piece was followed up in May with an article titled, “The Virtue of Optimism”.
What is Your Content Plan?
What is your plan to improve your content offering? It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but it does require a bit of your attention and effort. If you would like to learn more about the white-labeled behavioral content and other behavioral finance solutions I offer, schedule a call with me.