Content Marketing

By: Pete Matthew
Founder
Meaningful Money

Despite having found his way to success largely by accident, Pete Matthew describes himself as “living proof” that creating content online can lead to great things. Increased turnover, enhanced professional standing and, he believes, it will make you a better adviser. It takes lots of work to achieve but it’s a heady combination of benefits.

As advisers, we are guilty of forgetting an essential factor when it comes to client acquisition. Our prospective clients are SCARED.

What? Really? But we’re so nice!

Because we know how good we are, we forget that clients are worried that they’ll be ripped off or be subject to aggressive sales techniques. They wonder if they’ll be made to feel like children or be boggled by technical terms they don’t understand. People feel guarded and wary. In short, they don’t trust us.

This is why referrals from existing clients work so well. That recommendation gets a prospect over the initial hurdle – if their friend trusts the adviser, then they probably can too. For many of us, referrals are the only source of new prospects we need, but if we really want to accelerate the growth of our business, there’s another way we can bridge the trust gap – content marketing.

Content marketing is the process of creating helpful, educational content and delivering it online. This is usually in one of three forms: written articles, videos and audio podcasts.

When I began recording short instructional videos back in 2009, I had no idea that I was doing content marketing. I don’t even think that term had been coined back then. All I knew was that I wanted to be helpful and answer the kinds of questions that ordinary people had when it came to their finances.

So, I created videos with titles like ‘Equity Release Explained’ and ‘What is a pension?’ and I started to get some traction. It took 18 months for the first prospective client to get in touch, though, which came as a complete surprise at the time. These days MeaningfulMoney sends more prospects my way than I can handle, and we have doubled our turnover in five years thanks mostly due to my online marketing efforts.

Looking back over the past ten years of MeaningfulMoney, I can see that content marketing has achieved three key benefits for me, and it can do the same for you too.

1. Bridging the trust gap

As I mentioned earlier, clients are wary when they get in touch for the first time. But this caution can be overcome through creating effective and consistent online content.

The first prospect ever to reach out to me through MeaningfulMoney sent an email with their entire financial position laid out. The last sentence read, “Having watched several of your videos, we feel like we know you and can trust you – will you work with us?” Talk about a buying signal!

There is something about putting yourself online, visible for people to take in before they have to meet you in person, which can put a prospect at their ease.

This doesn’t have to be on video; indeed podcasting, which is audio-only, has been far more effective for me than video over the years. And the same can work with written blogs too. If you create content which combines the three key elements of education, entertainment and inspiration, people will discern something about you and your firm and decide if they like you and trust you.

2. Targeting the right prospects

You would think, given the fact that my podcasts and videos deal with the fundamentals of personal finance, that I would be flooded with a stream of enquiries which are not our ideal target market. But in fact, maybe one time in a hundred I get a call from someone asking me to help them invest £100 per month. The rest of the time the enquiries I receive are exactly the right kind of client I am seeking to attract.

I spend so much time giving people the information they need to help themselves to set up ISAs and Pensions, choose funds and review their portfolio, that the prospects who do get in touch are those that have reached the extent of their own abilities. I repeatedly preach on my podcast that most people can go through their adult life without ever seeing a financial adviser, but that everyone can benefit from financial planning advice when they are within sight of retirement.
So, guess what life stage people are at when they come to me? They are exactly in the sweet spot for the kind of work we specialise in – helping people transition to retirement and optimise their finance to last for the rest of their lives.

3. Refining my own thinking

Coming up with things to talk about on a 30-minute podcast each week for 300-odd episodes is tough. But by listening to my clients, my colleagues and those I interact with online, I am constantly thinking through how I would answer their questions and mentally creating content to do so.

I am frequently challenged by people I have interviewed for the show, or books I have read, and I find myself applying the things I learn in the advice I give my clients, and in the content I produce. In short, putting my thoughts out to the internet for so long has really helped me refine my own thinking about how money should be managed.

I have strong views about how money should be invested, for example; about the benefits of financial planning and how it is best executed. I believe more than ever that most people can help themselves, without paying for professional advice, particularly while they are building wealth.

These views come out in my content, which in turns attracts the right people to my practice

A SUGGESTION

There are plenty of sites that will help you to create great online content to attract clients to your business. I highly recommend the Content Marketing Academy (thecontentmarketingacademy.co.uk) for a UK-centric approach to this whole subject.

Get in touch if I can help.


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