As clients become more tech-savvy, Faith Liversedge warns of the dangers of failing to make sure your advice business can stand out from the crowd in this new and changing world of advice
I know what you’re thinking – another click-baitey headline – but please hear me out.
We all know the adviser world (as with every profession/industry on the face of the planet) is going through a period of enormous change, the seeds of which lie long before anyone had heard of COVID-19.
Robo-advice, productisation, regulation galore, a nightmare PI market for many firms, the looming intergenerational shift of wealth, an ageing client demographic, acquirers becoming more picky than ever – not to mention the challenges of remote work, service delivery and then you guessed it… the pandemic.
It’s a lot.
The need to stand out
Advisers are facing a world in the near future where they’re going to have to appeal to a younger, more tech-savvy generation. A world in which their value is going to be compared against apps, productised services and robo-advice/investing solutions.
Of course, you and I know that on one level, that’s mad, the value of a proper financial planning service, trusted advice and having a tailored portfolio to help you achieve your objectives cannot possibly be encapsulated in a mobile app.
The challenge, however, is to communicate that effectively and… to stand out.
Now that geographical boundaries don’t exist, both in terms of remote work and for clients choosing an adviser, what is it that is going to make a prospect choose to work with you?
This is the challenge: how are you going to communicate the value of what you do, entirely remotely and stand out from the ever-expanding options available to those set to inherit the baby boomer wealth?
We’re all media companies now
Look, it’s an old idea. Ask a social scientist and they’ll tell you that Andy Warhol started the concept of a personal brand. Look at social media, we’re all creating content, we’re all communicating at scale, we’re all marketing ourselves in a bizarre way.
To stand out effectively, adviser firms have to create content and lots of it. Blogs, videos, podcasts, case studies, testimonials, webinars – you name it. We need to explain the value of financial advice and planning and if you’re not already, you need to get into the business of producing content that does so.
At the end of the day, that is what is going to make you stand out from a faceless iPhone app, the grandiose direct-to-consumer cashflow modelling solution with open banking. Putting yourself out there.
Now I’m fully aware that for a lot of advisers, that might sound like a fate worse than death, and I sympathise as I felt like that once too. Who wants to hear from you anyway? You might think.
Trust me, your clients do.