Whenever I think about my business’s marketing strategy, I think about the following quote from Seth Godin:
People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.
The truth is that people don’t connect with businesses. They connect with people. As a financial planner, your clients are connecting with you because they’re moved by the stories you’re telling in your marketing, and the magic they find in the solution you’re selling.
Still, I see many financial planners laboring over creating a business and a brand that people will buy into. They focus too much on the elements of their services that will make an impact and dramatically undervalue their own story, and the stories of their clients.
Why Tell Stories In Your Marketing?
While having streamlined services that wow your clients is critical for increased referrals and client retention, they’re not necessarily what is going to get a prospect to schedule a meeting with you. Think about the last service you purchased.
For example, the last large service offering I bought was teaming up with my business coach. I liked her service model, but that’s not what pushed me to book a call.
I chose to sign on with her over the other business coaches I spoke to for two reasons:
- Her website told her story. She was from Iowa (not too far from the city I lived for a few years before moving to Arkansas), and her parents were farmers. She described learning hard work, and focusing on business finances and scalability as a way to help families like her own live the life they wanted without sacrificing growth.
- On our call, she talked to me about the stories of her clients. We talked about their pain points, and some of the biggest “wins” she had helped them accomplish.
I bought in because I was drawn to the story behind her business, and the success stories that her clients were having. I also bought in because I could easily see my own story in her marketing. Her website walked me through the exact pain points I was experiencing, and painted a picture of life beyond those growing pains.
The same concepts apply to financial planners who are developing marketing materials. Story-telling should show up across your marketing to create high-converting content and collateral.
Story-Driven Marketing Strategies
Wondering how to tell stories in your marketing? There are a few key stories you can focus on to level up your content:
- Tell your story. Remember – people may be drawn to your brand for a variety of reasons. However, they won’t book a call unless they connect with you on a more personal level. This is especially true in the world of financial planning, where the conversations you have with clients about money require a high level of trust and transparency.
- Tell the story of your current clients. Everyone loves a success story. Because you may be unable to provide references, ratings, or positive reviews from happy clients for compliance reasons, find other ways to highlight the “wins” your clients have had while working with you.
- Tell your prospects their story. The prospects who are finding your website have a problem they need your help solving. Use your marketing strategy to help them see themselves in your content. The more a prospective client believes you understand what they’re going through, and can help them overcome their roadblocks, the more likely they are to convert.
You can leverage these three types of stories in several different ways. Ideally, every element of your marketing strategy will incorporate story-telling elements. However, if you’re just getting started, you can revamp a few key areas of your content to make them more story-focused for the biggest impact.
- Your website copy.
- Blog posts, video, or podcasts.
- Lead generation materials.
Your website is often the first impression a prospective client has of you – so it’s important to make it count! Having a cohesive story woven through your website’s copywriting can help your clients get to know you, and see how you can positively impact their lives. You can tell stories through your website copywriting by:
- Outlining client pain points – both financial and emotional
- Showcasing how you solve these pain points through client case studies
- Telling your story, or the story of your firm
- Incorporating personal details into the bios of your team members to make them more relatable
There’s a time and a place for technical content. Whether you write blogs, or record podcasts and videos, you sometimes want to be able to showcase your expertise by offering high-value, actionable insights into technical financial concepts. However, it’s also important to incorporate stories into your ongoing content to keep them engaging. You can do this by:
- Leveraging case study content as part of your ongoing evergreen content strategy
- Identifying pain points and offering a clear solution, or showcasing that your firm has the answers to questions prospective clients are asking themselves
Engaging lead magnets do more than provide actionable tips. They engage prospective clients and help them to build an even stronger connection with your firm. This “warms up” the lead, and increases your chance of conversion. Here’s how you can incorporate storytelling into your lead generation tools:
- Using your content to answer questions from current clients – this is where surveys can come in handy! Ask clients what their biggest questions were before working with you, and leverage those as a lead magnet.
- Offering a single, easy-to-implement financial solution in the form of a checklist or guide, and creating a “story” where your prospective client who is working through their guide is the hero of their own story.
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