In this article we are going to consider one of the most effective forms of social proof; financial adviser client videos.
The opposite of the bland, anonymous and unhelpful testimonials we so often see, client videos are immensely powerful. There are four elements to a successful client video project:
2. The shoot
3. The edit
4. The promotion
Here are our top tips for producing the videos. In our next instalment we’ll look at how they should be promoted.
1. Work backwards; think about what you want to achieve
What’s your ideal outcome from this project?
• The length of the videos
• The key points you want to get across
• The look and feel of the production
• Whether you will appear on screen
• How you will use and promote the videos
If you decide to work with a professional videographer, then it’s ideal if you can find examples of videos you like.
2. Professional videographer or DIY?
It’s natural to think that a professional videographer is the only option.
While working with a professional will almost certainly produce the most polished result, being able to shoot footage on your mobile phone makes client videos more accessible than ever before.
Your budget will probably dictate your choice and we’d recommend using a professional if you can. However, if your finances don’t run to getting a professional in, that’s no reason abandon the project. It’s perfectly possible to produce engaging client videos using your phone and an online editor.
Click here to watch the videos on Chris Budd’s new website to show what’s possible.
3. Booking clients
Many advisers and planners worry that their clients won’t agree to appear on video. It’s true that some won’t. But many are emotionally invested in their adviser or planner’s business and will happily agree.
If you’ve not already done so, start by building detailed personas for your target clients. Then compile shortlists of potential clients who you think might agree, to match each persona.
Only you will know whether your clients are best approached verbally or in an email. Either way, get your key messages right before asking. Explain what you want them to do, when and where you would like to shoot the videos and what you’ll do with the footage.
Think about the number of clients you book in too. If you are aiming for say four videos, then book six clients to allow for last minute cancellations. It’s better to have too much footage than too little.
4. Think about location
Shooting the videos in a single location will be significantly more cost-effective than your videographer visiting each client’s home.
If you use a neutral location, or they’re not used to visiting your office, make life easy for them. Check they know where they are going and where to park. Ensure they’ve got your mobile number so they can call if they are running late.
In short, do everything you can to ensure they arrive as relaxed as possible.
5. Plan the shoot carefully
The clearer you are about what you want to achieve, the easier it will be to plan the shoot.
Key things to consider:
• Will you pose questions to the client or ask them to speak off the cuff; we recommend the former, it’ll give them a prompt, help you get your key messages across and reduce the chances of them drying up
• Who should pose the questions and will they be in shot? We recommend you use someone neutral to ask the questions and (usually) that they don’t appear in the video. By asking the client to repeat the question as part of their answer, or using slides added at the editing stage, the final video will flow nicely
• Will you be in the room during the recording? We recommend you aren’t as the client may become nervous or worried whether they are saying the right thing
Think about your timings too.
If you’re aiming for videos of around two minutes in length, then 10 – 15 minutes of raw footage will be plenty. Nevertheless, avoid the temptation to cut costs by squeezing clients into a short shoot. They will probably want to chat to you before or after, they might arrive late and it’s always a good idea to allow time for retakes.
If you’re using a single location, we tend to recommend booking one client (or couple) per hour.
6. Think carefully about the questions
Work backwards. Think about the key messages you want to get across and compile questions to elicit this information.
For example, you might want your clients to explain how working with you is different from other advisers they’ve used. Alternatively, you might want them to explain the value you deliver or what you have helped them to achieve.
Under no circumstances should you compose their answers. It’s inauthentic and (unless they are great actors) it’ll look like they are delivering a script.
7. Include at least one ‘hero’ question
This is a question (or questions) which every client answers and you can then use to produce a showreel of all their answers.
In a recent shoot we ran for Sam Sloma’s Engage Financial Services we achieved this by asking: “Please describe Engage in three words.” You can see the results by clicking here.
8. Brief the questioner
If you’re not asking the questions, then brief whoever is on any subjects they should avoid or supplementary questions they should ask.
It makes sense to ask additional questions if it will enhance the final video. For example, if your client had specific things they wanted to do in retirement, which your advice helped them to achieve, why not ask them about this?
9. Trust the professionals
If you’re not taking the DIY route you need to put your trust in the professionals you’ve hired.
Now isn’t the time to indulge your inner Steven Spielberg. Resist the temptation to meddle, and let the professionals get on with the job.
10. The editing process
Again, this is another time to trust the professionals.
If you’ve clearly briefed them on what you want this should be a relatively painless part of the process. However, you should consider:
• Whether to use a soundtrack
• The content of the introduction and exit slides
• The calls to action
• Whether to use slides to pose questions
• How you can reuse the footage, for example, to create a showreel with answers to the hero question
• Whether to use subtitles
The all-important promotion
Investing in financial adviser client videos will take time, money and resources. Next time we’ll explain how to promote them and deliver a return for your investment.
In the meantime, why not take a look at some examples of great client videos on the following websites:
If you’ve got questions or would like to know more about how we help with financial adviser client videos please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling us on 0115 8965 300.
By Phil Bray, The Yardstick Agency