Did we mention that social proof is a vital component of your marketing?
Yeah, I know, we bang on about it all the time. That’s because it’s vital for you to demonstrate the value of financial planning.
In an age when the traditional (anonymous and short) testimonial is effectively dead (only between 1-2% of all visitors to your website will look at a testimonials page), client videos are the ‘gold standard’.
In an age when the traditional testimonial is effectively dead, client videos are the ‘gold standard’.
As a prospective client, nothing beats hearing directly from existing clients about their experience• As a prospective client, nothing beats hearing directly from existing clients about their experiences
• Videos are versatile. You can use them on your website and social media, and send them to individual prospects as they consider whether you’re the right planner for them
• Transcripts can be added to your website which will help those people who can’t, or don’t want to watch a video, as well as adding valuable unique content and keywords which Google will appreciate
• The best bits of the videos can be taken out to create show reels
• If you want testimonials there will be plenty of material to choose from in each video
So, if you’re sold on videos, who should you ask to appear?
Probably not who immediately springs to mind
Advisers and planners tend to ask the clients they think will immediately agree. These tend to be long-standing clients – the ones you have an easy and relaxed relationship with and who might have even become friends.
Stop. In our experience, these are exactly the wrong type of client to ask.
• The clients are often a little too informal on camera, even to the point of not taking it seriously
• Because they’ve worked with you for a prolonged period, they can’t immediately explain how you’ve changed their life recently. Sure, they still get value from working with you and are happy to advocate on your behalf, they just haven’t had a significant change to their life recently which you’ve helped them with
• Finally, they might have been with you before you transitioned to a financial planning model. That means they often speak too much about products and investment performance, rather than planning
So, who should you ask?
Naturally, you want people who will be comfortable in front of the camera. Ideally, you will also have a mixture of couples, men, and women. They should also mirror your target audience too; if you usually work with people at or near retirement, don’t ask a 30-something to appear just because you believe they will say ‘yes’.
The golden rule though is to ask people who you’ve had the biggest impact on most recently. For example:
• Where you’ve helped someone retire in the past couple of years. These people will have had time to appreciate the benefits of retirement but can still remember how you helped them. For example, your planning work might have given them the confidence that they had ‘enough’, or you coached them in the transition from work to retirement
• Where you’ve put someone’s retirement plans on track. They might have been confused and disorganised, which meant they didn’t know what they had, what income it would provide them with or when they could retire. Your work has given them the confidence that they will be able to retire on their terms
• Where you’ve helped someone buy their ideal house, which they didn’t think was possible.
The most important thing is that they’ve had this big life event recently, ideally in the past couple of years, so they can remember (and explain):
• How they felt before
• How they felt afterwards
• How you helped and why they couldn’t have done it without you.
You just don’t get that from long-standing clients.
How to ask them?
To start with you’ll need a shortlist by following the tips above. You might also include a question in your client survey asking clients whether they would consider appearing in a video.
Ultimately, though, you’re going to have to ask them directly by picking up the phone or sending an email.
Start with acknowledging that you’re asking them for a favour. Then, explain:
•Why you’re asking them (because you think they will be great!)
•The outcome you’re looking for i.e. a video on your website and that you can use elsewhere.
Deal with their concerns. But, if they’re dead against it, back off. Don’t try to persuade them. Clients who reluctantly agree generally don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera and it shows in the final result.
In our experience, if you ask the right clients in the right way (even those you have worked with for a relatively short period), they will be very happy to help. In fact, many have said to us that they wanted to appear as a way of thanking and repaying their adviser/planner for all their hard work!
By Phillip Bray, Founder and Director at The Yardstick