And it’s not Robo-Advice.
Financial planning is typically a private activity that takes place face-to-face between consenting adults.
The new kid on the block – so called Robo-Advice offers an alternative, where the human element is largely removed.
But even before the robots arrived, it struck me as odd that face-to-face was how most financial planning was done. True, adviser and client don’t actually have to meet these days, with the likes of Skype and Zoom adding to the mix.
People will always say that ‘face-to-face is best’, and it probably is. Nothing will ever replace human interaction in something as important as financial planning.
That said... we’re in a new world now and how consumers access financial information has changed. The internet is no longer just about where to find a local IFA.
I used to say to financial advisers “If you’re not on Google, you don’t exist.” And to a great extent that’s still the case.
But today it’s much less about ‘if’ you’re on Google, but more ‘what people can see you doing on Google’ that matters.
Consumers’ behaviour on the internet has changed, but how financial advisers appear to them has not.
Whilst most advisers now have a presence online, indeed many with high quality websites – the problem is that they still do little to differentiate themselves from one another.
I have a collection of screen shots of IFAs’ websites and most follow identical themes.
In fact, the most used themes on IFAs’ websites are:
· Sea views and beach huts
· Retiree couple holding hands on a park bench
· Retiree with grandchildren on shoulders
· Retiree flying kites with grandchildren
· Acorns and tree shoots…
It’s easy to see why these themes have been chosen, but to a large swathe of the market who need financial information and education, these images of financial planning utopia are just not relevant.
In fairness to the IFA firms concerned, they would argue that the image of a compass ‘pointing the way’ or a lighthouse ‘keeping you safe’, or a financially independent retiree flying kites with his or her grandchild is exactly the right imagery for their target market.
But two things come to mind:
Firstly, consumers (even target market consumers) arrive on financial advisers’ websites today far better informed than they once did. A client in the automotive industry told me recently that pretty well every new car purchase today begins its journey online in some shape or form.
The customer wants to conduct research before they even think about talking to a dealer, and they expect to be able to do that research quickly and easily.
Today’s financial planning customer is similar.
On a daily basis they interact with news, blogs, articles and video about personal finance, so when they eventually arrive on an IFA’s website, they are far better informed than just a few years ago. So they are expecting more than they'll get.
Yet, IFAs and advisers have for the most part, not yet adapted their website for the modern visitor. Most politely inform the visitor that they can be helped with pension, investment and financial planning advice - and that's about it. Today's consumer who wants the guidance of a financial planner wants much more than just a glorified advertisement for a firm's services.
And that’s going to lose the IFA clients. Including dream, target clients.
Secondly, there is a huge body of consumers who need financial education, information and advice, but who:
a) Can’t afford financial planning fees
b) Don’t want to actually meet the IFA and go through the traditional face-to-face service
But the truth is that the very best place for them to get their financial information and education is from an experienced, trustworthy, qualified and professional adviser.
I haven’t met a single financial adviser who is happy with the fact that journalists and newspapers seem to be today’s chief financial educators, yet few of them are doing anything to disrupt their monopoly.
It is a fact there is now a vast untapped opportunity for IFAs and financial advisers to serve this new market in new and exciting ways.
It’s there for the taking.
You just need to know how.
Two financial planners have made strong and high-profile steps into this market. Martin Bamford of Informed Choice Financial Planning and Pete Matthew of Jacksons Wealth Management are renowned for their innovative ways of engaging with people looking for financial education, information and advice.
Both have used new technology to add massive value to the marketplace, and in so doing have attracted more of the clients they really want.
Bamford has even launched a daily news feed on Amazon’s responsive voice platform Alexa.
Just think for a moment about the genius of that move...
Amazon is the world's largest online retailer - a site that we've all used. Just imagine the potential for a financial adviser to highlight financial education and expertise through such a platform.
But what about the clients that Martin and Pete, and many readers of this article don’twant?
What happens to them?
How are they to benefit from the considerable experience, expertise, professionalism and trustworthiness of the financial advice community?
For many years, internet marketers have made millions selling information products. In fact, many so-called information products (eBooks, webinars etc) are given away free as 'lead magnets' to start the trust-building process before selling a higher value product or service.
It’s a time-honoured process used by internet marketers everywhere. And it works.
Yet, this type of internet marketing has not yet caught the attention of the financial advice community – largely for the reasons I’ve already highlighted…
There is a perception that IFAs’ dream clients wouldn’t be interested and nobody really knows how to get started even if they wanted to create and sell digital information products.
Bamford and Matthew took the bull by the horns and just took to Google to learn what they needed to know. Their results speak for themselves and their success proves what is possible in today’s marketplace.
Whilst many IFAs and advisers will cringe at the phrase ‘lead magnet’, it is nevertheless a piece of value that they can give or sell which will have appeal to a vast market of people who need their expertise in an affordable form and accessible in ways that suit their lifestyle.
And to be frank, the opportunity for IFAs is truly massive.
In short, two groups of people are missing out:
1) IFAs and advisers are missing out on a valuable, ‘passive’ income stream
2) Consumers are missing out on accessing advisers’ expertise in ways that suit them.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could match up these two groups of people…?
That’s exactly what we’re doing.
And you can be a part of it – starting today.
Your experience and expertise as a financial adviser is potentially worth a fortune… and in many more ways than you know.
The potential for financial advisers to attract new income streams by creating their own digital information and education products is immense, including:
Email coaching courses
Chargeable ‘how to’ videos
…and many more.
But you need to get started, before everyone else does.
I’ve talked about this before at my workshops, and whilst everyone can see the potential, most say “This all sounds very exciting Phil, but how do I get started?”
Up until now, if you even wanted to access this market you’d have to teach yourself. As we’ve seen from Martin and Pete.
But I’ve made it easy for you by creating a course where you can learn everything you’ll need to:
· Come up with ideas for your eProducts
· Easy ways to create them
· How to get them to market quickly, and how to generate a valuable new income stream.
Does that sound useful?
And I’m so confident that you can do this, there’s a special challenge to achieve £25,000 in income from your first digital information products, with a fantastic prize for the first IFA to get there.
Here’s what you’ll get when you join our twelve-month programme:
· A full day of workshop tuition in October 2017 – teaching proven techniques that world leading internet marketing experts use in their businesses
· One to one coaching by Skype or Zoom
· Membership of a dedicated Private Facebook Group to network and share ideas with others on the programme
· Resources and checklists
· Unlimited email support
· Monthly online group coaching for twelve months
· Free use of special online sales software
· Results day group meeting and celebration
Are you ready to learn more?
And here’s the thing – when you finish the programme, you will be far ahead of most financial advice firms when it comes to use of the internet. You’ll have a key and important new skill under your belt and you’ll have a completely new income stream to complement your current face-to-face financial advice service.
But I need you to understand something…
I promise there will be no ‘BS’.
No inflated claims about becoming a millionaire while you sleep and no ‘shortcuts’ to online success.
A few years ago, I made that mistake.
I’d been made redundant and was told that ‘online passive income’ was the way to go.
Sure, it worked a bit – but nothing like what the ‘gurus’ had suggested.
I tried all sorts of fancy online marketing software tools, but none of them really came good. I knew I had to be missing a trick somewhere…
And I was, because then I had a light-bulb moment…
I discovered a book which changed everything and I learnt what I really needed to know (and what I didn't need to know) to profit from internet marketing.
And this time it worked.
In this special programme for IFAs, Financial Planners and Advisers, I’m going to spare you the ‘trial and error’ phase that I went through, and show you step-by-step how to turn your experience, qualifications, expertise and professionalism into digital information and education products that people will want to buy.
Does that sound good?!
You should take a look here to learn more and join us >>>