How to add personality and warmth to your financial writing–Part one
Independent financial advisors find personality is a powerful marketing tool. It’s one thing that’s unique to you. However, it is not always easy to infuse your writing with personality.
In this two-part post, I address five tools you can use to address a personality gap in your writing, starting with personal stories.
1. Personal stories
Telling personal stories is an obvious way to give a flavor of your identity. It’s simplest if you’re an advisor who has grappled with many of the same financial issues as your clients. For example, you may have struggled with how much allowance to give your children. A story about how you reached your decision–or how you communicated it to your children–is a great kernel for a blog post, if you’re comfortable sharing.
Your personal story need not be directly related to a financial decision. I like how Jude Boudreaux of Upperline Financial writes about life lessons learned from his baby in “Baby Steps Aren’t Just for Babies.” Even non-parents like me can relate to a baby learning to walk. Jude takes pains to translate his little girl’s first steps into lessons for you, the reader, rather than focusing solely on himself and his family. He concludes by asking, “What baby steps can you take today to continue your growth as a person?”
Looking for inspiration?
Here are more examples of financial planners who share personal stories:
- In “Never Forget” (no longer available online) Jeff Rose of the Good Financial Cents blog writes a touching Memorial Day tribute to a fellow solider.
- “A Bit of Magic – The Beauty of the Human Spirit” by Nathan Gehring of MyFirstFinancialPlanner.com discusses the amazing generosity of a 12-year-old girl whom he encountered at a Financial Planning Association event.
- “My Broken Wife and Your Financial Plan” by Russ Thornton of Wealthcare for Women demonstrates nice use of dialog in his opening. He turns an experience with his wife into a call for his readers to act.
- Bradford Pine of the Bradford Pine Wealth Group shares a personal passion in “My Personal Experience in Donating Bone Marrow/Stem Cells…Fight Leukemia and Become a Donor.” Again, and this is key, he makes his experience relevant to his readers.
- “Wealth Lessons from Ten-year-old Joshua” shows the vulnerable side of author Rob Pool of Fort Vancouver Investment Management. He also makes the point that “wealth means far more than just your bank account.”
Still stumped? Father’s Day is coming up on June 17. Consider writing a post about “Lessons I learned from my father.” Be sure to include the implications for your readers. Give them a reason to care. If you write a Father’s Day post, please post a link in the Comments section. Thank you!
For more on this topic, please read the second part of this article.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Thanks for including me in this post, Susan.
I think personal storytelling is a great way to present and communicate ideas in what is typically a dry, data-driven industry that often relies too heavily on numbers and charts.
It’s something I’m continuing to work on.
I agree with the comments Russ made, we all talk about numbers too much and not enough about the stories. One thing I struggle with is how much can I share stories from my clients? I find them so fascinating and think they’d be helpful for others to hear, but I’m not sure what I should share from their lives. If you’ve got thoughts on that Susan, I’d love to hear them!
Thanks, Russ and Jude!
Great question! I’d like to hear what other advisors think about this.
I assume you’re worried about your clients’ privacy. Theoretically, you could ask them for permission to share. However, that’s less of an issue if the clients can’t be identified–even by themselves–on the basis of the information in your post.
You can change some identifying details, but you need to disclose that.
My brother is a financial analyst, and if he wasn’t incredibly personal with his clients, I’m sure he’d have no business at all. I’ve talked to advisors myself, and I think the key many forget is that the less you talk about “Projections” the more of my business you get!
Great post. I’ve forwarded it on to him!
Thank you for your perspective on this issue and for forwarding the post to your brother.