What’s wrong with financial services firms’ brochures and websites?

by IdeaTransfer on June 29, 2011

We take this as a sign of Recovery—financial services firms like yours are contacting us about remodeling their brochures and websites.

It is a smart move.   In a volatile financial landscape clients are looking for a higher standard from advisors.  That gap is your opportunity to rethink your firm’s story and create the new standard.

It’s not the strongest or the most intelligent species that survive but the most responsive to change, said Darwin–and you can bet he would tell you that your five-year-old brochures and websites are answering questions nobody’s asking anymore.

So, what’s wrong with the brochures and websites in your industry?

Well, how much did you spend on your firm’s brochure and website?  How much time did you invest?

Let us guess.  You demanded the best, so the process wasn’t cheap.

And what have gotten back from that investment?  A ton of new prospects?  A big bump in client commitment?   A credibility surge with advisors? Waves of referrals?

Let us guess again.  No….Not really….Probably not….Forget it!

Virtually all financial services firm brochures and websites make the same mistake.  They describe what you do.   That’s because your top drawer design team asked you what makes your firm unique, and you told them what you know is true—that you do it all better.   So they focused on what you do.

It’s not about what you do—it’s about how you think!  How you think makes clients and advisors want to work with you.

When they thumb your brochure and click through your website, do they get jargon-filled bullet lists of services that look like products, abstractions like a chess piece sitting on a dollar, a contact form where they have to tell you what’s bothering them?

That’s not how you think.  Honestly, it’s not what you do either.  But how you think will jump out of your brochure and your website if you just make some simple changes.

Make your story the firm’s story.

  • Describe how you started your firm and how it grew as your clients grew—it’s their story too.
  • Talk about the lessons you learned along the way—the same lessons everyone has to realize.
  • Tell them why you believe your firm and your profession make a difference in people’s lives—and that everyone who works for you believes it.

Shine a spotlight your firm’s personality.

  • Transform your content into conversations—let them see you as a listener not a lecturer.
  • Create a strong voice that readers relate to—they don’t relate to photos of happy generations walking together down life’s road.
  • Don’t quote famous dead people, quote yourself—your insight and experience are what they’re buying.

Show the readers you understand them.

  • Challenge them with questions they have never been asked—with empathy and appreciation.
  • Demonstrate how people no different from them get through the issues—they are part of an exclusive community.
  • Teach them how to get the most out of your firm—give them the questions they be should asking you.

Wait a minute, you say. Will compliance sign off on brochures and websites like we describe?

They do when we write them.  Because this kind of content requires no promises and no products—it aims at both intuition and reason, wisdom and authenticity.

Well then, isn’t it true that no one reads brochures or websites anyway?

No, it’s true that no one reads them start to finish.  They scan, stopping when they see something worth reading—which they seldom find.  What you do can’t and won’t stop them.  How you think can and will.

Producer firms in the advanced market all say they have client relationships, not customers.  True.  Your brochures and websites are only selling one thing—a relationship with your firm.   So make that one thing come alive.

Here’s the best part.  Implementing these recommendations is not expensive.  You can leverage our experience, and let us walk you through all the steps.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: