How advisers can tell their story

Vanessa Stoykov,  creator,  No More Practice

In my last article for NMP, I wrote that advisers should be doing more - sharing their stories, their personal financial philosophies, and building their own wealth strategies that are aligned to their values.

By doing this, you will be showing people that each wealth strategy is different and that the personalised plan you make for them will be different from your own (or perhaps not) and other clients, because everyone wants different things from their life.

It struck me only recently that I don't hear advisers do this much at all. We have had thousands of interviews with advisers over the past 15 years, and it would be rare that we have had an adviser use their own financial situation as an example. 

Perhaps you may think it's not appropriate, but I believe people learn best when they can see best practice, in practice. As the saying goes, you can’t be it if you can’t see it. 

The other really valuable part of telling your story is to help lessen the taboo of speaking about money. While you as advisers are much more likely to come across that taboo in your job, and have the skills to break it down, by telling your own story around money you give people permission to do the same. 

So how do you do this without spending a fortune on marketing? Here are three steps to start the process of thinking about your story and how to use it - whether it be verbally with clients, or as part of your marketing proposition on your web site and on social media. 

Step one: This one is important because it will demonstrate where you got your original values around money from. For example, I grew up in rural NSW and my father worked in the coal mines there. My story about money starts from a working-class migrant background. To tell this in a visual way, I decided to go back to Gunnedah and film. 

While I wouldn’t suggest you have to go back to where it all started and film there, it does make a great story to even write down where you came from and how you grew up. And discuss why your childhood helped shape your financial planning career today. You can write this as a story for your site, and even put in pictures  - people love to feel like they know you.

Step two: What are your core values? How do you communicate them simply and via story? The first thing to do is identify your values  - an easy way is to rate your top three. For example, my top three values are family, freedom and creativity. 

With that in mind, I can talk about our children, our focus on their education and what is important to us. Equally I can talk about my decision to start my own business, to satisfy both freedom and creativity. Thinking about your values, and articulating them through story is a great way to get your clients to do the same.

Step three: What mistakes did you make along the way? While it seems far more natural to forget about our mistakes, it becomes a very valuable lesson for others if we admit them. In my story, I talk about leveraging my business too much and the price I paid for it along the way. 

Of course, the thing about talking about mistakes with money is that you should talk from the scar, not the wound. That is, give yourself enough space and time after making the mistakes, to show the lesson and how you overcame it. 

These are just three ways you can get your story out there. It will deepen your relationships with people you already know, and help get new clients who relate and share your values to come to you.

If you would like to learn more about how to do this, and see me tell my story along the way, I will be hosting a webinar with Iress in June  - please register here. I’d love to see you there.


The opinions expressed in this content are those of the author shown, and do not necessarily represent those of No More Practice Education Pty Ltd or its related entities. All content is intended for a professional financial adviser audience only and does not constitute financial advice. To view our full terms and conditions, click here

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