Using video technology is giving some financial advisers an edge in introducing themselves to new audiences. It adds “an extra layer of personality”, says Luke Buttersfield from Country Financial Directions.
His main use of video is with new clients. After talking to them on the phone and making an appointment, Buttersfield records a video to introduce himself.
“I like to use it as an icebreaker. I’ll go over what we’ve spoken about on the phone. They get to see me before they come in, and it helps to raise the issue of fees and process beforehand,” he says. “Hopefully it puts them at ease. It can be quite intimidating to see a financial planner for the first time.”
Buttersfield keeps the production simple. “I’m at the lower end of sophisticated,” he says.
He records from his desk, using the camera on his computer, and tries to keep the video to around three minutes. Brief script notes, written on a sticky note, are attached near the camera so he can see them without looking away.
“I’ve watched other more professional videos with lighting and external microphones but for what I want to do, this approach works,” Buttersfield says.
He emails the completed video file with additional written notes confirming details. Just before the meeting, he watches the video as a reminder.
Video is a “very powerful” strategy to educate and give people time to consider advice, says Sue Viskovic from Elixir Consulting.
“The written word is one thing but, depending on people’s literacy skills, how fast they read and how easily they comprehend things, a video can be a lot more powerful,” she says.
Personalised videos can also be useful after a first meeting with a client, Viskovic says.
“Strategies are often quite complex so you can explain it again for them on video. You could include an illustration of the modelling on screen or the Service of Agreement (SOA) or even a flow chart to describe the strategy,” she says.
Viskovic also recommends producing ‘explainer’ videos to provide more details about financial concepts or strategies.
“You might have a really great way to explain a certain topic such as salary sacrifice. You can shoot a video once and then house that in either YouTube or Vimeo.
“Then, whenever you’re talking to a client about that particular strategy you can send the link. It’s just another good part of the process of educating and informing,” says Viskovic.
These explainer videos can either be produced in-house, or you can take it a step further and hire a videographer or a professional firm. To keep it efficient and cost-effective, she suggests writing a number of scripts on different topics and shooting them all at once.
“If you don’t want your image on the video, you could create animated video – they’re not that expensive. It’s just a matter of writing a script and hiring a professional to animate it.”
Another clever use of video, says Viskovic, is to catch up with clients you may not have seen for some time.
“Record a quick video, personalised for each client such as: ‘Hey Gary, it’s Sue here. I can’t believe it’s been nearly two years since we’ve spoken but it’s really important we get together because ‘this, has happened’ and I wanted to …’.”
To make it even easier for clients, set up an online appointment calendar, she says. “Rather than waiting for office hours to book an appointment, clients can simply click a link and book immediately.”
In Viskovic’s experience, the combination of personalised video message and an online calendar has produced “dramatic” results.
Using content wisely
Genene Wilson from Finesse Financial Advisers has thrown herself into video production in the past 12 months, using a combination of in-house and professionally produced methods.
Adept at recycling content, Wilson may use material from a blog as the basis of video script, which is later put to work in a podcast.
“I started doing my content more around the written word, then progressed to video. Now when I’m putting together any content, I’m using it in multiple ways to get the biggest bang for my buck,” she says.
She films individual ‘thank you’ videos and produced an end-of-year video that included holiday greetings and mention of the firm’s giving program.
Wilson has also been building a library of explainer videos on subjects including trusts, estate planning and property versus shares that she uses on social media.
Viskovic says video really comes into its own in the financial planning business because of the complex issues clients need to understand.
“You may have explained a strategy really well during a meeting but there’s only so much your client can absorb. A video gives them the chance to go over it as many times as they like until they understand it,” she says.
“It’s a really positive way to reinforce whatever you’re helping people with,” Viskovic says.