Weird. The word that I hear the most these days. That and how fit their dogs are with all the walking. Not heard about the fitness of the owners to be fair but after all this we will see. Meanwhile we are working in a very different environment and yet we in the Financial Services sector must continue to either give advice, manage money or administer the assets for the clients who have put their faith and trust in our services. This can be difficult for some either at the corporate level not being technically up to the challenge or the individual having to get used to working from home and all the strains that can put on someone.
Whilst we work in isolation and without the benefits of social interaction around a desk or meeting room table, it can be very hard to keep the energy levels high. Without going down the darker side of mental health stresses, it can be hard to keep your Mojo going with all the bad news coming from the media on an almost hourly basis.
However, this is exactly the time we as an industry should be demonstrating that we care about our clients as they too struggle with the unknown and the potential risk to family and friends. They want to feel reassured in these very difficult circumstances and want to believe that after all this has gone away their future is secured and that nothing has fundamentally changed, albeit values may have fallen over the short term. In short, we are talking about communication, a subject I have discussed before on other ramblings. A subject close to my heart you could say.
Whilst these are exceptional circumstances, this is not the first time we have had a significant period of uncertainty and market volatility. During these previous periods it is interesting to see how firms respond. There are those who hide, run for cover, pull down the blinds and generally disappear. And there are those who are to be seen everywhere, on every platform, in every publication and commentating whenever they can. Who remembers the ones who go quiet? Not many I would have thought. Many of us remember how after 1987 and 9/11 for example, certain firms were very vocal, reassuring their investors/clients about how they saw things panning out, even if they weren’t sure. Just to get a message out was in itself a clear signal that normality will return. It created goodwill at every level and people felt engaged with those who were looking after their assets.
Today we are seeing it again with a number of firms both Advisers, Asset Managers and Providers producing excellent quality updates via different platforms. A friend of mine works in one particular house who are producing regular podcasts/ videocasts etc either live or recorded and pushes these out via Twitter, OCTO, LinkedIn or directly. I threatened to join one the other day and he said that he reckons his competition is doing that very thing. So, he must be doing something right. Some firms have really embraced the challenges and have in fact grown during this period of lockdown. Certainly, from what I have seen on LinkedIn and other social media platforms, certain firms have been so enthusiastic it is almost exhausting just keeping up.
Content is very important, and the quality of that content needs to be relevant, timely and above all something that adds value to the reader/watcher. Give it some thought before you post. Review it and ensure it aligns with your own thinking. Make sure that the quality of the post is such that observers can understand what is being said/written. We’ve all experienced poor-quality videos and turned them off very quickly!
But what ways are there to get your message out there. There are many experts on this and there is no harm reaching out to seek their advice, leverage of their knowledge or just plain copy others. Whichever way you do it, do it now. If you don’t get your message out during these events, no one is going to thank you and you will lose credibility.
I watch with interest what Martin Bamford does over at Bamford Media, helping Advisers build a media presence and developing new ideas for Advisers reach out to their clients. The likes of Twink at White Marble Marketing with her Podcasts have helped Marketing personnel learn from the more experienced of us as to what to do in these times and then there are a host of Providers who share great content on a regular basis directly or weekly podcasts. OCTO is another way and can get your message out there quickly and simply.
Zoom has been a saviour for many, and it will be interesting to see how those of who commute will actually do as much post this crisis? Meanwhile having Conference calls with clients has never been easier and more widely accepted. Video conferencing used to be an absolute PInTA but today we have so much choice. So whichever way you to choose just getting to talk and avoid the written word as much as you can. People do like to hear and see each other, on the whole. The irony of me writing this is not lost on me, but then as I said at the beginning, this a weird time!