Earlier this year, whilst researching a session, I came across an article in IFA that nearly made me fall off my chair.
(That's not true. My bum never even looked like falling off the chair, but it makes the headline a little more punchy) (:
If you came to our COVID session - Communication in a Crisis - earlier this year, you'll know all about this.
Here's what it said...
Yep, I know.
Did you IMAGINE an article like that would be released less than a year after...
The world has changed quickly these past months, and this is just one example of how.
In truth, those of us who feel like third party expertise has always been something worth paying for will feel vindicated in some way...
...but that's not what this is about.
It's about the opportunity this presents.
Not "opportunity" as in some ambulance-chasing, "let's make money during a crisis" ideal.
Opportunity in the sense of a chance to lean into a crisis and make a lasting impact that resets people's perceptions.
THE "NEW" THAT'S HERE TO STAY
On the other side of this COVID thing, I reckon a few things are going to stick, including:
- Remote working
- Acceptance that remote meetings in certain circumstances can be better,
- The realisation that boundaries between work life and home life are very, very important,
- Appreciation of the value of sending young kids to school.....oh yes.
The other thing we've learnt is clients want to be communicated to.
This is something I'm particularly glad of.
Part of what I do and coach in the marketing space is around content marketing. I help make it easier to do with less effort AND make sure that the content my clients are putting out invites conversion, instead of just putting out more info.
I'm glad this situation has put paid to the "I don't want to bother them", or "they won't appreciate me filling their inbox" fear that clients used to share with me from time to time as we got started down this route.
That's gone. Clients have spoken. They want to hear from you. They need to be guided by you.
Client communication is the new missing gap we need to fill.
In truth, many of you have been doing it for years, understanding that delivering little bite-sized pieces of valuable content to clients via digital mediums on a regular (fortnightly or monthly basis) isn't an imposition, but rather the new normal.
For everyone else...well... now we know. It's good to talk.
Thing is, there are two ways you can do this.
The first involves you labouring of what to write/ talk about, how to come up with it, how to make it better/ compliant and it all taking so long you end up wondering how you'll even keep it up.
The second is the way I'd suggest doing it.
This is a big topic, and I'd prefer to explore at length - but I feel like the blog isn't the right forum for sharing all four training modules devoted to the topic of doing awesome, in written or video form on a consistent, regular basis (for all the reasons Adam Smith told us).
So, how about I share just one tip, but a good 'un.
THE BLACK BOOK STRATEGY
I've just received back from Hengky - our graphic design superstar from Malaysia, - our latest brainstorming output, The Good Year Journal.
It's a tool we're about to put into print production - a journal that program members will carry with them that contains:
- Their business vision laid out in all its glory.
- Their plan for the year, via our Domino Plan system (which I think it's the only way to approach this).
- A journal to record metrics, wins, challenges, and focus on a week-by-week basis.
Tracking matters to me, and if an A5 custom made journal is what it takes to make it happen... Moleskine it is then.
But then I realised it's also the answer to the content + copy + communication issue too.
People love stories.
We LOOOOVE them.
Movies, books, campfires, case studies - it's the way we're wired since before we started writing things down.
Meanwhile, increasingly what's working for advice firms who're nailing their marketing right now is regular, high-value content shared with (currently content-hungry) clients who love...
..STORIES (cos they're people)!
So, all you need to do is carry a notebook.
Each and every meeting (or at least once a day), whip it out and write down:
- One story you told a client,
- One story a client told you,
- One lesson that came from the day.
That's all it takes.
I told you it was easy.
Arm yourself with that and you won't have a problem with sharing content with clients...
...you may have a problem finding time to deal with the volume of referrals, the fact that clients seem extraordinarily engaged, or finding time for the book on financial planning you've been inspired to write.
You're an expert. They're paying for your expertise.
Deliver it. Tell stories.