There is an unfortunate tendency among financial services firms to assume their client base is immune to the effects of creative writing, or that anything but the carefully vetted, formal tones of corporate “bank-speak” would be too risky for volatility-sensitive ears.
Many firms, consequently, tend to sound alike, building descriptors for products and services from the same limited pool of sanitized vocabulary—the “trusted partner” with “superior customer service” to “meet all your needs.”
While some formality is needed as the caretakers of assets to convey trust and stability, financial services content doesn’t need to be stripped of all humanity. And just because your firm sells derivatives instead of vintage dollhouses, doesn’t mean you don’t have a story.
Here are few tips to help make your financial prose stand out from the crowd:
Make a Connection
Engaging content is what turns prospects into clients. People unfamiliar with your firm need a breakdown on your products and fees, but those aren’t the details they’ll remember when they leave. It’s a personal story, a sense of humor, or even a shared vulnerability that will help them form a lasting connection to you. Social media channels can be platforms for sharing a personal history, an experience overcoming adversity, or an exploration of an outside interest. People are drawn to stories, and they seek people who can illustrate stories through personal experiences. Portfolio managers can lighten quarterly reports with stories about their children; effective CEOs can reveal secrets to their leadership success.
Don’t Be Anchored by Your Boilerplate
It may not seem like your options strategy has a compelling story to tell, and it’s true—it may not. So consider telling the story of your moment of discovery, when you first conceptualized the strategy, and how you envisioned it would impact your clients’ portfolios. Set aside the mechanics of the product, and tell the story from the viewpoint of the investor and his or her life objectives. Whatever you do, don’t get trapped by repetitive product descriptions. Step back and consider why you believe in your fund, strategy or service, and share that connection with your clients. Crisp, a social media risk protection company, shares some insights on how brands in the pharmaceutical industry, which also must navigate regulatory restrictions, managed to be creative and compliant.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Color and Analogies
Readers like analogies and lively quotes that evoke images and reveal personality. They are small details, but they will set you apart in financial services. Most people won’t remember a talking head expounding on the mechanics of a fund, but they will remember the analogy you drew between the role of historic precedent in investment decisions and the behavior of a casino gambler who puts his last coin in the slot despite never having hit a jackpot.
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