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Effective Copywriting Strategies for Financial Planners

By Cedric Jackson, January 18, 2018
Effective Copywriting Strategies for Financial Planners

With tax season just around the corner, this is the time of year when most financial planning professionals find their hands full trying to stay ahead of that looming April 15 deadline. If this describes you or your business, we get the kinds of things you're dealing with right now: new tax laws, chronic procrastinators who don't call until April 10, the ever-present need to maintain a marketing presence...

That last one is one that you might be guilty of neglecting when things start to heat up. It can be hard maintaining a creative (or even communicative) edge when your phone is ringing off the hook already. It might seem like you're having all the interactions and dealings with people you need right now, but that's just not the case.

In a world driven by instant access to information and the need to maintain constant social interaction, your business – every business – needs a strategy in place for staying in front of customers and clients. It also needs a way to stay relevant, position your service as an authority in its niche, and answer questions before they're asked. This is where copywriting for accountants and financial planners like you becomes a vital piece of your marketing puzzle.

Since you've read this far, I'm guessing that you understand and agree that keeping current with content creation is important. You're probably also wondering how to get things done during a time of year when you're spending four months or better burning the candle at both ends.

Without turning this into a sales pitch, you really only have two options: manage your blog, website, and social media in-house, or outsource the responsibility to a content creation or copywriting specialist (or agency).

I'm going to proceed from the assumption that your hectic schedule will preclude – or, at very least, slow down – option A. That leaves outsourcing, and there are loads of reasons why you should consider it. As you are considering it, also consider working with a freelancer or agency that understands what works and what doesn't when developing copy for the financial services industry.

I would like to give you a simple guideline for what sorts of things to look for (and write into your creative briefs and style guides) to ensure that the copy you produce or purchase will have the desired effect of drawing in more clients and maintaining the ones you have now. Highly effective copy in this niche must include the following elements and characteristics, and you should only ever work with a financial services copywriter who understands and implements them well.

#1 – Always Use Plain Speech

Nothing will get a reader to click past a blog post or scroll past a social media posting faster than being pelted with words or terminology he or she cannot instantly define without a trip to or one of the search engines.

Keep in mind that you are the expert and that people look to you for guidance. Using confusing or complex language in your copy can make the reader feel uncomfortable and uneducated. While most people are likely to be familiar with concepts like 401(k)s and IRAs, they might not quite so familiar with stock market terminology or concepts like portfolio management. Your copy needs to educate, not intimidate. Use intelligent but plain speech and steer toward everyday terminology that the average reader can readily understand.

#2 – Appeal to The Reader's Emotions

Most financial planners make logical investment decisions to provide their clients with the best solutions for managing and growing their money. You probably look at past performance and future indicators on the stocks you buy on behalf of your clients and look at other important data that helps your clients make sound investment decisions.

Keep in mind, however, that logic does not appeal to the average person anywhere near as much as emotion. How do you appeal to someone's emotions talking to them about stocks, though? The answer lies in showing that you understand how they feel about the decisions they make and how those decisions will affect them in the future. Instead of this:

“Click to download our prospectus on high-performance stocks.”

While it may look like a good call to action, it is extremely static and unappealing. This, however, gets right to the heart of the matter:

“Click here to learn how you can minimize investment risk and start building a sound financial future through real estate investing.”

Your copy has to be fueled by the concept of human solutions to the kinds of problems and concerns that are native to taking risks with someone's hard-earned money. No one cares about your prospectus (sorry to be so blunt, but let's be real here...). What they care about is having a sound future. That being the case, your copy needs to steer the conversation towards that end. Pull out the prospectus later, once the prospect is in the right frame of mind to hear about it.

#3 – Drive the Pain Points

In marketing terms, this is the equivalent of the problem/solution narrative. Every product and service in the world exists for one simple reason: to provide a solution to a problem. With that in mind, it is always an effective tactic to lead with the common problem or problems that your product or service exists to solve.

Remind people why they need your services and make believable promises about what you can and will do to meet their needs. This is really Part B of the emotional appeal model: confront them with the problem, then offer the solution. At that moment in time, you are the only one who can. Drive that point home in your copy and be sure to include specific calls to action that motivate the reader to do whatever it is you expect them to do with the information presented.

Final Takeaway

It's not easy creating engaging copy for certain industries, but it is always possible. Any copywriter worth his or her salt would readily agree. Want your clients and prospects to get excited about financial planning? Want them to become excited about working with you? It starts by delivering a steady flow of great content and showing them that you have the desire and expertise necessary to help them solve their issues and meet their goals.

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