Times are different – do you need to pivot your message?

By Guest |  17-06-20 | 
 
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Morningstar invites thought leaders from the investment community to share their insights. Views expressed are personal and should not be construed as investment advice.

After years of planning his retirement, Jim Schmidt was anxious, almost panicked.

He had saved, been frugal, and planned for his retirement this coming year. Now, on the verge of his transition, the pandemic struck. He thought he had it worked out and now he is not sure. Maybe it is still possible, but he has lost confidence. After years of doing it on his own pretty successfully, he thinks maybe he needs an adviser.

If Jim found your website, would he find what he’s looking for? Would he see the message he needs?

In every crisis there is opportunity. You may need to pivot your message to connect with new people like Schmidt. If you are communicating long-term principles the same way you always have you may not be connecting with prospects who are newly open to evaluating your services.

Donald Miller, author of Building a Story Brand and Marketing Made Simple, points out that messaging in a time of abundance is different than in a time of crisis. You need to pivot your message to be remembered.

Great communicators are differentiators, Miller points out, and suggests that people want to trust them. How have you adapted your message to what the culture is dealing with now?

In my interview with Peter Atwater, he points out that when people lose confidence their capacity for abstract thinking declines and their vision narrows. They retreat more into the “me, here, now.” How can you update your message to connect with people who may have a new willingness to engage with you but less capability to see the bigger picture?

In times of abundance, it makes sense to promote long-term planning. Maintaining that message in a time of crisis risks failing to connect with people like Schmidt. What is he looking for when he searches for a financial adviser? Would he be more likely to respond to a promise of guiding him along the path to retirement or to an offer to evaluate whether his planned retirement is still on track?

Content marketing provides lots of opportunities to communicate a timely message. Blog posts and webinars addressing portfolio management during volatility or navigating the loss of a job can attract attention.

Keep your message timely. Update your homepage. Create valuable content specific to what is happening now. It will help you make the most of the unique opportunity to engage.

This post by Stephen Wershing was first published on The Client Driven Practice.

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