I enjoy going to financial services conferences and events because it’s a good way for me to check whether I am doing things in the right way, if I’m on the right track with how I run my business and how I give advice, but also if we did that slightly differently we would get a better result, or new ideas that could work for us. I am very selective on the ones I go to; I only go to the ones that will bring genuine benefit to my business so I don’t go to many but the ones I do go to always give me some ideas or even encouragement to do more of what I’ve been doing.
Here are the three lessons I’ve learnt from the events I’ve been to.
1) Focus on reputational risk in the business
I went to a PIMs conference and heard wing commander Andy Green, who holds the land speed record talk about breaking the record in his jet-powered vehicle. Although it was in no way financial services-related, when he relayed his story about all the planning the team has to do beforehand, managing risk and getting teams together, there are some similarities between what he does and what we do as financial advisers. It’s really interesting to see how you can apply stories from different industries into your own.
In particular Andy talked about managing risk, as one of Jaguar’s standard engines powered the fuel pump for the jet’s engine. So, Jaguar’s logo was on the side of this supersonic vehicle. The point was how careful they had to be from a branding perspective because if something went horribly wrong, and images were strewn across the globe of wrecked parts with the Jaguar logo on the side that would have a major negative impact.
So for me, I realised we had never really thought about that. Reputational risk is something every business has to be aware of, but I think perhaps this is one issue advisers don’t take enough notice of; how we manage our reputation whether it is in the local community we work in, or what we do on the internet, or what others say about us on the internet.
After hearing that talk it made me think ‘what would we do?’ We’re dealing with referrals and recommendations, and we work in the local community so it is vital to always be seen in the right light.
2) Give podcasts a go
I’ve always been keen on making podcasts as I think they are an excellent way to attract new clients, keep current ones engaged and is generally a great marketing tool. However, I’ve been reluctant because it feels a bit too time-consuming. I think in general advisers lack time and because of that think things will take more time than they do.
But when I heard Pete Matthew, of Jacksons Wealth Management, who has done incredibly well with his podcast Meaningful Money talk at Nucleus’ Illuminate event last year it changed my mind and has made me want to genuinely explore the area.
It is helpful to have a fellow adviser, who runs their own business, explain how they’ve done it and explain the benefits, it just gives you a bit of a boost and made me think this was the right direction for us.
Obviously Pete is very successful and it has worked really well for him, and when he went through his process and his story it made me realise that it’s not as time-consuming as I first thought, and in terms of value, it is definitely worth exploring.
3) It’s important to share ideas with other advisers
This isn’t necessarily something I’ve realised from a speaker, but going to events has made me understand how important it is to talk to like-minded advisers and share ideas to get encouragement and grow.
It helps if you’re at an event because you’re already in the mindset that you want to learn. Being around advisers who actively want to better themselves and their businesses is great, because you can chat and discuss how your businesses are going, what’s going well, or what’s not going well, how and why that is, so you can pick up tips or impart some knowledge, or if you’ve got a new idea, you have a great sounding board of advisers who can tell you what they think to it.
One recent tip I got was from Darren Lloyd Thomas of Thomas and Thomas Finance, who is in the press quite a bit. I got some advice from him on that, and learnt how not to take yourself too seriously when in the media, and also the importance of tweeting articles whether they’re in the trade press or Illuminate so our clients can see our work – it’s just as relevant as if I was in the local paper talking about my business.