Why this Chartered FP has gone all in on videos and blogs
Martin Dodd, managing director of Midlands Investment Agency, is on a mission to win new clients and help consumers engage with financial planning through his use of blogs and videos
Chartered financial planner Martin Dodd is harnessing the power of blogging and video in a bid to reach out to a wider audience and grow his client bank.
The managing director of Wolverhampton-based Midlands Investment Agency, Martin hopes by sharing his knowledge across social media, he will be able to highlight the value of financial planning and attract new clients.
“I think it’s fair to say that most of the population don’t know the value we add and financial planning lacks the shop front other industries have,” he explains. “Often I have conversations with people and they have no idea what an adviser does or indeed how to go about approaching one. I hope that by putting myself out there I’m raising awareness both for my own firm and the wider industry.”
Martin started blogging around three years ago and writes across a broad range of topics; inspiration for which he gets from financial news, fellow IFAs and his own experience.
His blogs are written in what he describes as a “friendly, personal” style, tackling different subjects and unraveling technical language to appeal to the ordinary person; an approach he believes is more effective than simply selling his services.
“Push marketing has had its day,” he says. “Like most people, I’m on social media and I’ve come to the realisation that nobody buys anything, be it a product or a service, without doing some research and the advent of social media has just made it that much easier to carry out that research.
“Look at the adverts of John Lewis and Lloyds Bank; that’s the kind of pull marketing that appeals and that is what we, as an industry, should be doing. I have worked as an adviser for 30 years and it still astonishes me the lack of interaction and engagement we have with potential clients. We must raise more awareness around what we do; if we carry on as we are, we won’t register on the radar of the millennials once they’re in a financial position to seek advice,” he adds.
For Martin, who spends an average of 40 minutes writing each piece, blogs provide a way of showing his personality and sharing the knowledge he has acquired over his 30 years in the industry. While he admits that it’s difficult to report something new, he hopes that by putting his own spin on a subject, he will come across as interesting and engaging. What’s more, he hopes they will help to attract a younger audience.
Martin, whose clients range from ages 40 to mid-80s, says: “I’ve got nearly 20 years left in me if I want it and I would like my business to carry on beyond me. I need to future proof the business and I can only do that by bringing on younger clients.”
To that end, he recently invested in video production equipment which will allow him to film professional videos to be uploaded on his YouTube channel MoneyTalk TV. Martin, who created his first video 18 months ago, says he was inspired by professional video blogger Gary Vaynerchuk, who made his fortunes first through video blogging and then by setting up a social media brand consulting agency.
“He inspired me to put myself out there and start conversations with people,” explains Martin. “He is very pro-content and I think that’s something we can learn from as an industry. Advisers have a tendency to keep their knowledge to themselves but I think everyone can benefit from sharing their knowledge and providing content for free.”
MoneyTalk TV already features close to 30 videos and Martin has a further 12 video blogs ready to be produced. He plans to hire a graduate to help film those for him and employ digital services website Fiverr to upload subtitles, which will allow people to watch the videos on the move.
So far, Martin’s efforts have met with positive feedback from both existing and prospective clients. While he doesn’t measure results, he says he receives a number of enquiries off the back of those and notes that it helps keep him in the forefront of people’s mind.
He says:” “I find blogging and creating videos extremely enjoyable and they ensure that people know I exist, so if and when they require advice I will be first in line. I don’t need more clients, but I would certainly like more clients and I’ve always felt that I should grow and develop the business while I have the time and capacity to do it.”
It’s an approach Martin believes more advisers should be following.
“There’s a concern that restrictions and regulation might make it difficult for advisers to market themselves, so as an industry we need to be exploring ways to highlight the value we can add and ensure that not only do we continue to help clients and build trust, but also that we encourage young people to join what is a fantastic industry,” he says.
Visit the Midlands Investment Agency website
Visit the MoneyTalk TV channel