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Going digital for adviser businesses

There might be something to this internet thing...

Monday, June 25th 2018, 4:04PM 1 Comment

by Russell Hutchinson

So how, without inventing blockchain, going crypto, or getting lost in the pursuit of ‘likes’ do you, and adviser, ‘go digital’? Here’s a quick guide.

1. Use the stuff. This step has two parts: inbound, and outbound. Use the stuff, use your email effectively. Ensure your site includes all the ways to contact you, and you monitor them. Make it nice. Money spent is not always a good proxy for quality, but having it look nice, on mobile phones – not just your web designer’s Mac, is critical. First impressions count, right. How do you know what looks good? By using the stuff. At work, and in your personal life, try the mantra ‘think digital first’ for a few months to get you in the mood. If you haven’t already, then for goodness sake, read an e-book, take an Uber, buy weird stuff from overseas, get a smart lock. Use the stuff.

2. Create. You read, you think, and you write some good adviser-y commentary. Draw charts, pictures, record a video, and write some things to explain why you give advice the way you do. Try twitter, facebook, and LinkedIn, keep your writing, make the less bad bits available on your website. Get someone to read it and comment, share it in your peer group and try and work out what’s most valuable to your clients.

3. Take your advice pitch digital. Try to replicate the things you say to a new potential client and make that content on your website. You probably ask questions when you do that – bring those into the process. Try to make the digital version just as interactive as the conversation would be if you met them. Then take all your rough notes to your web person and see if they can make your site do that too. Make sure the resulting forms / chat / app is secure.

4. Take your admin processes digital. Try to replace all your fussy off-line ways of doing things with cool new online ways of doing them instead. Look for robust, standard, software services that are entirely online and used by lots of people. They don’t need to be that expensive – look around.

5. Always start new things as digital projects. Whatever bright new ideas you gate about how to run your business, apply the rule ‘think digital first’, it will force you to document, structure, and logically define any change you make to your business – if only to avoid spending a fortune on IT re-work.

6. Pull it all together with good governance. Even for a small business, create the processes that set policy, check to ensure it is being followed, gets independently reviewed regularly, and is documented adequately. Don’t begrudge the money, it will save you in the long term.

And, good luck.

Tags: Opinion Russell Hutchinson

« Questions of Conduct: when does good conduct become financial advice?Did the Australian Royal Commission change everything? Or had everything changed already? »

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Comments from our readers

On 27 June 2018 at 5:45 am RiskAdviser said:
Excellent points! Most are afraid of it, or are focused on the here and now. Change means opportunity, being more efficient in this way is more effective in the long term.

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