The Face of a new breed of Financial Planner [A behind-the-scenes peek]
Insurance has been around for the longest time.
But unlike many long-standing industries (like music, media, and transportation), some practitioners still cling on to old methods of prospecting and sales, leading to many a hilarious gripe like the one below:
Unfortunately, these practices do not improve public perception of the Insurance agent. Which is a pity, given the essential nature of the product.
Enter the new age Financial Planner. There has been a new breed of them arising in recent years, who make the effort to create a distinct brand and professional image, through content creation and social media engagement.
How exactly are they different?
Instead of badgering the man on the street, they aim to educate him instead.
Instead of wooing a prospect, they let people approach only when ready.
Instead of focusing on a sale, their aim is to provide proper service.
We sit down with one such planner called Jiale, who has painstakingly created a series of 22 educational videos, and a number of articles to boot.
He candidly shares his thought process and transformational journey with us.
What made you decide to create content?
I strive to make the concept of money simple, because I believe clarity brings power.
Most content out there is still peppered with confusing language. It can be made more friendly for regular folks. I hope to create money-related content that even 8-year-olds can understand, so they can have more control over their financial future. It is me playing a small role to make this world a better place.
Walk us through the content creation process
I create primarily video and digital print content, but their creation can be distilled to three main steps:
- Pick a topic of interest
- Determine 3 key points that I want to bring across
- Use the simplest of English to deliver the points
While simple enough to summarize, the actual execution takes far more effort.
What are the pains that no one gets to see?
Creating content is time-consuming. Very time-consuming.
And I do that on top of meeting clients daily. Hence, most of my content is created when people are already asleep, or still asleep. It is pretty exhausting, to be honest. And occasionally, my wife would whine about me not spending enough time with her. Hehe.
What keeps you going?
I continue to create content because my videos and articles do make a difference, and it makes me happy. My clients give me many thumbs up for the simple content.
I even got recognized twice on the streets by strangers, and they applauded me for my work. That was superbly satisfying. Giving great content to my clients consistently is also one way for me to express my gratitude to their continuous support.
I cannot thank them enough!
How has it helped your financial practice/business?
In a word: tremendously!
1. In 2017, I’m was blessed with 60 referrals from my clients without needing to ask. I’ve also gotten a handful of Singaporeans approaching me via my Facebook page, requesting to do financial planning. How cool!
2. AXA has also given me much recognition for my efforts. This year, they are inviting me to share my social media journey on platforms like Sales Power Hour and Thematic Career Talk. I really appreciate opportunities like these.
3. I have been nominated as one of the finalists for the Digital Agent of the Year 2018 by the Asia Insurance Review. It is a big deal to me to have recognition from an industry media titan!
4. Creating content regularly is a great way to keep clients warm all year round. You can ask them out in any season and they would be delighted to meet you!
AXA gave you a formal title in recognition for your efforts. Tell us more!
Yes, I’m very fortunate to be AXA’s 1st ever Social Ambassador, thanks to my director, Calvin, who nudged AXA for it. This recognition fits timely into AXA’s vision to expand into the digital space.
My role as a Social Ambassador is to lead the next batch of digital-savvy advisers to revolutionize sales through social media.
You have a great looking website. Tell us the story behind it
It is almost axiomatic today that if a business cannot be found on Google, it does not exist. Hence, I engaged a few talented locals to assist me with branding and beautifying my website.
The “Jiale Financial Planning” logo was designed by Ivan Woo from Nout Studio (a.k.a. the SG50 logo designer) and the professional shots were the works of Matthew Ng by Matthew Ng Photography.
Then I brought in my video testimonials, MoneyMap Videos, articles etc and pieced them together into www.Jiale.finance. The main idea is to showcase Jiale Financial Planning on a single consolidated platform, where all my content is available.
What advice would you give other planners that want to embark on the same journey?
I would say Consistency and Patience are key.
It takes a while to see the fruits of your labour in the social media journey because the online audience takes a while to warm up to you. For me, it took about 2 years or so before I saw the efforts pay off.
Slow and steady is the way to go.
What can we expect from you in 2018 and beyond?
I’m currently filming a profile video for Jiale Financial Planning, to be launched in late April.
In my free time, I’ll be crafting a new seminar on the topic of Retirement for my clients. I also have plans to roll out monthly newsletters and monthly Moneymap Videos in the second half of 2018. It would be really lovely to be featured in The Straits Times, Money Section.
My very own book on money will be published in 2019.
www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.
We might aim to shoot a few videos of our own someday. But for now, we would gladly shoot for some sleep first.
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