As a financial planner or adviser, one of the best resources you can offer to clients and prospects is a useful guide about pensions. Yet how do you create one that creates the desired impact and which offers value to your audience?

At CreativeAdviser, we have spent our years offering graphic design and creative solutions specifically to the financial sector. In this post, we outline how you can create a compelling PDF pension guide and use it on your different marketing channels.

We hope you find this content useful. To explore our own range of ready-made, brandable pension guides please visit our Clients Plus website to find out more. Or, feel free to reach out to us here to discuss your own content or marketing project with us.


Decide on format

PDFs were developed in the early 1990s and are still widely used today. It is a trusted format used by individuals and businesses across the world. As such, PDFs can be a great option for a pension guide.

However, you may find that PDFs do not quite offer the functionality and interactivity of other formats. Online formats, in particular, can offer lovely transitional animations between page turnings and include “in-content” engagement features (e.g. calculators) that are simply not available on a PDF.

As such, plan out your pension guide ahead of time and decide what kind of impact you’d like it to have, and which format may be best suited for this. Bear in mind that PDFs can be downloaded and uploaded to different marketing channels – such as your WordPress website – but large files may be cumbersome.


Design & colour

Readers not only need to feel comfortable with the words in your PDF pension guide. It also needs to be pleasing to the eye and enjoyable to look at. Nobody wants to read an ugly, ill-constructed PDF!

Your colour scheme and overall design play a key role here. The former will likely be heavily influenced by your own brand’s visual identity, so it’s important to take a further step back and ask yourself whether your financial brand provides a decent design foundation to base your pension guide upon.

Make sure you don’t simply overload your pension guide with colour. Be careful to make appropriate use of white space as well, to break up the presentation and keep everything tidy.



You should be careful to avoid loading your pension guide with a huge wall of text, like an academic essay. Hardly anyone will want to read that, even if the content is fantastic. It will look boring and intimidating.

As such, make sure you include a good range of high-res, attractive imagery to give the reader something to engage their eyes as they read along. Be careful in your selection, however. Many visual cliches exist in the financial services industry (e.g. a man standing in a field with arms stretched out towards the sun), and your audience will likely react negatively to these.

Also, consider the theme and style of each image throughout your pension guide. It is possible to choose a set of lovely images which have absolutely no relation to each other, or to the text content. Having a strong financial brand will help guide your choices here. Lacking one, however, will likely mean that you need to work harder.


Titles & subtitles

You cannot possibly cover all the information there is about pensions in a single guide. Therefore, you will need to centre it around a particular subject. This, in turn, will have a big impact on your choice of title and subtitles for the presentation.

Consider taking a big question – such as “How to retire early” – and break it down into relevant, digestible sections throughout the pension guide over the course of, say, 8-12 pages.


Text & content

The guide itself will need to contain excellent value which readers will be keen to consume. Part of this will involve positioning the title (mentioned above) so that it offers a solution to one of their pressing pain points. For instance, “Should I transfer my final salary pension?”.

The main substance of the copy, moreover, needs to be relevant and not simply “filler” or “padding”. Make every word count and keep on-topic. Try not to veer into other subjects or over-stress a point that has already been aptly made.

Consider referring to secondary research by authoritative sources (e.g. the ONS) to back up the claims you are making. Maintain a high standard of spelling and grammar throughout, and make appropriate use of paragraphs and bullet points to break up the text.


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