In 2023 an estimated 20,000 individual CII members and 800 firms qualify for “chartered” status as financial planners. Yet how many of these financial planners are using this status effectively in their financial marketing?
A delicate balance needs to be struck. Your chartered status is unlikely to be the first thing that a potential client wants to know about a financial planner. Rather, he/she probably wants to establish if you are a broad fit for their needs, have worked with similar people like them and can do the job that they need, competently. Yet letting prospects know that you meet the “gold standard” in financial planning might offer the extra nudge they need to choose you over a competitor.
Below, our team at CreativeAdviser offers some ideas about how to wield your chartered status effectively in your financial marketing plan. We hope these thoughts are helpful and please get in touch if you’d like to discuss your own marketing strategy with us.
Add it to a financial website
There are rules governing how the Chartered Financial Planner logo can be added to your website and wider marketing collateral. So, make sure you adhere to these. In particular, check that you use the most recent logo design and not the old one! Also, be mindful that there are small differences between the logos for a Chartered Financial Planner and a Chartered firm.
The precise place to add the logo is not a universal choice. Some financial firms like to add it in their website header, whilst others prefer slightly further down a page (e.g. the homepage) or in the footer. Be careful, however, if you are not a Chartered firm but you have one or more Chartered advisers within your business. In which case, the logo should be added only to the page(s) about the adviser(s).
Your website offers the opportunity to explain more about what Chartered status is and how it affects clients. Here, you may consider adding the official CII video onto your financial website and adding some text about how you attained it. The “About Us” page on your website can be a good place to add these assets. If need help embedding the CII video onto your website, consider approaching your developer.
Add it to client communications
Your financial website is not your only brand touch-point with clients, of course. Email is likely important for communication with them, so ensuring that the Chartered Financial Planner logo is correctly integrated into your email signature is a gentle reminder to clients about your status and competence. You could also include a link to the section on your website which explains this in more detail.
Similarly, if you produce a client newsletter – say, once per month or once per quarter – then it can be a good idea to include your Chartered logo somewhere appropriate (e.g. on the bottom of the front cover). Also, don’t forget your VouchedFor and/or Unbiased profiles. Including your Chartered status on these directories is a simple way to enhance the power of your financial marketing in local search engine results.
Add it to office collateral
It can be good to remind staff about your professionalism by including your Chartered logo on appropriate office stationery. Featuring it on business cards, letterheads, compliment slips, folders, brochures, leaflets, pop-up banners, mugs, pens or notepads can be good options. Here, make sure the material and print quality are up to standard. You want it all to make a good impression.
When clients visit your offices, it may also be useful to have the Chartered logo featured alongside your own logo in the reception area and on office signage. Since visitors will spend time waiting in these places, they are likely to look around and take in their surroundings – wondering what the various branded elements all mean. This could even spark a conversation about your Chartered status later.
Add it to social media
In today’s increasingly digital age, it is important not to neglect your online profiles apart from your website – especially social media. Whilst you should not strive to be active on every social channel, it helps to have a professional presence on 1 or 2 where your target clients are likely to congregate online. For many financial planners, LinkedIn will probably be important. Yet Facebook and YouTube can each have their place too.
Make sure you adhere to CII guidelines when adding the Chartered logo to your social profile(s). If you are not a Chartered firm but one of your advisers is, for example, then the logo could be allowed on his/her own personal LinkedIn profile. However, you may be prohibited from adding it to your company’s LinkedIn page.
Final thoughts on your financial marketing
Make sure you keep all of these assets up to date once they are in place. If the Chartered logo changes again in the future, for instance, then you will likely need to access your profiles and design files quickly (e.g. for your client brochure) to update them accordingly.
Whilst there is no direct SEO benefit for broadcasting your Chartered status on your financial website, it can help your website visitors to qualify themselves – potentially improving your sales pipeline. If, say, an unsuitable prospect sees the Chartered logo whilst browsing your website, they might think: “These people are clearly amongst the best – they probably don’t want to talk to me about my ISA!” This could prevent them from filling out the contact form and, bluntly, wasting your time.
More positively, your Chartered status could provide the extra authority your online brand needs to help high-net-worth prospects choose you over other financial planners (who do not hold Chartered status, or who do not advertise it effectively).
Whatever ways you choose to communicate your Chartered status, consider writing a short paragraph explaining what it is, why it matters and the difference it makes to your business and to clients.