Influencers are not the only ones making money from social media as financial advisers are realising the benefits of Instagram and YouTube as a way to gain new clients.
Chanelle Pattinson is an independent financial adviser at P&P Invest, but to her Instagram followers she is probably better known as @financewithchanelle, through which she has built up more than 1,900 followers in less than a year.
“What I found was that when I said I was a financial adviser/planner, nobody really understood what that meant. Everyone had a perception that it was just for the older generation. I just wanted to show that actually I was a financial adviser, I’m young and it can be interesting.”
As Sarah Pennells, consumer finance specialist at Royal London, puts it: “If more people understand the benefits of financial advice, know what a financial adviser does, and feel confident in finding the right one for them, it should help those who could benefit from advice, but have yet to take it.”
As well as challenging the perception of financial advice and planning, Pattinson says she has gotten clients because of her Instagram profile.
“I started posting lots of content that was educational. But what I realised was that when I also started to include stuff that was a bit more personal – photos of me, my dog, my other half – that’s actually what people really engaged with.
“Showing that I was a real person and I’m relatable seemed to be the turning point. I found a lot of people said that they saw me, and felt like they could relate, and they’d feel comfortable talking to me about their finances. It kind of broke down the barrier before they’d even spoken to me.”
Indeed, some of the biggest barriers that people have to taking advice can be emotional rather than practical, says Pennells, such as believing that advice is “not for people like them”.
“Many advisers are fantastic at walking in their clients’ shoes. But maybe we should all ask ourselves if we’re doing enough to see things from the perspective of people who aren’t yet taking advice,” Pennells adds.
Besides Instagram, Pattinson has gained clients after guest speaking on podcasts, and involving herself in professional networks.
“[I have done this] purely for connecting with interesting people because I love learning things from different people and accidentally that’s attracted clients as well, because we’ll be chatting about what they do, and when they turn around and say, ‘What do you do?’ I say, ‘I’m a financial adviser/planner’.
"A lot of people aren’t sure where to go, or they don’t know what to look for, when I turn around and say I am one. Someone the other day said, ‘I had an inheritance not too long ago but I just didn’t know where to go, so it’s just sat in my bank account. We’ll have to have a chat.’ I wasn’t expecting it at all.