Getting Aussies to give some thought to their super, can be a challenge at the best of times. And when there’s some big changes on the horizon, it’s even more important to grab people's attention and encourage them to act.
You want to help, so you start trying to get the message out.
You write blog posts, send newsletters, run webinars and seminars, and post links till your Facebook buddies stage an intervention.
But despite all your efforts, you're probably not getting much traction. Perhaps a bit of interest from your existing clients, but no one else is paying much attention.
Ugh. Frustrating, isn't it?
But pause for a sec and take your financial planner hat off for a bit. Replace it with one that belongs to a professional couple in their early forties with two kids under 8. They’re both working 45+ hour weeks, and caring for a sick elderly relative. One of them is studying for their MBA. There’s child care, footy practice and yoga classes.
They’re a responsible, loving family. They're happy and fulfilled, but you know the predicament...
There’s more things to do than hours in the day. And it’s hard to prioritise anything new when they can't easily determine if it's important to them.
So, when they see a blog post titled, "Super changes 1 July 2017" or "Super changes are coming" in their Facebook feed, the chances of them clicking on it, are next to none.
It’s just another news article that doesn’t really matter…at least that's how it appears.
They don’t click. They don't read. They don’t learn. They don’t take advantage of the opportunities or update their strategy to avoid future pain.
But what if you made a couple of changes to that blog post you've written, and get the right people to pay attention and be in a better position to judge whether they need to do something or not?
1. Rejig your headline
While financial advisers might be intrinsically attracted to articles titled, "Super changes", most 'normal' people are not.
So one of the simplest things you can do to improve your article, is update the headline. It’s amazing how a few tweaks can help get the attention of more of the people the article is designed to help.
Think click-worthy. Not click-baity.
A simple formula is to answer these two questions in your headline:
1. Who is it for?
2. Why should they care?
MoneySmart, an ASIC project that is focused on financial information for consumers, has broken the "who" down for you:
- Low income earners (people earning less than $40,000)
- High income earners (people earning more than $250,000)
- People who want to make extra super contributions
- Retirees or those approaching retirement
It might not be perfect, but it’s a good start. You may wish to choose different ways of categorising the "who", based on what groups of people you want to reach with your article.
Adding a "why should they care" element will also help people immediately see either the opportunity or the problem. You can empathise with the pain (not twist the knife), or encourage the gain.
Let’s look at high income earners as an example. The pain? If they ignore the super changes, they may end up paying more tax.
So combining our "who" and "why", here are some (very rough draft) headline ideas:
- Earning more than $250,000? Don’t pay more tax in 2017-2018 because you missed this super rule change
- High income earners to lose super tax benefits
- Why you need to tweak your super strategy if you earn more than $250,000 (you don’t want to pay more tax, do you?)
You get the picture, right?
The "who" and the "why" is there. And yes, they’re a little cheesy, but that's what drafts are for.
The result is that the people that will benefit from reading the article will be more likely to click a link if they see it ... especially when you compare it with a generic, "Super changes" headline.
2. Filter out the noise
Of course, if you make your headline specific, you need to make your content equally specific.
Don’t make those high income earners scroll through a laundry list of legislation updates to find the information that applies to their situation.
That might mean you need to write a number of articles – one for each demographic or life circumstance. Or even just the ones that are applicable to your ideal clients.
It means you can go a little deeper and provide some examples. It will enhance your readers' understanding and help them see the upside of doing something about it.
And the more specific you are, the easier it is for readers to not only identify themselves, but their friends and family, in the scenarios. Ditto for centres of influence and their clients.
Before you know it, your article is being shared outside of your network and subtle referrals start to happen from people simply wanting to help those they care about.
3. Give a next step
We humans are pretty odd. Even when we know we should (or shouldn’t) do something, we often don’t (or do).
Sometimes, we need a nudge.
The simplest way to do this, is to add a call to action to your post. Tell people what the next step is.
A word of warning – your action step shouldn’t exclusively be to contact you. That might be an option, but I’d encourage you to add in at least one action before they contact you.
What do they need to look out for? What do they need to consider?
Do they need to check their last super statement or current salary package and see whether they are under or over a threshold? Do they need to ask their employer if they are open to tweaking their salary package to increase or decrease contributions after 1 July?
This will prompt readers to take one tiny first step, and elevate their own, "I gotta do something about this" levels. And that little push starts the momentum.
Remember, action is what you’re trying to promote.
Update and share again
Even if you’ve already published an article or newsletter about the super changes, try updating the headline, making your content more specific and adding a call to action.
Share it again and see whether you get greater traction. You can even encourage your readers to share it with their friends or family so they don’t get caught out either.
Being able to effectively communicate changes to legislation is an important part of what you do. With that one skill, you can help more people make better decisions about their money, even if they can't afford or aren't ready for financial advice.
And you'll probably attract new clients in the process.