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Build Trust through your Communications

2 mins read
by Oliver Broadhurst
Last updated Friday, March 12, 2021

You're providing the right information, but how does it make your clients feel?

Whether you’re listing your information on your Unbiased profile or on your own site, it can be easy to see it as a checklist of qualifications, endorsements, and specialities to be ticked off.

You want to make clear what it is you do, and why you and your business should be trusted.

But is your information achieving these things? As with all communication, writing your information isn’t just about what you say, but also how you say it.


State of the Nation

According to the National Literacy Trust, 5.2 million adults in the UK (around 15% of the adult population) have a reading age of 11 or below. This means that, at best, they have the reading abilities expected of an 11 year old child.

No matter what a person’s reading ability is, they aren’t exempt from making financial decisions. So writing in a way that suits these people will ensure you’re not missing out on business – and by default any person with a higher reading ability will also understand it.


Keep it Simple

How do you write in this way? First thing to note is that this isn’t about ‘dumbing down’ your writing, it’s about making your writing efficient.

When writing a sentence, be sure not to let it run over 25 words, and aim for an average of 17 words per sentence. Try and keep sentences to a single clause. Avoid over-using commas and conjunctions to cram into a sentence as much information as you can.

In terms of word choice, this isn’t about removing the technical terms that are necessary for your work. Instead, try to keep them to a minimum. And if you can think of a simpler version of a word you’ve used, then use that. For example, word such as ‘prior’, ‘terminate’, and ‘diminish’ can be replaced with ‘before’, ‘end’, and ‘go down’ respectively.

The former words may sound more ‘professional’, but only if they’re understood. If not, they’re off-putting - and exclude potential clients already uneasy about seeking financial advice.


It’s All About Trust

You may think using more complex words will impress your potential clients – but they’re already impressed by you.

You have the qualifications and the expertise to benefit their finances and their lives. What your copy needs to do is make your potential client trust that you’re the right person to do business with.

Simple, conversational language works wonders to build trust. Clients feel they understand you, and that you’re talking to them in a way they can relate to. It shows you understand them and their needs, before the first meeting has even taken place.

People tend to be taking a step into the unknown when seeking financial advice. So if you can put them at ease with your language at first contact, then you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful client relationship that lasts.

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Oliver Broadhurst
Oliver has been writing professionally in the financial services space for over five years, focusing on topics ranging from customer experience to industry regulation. He’s consulted with organisations such as UK Finance and the FCA to produce business articles, industry reports, and white papers, while providing insight as a member of panels including The Opening Banking Implementation Entity’s Consumer Group.