A successful business offering a range of financial services to mainly personal clients had experienced exponential growth and was undertaking a rebranding exercise. A big part of the rebrand was the development of a new website, which would reflect the new capability of the company and highlight the full breadth of services it was now offering, including financial services aimed at businesses.
Knowing your customer
The challenge with writing copy for most businesses is conveying what makes this one company different to others that do the same thing. I have worked with several financial services companies. Understanding the nature of the services they offer, I could have, in theory, written website copy for this client without too much research or enquiry. However, I would have been missing two critical things: what it is about this company that attracts clients and keeps them coming back, and who is the natural match for their services and what those people want or need to know.
Keep it simple
There is an obstacle to doing business in the personal finances sphere that makes marketing a little more challenging: people are reluctant to engage with their finances. This means the language used on this website would have to be very simple, because people believe it will be complicated, and very reassuring, because they fear it.
Meet the founder
Before writing a word of copy, I met the CEO. This man was going places. He was passionate about what he did and had a dynamic attitude. This client did not do the tone of voice workshop with me but that meeting gave me a sense of how the company needed to sound – what its brand tone of voice would be. When I was writing the copy, I would often think, “What would the founder say here?” Having his voice in my head was invaluable.
The next step was to find out who we would be talking to with this website. What struck me immediately about this company was that the experts in the different service areas really knew their customers and so I had discovery sessions with the key people in the different product areas – wealth management, mortgages, tax, financial planning, retirement planning and so on. This was very revealing, particularly when it came to the wealth management client. We developed personas for their very best type of client for each service – their bull’s-eye customers. In developing the personas I got an insight into what was important to each of them and key messages began to form in my head, whether it was about discretion, experience, choice or someone else doing the legwork, just to give some examples.
I wrote the copy for each section based on the persona (or personas) we had created for that section. An internal team reviewed the copy, I made edits and then it was sent to the web developer for uploading.
The website went live with 90% of the content in place, quite an achievement given the size of the website – over fifty pages – and the tight timeframe we had.