Did you catch Jason Zweig’s recent post, “It’s the Little Things That Can Color an Investor’s Outlook”? In it, he shared the results of a recent study on how strongly we behaviorally biased humanoids can be swayed simply by the color in which our investment choices are displayed. When participants saw financial losses in fire-alarm red instead of benign black and white, their responses were more frequently stained with the telltale fingerprints of fear and risk aversion … unless, unsurprisingly, they were colorblind.
So that’s one interesting data point suggesting that the colors in your communications may matter more than you realize, and not always as you might expect from a financial accounting point of view.
This important message, often overlooked, reminds me of an article I stumbled across recently by software developer Nick Babich, entitled “Red, White, and Blue.” Babich is a self-described “UI/UX lover,” which may sound nefarious but it means he concentrates on how to improve websites’ user interface (UI) and user experience (UE).
In other words, colors are his bag, baby. He offers several other reasons you should be more in touch with your and your clients’ inner rainbow than you may currently be.
This week’s whimsy is inspired by a recent thread in the Evidence-Based Advisors LinkedIn group about John Oliver’s outrageously entertaining attack on many retirement plans’ high fees and opaque arrangements. It’s watchable, worthwhile, and free to share as a link or an embed … You’d think we’d be taking this piece viral faster than you can say “teacup pig.” (If you’re not catching the reference, watch the video.)
But there’s a catch. The language is so salty, the video could serve double duty as a cow lick. It makes McDonald’s fries seem like health food. You get my drift. While most agreed that the piece is “stunningly good” (said one commentator), “the language is just a bit too much” to share (said another). See for yourself, if you’ve not yet.
Should you or shouldn’t you use cuss words in your communications?
Some of the advisers with whom I work regularly pepper their pieces with their own special blend of the famed words from George Carlin’s, “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.” Oliver’s popularity puts all of ours to shame, and those seven-plus words aren’t slowing him down. Like us, our clients are adults; if we like the video, why wouldn’t they? And what’s Oliver got that we haven’t?
While writing, editing and otherwise putting together solid sentences is a timeless talent, effectively delivering your messages to the audiences you have in mind requires some serious tech power these days. As I focus on helping investment advisors with what they have to say to the world, I receive plenty of queries about how they can best spread the good word.
“Do you know someone who can help us with …”
Building (or updating) our website?
Sustaining our social media and related activities?
No, I am not claiming to have invented the World Wide Web. But I am launching a brand new “WWW” today – Wendy’s Wednesday Whimsy – a weekly(ish) short & sweet idea that I believe evidence-based advisers like you will find helpful to your cause.
Today, I’m giving a nod to Neligan Financial’s website. After all, our evidence-based advisor friends over in the Land of the Brexit could no doubt use some kindness this week.
What I Like About It:
It’s nice and clean overall, good use of colors, language and imagery to convey a distinct personality, give it a sense of place, and quickly communicate key themes.
I am particularly fond of its Services page. I love how the adviser used his prospective clients’ most pressing questions as his key service offerings. Score!
Scrolling down to his newsfeed, check out this recent post: “Things That Reward Patience.” It shows how you don’t have to write a lot to say so much. Bravo!
For the record, I don’t know this adviser personally (yet). I stumbled across his site when he joined our Evidence-Based Advisors LinkedIn group. If the group is a good fit for you, I encourage you to do the same.
How is your advisor website like a toothbrush? Both are basic essentials, and come in a huge range of sizes and options to reflect your individual tastes. Most important, just as you should regularly replace your toothbrush well before it’s snapped in two, you should treat your website to a regular refresh to keep it relevant in the face of ever-advancing technology. Continue reading “How Is Your Advisor Website Like a Toothbrush?”→