Phillip Reid and Michael Johnson - Sydney Aged Care Financial Advisers
Below we profile a practice to gain some insights into how the practice works, learn about its people, and some of its secrets to success.
In this practice profile we catch-up with Phillip Reid and Michael Johnson from Sydney Aged Care Financial Advisers.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve been in financial planning since 2000 and love helping people achieve their financial goals. I’m married to Susan and have two children, Alyssia, 14, and Chelsea, 3. We love to travel and I make sure the family leaves the country every year for a little R&R. This year we’re off to Vietnam for two weeks and I’m looking forward to understanding more about the Vietnamese way of life and the food! I also don’t mind a swim in the ocean and playing golf when I get a chance.
I’m married to Jackie with two beautiful children, Georgia, 2 and Alice, 7 months. Although, as a younger man I had a desire to travel the world as an international flight attendant, I ended up in the financial services industry. I’ve been working with Phil for the past eight years. First as a paraplanner, then financial planner and more recently a partner. At school and at university I excelled at the unusual sport of orienteering so Phil does find it surprising when I often get lost on the way to work and run late most days. In 2015 I watched every ball of every game of the Big Bash cricket.
Tell us a bit about your practice?
Our aged care story started in 2012 when we developed a referral agreement with a reverse mortgage broker who provided us with financial advice leads for our practice BSR Financial Advisers. At that time, a large number of clients required reverse mortgages to fund their aged care needs and we were able to assist them with financial advice before they made their move into residential aged care.
We quickly got up to speed on our aged care planning and strategies as we believed it would be a growth area as it was complicated and there were not many planning groups operating in the space.
Then in 2014 we started a new business called Sydney Aged Care Financial Advisers and looked for new ways to find aged care leads.
We identified that the online space would be the most cost-effective & efficient channel to satisfy client needs. We moved away from the traditional methods of lead generation and tapped into Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
When we launched the aged care business back in 2014, we started with a clean slate and this year (2017) we’re on track to achieve $200,000 in revenue. Part of that revenue story is now having over $8m in FUA from our aged care clients as well as many millions more in the Challenger Annuity products.
What are your secrets to success?
One of the secrets to our success was the use of SEO to help build aged care leads and ensure our business was easily identifiable when someone searched ‘aged care’ on Google. We used an external agency to help us develop our SEO strategy and they helped us develop our website, branding, image, name, content and social media strategy.
The aged care business is also a great way to gain additional financial advice leads. The people who are looking for aged care services are predominately in their 50s-60s and may not have their own financial planner relationship. We see that as an opportunity to talk to them about other services we provide and if you do a good job of taking care of their loved ones, you’ll gain their trust. So when they look to sell property, manage their super or retirement needs, they are more likely to contact us rather than going to another financial adviser.
What advice would you provide practices considering implementing an SEO strategy?
- Have a specific area you want to focus on because that will affect the ‘ad words’ you can target when developing your SEO strategy & differentiate your business. For example, it may be more difficult to promote ‘Sydney Financial Planning’ because larger organisations with larger budgets may already be competing for that word. If you have a niche service or concept then your SEO can be more targeted and ideally, more effective and less expensive. What worked for us was purchasing very specific aged care related ad words like ACAT assessment or accommodation bonds. This would then generate leads and ultimately financial advice.
- In conjunction with your ad-word spend it is important you develop content on your website to help boost organic growth.
- The other piece of advice is to offer something on your website that is free. Google loves when websites offer free guides and could help in your page ranking i.e. appearing higher on search pages. Once they’ve clicked through to your site they can access the free guide or checklist. Just make sure that you get their details before they download it. That way you can follow them up with a phone call or email. This information may also be handy for other targeted campaigns if you think they are appropriate to their needs.
What’s next for your business?
We’re looking to diversify our lead generating options away from just the website as the aged care websites/SEO space becomes more saturated. We’ve just hired a marketing consultant to help work out ways to improve our brand recognition with aged care facilities in Sydney and through various other placement services.
We’re also looking to maximise our potential leads by starting to use our current customer database to develop targeted e-newsletters.
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