The power of storytelling

A number of people commented to me after I recently shared an article from the New York Times. To my mind, this is one of the best case studies I’ve ever read about the power of working with an excellent financial planner. This is not a story about the planner enabling mega-growth in somebody’s wealth. Instead it is the real-life story of how a financial planner helped steer the journalist and his siblings through the death of their father.

The power of this planner’s approach with this family was not in clever financial solutions, it was all about the practical advice given, the quiet hand on the tiller guiding them through one of the most difficult periods of their life and the heartfelt empathy demonstrated as the planner travelled on the difficult road with her clients.

The reason the article has such an impact is because it is not some theoretical explanation of the benefits of financial planning, instead it is demonstrating it in a real-life situation. It is bringing real emotion into an educational and insightful piece.


Make it personal

It reminded me of a conversation I had in the last year with a great Irish financial planner. We were discussing content marketing and LinkedIn & Twitter in particular. He mentioned that his most Liked / Shared / Commented article was a post he put up about celebrating his son’s birthday. However the post was not just about a birthday party, it was about making time for the really important parts of our lives, and doing this in a financially responsible way. Life is not just about working and accumulating wealth, instead it is about being able to live our lives as we choose to do. Excellent financial planning demonstrates to your clients how you can make this happen. Telling this through a personal story makes it much more engaging than an “Expert Insight” piece about financial planning.


Give real-life examples

While I can’t claim to have written such powerful pieces myself, I regularly see the strength of more personal content myself. Over the last year, I’ve written a number of pieces about the impacts of working with backdrop of Covid-19. The most read articles were the ones where I gave some insights into how I’ve approached working in this environment, what has worked well and the mistakes I’ve made for others now to avoid! People want to read real-life stories and examples.

People like insights into your life and how you actually work. Each year I write about apps and technology that I can’t live without and these are some of my most-read articles each year. I was left scratching my head for a few years about this, as I could not understand why these would be read more than the other great and insightful (in my mind) content that I’m writing all of the time!! It’s because people get an insight into the person and how they work.

There’s a lot to be gained from maybe stepping a little out of your comfort zone, opening up a little more than you may have done so previously, and even leaving yourself a little vulnerable.


People will relate and engage better with your personal stories.