Bella Williams on the Fierce Girl’s Guide to Finance – MAF188

This week I talk to Bella Williams, founder of the Fierce Girl’s Guide to Finance.

Bella makes finance simple and we talk about how and why she set up her blog and the success she’s had with it.

Welcome to episode 188 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Bella Williams on the Fierce Girl's Guide to Finance - MAF187

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • What attracted Bella to financial services
  • Why it’s important to simplify complex terms
  • How Bella set up her website
  • Why you need to plan your communication messages
  • Why she’s passionate about helping women understand finance
  • Bella’s advice for women wanting to work in finance

Who is Bella Williams?

Bella is the founder of the website “The Fierce Girl’s Guide to Finance.”

She studied English, History, French and Latin before falling into corporate and financial PR. She worked for a range of clients, including financial advisers and wealth managers.

Having seen the financial world from all angles and developed a ‘nerdy love’ for it, she gained qualifications in applied finance to increase her knowledge.

She now runs the PR and communications department for a fund manager at home in Sydney.

Summary of our chat

Bella says she likes taking complex information to simplify it and explain it to people, and has done this throughout her career.

She says she came to financial services because money is at the core of so many things and she finds it fascinating how everything fits together. Bella believes there’s a need for people who can simplify financial complexities for everyday consumers. Financial communications people add value by making technical language easier to understand. She thinks it’s harder to write something simple than something complex, because you have to explain a concept within certain constraints.

While working on an initiative for financial literacy, she ran some sessions for PR colleagues to explain finance. These went well and inspired Bella and a friend to create videos on the same theme. She then turned these into blogs in a chatty, simple style, as if she was talking to a friend in a bar.

It’s important to map out what you want to say before you start. Bella recommends identifying your overarching message as the one thing your reader will take away. Then, choose three sub-points that would also be helpful for them, and the supporting points for each. Create a narrative structure and build them into a story.

Many women feel dis-empowered and disconnected from their finances, but Bella wants them to re-frame money from being bad and scary into positive, empowering and enabling. Her challenge is to help women decide to invest in their future, because they aren’t conscious of the choices they’re making when it comes to spending. Bella’s advice for women wanting to get into financial services is to just do it! Her own career shows that you don’t have to run portfolios or use spreadsheets to work in finance.

There are many career options within the industry, and while there’s a shortage of women, choosing the right organisation makes a difference.

Marketing Campaign that grabbed Bella’s attention

Bella says she’s obsessed with Ellevest in the US, which is an investment service aimed at women. They have strong reasoning for why women need different products relevant to them. The founder, Sallie Krawcheck, is also a strong supporter of women in finance and business in general. She’s keen to help women-led companies to get more investment money, so it has a social cause too.

Recommended business book

Bella says she rarely reads business books, but listens to a lot of podcasts. Her favourite is The School of Greatness (search for it on iTunes), where the host, Lewis Howes, interviews successful people on what they think is the key to greatness. The guests encourage her to think differently about business and life.

Links and contact details

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