My guest this week is Lisa Conway-Hughes, a financial adviser and author.
We chat about why she started the Miss Lolly blog and how this led to a book publishing deal with Penguin.
Welcome to episode 198 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.
What you’ll hear about in this episode
- What motivated Lisa to become a financial adviser
- Why Lisa set her website up
- How Lisa simplifies complex financial terms
- Why financial advisers use jargon
- The feedback on the Miss Lolly blog
- How her book came about
- The process for writing her book
Who is Lisa Conway-Hughes?
Lisa started working for a financial advice firm after university before sitting exams to fellowship level. Joining Westminster Wealth Management in 2012, she decided to sort out her own finances when she had children.
Lisa runs a website called Miss Lolly, offering smart financial advice for women. She says that organising her own money was easy, but she wanted to give support to people who can’t or don’t want to pay for advice. Lisa is also writing a book called “Money Lessons”, how to Manage Your Finances to Get the Life You Want.”
Summary of our chat
Initially, Lisa got into finance because it was the first job offer she got after university. Once in the industry, she realised she’d developed a passion for it. She says there’s more to it than just pensions and tax. It’s about digging into people’s lives and building relationships. She finds it rewarding.
Lisa’s women’s networking group encouraged her to create an alter ego to stand out among the greyness of financial advice. Miss Lolly started as a Twitter account, helping people understand their finances and make the right choices. It grew from there, gaining press coverage and giving her speaking opportunities.
Early in her career, Lisa the company sent Lisa out to employers to explain how company pensions and benefits worked. She realised one of her talents was explaining complex financial products in simple terms. She uses the same tone of voice on her the website, so people could easily understand her explanations.
Lisa thinks the finance industry uses jargon like a safety blanket: “If we use it and our client looks mystified, it makes us feel us intelligent. They’re never going to leave us, they need us.” In fact, customers struggle to engage with jargon, and it’s better to communicate on their level.
When Lisa sent a survey out to her website users, she learned that she’s made a difference to people who wouldn’t normally seek financial advice. It was heart-warming to get feedback and not just a ‘thank you for answering.’ She learned that 25% of her blog readers are men, suggesting they also like her style.
Asked on a podcast what her plans were for 2018, Lisa spontaneously said she wanted to write a book. Penguin, the book publisher, then contacted her and asked to write a book for them. They helped her write for a younger market than she has for Miss Lolly and she learned what makes millennials tick.
Lisa said she had a short deadline to complete her book, and had to do a lot of rewriting to make sure she was giving the right information to the audience. She wrote on her way to work on the train and did research on the way home. She often worked all night or all weekend.
One Thing Lisa Would Like Listeners to Take Away
Lisa said when she first joined financial services, it felt like a different industry to how it feels now. She thought it was moulding her into what the industry had been, and not what it would be.
She’s pleased that she didn’t give in. Keeping her identity in an industry which might not have been a natural fit for her and succeeding in it as well.
A Marketing Campaign or Product Which Grabbed Attention
Lisa says she loves what Fidelity and Scottish Widows are doing with research into women and money. It’s creating media interest and encouraging them to write about these topics more often.
She also likes the John Lewis advert which talks about how they run as a partnership and that having skin in the game means you’ll go the extra mile and well beyond expectations.
Recommended Business Book
Lisa says the book that really stands out for her is, “The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach. She loves the way he talks about doing small things regularly to have a big impact on your life.
It reminds her that that’s what she needs to ram home to clients and it’s not about getting the £1m but more about doing the little things every day that will make a difference.
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