“Every personal finance brand should be on Instagram”

For the last few months at Lansons we have been delighted to host regular Q&A sessions with the UK’s leading personal finance journalists, bloggers and personalities. Bringing together unique perspectives and insights into how to better work together, the Q&A sessions are live, interactive and of huge benefit to us as consultants and – we hope – to our valued clients and contacts.

I recently had the privilege of interviewing personal finance bloggers and experts Kara Gammell and Lynn Beattie on their ways of working, principles, priorities, and how personal finance communications consultants and brands can work with them.

To say we could have talked all day is an understatement. Both Kara and Lynn are well-respected experts in their field, with flair and warmth in spades and offering a huge dose of reality to boot. Anyone who has worked with them already will know it is a pleasure to hear them speak, while those new to their work have a treat in store.

Kara spent eight years on The Telegraph’s money desk before going freelance in 2013. Since then she has written for The Sunday Times, Sun, Metro, Guardian and Good Housekeeping, and appeared on the BBC and Times Radio to name a few. She launched her blog – Your Best Friend’s Guide to Cash – in 2017.

With a background in accountancy in the corporate world, Lynn is a personal finance expert and broadcaster who launched the Mrs Mummypenny blog in 2013. Armed with her money saving and budgeting tips she’s appeared on the BBC, Sky and ITV, and featured in The FT, Guardian, Sun, and Huff Post among others. Her book, The Money Guide to Transform Your Life, has just been released.

It is fair to say both are hugely enthusiastic about personal finance, sharing super smart budgeting and spending hacks, as well as helping their readers/followers get the best possible value for their money.

But it is the passion they share for financial freedom and specifically financial empowerment for women that really unites them and is the driving force behind their respective blogs and social media channels.

Through their blogs they have the freedom to write about the topics closest to their hearts, react quickly to readers’ requests, comments and often cries for help; ultimately building and maintaining authentic connections with their followers. This is underpinned by sharing real-life, relatable tales from their own personal experiences, including that as working mothers.

They believe money gives you choice, especially as a woman.

In talking about her blog, Kara quickly made the point that, similar to our collective experience post the global financial crisis of 2007/8, the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting economic recession means widespread financial uncertainty will be weighing heavy on people’s minds.

There has never been a more important time to manage our money effectively, confidently, and in most cases, make it stretch (ideally without sacrificing lifestyle). Kara is acutely aware of this impact on working mothers in particular, who may already be victim to a invisible gender pay gap, neglect their own pension contributions, undervalue their economic contribution in the home and therefore avoid protecting themselves financially (and their families) with valuable cover such as income protection.

Lynn agrees. Through her blog and social channels, she has noticed an uplift in people worried about their financial future and saying they “need to cut back”. They are concerned about job security and are switching on to the importance of financial safety, e.g. having a 3-6-month emergency fund.

Her recent article for the Sun’s Fabulous magazine on feeding the family for £9.90 a week went viral, sparking 23,000 more page-views of the Mrs Mummypenny website and adding 3,000 new followers to her Instagram in a day.

There is demand for this tangible, relatable content.

Both Kara and Lynn discussed the reach of their blogs and social channels as well as their personal preferences, both favouring Instagram to drive true connections with followers. According to the latest data there are over 26 million Instagram users in the UK as of June 2020, with 31 percent of those users being between 25 and 34 years of age.

As a result, Lynn believes every brand should be on Instagram, and having recently hit 10,000 followers herself means her followers can ‘swipe up’ in her Stories – hugely important for the brands she collaborates with. Kara also sees the power Instagram has in reaching an audience of engaged women, time-poor but hungry for financial information. Ditto podcasts, which at the start of lockdown saw a 42% increase in global consumption (Voxnest).

In Kara’s eyes, the power in blogging lies in the fact she will only recommend something to her followers if she does it or uses it herself. She does not give financial advice, but she can explain the financial decisions she’s made, and – importantly – why. There is strength in telling people how she has made her financial decisions.

For Lynn, it’s all about putting her money where her mouth is and believing in the purpose and ethics of the brands she aligns with; Pensionbee for her pension pot and Octopus Energy for gas and electricity.

And their advice for anyone wanting to work with them? Get in touch! Email, email again, DM on their social channels. But first, read their websites, their blogs, bio and likes/dislikes. Remember their missions of financial freedom and empowerment… and know that you’ll enjoy every second of working with them.

Join us for our next #LansonsMediaLive event or catch up on-demand with past event recordings via the hub.

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Katherine Hobby

Board Director, Lansons