A Day in the Life of Emily Blanch

A Day in the Life of Emily Blanch

March 13, 2022

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Today we follow Emily Blanch, one of XY’s co-founders and Head of Community to learn how she supports a rapidly growing professional network of financial advisers.

7:00 A.M.
By 7am, Em has started her day with a mindfulness activity and either a workout or a walk around the river near her house.

7:30 A.M.
Logging on for the day, Em spends a bit of time checking emails and messages on XY, and prioritising any important communications.

8:00 A.M.
As Head of Community to a professional network of 5,500+ financial professionals, Em’s job is to make sure the XY Platform is continuously growing in value. A place advisers consider worth their time coming back to. An important part of Em’s day is analysing the data. Em understands the challenges advisers face are dynamic, and vary for different adviser demographics. To that end, it’s Em’s main job to ensure conversations and content resonates with each XY member.

This is where Em’s data-driven analysis helps. One of the benefits in owning a platform is the ability to be agile with how content is delivered. After looking at the data today, Em notices questions around ongoing service and hiring talent are prominent on the platform. This information will be useful later on.

9.00 A.M.
Em steps away from her screen to make some breakfast, usually enjoyed on her back deck overlooking Terranora Creek. This is also a chance to soak up some Vitamin D ☀️

9:30 A.M.
Em jumps on Zoom with her team for a Daily Huddle. Being a remote team, clear and consistent communication is super important. Here team members share what they’re working on, and discuss any questions or barriers holding the work up.

10:00 A.M.
It’s time for Em to put her data analysis efforts from earlier on to good use. Over the last 12 months, Em has focused on figuring out how XY members like to receive new information. After countless discussions, testing, and experimentation Em discovers short and succinct updates on relevant topics is well received. This is how the “daily nuggets” concept was born. Each weekday, Emily sends thousands of advisers a short daily email on the topics they are most interested in. It could be an adviser-shared file, a trending discussion, or an efficiency hack shared. The scope of what ‘value’ means is quite large. So it’s Em’s job to ensure the content engaged with improves the professional world of XY members.

Today, Em is sitting down to write these daily nuggets of advice gold for the rest of the week. Using her data analysis reports, reading through discussions and comments on XY and looking through the most downloaded files from the Resource Centre, Em crafts bespoke emails for multiple adviser groups – based on the topics they are most interested in. These topics focus on client acquisition, technology and efficiency, technical knowledge and soft skills.

11:30 A.M.
With the “creative brain” work out of the way, Em turns her attention to her inbox and social platforms to answer XY member questions, reply to emails and stay connected with people in her network.

12:00 P.M.
Time to stretch the legs. Em goes for a walk around her local neighbourhood to get some sun and have a break from her screen.

12:30 P.M.
A quick snack and Em gets back into it.

12:45 P.M.
Time to switch to “meeting mode”. A big focus in Em’s week is facilitating one-on-one hour long interviews with advisers. The purpose of these conversations is to go beyond the quantitative data. To dive deeper into the qualitative problems advisers are trying to solve. Em also discusses how they interact with the XY platform, and what success looks like in their world. With this information, Em identifies patterns and themes among different adviser groups, gain a deeper understanding of the challenges they face, and come up with new ideas and projects to roll out in XY to help solve these problems.

Em loves hosting these interviews because they are an opportunity to connect with a familiar face or someone brand new. Plus, she always leaves the conversation full of good energy, new ideas and plenty of inspiration. Today, Em is chatting with a principal adviser who just hired an associate adviser and an in-house admin support role. Their challenge is building out systems and processes for the whole team, instead of everything existing inside the adviser’s head. After the meeting, Em spends 15 minutes making notes and adding her thoughts to a Miro Board.

2:00 P.M.
With an hour to spare between meetings, Em uses this time to liaise with her team and review work underway. Right now the team is working on a large project inside the XY Platform. An Advanced Member Search function. With over 100 interviews with advisers, Em knows one of the key benefits advisers get from XY is the ability to connect with like-minded professionals, particularly when they have a specific question.

It’s currently easy to find someone with expert technical skills like SMSF’s, Insurance, Defined Benefits for example. However finding people with business management or client experience expertise is much harder. How does an adviser find another adviser who has successfully merged their business? What about learnings from hiring their first staff member? Currently the process is to reach out to Em directly and ask for recommendations. Rather than act as the bottle neck to thousands who would like a solution to this problem, Em works with the tech team to create an Advanced Member Search function. Advisers will be able to head to the XY platform, and quickly find a list of advisers with relevant experience. Introducing this ‘one-click reach out’ ability, Em hypothesis is the number of advisers connecting will increase. Once the function is live, Em will monitor and tweak based on member interaction and feedback.

3:00 P.M.
Em’s next meeting is jumping on Zoom with an adviser to record four short product review videos. Advisers love being able to learn from peers and hear about real-life experiences. As such, Em has weekly discussions with advisers on the different tools used in their advice process. Today, Em is chatting to a bright and bubbly female adviser who is a big fan of tech efficenies. The adviser shares her screen to demonstrate how she uses each tool and how they’ve helped improve her advice process. After the meeting, these videos will be uploaded to the Technology Product Reviews section of the Resource Centre on XY.

4:00 P.M.
The afternoon is the perfect time for Em to close out unfinished tasks and organise for tomorrow. This might involve some pre-meeting research and notes, sending emails or replying to member enquiries. Em also pencils in time to read articles and blogs on the topics she’s looking to improve on herself.

5:15 P.M.
Em leaves her home office to head to the beach with her fiancé for a swim. Living in northern NSW has quite a few benefits, with the warm weather being a big one.

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