Sassy advice

Director of SASS Financial Australia, Canna Campbell, discusses how her clients have inspired her throughout her career in advice.

HAVING STARTED in financial advice in St George Bank’s corporate banking business division, Canna Campbell had always nurtured the idea of breaking out on her own.

But as Ms Campbell herself acknowledges, she never really had the confidence to act on the idea, and the boost she eventually needed came from an unlikely source.

“One of my clients actually inspired me to do it,” Ms Campbell says, reflecting on her decision to launch SASS Financial.

“I had the idea, but when that client actually encouraged me and inspired me, that made me actually go and do it.”

A name laden with meaning

The same client who inspired Ms Campbell to start her business also gave her the idea for the new business’ name.

The ‘SASS’ in SASS Financial Australia, Ms Campbell explains, stands for Strive, Achieve, Succeed and Security – which represents the way she interacts and helps her clients with their finances.

The business was initially licensed through Securitor. However, three years ago Ms Campbell switched from the Westpac-owned dealer group to the independently-owned licensee Wealthstream in order to have a “more authentic feel of freedom and independence”.

“It was important that everything was transparent,” Ms Campbell says of her decision to switch licensee.

“I felt that the Wealthstream business model and value system was more in line with that transparency and consistency and independence.”

Inspired to teach

Ms Campbell’s ambition to help people has seen her take some innovative approaches to engaging with and educating her clients, especially young females.

One such way in which she helps educate her clients is through her YouTube channel, SugarMamma, which she was again inspired to create by another client. Ms Campbell says the thought behind the channel’s name is simple: it is to get young women to create their own financial future so they “don’t need a sugar daddy”.

“Initially, I thought I would set it up as a bit of fun, bit of a test and see how it is going,” she says.

“It is not a financial planning business, but it is an educational platform for young people.

“We like helping girls realise that they can actually create financial freedom for themselves, which is a very powerful thing to have in this day and age.”

With more than 35,000 subscribers, the channel covers a range of issues and sheds light on how to be money conscious while at the same time being able to maintain a great lifestyle.

“It is mainly 18 to 34-year-old females, and we cover all sorts of things from budgeting, retirement planning to cash flow, investing and we have also started to include more lifestyle subjects, such as fashion and interior design, but all keeping a conscious money theme throughout,” she says.

“With the SugarMamma channel, I am taking a very different approach to educating people. I am not telling them to take a packed lunch to work, to not buy coffees; I am saying no, if that’s what you want, go and do it, but make sure you are also putting money aside for your financial future.”

Looking at the channel, it is clear to see that Ms Campbell has a very close following and an engaged audience.

“You can see that I am getting through to these people,” she says. “They are engaged, they are interested, they are motivated, they are subscribing. The numbers on the channel are continuously growing and are not going backwards at all.”

In the near future, Ms Campbell says, younger clients will be a key focus for her and will present a wide range of opportunities.

“A lot of people are focusing on retirees, which is obviously really important, but there are a lot of motivated people out there who really do want advice and they are willing to listen and they are great clients,” she explains.

“I think that I am going to be focusing on the YouTube channel because I am able to access more people and provide more assistance and I think that is quite valuable.

Reflecting on the contact she has with her clients, Ms Campbell says she is not at all surprised that the inspiration she has received from them has brought her to where she is today.

“I am a really open person and I am always looking for inspiration and I am eternally grateful for that client having that conversation with me because I have never looked back,” she says.

“But I think if you open your eyes and your mind, you can be inspired by the smallest things.”

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