What's A Financial Adviser To Do?
Many changes have taken place in the financial services industry in the past few years and we can only guess this will continue. Meanwhile the marketplace has changed. People don't sit home watching the television together any more. They are hanging out online with friends on Facebook, watching videos and getting a lot of their information on their smartphones and social networks.
For any business, being where the people are is important.This is even more so for those who are professionals giving advice on important matters like financial prosperity and planning for retirement and estate matters.
Social media, content and inbound marketing are all facets of this new marketplace and are the key to being visible to the people who are your customers, and those who could be your next ideal client. This visibility is the key to access.
Your Client Base - Key To Writing More Business
As well as social marketing many advisers are sitting on untapped potential within their existing clientele and new books of clients that might be available.
Maintaining high rates of persistence with client accounts has never been more important and as the population ages, we are facing what has been called the greatest transfer of wealth in history. The statistics show that when wealth is transferred ... those who inherit are likely to change advisers.
Changing advisers means that there is an opportunity of picking up new clients from other advisers - as well as the risk of losing clients to other advisers.
Being prepared can help advisers to optimize the profit in their client base, and be prepared to put actions into place to limit any losses and gain new business.
Clients Often Feel Neglected
One of the common complaints we have in financial services is the long term client who feels neglected because they never hear from their adviser. Worse - the first time they are contacted can be by someone who has 'bought them' from another adviser! That's not the kind of service that encourages people to refer others to their adviser.
For their part, advisers can believe that it is not economical to spend time servicing their existing clients. Sometimes they believe they are doing enough - but many times they are not, from the client's point of view. Customers really hate only getting attention when they are handing over money.
A Strategy In Place To Nurture Clients
Many adviser practices are not equipped with staff who are able to manage this aspect of the business. Admin employees can help but for them to be effective they need to have a system in place that they can follow to enhance the bond with clients and to be mining to uncover new business opportunities that clients may have due to changes in their circumstances.
That's not administration skills, though these are useful too, but sales and marketing skills that the business can access. All too often admin are expected to do work that they have not been trained for and worse still - are not competent to do because they have had no training! That's typically penny wise, pound foolish thinking that costs businesses profit they could be making.
Online Marketing + Good Communication With Existing Clients
Clients are more sophisticated and well-informed than ever before. They have access to information at their fingertips - and not all of it sound. In using social marketing we have the opportunity to engage with people we do business with, and the people in their networks. That's a powerful way for us to meet new people but also for those people who are influential to and influenced by our clients to learn who we are!
The scale available to share quality insight for clients using technology means that we can leverage our time more fully and reach more in a useful way, regularly, without the cost involved in unnecessary one-on-one meetings. Clients are busy too and their time is also precious. Saving face to face meetings for working on matters that require a personal touch, means being efficient with resources and still delivering better service than ever. That saves time and money and is more effective method for great service delivery.
Social Marketing Is Not About Posting Party Pictures On Facebook
There is a risk with social media that business people sometimes confuse their receptionist or teenager being able to post party photos on to Facebook, with online marketing. As though it was equivalent.
The truth is that social marketing is not about Facebook, or any other platform. Social marketing is about business. And the issues around using social media effectively go way beyond how to upload a photograph, or share a tweet. Playing on Facebook is not social marketing.
Social marketing is a business issue and activities on social media need to be not only compliant with your obligations as a financial adviser, but they must also work in tandem with your goals and business vision, and be engaging to others.
Data collection, selection of social platform, content generation, writing, curating and understanding of the environment online and the etiquette that pertains online are all matters that must be handled with care and diligence. Despite what some mistakenly believe, marketing online is not about broadcasting. It's not like old style radio and doing that just makes businesses look foolish. Engagement is vital. People connect with people. They don't connect to get spam!
Scared Of Making A Mistake Online?
Some business owners confuse not being active online with not being a target. They figure that if they are not online people can't talk about them. That's not how it works. Being online when done right can give you the tools to protect your reputation in a way that being in the dark never can.
Other business owners think that being online means they have to 'show-off' and promote themselves in such a way that makes them a little uncomfortable. That does not need to be a factor. In fact, it is probably the wrong way to be using social media - and many businesses and professionals who are using social media in that "look at me" way are not using it well at all. What you do need to promote is your personality, your expertise and delivering your message in a way that is a fit for your target buyer persona and service niche.
Your Business Personality Should Align With Your Real Values
A business online needs be 'feel' the same as it does offline. Social marketing is not about pretending to be something you are not. People don't want to buy a fake so your online persona must be underpinned by and support your business vision and ethics that you live by.
Congruence - when you say what you mean and your action transmits the same consistent message - makes it easier for people to trust. Without trust, you are nowhere.
People are checking you out online. Even people referred to you will check you out. You need to be visible, and relevant. This is where judgments get made now.
Financial Advisers - An Important Role
With a background in financial services, I understand how important a role advisers play in the life of clients. The rewards can be great for advisers and so too, the responsibilities.
If you are interested in developing your business to make effective use of technology and would like to make owning the best position you can online for your specialty in your area a goal, that's one worth striving to achieve and maintain.
You can't buy that position. You can only earn it. That comes through the right activity and effort.
Sure you can buy advertisements, but that's not the same as boosting your organic reach. And if you are buying advertisements, then organic reach will make that work even better.
Here's How I Can Help
If you need assistance in any (or all) of these areas I can help. Sessions are available from one off or casual sessions, through to packages or tailored to your specific requirements. There is a lot to learn about social marketing and it is a rapidly changing environment. I can help you to understand the opportunities, and the pitfalls to avoid.
- Review of online presence
- Strategy and direction for online marketing
- Customer nurturing plans
- Training in Social Media - Linkedin, Twitter for business, Facebook, Blogging
- Staff training in social media
- Copy writing
- Content generation and curating
- Integration of business and online action plans
- Other projects that you may wish to implement
- General social orientation online training for Directors
Have a question? Call me on 0403 365 855.
Lindy Asimus is a business coach and social media consultant with a background in sales, agency management, training and marketing in financial services.
Sessions can be held in person or online and by phone so you can get help no matter where you live.
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