Only one in five investors reported that they actually trust their financial advisor.
Although we know that its easy for our personalities and passion to get lost in the financial jargon and compliance, it's clear to us that now is the time for financial advisors to refocus their approach if they want to attract new clients and survive the generational shift of wealth.
Communicating your trust worthiness is one of the most important things you can do in this industry. Our clients are paving a new path forward by embracing uniqueness and authenticity with the help of platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogging. By using these platforms our clients create more client conversations, while building more meaningful relationships with current and potential finance clients.
Tips to help registered investment advisors stand out online.
1. Drop the financial speak
While this seems counterintuitive 'financial speak' tends to alienate potential clients rather then attract them. In the past, using 'financial speak' was used to come across as knowledgable and trustworthy but today, it puts you at risk of sounding unapproachable. The truth is that your prospects and clients don't want to feel stupid so when it comes to discussing retirement and wealth its best to do it with easy to understand terminology.
Tip: Focus on building a emotional or personal connection and differentiate yourself from your competition.
2. Don't loose your personality for compliance
While you are building your online presence it's important to keep your language personal, don't let compliance fears dull your personality. The following will help you avoid issues while maintaining your personality:
- Avoid making financial recommendations on social media:
This is one of the most overlooked risks that RIA's need consider, 'endorsing' content includes liking pages and articles on Facebook or LinkedIn and retweeting on Twitter. SEC Rule 206(4)-1 says that these actions are considered an endorsement. Which according to SEC means that you are adopting whatever is being said as your own. One way to protect yourself is to include a clear disclaimer on your personal social media account that states that any content shared or actions taken does not reflect your or your employers views.
- Archive all the things:
As your brand on social media grows, there will be opportunities to communicate with clients through the different platforms. Rule §275.204-2 states that you must be able to retain all records of communication, similar to how you retain email. Our recommendation is to avoid deleting any communication from Facebook Messenger or DM, and retain the content for a minimum of three years. If this seems overwhelming, drop us a message below and we can recommend a few tools to ease the burden.
- Include disclaimers when acting on social media #ad:
Utilizing the commonly used #ad designation is a way of keeping your communication fair and clear. If there are risks involved with your recommendation you mist include that when appropriate as well. Basically, if you would include any type of disclosure on a printed piece of marketing, you must also include it on social media.
3. First impressions count
Your social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) presence is being evaluated by the millions of affluent investors who use it to research financial decisions and their advisors. And if they are looking at your online presence before agreeing to a meeting, how you present on-line can either help or hurt your chances of closing the next deal.
Always be you!
Since we have gotten compliance out of the way, you can now start on the fun part! Conveying your personality online can be difficult, but to help you take note of the following:
Be yourself: One of the best things you can do social media is just be yourself. This means being vulnerable and telling the story of who you are, what you enjoy, and what you value. Being vulnerable created dialogue with your community, and tells a story that appeals to a broad audience.
- Share your story: Being active on social media builds trust and provides the opportunity to connect with your community on a personal level. By helping your community see that you are a real person, with real passion, interest, and motivation, you start to build REAL trust with existing and potential clients.
- Get engaged: Social media was designed for interaction and engagement, finding, connecting, relating, and providing value to people should be your goal, not just selling your services. Just like taking a client or prospect for coffee has become standard practice for many Registered Financial Advisors, engaging and talking with your social media audience should carry the same value. By engaging your followers will, over time, become some of your most avid clients and brand ambassadors.
Get Started, NOW!
The first step is the hardest in getting started with social media, blogging, and getting your band out there. But once you do, you will find that its easy to gauge the performance of your posts and get feedback regarding your message and approach. FA Digital helps in getting you started, understanding your performance, and adjusting your strategy to get you comfortable with the interactions you are having.
Getting focused on adding content that reflects who you are across your social profiles and your website will give you the audience to express yourself and what sets you apart from others in this industry. Don't be afraid to put your authentic self out there, let your community know that you are personable and ready to help. If you follow the steps we have outlined above, you will be astonished by the results you can can achieve. If you still feel overwhelmed, let FA Digital get your brand noticed across social media.