Stand Out: Finding Your Voice In A Compliant Environment
As a Financial Advisor, you conduct business in a very noisy environment. First, there is the competitive playing field that is financial services. FINRA reports almost 650,000 registered reps in 2015. Even if a small percentage of these people are practicing, that is a lot of advisors. And really, how much do your services differ from their services? As an independent, even as a sole proprietor, savers and investors have many options to choose from. Now, layer in the compliance restrictions and pretty quickly everyone’s voice seems to sound the same.
What can you do to stand out from your competition and remain compliant with your marketing message? The following four recommendations will help you leverage today’s marketing technology to find more opportunities and create deeper relationships with prospects and clients.
Develop Custom Blog Content
The first step in developing good custom content is to know whom you are writing for. Understand the audience you want to attract and write with them in mind. If you are targeting physicians, how does their retirement outlook differ from others? What are their specific concerns? If you are targeting business owners, speak specifically to creating income from their business or to legacy or succession planning.
Consistent blogging is an essential part of a successful marketing plan. Statistics show that companies that blog have far better marketing results than those that don’t. The benefits of blogging are boundless, driving 55% more website traffic, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more searchable pages for search engines.
The more website traffic you have, the more people you have the opportunity to convert into leads and possibly clients. Inbound links are highly important as they signal authority to search engines. The more searchable pages you include on your website, the more likely you are of getting found for the right search engine inquiries. Blogging is the best way to demonstrate your expertise and thought leadership.
Target Your Audience
Start with narrowing your target market. Identify your exact niche and the value that you provide this audience. Using the tools available with social media and search engines, targeting a specific audience is easy and precise.
Utilize the options within Facebook and LinkedIn to create an audience with specific geographic location, income, interests, job titles, age, gender, etc. Targeting in this manner allows you to reach the right people on a very modest budget. By understanding who your audience is and what their needs are, you can create a marketing plan that speaks directly to the people you most want to attract.
Social Media Engagement
With social media marketing, content is only the first step in creating leads and opportunities. As important as the content, is the engagement with target audiences. As you grow your network of the people you’ve targeted, engaging with this network personally is essential to developing relationships.
Social media engagement is about providing value in the relationship, not sales. Avoid the urge to sell, but rather provide your network with helpful tips and let your skill-set and the trust you develop lead to sales opportunities. Prospects are more likely to seek help from those they know best, trust the most, and from whom they acquire the most knowledge.
Be active. Engage with your network on a daily basis. Start new conversations, respond to comments and messages, interact with other people’s content and ask questions.
Identify Influencers and Nurture Those Relationships
No matter the niche you’ve decided to target, there are plenty of influencers that impact the targeted audience. A quick Google search for top blogs or articles in an industry will provide you a list of thought leaders. Connect with these people on social media and start to interact in their networks consistently.
The thought leaders and influencers you are after will tend to be marketers. In order to achieve their status and influence over the niche audience, they have had to promote themselves and build a network, much as you are starting to do. Whenever you can, leverage their influence to start conversations within their network. After all, their network is made up of the same people you are trying to reach.
In time, these techniques will make you stand out in a competitive environment. The formula isn’t difficult, but it does take concentrated effort. Having worked with many hundreds of Financial Advisors during the past two decades, I can tell you that the majority of your competition is not going to change the way they do things today. This creates opportunity for those advisors who will change behavior and get outside their comfort zone to achieve their goals.
Of course, before you create a content and social media marketing plan, make sure you understand what your particular compliance department will allow. And, if you need help developing a compliant plan, we’re always available.
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