Carl Richards, Certified Financial Planner and author of the Behavior Gap Book recently published a New York Times article entitled Try to Focus on Your Personal Economy. The article illustrates the fact that consumers are overwhelmed today with information about how to manage their money, yet at the same time are being forced to become more responsible for doing so.
In this age of information overload, I believe it is your duty and responsibility as a professional financial advisor to lead your clients and help them rise above all of this noise. Visibility trumps volatility.
In order to first rise above the noise, you have to be consistently visible online or you have NO chance to lead your clients and prospects. This alone makes blogging and social media extremely valuable business tools because they allow you to scale your visibility and communications. You can show up everywhere online and on mobile devices where clients and prospects can easily access, consume, and share your messages.
It is also critical in the digital age to implement a more personalized approach with your communications. Generic communications are a waste of time and money because they are no longer effective. Think you’re doing a good thing by sending out that canned newsletter each week? Stop fooling yourself. Clients know that the messaging isn’t coming from you personally and they devalue that messaging or ignore it altogether. In fact, you’re cluttering their inbox.
To create a better experience for your clients and prospects in the digital age, you need to craft targeted and personalized communications campaigns using digital tools that will reinforce your leadership position as the primary resource to follow.
3 ways to lead your clients away from the noise:
#1)Create a library of timeless “value messages” that represent timeless principles for accumulating, growing, and preserving wealth
As a financial advisor myself for many years, I created a list of ten timeless wealth building principles. During challenging periods when it was difficult for clients to ride the ups and downs, I would send out this list in a letter format and also via email.
Pull from your own experiences with helping clients, lessons learned, and even insights from the great teachers of today and yesterday. There are so many valuable nuggets of wisdom out there that you can use to build your value messages library.
Recently when I sat down to script some of my own value messages, I came up with 100 teaching points without even having to think hard about it. You have that same kind of knowledge stored in your brain that is unique to you. It’s time to get it down on paper and use these messages to lead your clients and prospects.
What should you do with these value messages? Schedule them to post on your blog (if you don’t have one you need one…see #2), as well as on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and via your email newsletter tool (if you don’t have one, you need one…see #3). You could even produce short video clips of your value messages and drip them out of YouTube.
#2)Launch a professional blog and coordinate your social media channels
Having a blog to showcase and publish your thought leadership insights is probably not going to be optional for financial advisors and firms who want to remain relevant in the digital age. Not only can you reinforce important timeless financial and investing principles with clients and prospects, you can also cover timely topics and address the specific concerns of your target markets.
The beautiful thing about blogging technology is that it integrates seamlessly with social media. What you post to your blog can then be posted to your social media channels and your email newsletter, creating consistent messaging across all channels.
If you’re worried about the time it takes to publish your insights to a blog, instead think about how much time you save by only having to create your message one time for multiple channels of communication. A blog is the gateway to scaling client communications effectively and serves as a social media landing pad that you own and control.
#3)Utilize an email marketing platform
The days of canned newsletters being effective are gone. Spam filters are extremely tight in email inboxes, and the ability for consumers to manage the inbox to allow only the senders they want to hear from in the door are more and more common.
You are going to have to be smart and relevant to get in through the email inbox and to get your emails opened! It’s not enough anymore to just send out the canned market update email newsletter.
This is where an email marketing platform can be extremely effective. At Wired Advisor, we set our own clients up on MailChimp (we are MailChimp Experts ). MailChimp is a great platform for building your email marketing and newsletter programs. There are also more sophisticated email marketing programs available that are excellent.
Not only can you send out your latest blog posts automatically in a weekly or monthly enewsletter format with an email marketing platform, you can also send timely alerts quickly to your list whenever you deem necessary.
Additionally, email platforms like MailChimp allow you to create pre-written auto-responder email campaigns. Let’s say you want to send a series of emails to your list over the course of the year that reiterate timeless investing or wealth building principles. These emails can be written and scheduled to send ahead of time, automatically. Instead of automating your email newsletter messaging with ineffective, canned content, you can automate the process.
It’s important that you connect the dots for your clients and continuously encourage them to subscribe to your blog updates, email newsletter, and connect with you on your social media channels. Make sure to provide them with the benefits of doing so, and make sure you have a strategy for delivering your messaging consistently to these channels. Random tactics are not effective or professional when it comes to your public digital communications strategy.
What about you? Are you leveraging digital assets and tools to personalize your communications, reinforce your relevance, and help your clients rise above the noise?