Be social, grow your business

By: Stacy Orff-Whitfield

Despite the hype around robo advisors and the big technology disruptions, people with more complex financial portfolios still want personal attention. They want an experienced, personable professional who can help them navigate today’s difficult and complex financial landscape.

Many advisors are great at building meaningful, lasting, personal relationships with their clients. In turn, this ensures them client referrals, which is the number one source of new business for financial advisors.

However, the pursuit of new business shouldn’t stop there. While personal referrals remain an important source of new business, advisors miss out on new client opportunities if they do not have a strong online presence. Searching an advisor online is often the first step potential clients take, even if they’ve been referred to you. If you don’t show up in that search, they are likely to hire someone else.

“If (potential clients) don’t see your company come up on page one (of a search), they might think that your company isn’t successful and decide not to contact you,” says Justin Barish, digital marketing and network development specialist for Dynasty Financial Partners. “It means that you’re missing out on low-hanging fruit and those potential clients’ network of friends as well—a big lost opportunity.”

According to Investopedia, the percentage of advisors that attracted new clients through social media rose from 66% in 2015 to 79% in 2016, with the average annual asset gain from those new clients reaching $4.6 million.

“While social media is widely adopted in typical consumer businesses, many advisors have been slow to adopt, because they don’t see the value or are concerned about the time involved or compliance issues,” says Barish. “However, advisors really do need to create a presence for themselves across the Internet to be relevant now.”

Social media provides credibility and is an effective platform to showcase expertise; it also provides a broad and diverse exposure to prospects around the globe.

In addition, it’s a good way to show prospects what it would be like to work with your firm. “It can give potential clients insight to a greater extent than a pitch book or stated investment philosophy,” Barish notes.

The use of social media continues to grow. In fact, the fastest growing segment of Facebook users are people over 50. Advisors must embrace these communication channels or risk being left behind.

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