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Responding to a Changing Environment

(From the October 2020 Edition of eFORUM)

By Kelly Maxwell

We are seeing extinction in the business world due to the current conditions brought on by COVID-19. Will your business survive or thrive in this changing environment?

The good news is the financial services industry itself is not endangered. In fact, in uncertain times like these, advisors are needed more than ever. This time should be viewed as an opportunity versus a hindrance.  

In the May issue of FORUM, Kim Poulin and April-Lynn Levitt discussed having successful virtual meetings with clients. We are seeing successful advisors not only reevaluating how they meet effectively with clients — virtually — but also enhancing their entire digital marketing strategy. This is one facet of business that has become more important with physical distancing.

I have always talked about the significance of technology and digital marketing. Ten years ago, I would see many advisors hesitate to take the leap to implement any digital strategies. They wondered what the impact would be on their business and if it was necessary. Like many marketing strategies, it is hard to quantify your digital marketing success. However, what is the cost of doing nothing? In this unprecedented time, that cost is now amplified.

So, how do you play an important role with clients in the current environment and maintain your ecological niche? Let’s discuss some ways that advisors are taking their businesses to the next level with digital marketing.

 

Website Facelift

Since your online first impression is becoming as important as your face-to-face first impression, advisors want their websites to reflect what their business is about. They are making sure their site reflects their brand, value, and business philosophies. Advisors are also giving their websites a tune-up by offering regularly updated resources to stay relevant and provide the latest information. Consider reviewing your images and making sure they capture your ideal client. Review your slogan and descriptor. Does it explain what you do and who you do it for? Do readers get enough information by simply viewing the homepage? Does your website look great on a mobile device? If not, it’s time to change that.

 

E-Newsletters

Advisors are sending specific messaging directly to their contacts regarding the latest news, words of encouragement, and explanations around market changes. These messages are effective because they are coming directly from the advisor. In a world full of templated text, this is a refreshing change. This content can also be used in different ways for broader exposure. If appropriate, you can share these newsletters on your website and on social media.

 

Social Media

Leverage your online strategy further with social media platforms. Connect with clients, prospects, centres of influence, and share the same newsletters and third-party articles to communicate your breadth of knowledge. Take the opportunity to introduce yourself on LinkedIn to new potential leads.

If you don’t like writing, try short videos on your phone or virtual meeting platform as well as podcasts to discuss topics you want to share with clients.

Time pressed? If you can, delegate these tasks to an associate advisor or other team member so you can focus on what you do best. You can also hire outside coaches who specialize in coaching financial advisors.

The tools we see advisors implementing are within reach for small businesses. It’s just a matter of implementing the plan and sticking to it.

 

Kelly Maxwell, BBA, is a digital marketing coach at The Personal Coach.

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