Part of your financial advisor or RIA marketing strategy should include management of your online image and brand. Why? Because information about you and your firm can instantly be shared in today’s world of smartphones and social media, so you want to make sure that what is being shared is accurate and correctly represents who you are and what your firm is about.
Increased Internet visibility is a great way to bring in new clients and referrals, but managing the information being shared about yourself and your firm on the Internet requires time and effort.
By maintaining your online image and brand, you are ensuring that a potential client sees exactly what you want them to see if they conduct an online search for a financial advisor in their area and your results show up in their search engine.
Here are 5 tips to consider when managing your online presence:
1) Review what is already out there!
The most important place to start when monitoring your brand is to review what’s already out there on the Internet. Start by doing Google and Yahoo searches for your name and your firm’s name. Don’t forget to include the city and state where you are located.
Hopefully, everything you find will be accurate. However, you might be surprised to see inaccurate information about your firm such as its description, hours of operation or even an incorrect address. This can happen for many reasons, but most commonly it is from a user “suggesting” the change. If that sounds scary, it’s because it is scary.
Online business listings can be updated by a customer suggesting an edit. The best way to combat this is to “claim” the business. Google My Business, for example, has ways that you can verify you are indeed the firm owner, and therefore you can control the edits to your listing. This process can be tedious, but once you have control of the page be sure to set up all of the alerts and notifications available. By doing this, you’ll be notified if any edits are suggested and can then accept or reject them.
The next step is to review your own website content. Is everything current and accurate? Do you have an old calendar of events, or is your site listing financial advisors that are no longer with your firm? Once and investor finds your website, you want to make sure that what they are seeing and reading is accurate and the branding/imagery is exactly what you want to convey.
2) Create or Enhance Your Social Media Profiles
If you don’t have a social media presence, now is the time to get started. As a financial advisor, you should contact your compliance department to make sure you are allowed to use social media and if so what the rules are.
Most financial advisors are using LinkedIn, Twitter, and in some cases Facebook to advertise themselves and their firms. A really great website will showcase who you are and what you do, and social media acts as another avenue for you to reach potential clients.
Your social profiles need to be just as accurate and thorough as your website. If you already have social profiles, go through them with a fine-toothed comb. Make sure you have completely filled out the profile, including phone number, description, and every other available field. It’s also a best practice to include a cover photo and profile photo.
Having a social media presence is about more than just being on the social channel itself, it also has SEO implications. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the way search engines find you and decide where you’re going to show up in search rankings for a given search term or keyword. This includes any content you share on social channels as well. By utilizing these platforms to share blog posts, infographics and other unique content, you’re enhancing your SEO at the same time.
3) Review Your Branding
While you’re reviewing all of your online content, profiles and listings, do you see a unified brand or do you see a bunch of information and pieces of content that simply share a common origin? Your financial advisor branding should increase your reputation and visibility through its messaging and cohesiveness.
Many firms don’t think that everything they put out on the Internet needs to be viewed as part of their branding, but the truth is that it should. Your financial advisor marketing strategy should include the same branding across all channels and all platforms. All the time. If a potential client comes across your brand at any point, they should get the same message. Every time.
A Digital Marketing agency that works exclusively with financial advisors and firms can assist you in coming up with a branding strategy. They will have many conversations with you about yourself, and about your firm to gain an understanding of what it is that makes you unique. A great Digital Marketer can take your branding and turn it into a SEO winner.
4) Stay on Top of Feedback
The Internet is a 2-way street and monitoring your online reputation as a financial advisor is critical. If you post something on your blog or social media, someone else may decide they want to provide feedback. While this dialogue can be extremely helpful for referrals, it can also be detrimental if left unchecked.
Just make sure your reply is professional, appropriate, and doesn’t violate any compliance rules.
5) Consider Hiring a Professional Digital Marketing Agency
If this sounds like it’s a lot of work, that’s because it is. Keeping your online image current and updated regularly can seem like a full-time job. You may decide that your time is better spent in front of your existing clients, and soon-to-be clients. That’s where a digital marketing agency can help. A qualified digital marketing agency will be able to assess your current online presence and make recommendations for how to improve it. Contact Paladin Digital Marketing for a free consultation!