Client Events: Any Financial Advisor's Secret Weapon

Think about the last great party or event you attended. What made it memorable? How did you feel about the host? Did you meet new friends or business acquaintances? Or maybe learned something new? Advisors can harness the same concept to better connect with clients and prospects and make a positive impression on the community. Yet there is more to it than throwing a great party – to see a return on your event-investment, you need a strategy. In this blog post, we share the five key components of an effective client event.

Before we discuss how to host an effective event, we will briefly touch on why. The “why” is simple: it comes down to connections. Client events create an opportunity to connect with current prospects and clients in a new way, while also opening the door to meeting potential new prospects who wouldn’t otherwise be in your pipeline. Client events also create the opportunity for advisors to meet new centers of influence, discuss services with a target audience, earn referrals, stand out from the competition, make clients feel appreciated, and entertain key staff. However, to achieve these benefits, your client events must be executed properly.

Poorly planned client events can sometimes be worse than no event at all – which is why advisors are often hesitant to even try. No one may show up (including speakers!), technology may malfunction, drinks may run out, and so much more – all of which can hurt your client and prospect relationships. So, how can you ward off Fyre Festival 2.0 and instead host the perfect client event? It comes down to planning and, we’ve outlined some of the most essential steps for successful client events below.

How to Plan an Effective Client Event

Step 1: Determine Your Goal

Before any other steps are taken, we recommend determining the specific goals that your firm hopes to achieve through the client event. Do you want to express gratitude to top clients and referral sources? Gain introductions to prospects? Stay in touch with clients from across the country? Make a positive impact on your community? Introduce a new brand or successor? The options for goals are endless. However, without specified goals, your event may go off in the wrong direction or lack direction all together.

Step 2: Select the Type of Event

Once you determine the goal of your event, you can focus on the type of event you want to host. Event types can range from large symposiums to small intimate gatherings, however we recommend selecting a type of event that directly represents who you are as a firm as well as what you wish to accomplish. For example, a private dinner at a museum may be a great way to show appreciation to top clients and referrals or get introduced to new prospects, but it may fail at introducing a new firm name or giving back to your community.

It is also important to note that most clients and prospects will not attend an event that doesn’t seem fun, educational, or worth their time. Because of this, it is crucial to plan an event that doesn’t just appeal to your goals, but appeals to your target audience as well.

Step 3: Create a Strategy

Once you have a sense for what type of event you want to hold and what you aim to accomplish, the next step is creating a thoughtful strategy and putting ideas into action. Below are some best practices that should be part of any event strategy.

  • Take your firm’s passions into consideration. When you build events around something you and/or your firm is passionate about, you will exude enthusiasm that will help make real connections with clients and prospects. For example, if you love to paint, maybe host a painting class or hold an event at an art museum.

  • Find common ground. After you create a draft invite list, take the time to group invitees according to commonalities. By doing this, you can design events based on specific interests, challenges, or personalities.

  • Pick the ideal date. The wrong date can result in low or no attendance. Make sure no big events that your invitees might be interested in are occurring on the same day. We also recommend choosing Wednesday or Thursday as those days typically have the highest attendance rate. Lastly, make sure the event is occurring when your clients or prospects will likely be in town.

  • Hire a speaker. Hiring a speaker for an event is usually an effective way to attract attendees. The more high-profile the speaker, the bigger the draw. Just remember that the speaker should relate to your firm and the services you offer but also not compete.

  • Select an exciting venue. Just like the speaker, a great venue can be an effective draw for clients and prospects. Try to select a venue that can not only accommodate your event’s size, technological needs, food and beverage, etc. but also one that your invitees would be excited to go to. We have found that events that provide unique access create an incentive to attend, whether it be an exclusive private club, a private tour of a ballpark or a dinner featuring a well-known chef. Clients and prospects are more likely to go if they can’t otherwise access that experience.

Step 4: Book! Book! Book!

With a firm client event strategy in place, it is now time to book! book! book! You do not want to procrastinate and be left hanging without a crucial part of your event. Book your speaker(s), venue, caterer, valet, entertainment, and everyone and everything necessary for your event as soon as possible.

Step 5: Get the Word Out

Since there is no event if there is no one to attend it, the final step to planning your client event is getting the word out. Carefully curate your invite list and make sure to give all your invitees ample notice for the event so they can put you on their schedule. We recommend sending out a save the date a couple months prior to the event and a formal invitation a few weeks prior to the event, followed by a personal phone call. Your clients and prospects will be thankful that you put in the effort and be more likely to accept your invitation and attend.

Ready to Start Planning?

Successful client events can be a lot of work, but with the right planning, they create excellent potential to grow your firm and enhance your clients’ experience. While we only discussed the steps you need to take toward your next event, in order to reap all of the benefits, actions must also be taken during and after client events as well. Wealth Matters Consulting is here to assist you every step of the way. Our elite team of marketing, communications and PR experts have the skills and experience necessary to execute your perfect event from start to finish. Contact us to get started today!

Wealth Management DAM Systems: Your Ultimate Guide

Brand consistency is a crucial factor to the awareness, reputation and success of wealth management firms. Unfortunately, maintaining a consistent identity across all materials and channels presents many challenges. For example, outdated materials and logos may get used, requests might be sent for assets that have already been produced, and what should be a quick turn-around oftentimes becomes a drawn out and frustrating process. While this may seem like just a mere inefficiency, it can actually result in a significant loss of productivity for your firm. In fact, searching for up-to-date files takes up an average of 30 percent of an employee’s day and could cost your firm millions in lost productivity. 

The good news is, your firm is not the only firm with these challenges. Hence the invention of the digital asset management (DAM) system! A DAM system offers a way to create a central location for all digital assets so your firm can save time and focus on high-priority tasks. At its broadest definition, a DAM system is a central hub for firms to securely store, organize, retrieve and review digital content such as white pages, pitch decks, head shots, graphics, PDFs, logos, videos and more.

These centralized digital libraries come in many different shapes and sizes and choosing the wrong option for your firm can be cumbersome and costly. We have worked with our clients to roll out DAM solutions and wanted to share what we have learned along the way.

When Do I Need to Invest in a DAM System?

While DAM systems certainly are beneficial, you may be wondering if it is the right time for your wealth management firm to take the plunge. To answer this question, we recommend thinking about how your firm currently manages its digital assets.

  • Is it resource-intensive to use your digital assets?

  • Is it cumbersome to access your assets where and when you need them?

  • Does creative collaboration often result in bottlenecks?

  • Are you unsure if your digital assets are secure?

If you answered yes to any and all of the above questions, then it may be time for your firm to invest in a DAM system.

Which Wealth Management DAM System Is Best for You?

Once your firm decides to invest in a DAM system, there are numerous options to choose from. There is no one size fits all. Despite all of these programs serving the same purpose, each specific software is unique – as is every wealth management firm.

We recommend first identifying the current challenges your firm faces in regard to your digital assets. Then, identify key users and discuss all the required features and functionality you hope your future DAM system will possess. Some common features that we have seen our clients search for include:

  • Support all file formats

  • Ability to assign roles and permissions to users

  • Directly edit and/or convert files in the system

  • Easy search tools

  • Notifications

  • Brand templates

  • Version control and history

  • Attractive user interface

  • Metadata integrity

  • Tracking and reporting

  • Customer support

Once you figure out what exactly your firm needs, it is time to evaluate specific DAM systems. Read reviews, speak to DAM providers, enlist in live demonstrations and trials, and take all of the necessary steps to ensure that the DAM system you select is the right one for you, your team and your firm.

The importance of participating in a free trial cannot be overemphasized. Nearly every DAM option offers a trial option, which is the only way to effectively grasp how the system works and whether it is a good fit.

The cost of a DAM system can creep into six figures very quickly; however, we don’t feel that our clients need to make that kind of investment to obtain the solution they need. Depending on what your firm’s individual needs are, FileCamp offers a great low-cost option starting at $350/year. Brandfolder, Bynder and Canto are also great options that range between $7,000 - $25,000 annually and offer additional custom benefits.

What to Consider When Shopping for a DAM System

Think about the following questions when evaluating your DAM system options:

How much storage do I need? We recommend 1 terabyte (tb). This will be plenty of storage but will not leave your firm stuck or needing to purchase additional storage at a premium. To put this in perspective 1 tb accommodates 2 million photos.

How many users do I need? This depends on the size of your firm and who will be using the DAM. In addition to employees, consider contractors, clients and industry colleagues. We recommend getting a program with unlimited users or enough to accommodate for your firm’s growth. It is crucial to identify admin users and light users in advance of selecting a DAM.

How long has the company been around? Many start-ups can be here today and gone tomorrow. You want to make sure that the company you are choosing is here for the long haul. Ask questions to make sure they are properly funded for not only now but also the future. The software will require future modifications to avoid becoming obsolete, and this will require proper funding/planning by the company.

Which companies use this software? The wealth management space has very specific and complex needs. A DAM system that caters to design firms or tech firms may not be a good fit for a wealth management firm. Ask your rep if comparable companies are using the software, and if so, how they are using it.

When is the best time to negotiate a DAM contract? Like many sales-oriented companies, DAMs are very goal-oriented. They typically are more inclined to offer discounts and promotions toward the end of the month or quarter. This can be beneficial to keep in mind to obtain the most economical price for your firm.

How Do I Get Started?

Now that you understand everything that you need to know about wealth management DAM systems, it is time to officially get started. However, with so many options to choose from, finding and implementing the perfect system for your firm can oftentimes be complicated and time-consuming. That’s where we come in. Contact our experienced wealth management marketing and communications team to get started today.

Rosemary Denney in MarketCurrents: Why Wealthy Families Need a Social Media Policy

Ever since the development of social media, its usage has posed serious threats for high-net-worth families. For example, an Instagram post on a vacation with the GPS tag can put a wealthy family member at risk of being kidnapped for ransom. Or, a hacker can gain access to an heiress’s email account and send fraudulent invoices to her family office for nearly a million dollars merely because her password was her dog’s name – a dog she plastered on her social media accounts.

In order to uncover a possible solution to this pertinent issue, MarketCurrents spoke with Wealth Matters Consulting CEO Rosemary Denney. In the article, Denney recommends that both wealthy families and the firms that manage their wealth create a robust social media strategy in order to combat security threats.

Specifically, in regard to wealth management social media policies, Denney states, “These policies ensure that everyone at the firm possesses a clear understanding of how their social media activity must work in connection to the business.”

When developing wealth management social media policies for firms handling the data and affairs of wealthy families, Denney advices firms to truly consider the long-term implications of their policy, review every endpoint device, utilize premium tools that go beyond the built-in privacy protections of online platforms, and regularly test their digital infrastructure for any weaknesses.

Denney also describes how the best social media policies leave no room for ambiguity. Instead, they should enable wealthy families and their wealth management firms to experience all of the benefits this digital resource has to offer – from maintaining personal and professional relationships to building an effective brand – all without compromising their security.

Read the entire MarketCurrents article here.

Wealth Management Social Media Policies: 5 Essential Guidelines

Despite the concrete evidence that social media can serve as a powerful marketing tool to increase brand recognition and build relationships with prospects, many firms avoid social media because they fear their online activity could pose a compliance risk. While there are certainly regulatory restrictions to be aware of, it is absolutely possible to use social media within those regulatory boundaries. The key is establishing a social media policy.

Having a social media policy in place allows a firm to leverage the power of digital marketing and expand the reach of their brand among their target audiences while being compliant, accurate, and consistent across the firm’s footprint.

When it comes to creating a wealth management social media policy, there is absolutely no room for ambiguity. The policy must ensure that everyone at the firm understands how their social media activity connects to the business. To eliminate any confusion, the policy must include specifics about who can post, what to post, and when.

We recommend that advisors consider the following guidelines when creating a social media policy for their firm:

1. Research Potential Pitfalls

It is critical for your wealth management firm to be aware of the many social media-related compliance rules. While rules regarding the nature of the content are often the first to come to mind, make sure your policies also include guidelines for setting up social profiles and communicating within a social media platform. Two important components to familiarize yourself with are defining testimonials and avoiding specific investment advice.

2. Determine Your Spokespeople

Decide who among your firm is allowed to speak on behalf of the firm and post on the official company page. Make sure those who are allowed to represent the firm publicly – whether on digital platforms or traditional public platforms – represent your firm knowledgeably, accurately, and professionally.

3. Create a Review Process

Before any content is posted on behalf of the firm, it should be thoroughly reviewed and approved by management and compliance to ensure that the post is compliant with state and federal regulations, as well as the company’s brand and content guidelines. Clearly define your process of review so that everyone understands the workflow and nobody posts something that they come to regret.

4. Make Policies Personal

While regulators are typically concerned only with communications related to conducting business, that doesn’t mean that personal posts are without risk – in this case risk to your brand and reputation. Search engines, screenshots, archives, and cached files have created a digital world where every piece of content lives forever. It is crucial that everyone at your firm acts as if all of their updates and comments will be posted on the front page of a newspaper – even if their profiles are private. Consider including this simple rule among your policies: if it is not suitable for everyone to see, do not click the publish button.

5. Create Record-Keeping Practices

The record-keeping rules for business communications apply to social media as well. Decide how to handle record-keeping and spell it out in your social media policies to ensure each post is accounted for.

These guidelines can help you get started in creating an effective wealth management social media policy. Embracing a robust and specific social media policy can alleviate compliance-related concerns while allowing you to strengthen your brand and professional reputation across all digital channels. Contact our experienced social media team to learn more.

6 Wealth Management Marketing Resolutions for a Successful New Year

With a new year comes new opportunities for success. However, if your firm is hoping to achieve great success throughout 2019 and beyond, we recommend that you make some wealth management marketing resolutions. Whether your focus is on retaining your current clients or obtaining new ones, starting the year off with clear marketing objectives can help you accomplish your goals.

Here are six wealth management marketing objectives to make sure that you hit the ground running this new year.

Resolution #1: Understand Yourself

While this may sound rudimentary, being able to simply define what differentiates your firm from the competition is often no easy task - and this is largely due to many wealth managers not taking the time to properly brand themselves. This year, establish a clear and authentic brand that shows your firm’s values and illustrates why clients should work with you. Once your brand is established, it is time to clearly and consistently communicate it across all of your marketing channels.

Resolution #2: Understand Your Clients

Having a target audience is an essential part of getting and keeping clients. However, simply targeting high net worth clients is not enough. We recommend that you get to know each current and potential client you wish to serve as an individual in a personal and engaging manner. What are their demographics? Do they own a business? Are they struggling to preserve generational wealth? Do they live a flamboyant lifestyle or one that is more understated? These are some of the questions to consider asking yourself in order to develop long-lasting and successful relationships.

Resolution #3: Build a Comprehensive Website

In today’s digital world, your website often acts as the face of your firm, so it is essential that you build a professional and comprehensive website. Do this by making sure that the background, colors, fonts, and images match your firm’s brand and are visually appealing. Also, take the time to clearly and effectively communicate your mission statement, services, values, and provide a forum for news and thought leadership. By building a comprehensive website, you are able to boost your credibility with prospects and industry colleagues.

Resolution #4: Produce Engaging Content

With so much content produced and put in front of people all day every day, the necessity to produce engaging content that will interest clients and prospects is more important than ever before. Not only does engaging content get people to take notice, but it can also be used to boost brand awareness, strengthen loyalty, and build client relationships. Reap these benefits by ramping up your content efforts and go from simply producing content to producing effective content that connects and builds trust with your audience throughout the entire client journey.

Resolution #5: Build a Social Media Presence

Similar to content, social media is proving to be an important channel in wealth management marketing. While Snapchat and Instagram may not provide any value to your firm, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are all great platforms that can maximize your content and establish you as a thought leader in the financial industry. Get started by creating profiles that match your brand on all three channels and posting engaging content consistently. Just remember: despite the real-time interaction that occurs on social media, it is still crucial to follow all regulatory compliance guidelines.

Resolution #6: Utilize the Power of Events

One of the most effective ways financial advisors can network and initiate face-to-face conversations with potential prospects is to host events. While having your firm host its own event is ideal, attending and speaking at other relevant industry events can also be beneficial to your business and further establish you as a thought leader in your field. Regardless if it is your firm’s event or you are a featured speaker at someone else’s, always take the time to create a plan with well-defined goals and strategies to ensure you make the most out of each opportunity.

Interested in Learning More About Wealth Management Marketing?

Now that you have identified your objectives, it is time to achieve them. For more information about accomplishing your marketing objectives, or just to learn more about wealth management marketing in general, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of marketing, branding, public relations, and communications specialists has what it takes to provide you with the support you need the way you need it.

Content Marketing for Advisors: How to Differentiate Yourself

While content marketing for wealth advisors is not new news, it is taking over as a strategy to grow and build lasting relationships with families. With content marketing generating three times as many leads and costing 62% less than traditional marketing, financial advisors across the country are now recognizing the power of content. This has led to a flood of publishing, so it's critical to not only publish, but publish well. Effective content is timely, relevant and interesting to your audience...and a great place to start is to ask: "What are my clients asking me about?"

Take a look at these top 7 tips to produce content to differentiate yourself.

7 Steps for Effective Content Marketing For Advisors

Step 1: Identify Goals and Objectives

The first step for any content marketing strategy is identifying your goals and objectives. It is extremely difficult to successfully execute a plan without understanding why you are taking action and what goals you hope to accomplish. Do you want your content to build awareness? Generate prospects? Boost search engine rankings? Without defining your goals, it’s impossible to measure your progress and adjust as needed.  

Step 2: Define and Understand Your Target Audience

No matter your specific goals and objectives, to achieve them you must define and understand your target audience. Consider the type of clients and prospects you wish to replicate, and conduct research to figure out what is most important to them. Which topics can you bring a new perspective to? What questions are people asking that you can answer? Answer these questions to determine what type of content you need to create in order to resonate with the type of prospects you wish to attract. 

Step 3: Plan Your Content

After you have figured out your goals, objectives and target audience, you need to plan your content. Create a content calendar at least once every quarter and make sure that is complete with topics and dates. Try to balance and mix up the types of content you create by subject and point of client journey.  Also, it is important to note that your content calendar does not need to be set in stone – if you see a trending topic that you are knowledgeable about and that matters to your clients and prospects, jump on it.

Step 4: Create High-Quality Content

When it comes to content marketing for advisors, quality must always come before quantity. One quality piece that delivers truly valuable insights to your target audience is significantly more valuable than a new fluff piece posted daily. Ensure your content is nothing but the highest quality by always relating to your audience, avoiding complex financial jargon, backing up points with data, using proper grammar and spelling, and incorporating correlating images

Step 5: Utilize a Call to Action

A high-quality piece of content should provoke a response from your audience – take advantage of this by directly asking for a specific action. This call to action can be anything from scheduling an appointment for a planning session to an invitation to a seminar and everything in between. No matter what, you do not want to miss this opportunity to get one step closer to achieving your goals.

Step 6: Post and Promote

Once your content is complete, proofed and approved by compliance, it is time to post and promote. For compliance reasons, your website blog is typically the best central place for your content. After it is posted there, share the link in posts on your social media accounts and create an email campaign around it to be sent to your growing list of contacts.  

Step 7: Track and Optimize

The final step toward effective content marketing for advisors is tracking and optimizing. First, measure any progress and track all results from your content marketing campaign. What is working? What is not working? Could you change anything to better reach your goals? Answer these questions and then optimize all of your future content for optimal success.

There is no time like the present to start following these seven steps so both your content and your firm can cut through the clutter and stand out from the competition. Interested in getting started? Then contact our experienced and dedicated wealth management marketing team today.

What's In A Gift?

Inevitably, around this time of year we are flooded with requests from advisors in a panic over what to give their clients for holiday gifts. Many times, we have to talk them out of “gifts” like logo wine glasses, logo coffee mugs or calendars. It is very important that the gift does not come across as self-serving.

We often go back to basics with them and ask the questions: What is a gift? What is this gift for? Is it a marketing piece? Or is it to say, “thank you, we love working with you and your family?” Logo items should not be seen as gifts. Many times, they end up in the charity donation pile or tossed in the garbage. If you want to make an impact with a real gift, it’s time to get creative and put some thought into it.

I always start by asking what YOU would want to receive as a gift. Would you want to receive a logo hat? I think not.

Here are some top creative ideas we’ve found over the years. These ideas may not be exactly right for your clients, but at least it will get you thinking…

1.     SOMETHING PERSONAL

For valued clients, nothing says, “I appreciate you” like something personal. Whether it is a jersey signed by a favorite sports team, an experience (ex. a trip, gift certificate to a favorite restaurant, sporting event, etc.), these gifts communicate that you listen, you care and you appreciate their business.

 

2.     SOMETHING THAT WILL BE USED OFTEN

Recently, I was in a conversation with an attorney who genuinely loves YETI products. He has YETI coolers, YETI travel cups…even YETI bottle openers. Why? The products work, and they’re considered “current.” He often gives YETI products as gifts for holidays and for referrals. Because these products are extremely high quality, they’ll be appreciated and used. Without a logo, they’re not self-serving. So if you’re going to give a gift, consider something you love yourself because chances are, your clients will love it, too (but remember that not everyone loves to collect 70s disco albums, so choose wisely).

 

3.     SOMETHING HANDMADE

For firms that serve a small number of families, we really have to think outside of the box. These families can afford anything they want, and are probably bombarded daily with retail giveaways. We have had great success with gifts that are handmade and thoughtful, like these from a local pottery studio. Elegant, classic design, yet functional and practical, these gifts are always well-received. Also you would be supporting a local, small business instead of a factory in China or India, which is an added bonus. 

 

4.     SUBSCRIPTION GIFTS

These gifts are great. They keep coming month after month for the year, reminding your client that you appreciate them! And there are so many to choose from, you are sure to find something your clients will love and appreciate all year long. You can choose from subscriptions for foodies, for techies, for beauty addicts, fitness gurus or outdoorsmen. Whichever subscription you land on, you can rest assured it will be the gift that keeps on giving. Here are a few we think are amazing.

 

5.     SOMETHING UNUSUAL

I once read an article about holiday gifts that mentioned someone who gave Cutco scissors to each of his clients, with the engraving: “You’re a cut above the rest and we love working with you.” Now say what you will about this, but it is certainly attention grabbing, high-end and thoughtful.  

 

 

6.     SOMETHING HANDWRITTEN

We understand that not everyone has a budget for high-end client gifts. That’s ok! Sometimes a hand-written card (with a hand-addressed envelope!) speaks volumes and can stand out in a pile of printed address labels.  

 

Good luck in your search, and happy shopping!

 

 

Are You On The Website Naughty List? List of Top 5 Advisor Website Mistakes

“If you don’t show up on Google, then you don’t exist.”

I’m not sure who first spoke those wise words but they were right. In wealth management marketing, a website is one of the most critical pieces of collateral in an advisor’s arsenal. It can serve as:

·      a widely available and dynamic brochure to describe services and value prop;

·      verification for those seeking your firm, location or staff;

·      a source of information and thought leadership;

·      and a point of affirmation for those researching your firm.

 

In our marketing and communications work with wealth advisors, we complete a great deal of industry research and often look at websites all day long for competitive analysis and inspiration. While there are professional and perfectly beautiful advisor websites, more often than not, websites we see are less than inspirational. Most of the time, the wealth advisor websites we find are unprofessional, unattractive and uninformative. This is not only a missed opportunity, but can also act as a deterrent!

Knowing that the first step of vetting a firm is often a quick Google search, why would a wealth advisor not make their website amazing? A good website with informative content can score instant credibility! That said, simplicity is the key; less is more.

There are a few faux pas that I often see – here are the top five:

1.      No Website At All -

The most heinous mistake I see happens when I search for a firm - and find nothing. Even worse, when I search for the firm I am seeking, I'll incorrectly stumble on similarly-named competitors who have websites optimized for search. This can make it difficult for prospects to find your firm - even a client coming in for a meeting can be frustrated at not being able to find your address easily. Not having a website makes it seem like your firm is either non-existent or not professional enough to have one.

2.      Typos –

Websites that have grammatical errors and misspellings make the firm in question appear sloppy. Your website is a reflection of you and your firm – would you send client documents with typos? No way! Your website is the most widely available piece of collateral your firm produces. It needs
to be properly edited for mistakes.

3.     Poorly Structured Navigation -

Many times when I see a wealth advisor website, my first impression is that it is a jumbled mess, often with choppy navigation and many more pages than necessary. Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, and a prospect is not going to take the time to search through a confusing maze of sub-navigation pages to find the information they want. The content of your website should be written for your prospects – and less is more! A simple navigation structure and easy-to-read content makes it easier for the reader to understand your offering. 

4.     Out of Date content -

There is a reason we don’t wear clothes from high school. An out-of-date website leaves the impression that your firm is not current in technology capabilities and communication methods. Firms who embrace technology to benefit their clients should also make sure this forward-thinking approach is reflected in their public materials.  A website is not “set it and forget it”  - rather it should be refreshed every 3-4 years to ensure current design and technology standards.

5.     Basic Unattractive Look and Feel -

Why is a website often the most unattractive piece of collateral a firm has to offer? Your firm’s website should be the MOST appealing part of your marketing arsenal! In an age of digital marketing, the investor is constantly bombarded with images, information and shiny objects, so it is important to make sure your website is an appropriate reflection of your firm’s caliber of service. Keeping your website consistent with your firm’s brand standards help a reader seeking your website know they’ve come to the right place. In an era when there may be several firms with similar names to yours, it is critical to use visuals that are attractive and consistent with the rest of your firm’s collateral and brand.

 

 

 

Communication 101: What We Learned From Brexit

Last month the United Kingdom voted to break away from the European Union, resulting in dramatic swings in the global markets. Investors on both sides of the pond experienced anxiety, and the financial media only made matters worse by playing on those fears. The market recovered shortly thereafter but many investors were left wondering, “What next? Should I do anything? What does this mean for me?”

In times of uncertainty, communication is critical. It can calm fears, help avoid brash decisions, strengthen relationships, and create opportunities to demonstrate thought leadership and expertise. Communications has evolved beyond the bland, boring investment letters of the past. Investors today expect to read content that is engaging, relevant, interesting, and in a language that they can understand. Thankfully, there are several modes of communication for an advisor – all of which should be used in tandem in a thoughtful, proactive way. Email and social media should be used along with Old Faithful (the telephone) to reach clients and allay their fears. These cover the bases in terms of demographics and together reach a broad spectrum of audiences.

Email. A timely and informative email from advisor to client can be calming and reassuring. Rather than simply regurgitate market data, these should go further to answer a few basic questions that client families often ask: “How does this affect me? What does this mean for my wealth in the long term? Should I do anything? Is this a good time to buy?” This is both helpful and often very much appreciated. Email marketing is not just for sales, but can be a non-intrusive, private way to quickly update clients. 

Social media. Why do advisors flinch at the mere mention of the word Twitter? Since the UK’s EU referendum, 13,310 simultaneous hashtags regarding Brexit have been utilized on a global scale. What better way to jump into the conversation and communicate with people who use social media to get their news, including millennials, reporters and even many investors. In addition, social media is a great way to establish your brand among your peers and centers of influence. Social media has functioned as a fundamental voice in the post-Brexit conversation and will continue to serve as a channel to convey the latest information about current global events. Shouldn’t you be a part of the conversation?

A conversation. The personal touch should never be overlooked! Picking up the phone and letting clients know that they are a distinct and principal concern during times of crisis is comforting. The more information a client has, the less likely they are to make a rash decision that may lead to financial losses.  

Big news will happen and market volatility is a reality investors will face. Leverage these opportunities to strengthen relationships and help clients feel good about your advisory relationship.

Do’s and Don’ts for Online Marketing

You’ve worked hard to build your firm, grow assets, and retain loyal clients who refer you new business. Implementing a few simple tactics to take advantage of digital media solutions will help you convince those prospects to join your firm – allowing you to convert those referrals into new clients. Does your online presence reflect your offline brand? A basic web search is now widely accepted as a basic form of due diligence when selecting a professional to work with, so make sure your website has been modernized and contains relevant, timely content. Don’t waste time on complicated strategies to which your prospects won’t respond. Instead, focus on creating content that answers an investor’s questions and concerns, and find ways to get it in front of clients, reporters, and centers of influence.

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How to Build Buzz with Social Media

A recent online article published by Banking Strategies Magazine focuses on retail banking, but the sentiment is just as applicable for wealth management firms: you must create a solid foundation of content that appeals to your clients. Doing so will demonstrate that your firm is an industry expert and thought leader, and will serve to deepen the relationship you have with your clients. Not every piece of content you post needs to be highly buzzworthy to garner results. It just needs to be relevant, valuable, targeted, entertaining and consistent. Over time, your clients will feel more engaged, more loyal, and more apt to refer prospects to your firm.

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Authenticity Matters When Branding Financial Services

Last month, senior marketing executives from top Wall Street firms spoke on upcoming priorities, opportunities and challenges at the Gramercy Forum NYC: Financial Marketing 2016 event. One of the most insightful panel discussions on Reputation Management: The Authentic Financial Brand, dealt with the evolving nature of financial brands and how best to manage them. The panelists, all brand marketing and advertising executives, agreed that a company’s brand is no longer what you “promise” to your client. In today’s high transparent and digital world, the sum total of your firm’s actions, employees, and culture will create your brand in the eyes of your clients. Which is why being true and authentic is more important than ever. Today’s consumers are savvier than ever – if there is the slightest disconnect between who you SAY you are, and who you REALLY are, they’ll spot it.

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