A key part of building your brand is learning how to integrate technology and social media into your marketing strategy. Since most people's primary source of information is the internet, if you don't have some presence online, many potential clients will be unable to learn more about you and your business. How can you attract prospects and build client capital if no one knows who you are or where to find you?
In a piece for The Wall Street Journal blog Financial Adviser, Josh Brown points to a financial services firm that he thinks gets social media right. He notes that Raymond James has brought on new technologies in order to help its advisors in their marketing efforts.
Raymond James' marketing director, Mike White, said in the November announcement that the decision to use a communication "enabler" would allow the company to improve marketing while steering clear of any compliance issues.
White said that using social media tools was a "industry-leading" method of providing support, and showed how the company was committed to giving its advisors the resources they need to communicate with clients and establish their brands. He added that not only was the company using a service to facilitate safe social marketing, it had also invested in training and had drafted a set of guidelines to help its advisors reach out to clients and prospects through social.
"Raymond James has constructed their program with both an acknowledgement of the risks and an acceptance of the fact that people need to act like people and sometimes you need to let the chips fall where they may," Brown explains.
He points out that as the older generations of clients age, younger prospects will be seeking to do business the same way they manage their personal lives - through digital communications and social networks. LinkedIn has replaced business cards, and Brown asserts that "Gen Y doesn't do business with people that they can't look up online; you may as well not even exist."
By setting up a strategy for online, multi-channel communications, you can start to drip on the prospects in your pipeline who may not be ready to become clients now, but will be in the next year or five to 10 years down the road. Start building relationships and trust by sending out email newsletters with articles that investors and businesspeople in their 20s and 30s will find interesting. Create a blog geared toward younger prospects that provides useful advice on planning their assets. Reach out to these people through professional networks such as LinkedIn, and keep your name at the top of their minds by posting Twitter updates sharing links or small tidbits of insight.