Recently I sat on a panel at INSITE 2014, Pershing’s national conference that had over 2,000 attendees, including advisors from over 25 countries. The topic was called “Face Value: Monitoring and Managing Your Public Image” and it took place two days in a row.

I was joined by the moderator, Dawn Fitzgerald, head of marketing services at Pershing, a BNY Mellon company, and two panelists:  Chuck Hammond, co-founder of The 401k Study Group, and Michael Rebibo, president and SEO of 1st Portfolio Wealth Advisors.

Here are 10 insights worth considering:

Make a good first impression – Pershing has conducted research that suggests that future investors will use online sources to validate if they want to work with an advisor.  They can form opinions in seconds.  Have you Googled yourself lately?  Are you confident your public image is helping you win business or is it possibly turning it away?  (Fitzgerald)

Take a look at the competition – Do a competitive analysis comparing your brands online.  Learn how they focus on target audiences, provide a value proposition and differentiate.  (Rebibo)

Profile your clients – Identify your firm’s ideal clients. List their pain points, decision-making processes and preferences for communicating with the firm.  (Rebibo)

Build a marketing communications roadmap – Develop a one-page document that summarizes the firm’s messaging platform.  Include the firm’s positioning statement, core strengths, client needs, key services, differentiators, substantiators and benefits received by clients.  (Rebibo)

Be the media – Advisors need to begin thinking of themselves as a media company first, then as an advisor.  No matter the talent or skill, if people do not know who you are and what you do, talent is not enough.  (Hammond)

Use social networks differently – Every social media platform is different.  Twitter is conversational.  LinkedIn allows you to develop a body of work that can expose your expertise in a niche.  (Hammond)

Know what’s hot – Be nimble with social media and networking.  Items like Snap Chat may not be for you, but if 10 million people are doing something, you may want to check it out.  (Hammond)