Mark Twain once said, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right advertising.”
This is as true for advisors to ultra-wealthy clients as it is for any other business, particularly when it comes to taking full advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Yet while advisors generally recognize the importance of social media and a solid brand that will put their name in play with prospects, most only pay them lip service.
That’s unfortunate, as a good social media strategy can be the launching point for conversations and, potentially, closed deals with new clients.
Studies show that investors—especially those who are young and affluent—emphasize trust and credibility over anything else when evaluating a financial advisor. Consumers want to work with experts, and there are few better ways to establish trust as an expert than to craft marketing strategies that place your name, expertise and experience front and center.
That’s exactly what advisors should be shooting for when reaching out to a new generation of high-income, tech-savvy investors.
Yet many advisors fail to take action, ignoring content branding basics, such as creating a content-calendar that plans out the release of your blogs, newsletters, tweets, etc.
Even fewer advisors take marketing to the next level, by creating a marketing and branding campaign that captures the attention of sophisticated, young investors who are avid users of social media and vastly more technologically oriented than their parents.
Failure to create a branding strategy often leads to the biggest marketing mistake a wealth manager can make: taking an impulsive approach to content creation. This invariably leads to an inconsistent brand or, worse, an incoherent one. That not only discredits a wealth manager’s firm in the eyes of potential clients, but also forces the advisor to spend more time repairing his image.
Here’s a typical example of a knee-jerk marketing campaign: A family advisory practitioner opens a Twitter account, begins following friends and promptly sends out one single tweet—usually something like, “Follow me on Twitter!” After that, the wealth manager stops tweeting and the Twitter account goes dark.
That’s a communications killer for advisors. Without regular and compelling content distribution, it is impossible to build a community of loyal followers—and, more importantly, potential clients. They will just turn to one of the thousands of other blogs, tweets, Web sites and news feeds that are aggressively competing for the attention of high-net-worth investors.
The good news is that developing a compelling content calendar is a simple, straightforward process. A good calendar is the foundation for a cohesive communications strategy that uses traditional and social media and demonstrates thought leadership. In addition, repurposing content is an excellent way to populate the editorial calendar.
What steps can advisors take to build a solid, dependable content management calendar?
Start by asking yourself these questions: What is the content? Who is the audience? Which platforms will be used? Who is responsible for what?
Strive for unique content that is updated at least three times per week.
I asked Kathleen Pritchard, director and head of advisor development for Legg Mason, about the importance of good, consistent content. “While financial advisors may have limited time and resources, it’s the differentiated content which will attract and engage with your audience,” she says.
One of the best ways to create compelling content is to include curated material from guest bloggers, such as estate planners, accountants and tax attorneys. Your guest bloggers can pepper your blog with interesting stories, highlighting their organizational expertise, and provide interesting insights into portfolio management.
These contributors should have a robust social media presence to encourage secondary distribution to their relationship networks.
Creating a branded content management campaign isn’t a luxury for wealth managers—it’s a necessity. Start your campaign by crafting a content calendar and update it with unique commentary regularly. That will start the trust-building process and hopefully lead to more clients and more assets under management for your advisory practice.
April J. Rudin, a high-net-worth marketing strategist and digital media consultant, is founder and president of The Rudin Group. More information is available at www.therudingroup.com