Advisors thinking about breaking away from a wirehouse may need to have technology front-of-mind.

Breaking away from a wirehouse requires having a digital strategy already in place—particularly for marketing, according to TruClarity Management Solutions, a practice management firm and one of a number of businesses focused on helping advisors go independent.

For one thing, having an online presence now is more important than ever in the industry, said Maggie Hudspeth, TruClarity's director of marketing services.

“Your digital presence is the impression you’re making when you’re not sitting down with clients person to person,” said Hudspeth. “The elements of having a digital presence, like maintaining a website and social media accounts, should make a large impression on your process when you launch your firm. Especially with what we’re going through right now with the pandemic, there’s less of a person-to-person connection.”

More advisors are playing a day-to-day, direct role in their ongoing marketing during the pandemic, said Hudspeth.

A digital presence is anything in relation to an advisor’s persona or brand that is present online for their prospects, said Hudspeth. This includes not just a website and social media presence, but any online advertising, presence on search engines like Google, email, and other digital marketing efforts.

A digital presence also includes an advisor’s personal accounts, especially if they’re visible and findable for the general public. The combined professional and personal social media accounts give advisors an opportunity to tell personalized stories, said Hudspeth.

“It’s your chance to differentiate yourself and tell a unique story about your brand,” she said. “This is your opportunity to individualize who you are as an advisor and to showcase that to your prospects. It makes all the difference in the world when it comes to the level of trust that someone feels when they first encounter your new, independent brand. You don’t want any of these online presence items to ever appear thrown together.”

Ideally, advisors would start thinking about this digital strategy as early as possible, said Hudspeth, because it isn’t sufficient to just have a website and social media presence. “She added that advisors need to use these resources strategically, and it helps to have a digital strategy in place that aligns with the laws, regulations and rules surrounding transitioning from a wirehouse to independence.”

At its core, a digital presence is the first step towards digital marketing for advisors, said Hudspeth.

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