By: Karen Hayes, Marketing Associate
Published July 10, 2019
Never underestimate the importance of meeting with a financial advisor community face-to-face. That’s the general consensus following Private Advisor Group’s on-site training events this past month, held at Goldman Sachs and Vanguard. I know it’s difficult to take a day away from your task list, but as our attendees will attest, these events are time well spent away from the office. (Be sure to join in the future if you can!) We had several LPL specialists on hand delivering new information to help advisors gain greater efficiencies for their offices and make the most of digital marketing strategies to grow their firms.
For Greg Calderaro from Colts Neck Financial, the digital marketing presentations held a great deal of value. He admitted to struggling with his decision of whether or not to attend the training but wholeheartedly believes his time away was worth it. He sees advantages in being able to spend time with people from offices of all sizes (himself coming from a relatively small office) and learn from their “trench warfare; how they do things.” As the industry and platforms change at the speed of light, digital marketing is becoming extremely important for independent advisors. It’s all about creating authenticity, learning how to be different, and figuring out how to attract a younger demographic. His firm utilizes Facebook advertising and has seen results in gaining exposure and engagement for the business, and he also focuses his attention on a LinkedIn strategy. To manage the compliance piece of posting on social media, he relies on Erado, “a valuable route to take.” “It’s always a challenge to figure out how much to drip on clients, so you have to figure that out for your practice,” but he uses both the automated campaign tool and marketing on-demand to stay in constant contact with his clients. “The content is key for us online,” he says.
Like Greg, John Bays with Lewis Wealth Management is also from a small office. He attended the training as well and had similar sentiments regarding the social media and digital marketing presentations. “In general, older advisors struggle with the digital landscape…it’s rapidly changing. I’m still amazed when someone comes into my office and says they found me online!” He recognizes how important his online presence has become and sees opportunities for client engagement beyond the more formal yearly review or quarterly meetings. Digital marketing is a way to stay in front of clients and, in his words, “if you’re in front of a client, then you have a connection…and that increases your chance of keeping them as a client for a long time.” He also enjoys sending birthday cards out to his client as a personal touch, and the ease with which ClientWorks makes that possible. Pulling educational articles from Gainful.ly allows him to set up a queue to post regularly, and he has seen results with increased interaction from clients on social platforms.
What to Expect During an Audit
Lauren Vickers of FPA Wealth Management found the presentation on being prepared for an audit to be one of the most beneficial – especially since her firm is facing an audit within the next few weeks! She referenced the quarterly checklist and branch compliance checklist as helpful items every office should visit on a regular basis. The quarterly checklist goes over things auditors are looking for when visiting your office such as shredding documents after they are properly uploaded, clearing out any ClientWorks notifications and alerts, or ensuring PAG is notified of anyone who has passed an exam, etc. The branch compliance file checklist is a list of documents that need to be maintained. Rather than falling behind and scrambling when an audit arises, go over the list on a regular schedule to make sure you’ve updated them properly, including your firm’s do not call list, client correspondence, business continuity plan, and even complaint files.
There are so many new things available in ClientWorks! Make sure you reach out to an LPL specialist if you have questions on specific functionality. These are just a few things that were covered in the on-site training events:
- Ability to customize your home page
- New way to view/access copies of checks deposited or distributed
- New status tracker in the request tracking tool
- New user search features (the ability to retain last search instead of losing your data!)
We are looking forward to the advisor texting app where advisors can easily communicate with clients on a secure network. Betsy Coon and Jerome Goodwin of LPL also covered a way to increase efficiencies for your office using Quick Views. It takes time to set up, but it’s worth it to display the content that is valuable and appropriate for the client with whom you are working.
Marketing for Growth in the Digital Age
“Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Consumers are transforming faster than we are and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble,” said Sarah LeBlanc of LPL. Your website is a crucial part of the conversion process for your prospects. She encourages all advisors to think of their websites as the hub for all marketing communication – both your online avenues and print. Everything should point back to your website.
Speaking of your website, does it clearly (and quickly) communicate your value proposition? Users will spend about five seconds on your home page, deciding if they want to stay on your website. That message needs to resonate with your visitors to get them to stick around.
Do you ever struggle with knowing what each different social media platform is really used for? Sarah describes different platforms this way:
- LinkedIn. This platform is just like your professional networking event. You want to be a bit more formal on LinkedIn, sharing thought leadership or market updates.
- Facebook. Time to get a little more personal! Think of Facebook as the cocktail party of social media sites. Get to know your clients and offer them valuable content with a warmer approach.
- Twitter. An information source, think of Twitter as your radio broadcast. It’s a public platform to push out thought leadership and connect with other influencers.
Your online relationships shouldn’t only live in the digital realm. Figure out ways to cross platforms! Smiles and handshakes at events are the traditional way of networking. Now you can continue those relationships online and connect with them. You are essentially “drip marketing” on that prospect over time with thought leadership to raise your own brand awareness. It works the other way as well! Start introducing yourself to prospects online and see if you can carry them into face-to-face conversations.
Remember that content is king. Sarah says, “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” You can write your own content or utilize compliance-approved articles and posts.
Need more inspiration? Check out the LPL Marketing blog to get bi-monthly tips and best practices.