The Conversational Advisor: You mean I have to talk on social media?

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Guest Contributor: Sheryl Brown, Social Media Coordinator, Ash Brokerage

Social media is a communication mecca. Whether you’re introvert or extrovert, social media is the line drawn in the sand and makes both communication styles equal. For financial advisors, this is both exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

It tickles me when advisors ask me, “You mean I have to talk on social media?” The mere definition of the word “advisor” is centered around education. Advisors are educators who are responsible for advising their students (clients) on financial matters. This is done through communication, and guess what? Yep, that means you have to talk.

Advisors have already been exposed to the informational part of social media. Many know they can research their clients on LinkedIn, connect with them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter even, but then there is the talking part. Paralysis sets in for lots of assumed and sometimes unverified reasons:

  • “Compliance said I can’t do social media.” (Maybe … more often it’s how you talk and what you talk about, not that you’re actually talking.)
  • “This social media stuff is so overwhelming. I just can’t do it.” (It can be … I have a solution for this.)
  • “Why on Earth would a client want to tweet me? I have nothing interesting to say.” (Possibly … I can show you how to fix this too.)

What clients want is a conversational advisor, but they want you to talk to them in a genuine, human way to them. Clients are hungry for us to be real, not the guy in the suit spouting off life insurance stats or the gal behind the desk reminding them to buy a disability income policy for paycheck protection. Contrary to what we believe in, the financial services community (this includes me too, I’m in the boat with ya) nobody really wants to talk about financial services at all. I know, it’s a real buzz-kill.

So why do some advisors do so well in social media, and others are OK at best? In a world of complicated financial jargon, the conversational advisors break it all down and talk to a client just like they would in their office or at a client meeting. Conversational advisors talk about things like:

  • The recent volunteer work their employees did in the community
  • The local university’s football team and the awesome game they played over the weekend
  • Their client’s upcoming vacation or their child who recently graduated from high school

The conversational advisor is engaging, empowered with unsolicited data received during client communications and is quickly becoming the thought-leader in their targeted audience group. It’s all from one simple marketing strategy: talking. Activity begets activity in the social space. Reach out and talk to someone!

Like you, I am a financial advisor, too. I do not have time in my crazy schedule to receive a checklist of the five top things I can do on LinkedIn or the seven ways I can use Twitter. Tell me one thing, today, that will change the way I reach customers. Being an advisor means I am an educator, so I leave every article with one thing any advisor can do right now to be a better version of themselves. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you get out and start connecting with your audience.

Actionable Education: What one article/topic/update will you be communicating to your clients this week to be a conversational advisor?

Hear more from Sheryl and other social media directors at FTF’s annual SMAC Conference in New York on September 18th, 2014! Check out the agenda and speaker line-up at FTF News.

This entry was posted in Compliance, Guest Blog, Social Media, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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