Do you exist? Are you real? If a prospective client were to try to learn more about you, what would they find? Are you surprised that you don’t get many referrals? Could it be that you’re making mistakes with your public information that negatively affects your online brand?
When I work with financial advisors on their business development strategy, I am often surprised to find that they don’t check their standing on social media websites and the search engines.
Your prospective clients are doing anonymous research about you
These days, if you’re not on the Internet, you don’t really exist. Potential clients who have been referred to you and those using the Internet to search for an advisor want to do their research before they contact you. They are secret shoppers.
The Internet gives people the ability to avoid making a commitment until they are sure they’ve got the right financial advisor service provider! So if your financial advisor brand is not prominent and favorably positioned, you are missing out on business and you may not even know it.
Have you ever Googled yourself? If not, do it now. Go to Google and type in your name + “financial advisor” + “your city/state.”
What do you find on page one? What you see listed on your social media profiles and your website, does it back up your value proposition? Is what you’re saying about yourself consistent across all public channels?
Social media and professional websites provide the opportunity to check someone out anonymously without having to speak to them. Most people, if they like what they see, will initiate contact. But if what they learn is confusing, off-putting, or just plain average, you may never hear from them.
Do you have an online presence?
Recently a client told me a story about how an estate-planning attorney referred him a potential client. Since my client did not have a website and poo-pooed LinkedIn, there was no information about him on the Internet. As a result, the potential client asked to be referred to another advisor. Can you spell LOST OPPORTUNITY?
What kind of message are you giving off about the work you do and who you work with? Are you confusing people?
Have you updated your LinkedIn profile recently?
Just last week I spoke with an advisor who had relocated to Florida three years ago but had never updated her LinkedIn profile. To make matters worse, her profile listed a previous profession as her current work history. How’s that for confusing???
The biggest problem with online branding is that you WILL NEVER KNOW that you are making these mistakes because no one will contact you to tell you! The secret shoppers will move on to find someone else, so you will never know that you’re giving off the wrong message.
Biggest mistakes you could be making with your online brand
- No website
- Poorly designed or template website
- No LinkedIn profile
- Unflattering LinkedIn profile
- Unprofessional headshot
- No evidence of what the advisor believes
- No target market
- No specialization
If any of these mistakes apply to you, take the time to address your online brand and bring it into alignment with current norms and trends, at the same time updating your Business Plan. The best way to attract clients in today’s new marketing reality is to ensure your online brand paints you in a positive light. Don’t lose out on an opportunity. Make sure your brand is consistent across all media channels.