You have an online presence, either intentionally or unintentionally, or both. Go ahead and “Google” yourself or the name of your firm. Does anything come up on the first page of search results? Keep looking, you’re there, somewhere. Hopefully it is your website that shows up, and hopefully it is somewhere on the first couple of pages of the search.
Maybe it’s your Twitter or LinkedIn page that pops up first. Or, it could be a journal or news publication that mentions your name along with a professional accomplishment. Hopefully, it isn’t some errant comment or post made by you or about you in the past, or a shared video of your bid for the beer pong championship from the distant past.
Whose is in Control of Your Online Presence?
The critical question you have to ask is, “who is in control of the first impression people will have about you when they search your name?” In the highly competitive financial advisory landscape, where trust and transparency are critical criteria, a strong online presence is essential. A weak or uncontrolled online presence leaves the first impression of you and your practice in the hands of others, while a strong presence puts you in control of the first impression as well as your visibility to your target market.
The key question is whether your online presence is a merely a potpourri of pages and posts floating around the cloud or is it an intentionally constructed portfolio of online properties for the purpose of optimizing your visibility and creating a first impression that won’t be your last.
You Need a Plan
Building a complete digital marketing strategy can be a major undertaking that, if not well planned, can lead to disappointing results and a waste of time and resources. An incremental approach may be more practical allowing you to build or retrofit one component at a time then linking or integrating them as they are added with each component fully optimized to strengthen the growing portfolio of online properties. Or, working with a digital marketing expert internally or externally, you can have your entire strategy in place more quickly, enabling you to generate meaningful results more quickly.
Whether creating it whole or incrementally, you need a blueprint or a plan that is based on your vision and the individual goals for each component. This way, you will be able to establish benchmarks that can be measured to determine if your strategy is working, which allows you to tweak it as it is being implemented.
Your own goals and priorities will be based on where you are in your practice and your current state of web readiness. Among some of the goals and objectives financial advisors have set for themselves are:
- Increased visibility and stature in the community
- Improved relationships with clients
- Improved search engine rankings
- Increased website traffic – new leads
- Increased client loyalty
- Outshine the competition
- Be a key resource for clients and journalists
Regardless of your goals and objectives, once you have them, you can begin to implement those components that will help you accomplish them, and you will have some key measures to ensure that your strategy is working.
The internet has truly elevated the nature of marketing and advertising beyond the realm of what was ever thought possible. Not only do you have unlimited access to the essential tools, the technology of the internet enables you to link and integrate them with one another in a way that will exponentially expand your presence. Each of these tools and components has the capability of elevating your visibility. However, when combined, they have the capacity to create a powerful, integrated web apparatus that can drive traffic to your website and ultimately to the front door of your practice.
Dan Sondhelm is CEO of Sondhelm Partners, a firm that helps asset managers, mutual funds, ETFs, wealth managers and fintech companies grow through marketing, public relations and sales programs. Click to read Dan’s latest Insight articles and to schedule a complimentary consultation.