By Emily Eriksson*
The challenge for many financial advisers is finding the time and resources to launch a meaningful communications strategy to reach clients. They need to use social media.
By using social media, such as the business-friendly Linkedin, as well as the more ubiquitous Twitter and Facebook, digital communications and media strategies can make a huge difference for financial advisers to build their practices.
One of the first things that advisors should do is to look inward for communications success.
Do you know the full extent of your internal talent?
The best source of content and intelligence that forms the basis of a media and communications strategy, comes from your internal teams. It might be easy to tap into the intelligence of seasoned spokespeople or an outspoken employee. But the most vocal employees may not necessarily provide the best content to connect with your clients and subsequently motivate them to engage your services.
There will always be underutilized individuals and/or teams that have a wealth of knowledge that will greatly contribute to the depth and quality of material produced. It is vital to get to know your internal talent and the options available that can turn that knowledge and talent into engaging content.
Top tip: Conduct or commission an efficient and in-depth audit process. The audit outcomes will generally uncover numerous opportunities to repurpose and repackage existing material to build your external brand profile and will most likely identify new talent and content.
Do you have a governance structure in place?
Once you have your internal talent and sources of content lined up, you need to establish a solid management and governance process. This means setting up detailed project management of the production process, including review, editing, sign off and design phases of communications content production.
The most important part of this process is the brief, which is often underestimated or ignored. The brief confirms the purpose of the communications piece, key messages, the angle, spokespeople, how it will be promoted and to what audience. The role of effective editorial governance is to not only keep content on track and in line with the financial practice’s strategy and compliance policies, but also create a forum for future content and results evaluation amongst internal stakeholders.
Top tip: Always start with a thorough brief and consider a variety of platforms to assist with the governance process. If time is an issue then consider outsourcing the content governance component of your communications strategy.
Does your brand positioning feature in all your communications?
Successful brands have a very distinctive value proposition and can express a clear and unique reason for existing – even small businesses. Effective messaging presented in an engaging way makes it easy for clients to understand who you are, what you stand for and why you are important for them.
These components not only need to be clearly understood and articulated by all staff but they need to be integrated into all communications. Consistently repeating these core messages will be very effective. Often this requires various scales of internal engagement programs and usually a specific sales education program.
Top tip: Dedicate time to identifying your core messages and engaging your teams to consistently deliver these messages. This will most likely require some level of an internal review and/or an education program.
*Emily Eriksson is a senior consultant at Shed Connect, the publisher of this newsletter. Shed Connect offers various social media capabilities to its clients.