- October 10, 2016
- Posted by: CaroleAnne Hardy
- Category: Latest
Last week I attended a “LinkedIn for Advisors” webinar by a financial advisor who has built quite a name for himself in the industry. I had heard about his presentations, and I’d seen other advisors walking out of his sessions at conferences wondering out loud, “Can I really build my AUM that fast and that easily? What have I been doing wrong all these years?”
As I listened to the webinar, I started to feel uneasy when the presenter stated that it didn’t matter what an advisor posted on social media. “The content doesn’t matter. What matters is that you grab someone’s attention.” Then he took it a step further, suggesting that the most effective posts focused on the latest attention-grabbing trend. The “white dress, blue dress” debate (remember that one?). Caitlyn Jenner. “Post what you’d talk about at a party,” was his social media advice.
My first thought: this man and I definitely attend different kinds of parties. And I’m thankful. When I engage in a discussion with my friends, our conversations aren’t so limited. (And if I find myself in a group where that’s the extent of the chatter, I inevitably flee!) I don’t think I’m alone it that. Think about it: don’t you prefer to talk about things you care about? Things that matter to you and to the people around you? From a social media perspective, I believe that sticking only to what’s trending on the internet insults the intelligence and attention span of your readers—in this case, your clients, prospects, and colleagues. Don’t they deserve more?
The presentation continued, and now the hairs were really standing up on the back of my neck. The message: advisors shouldn’t bother sharing anything about financial planning on social media. “No one wants to read that stuff…and they won’t.” Really? If that’s the case—if your readers really don’t want to read or talk about financial planning, why are you there in the first place? Who are your followers on LinkedIn? And more importantly, who do you really want to be working with…someone who is more interested in social gossip, or someone seeking intelligent guidance about their money?
Of course, as I was heatedly shouting exclamations at my computer (I was more than riled at this point, which gave me a whole new lesson in the value of the webinar’s “mute mode”!) I’d answered my own question: It all depends on the advisor. This was fine guidance for those advisors who are simply “pimping product.” (For years I’ve wondered how this guy could spend so much time at conferences talking about social media while managing top AUM. Now I get it.) They throw out a net, hook the target, add to their AUM, and move on. These advisors are not tending to their clients and serving as “trusted advisors.” The advisors who are focused on serving in their clients’ best interests are taking a completely different approach—to social media content and their business.
I can’t fault the presenter. He’s a wealthy man with lots (and lots) of followers on social media and an enviable level of assets under management. Plus, I owe him a thank you. More than a few advisors have asked for my help because of his pitch. Who doesn’t want to build their business quickly and easily with a few online gimmicks? But once we start talking, I weed out the salesmen, and I have very real conversations with the advisors who get joy and a sense of purpose from working with their clients to solve their money issues and truly manage their wealth. Caitlyn Jenner never enters the conversation.
When I work with this group of advisors, I find they’re a lot like me: They want to share content that matters to their clients, information that helps them succeed, and blogs that have the potential to change the way they think about their finances—and possibly even their lives. And when the advisors I work with share emails they’ve received from their clients thanking them for “inspiring me to take the next step” or “putting my mind at rest,” I take pride in what we’re accomplishing together.
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