As vacations come to an end, and the kids head back to school, it seems like life is finally starting to get back to normal. Schedules are more routine, days are more efficient and we seem to have a smidgen more time on our hands. This presents a perfect opportunity to use that extra space in your calendar to revisit and revise your online presence. Here are some places to start.
As a basic yet critical component of your marketing plan, it's imperative when clients and prospects search for you online they are met with current and relevant information. Too often, I come across advisers' websites that lack the information a visitor would be seeking, or worse, contain outdated content.
On a quarterly basis, review the following pieces of your website:
Personal and professional bios: Have you added to your family or recently been appointed to a new board position? Have you received any new designations or won an industry or company award? Do you have candid pictures of you, your family and your team on your site?
Team section: Does your site feature professionally taken profile pictures, as well as a great team photo? Has a new adviser or staff member joined your firm? Or, are there any former employees you need to remove from the website?
SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE PAGES
It isn't just enough to have a profile — you need to ensure that profile stays current and you are taking advantage of all of the best features of each platform.
LinkedIn: Is your profile picture current and professionally done? (You would be surprised how many adviser profile pictures I come across that appear to have been taken at a bar or on vacation, with their cohort conveniently cropped out of the picture. And these are often top tier, veteran advisers!)
Are you regularly crafting long-form posts? Have you added languages and volunteer opportunities to your profile? Do your summary and experience sections clearly articulate what you do to help your clients, without sounding like every other financial adviser profile out there? (Hint: If your summary language contains the phrases “I help create financial security” or “I help clients achieve their financial goals,” then you have missed the mark. Get started today crafting language with less industry jargon and showcase more of your own personality).
Facebook: Do you have a custom profile and cover picture on your page? Have you added information on events you are hosting or participating in? Do you take advantage of the sign up feature that allows visitors to sign up for your e-newsletter?
STATUS UPDATES, POSTS AND OTHER CONTENT
Next, take a close look at your posts and status updates. Use the analytics offered by each of the social media platforms to determine which posts garner the most engagement. Typically, using pictures and videos will help further your reach. Are your updates a mixture of custom content, educational and inspirational material, and recognition of your achievements and those of your firm and others? Consistent updates of relevant, useful material remain the best way to gain new followers, and to engage your network. Be sure to make every post count.
With both profile information and updates, clients want to work with advisers who are real, not with someone whose online persona doesn't match who they are offline. Use this review time to ensure what others see online is truly an extension of you.
CONNECTIONS AND FOLLOWERS
While you should be setting time aside each week to send connection requests to anyone you have met throughout the week, this review time is a great opportunity to take a closer look at who you have in your network. Is there anyone you still need to add on LinkedIn? Anyone who needs to be removed? Have you used Facebook's features to invite friends and email contacts? You want to always stay on top of growing your network.
As we are sliding into September, this is also a great time to review your connections to determine who you should reach out to. Perhaps someone has changed jobs or earned a promotion. You may come across someone you have been meaning to call, but who had just slipped your mind. Taking time to thumb through your connections will inevitably bring about a wealth of people to reach out to.
It is an ever-changing world out there — make sure to keep up!
Kristin Andree (firstname.lastname@example.org) is president of Andree Media & Consulting.