Traditionally, financial advisors didn’t really care all too much about their public image. Most of their business came from referrals and they didn’t have to do too much marketing or advertising to grow their client base. A good reputation within their community is all it took for new clients to seek them out.
But now that the typical clientele are from much younger generations, financial advisors have to adapt to their ever changing needs.
Millennials are approaching their 40s, and along with even younger demographics who are starting to think about their financial future, they’ve pretty much grown up relying on the Internet for information.
Nowadays, if people go online and don’t find reviews or enough details about your firm, it’ll be much harder for them to make that leap of faith and put their financial security in your hands. Your online reputation matters a lot, and in a lot of cases, can make or break your firm.
If you want to take a more active role in developing and managing your online reputation, here are a couple of basic things you need to do to get you started in the right direction.
Make it Easy to Leave Reviews
Adding testimonials on your own website is a great idea because it gives visitors social proof that your business is trustworthy. But they’re not really as effective as user reviews that are left on third-party websites that you don’t own.
Signing up for online business directories like Google My Business and Yelp not only improves your brand’s visibility, but also gives people a familiar platform where they can post their experiences with your firm.
While this opens up the possibility for people to leave negative reviews, it also shows that you’re transparent and open to criticism. As long as you strive to provide the best service possible, any negative ratings will be overshadowed by all the glowing reviews you get.
Actively Manage Your Social Media
Social media platforms offer a great avenue where you can easily interact with potential clients.
Aside from creating pages on some of the more important platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you also need to regularly update them with new posts and content. This shows that you’re always online and allows you to showcase the different sides of your business. A social media profile that doesn’t have any activity actually hurts your reputation because it gives people the impression that your business is stagnating.
Social media also allows you to address issues and news that involve your firm or the industry in general much more easily than you can with your website. You can respond to people’s questions and inquiries, and the general public can actually get to see how you deal with potential clients.
Always Use a Positive Tone
When dealing with negative feedback or reviews, it’s important to keep a positive tone. You don’t want to sound condescending or attack people even if you don’t agree with what they’re saying.
Not being able to handle criticism properly will negatively affect your brand’s image. It shows that you’re not willing to understand people’s frustrations and own up to your mistakes. You have to show that you’re always level-headed and can still act professionally even in the face of adversity.
Respond to Issues Quickly
It’s important to be proactive and reply prompltly whenever any issues regarding your business arise. If people see that you’re working hard to respond to every issue, it shows that you’ll act the same way with their clients.
Given how easy it is to communicate back and forth with the help of technology, people expect quick responses from every company that they deal with.
Use tools like Hootsuite to manage your social media profiles more efficiently. These types of tools give you a central command center where you can easily monitor all the activity on your social media. You can also set up Google Alerts so that you’re automatically notified whenever your firm’s name gets mentioned online.
Improve Your SEO
Whenever people search for your name or your company name online, you want to make sure that the top results are for your website and your social media profiles. You don’t want random pages that use the same name or your competitors showing up ahead of you. If people can’t easily find you online, you’re not maximizing the full potential of your digital presence.
Having a good SEO strategy also allows you to push down any negative press that your brand may have collected over the years. Most people won’t bother to go to the second results page or even scroll down to the bottom of the first page once they see your links as the top result.