With Special Guest Expert from Guidevine.com
Are you confused about how to get great video and social media presences online? In this month’s webinar, expert guest Nevin Gleason from Guidevine.com will walk us through his experience creating videos for hundreds of advisors. We’ll discuss:
- How Strong is Your Digital Footprint?
- Why are Video and Social Media Powerful?
- Where Does Digital Fit With Your Business?
- How Do You Rate Your Online Presence?
- How to Use Your Digital Presence Correctly
- How to Get Your Free Digital Footprint Scorecard Worth $450
- How to Get an Amazing Marketing Video
Register now to learn more and get your free digital footprint scorecard.
Meet Your Webinar Host
Claire Akin, MBA
Claire Akin runs Indigo Marketing Agency, a full-service marketing firm serving top independent financial advisors. She is a former Investment Advisor Representative and holds a Master’s Degree in Marketing. Claire works closely with several of Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors to grow their AUM using digital marketing.
READ THE TRANSCRIPT BELOW
Hi and thank you so much for joining us today. I’m Claire Akin with Indigo Marketing Agency. Today, I’m really excited to have a guest expert from GuideVine on our call today to go over growing your practice with social media and video. GuideVine is an organization that helps financial advisors, and they’ve sent an expert today to help share their insights on how you can grow your practice with video.
Let me tell you, before we get started, a little bit about my story. If you don’t know me, I’m Claire Akin. I’m a former investment advisor representative. I grew up in this business because my dad’s a financial advisor and he’s been in the business 37 years. I started working with him fresh out of high school and then after college, and then after I went back and got my MBA I actually became an investment advisor representative and ran his marketing department. I discovered through that process that what I really love to do is the marketing side of things, so I started working with a company called FMG Suite that helps independent advisors with their websites, and I created my own company to help advisors outsource their marketing department so that they can have cohesive, authentic marketing presences but with a minimum investment of their time, and so that’s what Indigo Marketing Agency does.
We do everything from websites to search engine optimization, social media profiles, which we’ll talk about today, and we have custom monthly marketing packages that help advisors who embrace a specialty to stay in front of their niche every single month. So say you work with doctors or dentists or divorcées, we create specific content that’s valuable to them and we share it each month for you on your website, by email, and across social media, keeping you top of mind to increase your referrals and your new clients. We also do custom reports and white papers, and we have exclusive courses and webinars like this one for financial advisors.
Today, we’re going to be talking with an expert guest from GuideVine, Nevin Gleason. GuideVine, if you don’t know, is the Match.com for financial advisors. It’s this great platform where people looking for an investment advisor can go on and search and filter through advisor profiles to find the advisor that really speaks to them. And so it helps advisors create powerful marketing videos, and we’ll show you an example of one of those videos today, and they offer a digital footprint scorecard evaluation. Because most advisors may not know whether or not they’re doing well on social media, you may not even know what your digital footprint looks like, and so GuideVine offers a digital footprint scorecard so they could show you exactly what your presence looks like and where you can improve. Stick around to the end of the presentation and we’ll give you a great offer to get your digital footprint scorecard today.
Today we’re going to cover a lot. We’ll move quickly because I know you all are very busy. But we’re going to talk about how strong your digital footprint is and how to tell whether or not you need a stronger digital footprint. We’ll also talk about why video and social media are powerful today. Where does digital fit within your business? How do you rate your online presence? How to use your digital presence correctly to actually grow your business? We’ll go over a case study of one advisor who’s done just that. And we’ll talk about how to get your free digital footprint scorecard worth over $450, and how to get an amazing marketing video using GuideVine’s services. So with that, I would like to introduce our guest, Nevin Gleason. He’s going to tell you a little bit about his background.
Thank you very much, Claire. My name is Nevin Gleason. I am the director of advisor success here at GuideVine. I really help advisors to highlight their strengths, tell their stories, and communicate the value that they bring to clients. I’ve done a lot of videos with advisors. I’ve coached over 140 of them, produced scripts for over 400 individual videos, really geared to help these advisors grow their web presences.
Just a little bit about my background. I graduated with a bachelor of science in Business Administration from UNC Chapel Hill, and I graduated from the Kenan-Flagler Business School undergraduate program. I previously worked at Vanguard where I helped individuals choose the right investments for their needs, and I also obtained my Series 7 and 63 licenses. In addition, I worked at U.S. Trust and I helped ultra high net worth families with their credit and investment solutions.
We’re going to look first here at why your digital footprint is important. When we talk about your digital footprint, we’re looking about your spaces online, where people can find you and interact with you digitally. Online competition in the advisory space is fierce and it really means a strong presence is all the more important. One in three consumers are influenced by social media in their purchases, meaning profiles like LinkedIn, Facebook, and other areas where you can showcase your brand are crucial to having that success. You could see that over 640,000 consumers in the U.S. search for online expertise every single month, and it’s really important that you have that strong digital presence to show that you’re actively participating in that space to attract a portion of those consumers. Even if you have a presence online, there are a number of ways that we’ll cover to make sure you’re following best practices. And really having a strong digital presence allows for direct communication with consumers, deeper relationships, and being able to use that channel for updates, news and important changes.
How can your digital strategy grow your firm? The goals of a digital strategy include positioning yourself to consumers as the best option for their needs, attracting new business, and standing out from your competitors. One of the first things you need to do is to define your target groups of clients, so who are you looking to attract? Examples of those could be doctors, engineers, business owners, or really anybody that you feel would be a valuable add to your business. Without knowing the types of clients you want to attract, your strategy’s never going to truly be successful. So once you want to define those target groups of clients, you can then figure out how to market to them. One of the best ways to do that is to find where they are online.
As an example, if your target group of clients is doctors you can be active within medical groups on Facebook, where individuals in this community may be seeking financial advice or general help. You can do things like create blog posts and videos addressing their common financial problems of this group as a whole and post them online. You should be aiming for communities, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and even using relevant hashtags to connect with these individuals. As far as your website is concerned, there are a number of things you can do including posting signups for information sessions, webinars just like this one, and offering up helpful information. Overall, you really want to clearly speak to your intended audience and demonstrate the value you’re providing to them specifically.
This takes us to using your digital presence correctly. Once you’ve identified the types of clients you want to target and you know where to find them, you want to use each channel available to you in the most effective way possible. Every channel is different and has its own set of best practices that you need to follow to be successful. The key point here for a lot of these channels is to post regularly and often, so you want to adhere to the right cadence for each channel, but in most cases more is better.
Along with that, you really want to make sure that you’re engaging with your audience. This can be liking, sharing, and replying to posts. The purpose of that is to boost enthusiasm, show consumers that you’re listening and that you’re there to help with their problems, and answer questions of theirs, and you really want to build that brand equity to show that you’re a person that they can reliably turn to for specific help. We’ll get into some more specifics shortly, but a quick example would be … for cadence, Facebook posts should be about two to three posts per day is a good guideline for a minimum, whereas LinkedIn could be closer to two to three posts per month, just because it’s a different type of channel.
Now we’re going to look at the importance of video. It’s really important that as part of your overall digital strategy you include video as a cornerstone of that. There are a couple of reasons for this. One of the first is because video drives consumers to take action. It’s also one of the richest forms of communication other than face to face, and it goes a lot further than just simple texts and a picture may do. Finally, using video is a great way to engage mobile users, which as we’ll see is a trend that will only continue to grow. You want to make sure you’re capturing value in that space.
We could see here, two key statistics. The first one is pretty striking. You could see that 96% is the click-through rate for an increase for consumers where you’re seeing video in that email. So if you don’t have email with video components, you should start doing that because it’s going to help drive those consumers to take action. It’s really just simple understanding that when consumers are engaging with video, they’re really able to form a deeper connection with you. They’re able to understand a little bit more about your background, how you operate, and get a sense of comfort before they even meet you face to face. Kind of alongside that, there’s the 46% of users taking some sort of action after viewing a video. So again, it’s really using that as a driver to try and develop the comfort, the trust, and then having those consumers do the action that you’re intending them to do.
One example of that is advisor Greg Brown. You can click on the link below here in this webinar if you want to watch the video. But he has a video here about his services, and this is something that GuideVine can help do, where you’ll be able to clearly communicate to clients or consumers watching these videos, how you’re able to help them, and it really helps to build that trust early on. We’ve heard time and time again from consumers that are thankful for being able to interact with advisors on our site because they are already going into meetings knowing what they want to talk about, they’re able to really touch on advisors services ahead of time and come prepared, and really have that trust before that face-to-face meeting occurs, which allows for quicker onboarding, a richer meeting experience, and, really, happier parties on both sides.
You can really use video effectively on a number of different channels including your website, social media, and for one-off events. It’s pretty straight forward in terms of adding it places these days. Adding video to your website is usually very easy and platforms like Twitter and Facebook make it even simpler.
Another key point that we had touched on was using video to reach more mobile users. Mobile phone use is only going to keep growing over time. It’s forecasted to go from just about 63% in 2016 to 67% by 2019, and that trend has no signs of slowing down. So as more and more consumers are watching video on their mobile devices, you want to make sure that you are well positioned to take advantage of that. The number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to pass the 5 billion, with a B, mark by 2019. So you want to make sure you’re using video early and often, and you’re able to engage your user base a lot more effectively in this way.
The last main section we’re going to cover here is how your online presence stacks up. We’re going to review some of the key best practices for a number of channels including your firm website, your LinkedIn, your Facebook, and your Twitter profiles.
We’re going to start off with your firm website. One of the biggest things here is having branding consistency. Branding consistency simply means using the same types of content across different channels, and it really all starts with your firm website, which is one of the key areas where consumers may interact with you. The same logo, like your sizing, colors, and fonts. The tagline, such as the firm for families, or anything that you’re using in that way. And really, anything that is associated with your firm in some sort of branding perspective should be the same anywhere you go. The point of this is really to establish legitimacy so that you’re not looking a little bit amateurish by using sort of different fonts or different sized photos for your logo as an example. You want to show that you are taking that seriously and to reduce any confusion that can occur when you have [inaudible 00:12:49] branding issues that don’t match up.
You also want to show that your website is easy to navigate. Consumers want to be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, and this is only going to help them to take action if you have an easily navigable website. You want to make sure things like your header on your website is very clean and simply laid out. Not using too many pieces of media at once, this can be things like flashing videos or call to actions. You want to keep your website very clean and easy to understand. If a consumer has a question or they need to find something, they should be able to go do that very quickly and easily. And then, keeping that top header clean with only a handful of links for simplicity.
Similarly, for the firm website, using social follow buttons is a great way to add to your social presence, but you’ll need to make sure that they’re visible to consumers. They’re not going to go searching for them just to like your page on Facebook or to follow you on Twitter, you’ll need to put them in a place where consumers can easily find them and take the action that you want them to. Similarly with that is the calls to action that you want consumers to follow through on. So if you want them to download a white paper or attend a webinar of yours, you would really want to make that prominently found on your website so that there’s no confusion there and that consumers can take that action. On the homepage is genuinely best if you have an event coming up or if you have a link to schedule a consultation, things like that, you really don’t want to bury those or have those beyond the fold for the first page, they should be very clearly displayed so that there’s no confusion.
Now we’re going to move on to the social profile of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great way for advisors to post relevant content for consumers who may be browsing. A lot of people use LinkedIn now as a social channel. More so in the past, it used to be largely just for job searching, but it’s become quite a social marketplace, so it’s important to have a strong LinkedIn presence as well, in addition to a firm website and a Facebook and Twitter strategy. Overall, you want to do a couple of things for LinkedIn to make sure that you’re positioned in the best way possible.
One of the first things you can do is to have your employees of your company follow your page. This is going to be great for brand equity and consistency, and the more that you do this, the better it’s going to look for consumers who might be researching your firm before moving forward with you. A larger following builds brand equity and shows that you’re a respected firm within your space.
Along the same topic of professionalism. You really want to make sure you’re using high quality images that are consistent across your social channels. So one thing you want to avoid, similar to as we said with your firm website, is to use images that are different from your website or drastically different on your LinkedIn. You want consumers to not have any confusion and know exactly what your firm’s principles are and to understand what the value proposition is that you’re conveying, and using those high quality images with call to actions should all be consistent and really look good across all your channels no matter what you’re using. If you’re using images that aren’t sized properly, they have low resolution, it can create confusion and make consumers overall feel that you aren’t really legitimate or taking things seriously, so you want to make sure that that’s squared away.
As far as the posting cadence on LinkedIn, as a general rule, two to three times per month is a good minimum that you want to maintain to show that you are still active and really engaging with that base of consumers who may be looking for you online. You want to engage with your audience along the same lines and show that you’re liking, sharing, responding to posts so that they know that you’re there and that you’re actively taking an interest in their questions and what they want to know more about you.
That leads us to Facebook, which is obviously one of the larger social platforms that you can use. It’s one of the key ways that you can directly communicate with consumers online. It’s really important that you have your Facebook presence all squared away and have everything in tip-top shape. One of the best ways to reach consumers that you’re looking to attract to your firm is to actively participate in Facebook Groups. Facebook Groups is a feature that Facebook offers where communities of like-minded individuals can get together and share posts, respond to comments, talk with each other, and really have open discussion. As I mentioned earlier in the presentation, if you often work with clients like doctors, you can actively engage with groups in the medical profession that doctors might visit frequently. So the point of this here is to be visible in front of the places where those desired clients may be.
Something also that many advisors tend to miss is to have a fully completed About section on your Facebook. This is just one piece of your overall Facebook presence, it’s a really important one, and it’s because consumers need to know where to go next if they want to know more about your firm. So having a completed About section, including things like your physical address and your website URL, is really necessary to have a strong Facebook presence so that consumers can take the next step if they see things that they like and they want to reach out to you.
As far as posting goes, as a general rule here, two to three times per day is really what you want to do for Facebook. In contrast to LinkedIn, which is a little bit less frequent, Facebook is a place where you really want to be posting things pretty often. You want to show that you are engaged and that consumers can interact with you really at any time. This is also similar to LinkedIn in that you want to like and share and respond to those posts. You can also do more than two to three times per day, but you really want to use that as a minimum to have a relevant presence on Facebook.
Now we’re going to talk about Twitter, which is something that not all advisors use to the full extent that they could for success. It’s also unique because it allows for instant and direct communication with potential clients or consumers that might be interested in your firm. Facebook is a great way to share content and Twitter is a really great … excuse me, Twitter is a really great way to interact directly with people who may be asking you questions or want to know more about your firm in general. Kind of along those lines, you want to be able to post about two to three times per day on Twitter, but you can definitely go above and beyond this number because Twitter is really meant to have a conversation with individuals. So showing that you’re actively engaged, could even be up to six to seven times per day. As long as it’s relevant content to your audience and that they’re going to be interested in it.
Finally, we’re going to talk about the exciting part of the presentation here where if you are any advisor that joins GuideVine, you will get a free digital footprint scorecard worth $450. The scorecard is really helpful to revamp your social presence and understand where you can improve and what’s going well currently. It actually reviews your firm website and various social media profiles like your Facebook, your LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Google Plus. It helps to give you actionable steps for improvement. Along those lines, it’s got an overall score so you can see a summary page showing red, yellow and green buttons for each component of your online channels, so you can easily see what’s going right or what needs to change. And GuideVine advisors get SEO optimized profiles that are designed for consumers to engage with you. You also get optional video creation which includes script coaching and video production like you saw with Craig Brown, and a videographer will come right to office. So, you can get in front of engaged consumers looking for an advisor and take advantage of the power of video by joining GuideVine’s nationwide network of advisors.
At this point, I’ve said quite a lot here, so I’m going to turn it back to Claire to show you how Indigo can help you step by step, creating strong social profiles and getting your marketing on track.
Great. Thank you so much, Nevin, for your insights, that was really helpful. I just want to encourage all the advisors listening to check out GuideVine because this is a huge problem that I see out there, is so many advisors understand the power of video, and they understand why they need video on their site, but it’s a bit of a hassle to locate a videographer, shoot a video, go to a studio, and so GuideVine makes it so easy. They write your videos for you, they send the videographer to your office, they create beautiful professional videos, and they edit them and help you add them to your website. It’s just such a great solution that I’ve been looking for for a long time for the advisors out there, and so I encourage you to check it out. They’ll feature you on their site so consumers looking for an advisor in their area will be able to look at your profile and watch your videos. It’s just a great asset and they give away a lot of value with their service, so I encourage you to check them out if you haven’t already.
So, if you go through this process, you get your digital footprint scorecard and you’re disappointed, which I know a lot of advisors out there will be disappointed, because maybe you haven’t had time to create your LinkedIn company page or really fill out your profile or create your Facebook Business Page, we can help. You may not know, but most advisors who create their online social media profiles spend over six hours creating their profiles. It’s just a lot of work to do. If it’s the first time that you’ve done it, it can be very confusing.
When we create your profiles, we have a 50 point checklist that we go through to create your LinkedIn personal profile, your LinkedIn company page, your Facebook Business Page, and your Twitter company profile. 50 different things we do to add your background images, add your logo, fill out the About section, connect with the people that you know online, join any relevant groups. There’s a lot that goes into really building out a successful profile and it takes quite a bit of time. We do it everyday for advisors, including making any required compliance changes. So if you need help getting your digital footprint up to speed, that’s where we come in.
This is really our loss leader. This is how we start a relationship with people. You may give away a free financial plan or a free financial consultation. At Indigo, we upgrade your social media profiles for $250. We do your Facebook Business Page, your LinkedIn profile, your LinkedIn company page, and your Twitter profile for just $250. This is a way that we start a conversation with advisors. We start getting to know who they are. And we start having them understand that it’s really easy to work with our firm, and that we understand the industry and we understand what advisors are looking, which is a simplified marketing solution, and to be able to take marketing off their plate and get a professional presence with a minimum investment of their time.
To get started with our social media profile optimization service, you can go to indigomarketingagency.com. You’ll save $200, so it’s only $250 for all your profiles, including compliance edits. And if you go to indigomarketingagency.com/social you can check out example profiles and our checklist for the 50 point inspection that we do to bring your profiles up to speed.
Thank you so much for joining us today. I hope that you found some relevant information. I really encourage you to get in touch with GuideVine, talk about their platform, think about joining so you get those videos and that digital footprint scorecard. Thank you, Nevin, for being here, and thank you, advisors, for watching.