Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tips for Generating Client Leads Online

Investment News recently hosted a webinar on generating client leads online, moderated by Deputy Editor Greg Crawford. I really wanted to sit in on the session to hear what Ted Jenkin, co-CEO and Founder of oXYGen Financial Inc., had to say.

Ted is a regular contributor to Investment News' new Tech Talk section, and he and his business partner Kile Lewis are two of the smartest thinkers I know when it comes to digital marketing and building a strong online presence.

Their company, oXygen Financial, is an independent financial advisory firm that focuses on working with families and small business owners within the X & Y Generations. They are one of the Top 5 performing branch offices within the Investacorp, Inc. broker/dealer system and were recently named one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies.

Ted was joined on the panel by Brittney Castro, Founder & CEO of Financially Wise Women, and Peter Velardi, CEO of FiPath4Advisors, LLC.

Alas, I was on an airplane when the webinar occurred or I would have live-tweeted these golden nuggets had I been there in real time. However, I did have one of my staff members record the call and take notes. Good stuff – enjoy!


1. Peter Velardi: Here are three critical questions you should ask yourself when considering marketing to your prospective clients: 1) How do I connect with my target audience? 2) How do I build my brand? 3) How do I create an actionable path to real, meaningful leads?

2. Peter: Have a definite marketing plan: Who are you going after? What's your strategy? How are you going after them?

3. Brittney Castro: Who is your ideal client? Most successful advisors differentiate themselves by creating a niche and building their brand presence around that niche so that they stand out to prospective clients.

4. Ted Jenkin: “Pull marketing" results in leads in your in-box. Build an online presence through your website and social media and allow prospects to find you easily.

5. Ted: If the only trapping mechanism you have on your website is a "Contact Us" page, then you've missed the boat. Give away a free e-book or other tool to make prospects want to engage and supply you with their email address. See how oXYGenFinancial does it.

6. Brittney: It's not possible to give away too much free information online. Even if you give them the full blueprint of what you do in your blog, your prospects will see you as an expert and a valuable resource. And when they're ready, they'll contact you as the expert to manage their money.

7. Brittney: People are interested in meaningful content. You can initially use LPL pre-approved content, but that is pretty dry. Consider writing your own content. You are the brand to your business, so your voice is important in building your brand.

8. Ted: Regarding content and compliance: educate your compliance department with what you're doing. Don't assume that they know how the social media works – explain to them how it works and what you want to do. Don’t be afraid to post an article that's informative and reasonable. As long as the article doesn't say "Buy Apple" or something specific like that, you are not going to have any trouble with compliance.

9. Brittney: In regards to selecting social media sites to be on, find out what sites your clients are on. If they're not on Facebook, have a presence for your brand, but don't spend much time there. If they're on LinkedIn, make sure you keep up regular activity and devote more of your online efforts there.

10. Ted: If you're on LinkedIn, check out LinkedInlabs.com. It syncs with your connections and shows a Year in Review for each of your contacts, which allows you to see who’s changed jobs. That's a great way to see money in motion, for instance an opportunity for a 401(k) rollover. If you're the first to pounce on that opportunity, it will give you the ability to get some more assets under management.

Side note from me: You might also find it helpful to “visualize” your LinkedIn connections using their InMap feature. This very cool tool helps you map your professional network to understand the relationships between you and your connections.

11. Peter: Is what I'm doing with social media driving meaningful traffic to my practice? To answer this you must be able to track your leads, determine the conversion rate, determine if it adds value to your practice, and find a way to report the results. If you aren't seeing a measurable difference, then don't waste your time on it.

12. Ted: On your website, if you don't have a drop down box on your contact page for your prospects to mark how they found you, how will you know the cost of the lead? You need to know how prospects find you so you can focus your efforts on what drives your leads the most.

13. Peter: An emerging area in marketing in the future will be content generation for FA's who don't have the time or inclination to write their own content. Companies will emerge to provide turnkey content that is FINRA-approved or can be quickly approved.

Side note from me: Check out Digital Fortress, brought to you by Peak Advisor Alliance and FMG Suite, who have teamed up to bring financial advisors a turnkey solution for quality compliance-reviewed content.

14. Ted: When considering the traditional event to attract potential clients or for client appreciation, shoot for "infotainment" – a combination of information and entertainment. It can't just be an informative lecture over a steak dinner anymore. People are looking for more active, entertaining events that engage them and draw them in: sushi making, glass blowing classes, etc. Creative activities are great for relationship building, and you get a better “call to action” on your hard marketing.

Another tip from me: You can download the Creative Events and Seminar Marketing Guide my team created for Pershing Advisor Solutions a couple years ago. It’s still good stuff, even if I do say so myself.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Top 10 Tweets in 2013 plus Vizify Visual Twitter Bio (1 minute video)

Well, this was fun! Check it out and try it yourself: