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Five ways that big, savvy RIAs are winning clients online

It starts with web content and ends with reasonable expectations about compliance and LinkedIn

Thursday, May 19, 2011 – 2:30 PM by Zack Miller
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Zack Miller: None of what the largest RIAs are doing online should provide a compliance hurdle. So, just ape them.


Jeff Spears

Jeff Spears

May 19, 2011 — 3:33 PM

Great advice.
Gen X&Y prospects are online and you need to be there too if you would like to attract them as cleints.
The complaince standards for online are evolving, but in my experience they are not different than the etablished complience standards for advertsing. Find a complience professional that is open minded and knowledgable about online compliance. They are out there.

Zack Miller

Zack Miller

May 19, 2011 — 5:31 PM

Great point, Jeff. I think advisors underestimate the value of (some of the) new technology and overestimate how much legwork it would take to get it going. You don’t need Facebook — you need to find a way to get online to attract the people using Facebook.

Stephanie Sammons

Stephanie Sammons

May 19, 2011 — 8:58 PM

Hi Zack great to see you here! What are your thoughts on blogging for financial advisors? Some of these activities you’ve mentioned could be easily published and syndicated from a blog and serve as a central hub to the strategy. You’ve got some great ideas and I couldn’t agree more with the fact that advisors have to adapt their marketing activities to a wired world!

Stephanie Sammons
http://www.wiredadvisorblog.com

Bruce Johnston

Bruce Johnston

May 19, 2011 — 9:05 PM

Zack, these are excellent points. The new world of digital communication is about engagement. So the first thing advisors should do is engage, as in do something, and you certainly point out five clear ways in which they can do just that.

The other thought your article brings to mind is a little more about the future. My new Gen Y friend, RJ Weiss, CFP points out that Gen Y doesn’t mind one to many communications, as opposed to older generations which prefer 1-to-1. So right now there’s a split, say 50/50 between communication preferences. However, as future generations age, there isn’t going to be a split, it will be a gap. More people will favor this “social communication” than traditional, as he puts it.

Not to be taken lightly is the compliance aspect of social media. I agree with your assessment that compliance doesn’t have to be the burden many are making it out to be. However, I am seeing an inordinate amount of advisors ignore the rules thinking they won’t be caught. Don’t believe me, check out the number of endorsements on advisors LinkedIn accounts. From what I’ve seen, compliance officers are willing to work with advisors that bring them solutions to archiving and the on-going monitoring requirement. Arkovi, MailBanc and others have solutions in place to help with this issue.

Those that follow your direction and add the compliance oversight early will be the big winners!!

Zack Miller

Zack Miller

May 20, 2011 — 6:35 AM

Hi Stephanie,
Great question. I think blogging should be central to an Internet strategy for FAs and IAs. Remember, blogging is just form — the message can come from guest contributions to other sites, live events, etc. It’s just so important that an advisor has a home base to draw attention, attract traffic and ultimately, convert prospects into account holders.

Zack Miller

Zack Miller

May 20, 2011 — 6:39 AM

Spot-on, Bruce. The one-to-one vs one-to-many is a generational switch. Where as the baby boomers require personal communication — younger investors sometimes prefer personalized information. By plugging into the tradestream of an advisor (the corpus of information an advisor is producing online), younger investors see themselves as opting-in to the conversation. The key is conversion for advisors — how to take these fans/listeners/readers and getting them to act.

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