Are you like many business professionals who are afraid to write? Afraid to share their smarts and blog? In the February Digital Institute broadcast, only 17 percent of attendees said they blog on a monthly basis. Moreover, over 70 percent have not blogged in the past year and/or don’t have any plans to blog. Yikes. Blogging is one of the best ways to show your clients and prospects you are an expert in your financial services niche — something advisors need to do out of the gate!
Do you ever feel like the basic principles of the digital world are sitting on shifting sand? One day you think you’ve got it all figured out, and then the next, you’re completely confused and overwhelmed.
Finding and cultivating referrals is an ongoing and necessary part of your business development strategy.
What does your digital brand say about you?
If someone Googles your name, does the real you show up on the first page? Your digital brand is an integral component of your complete brand positioning, and must tell your clients and prospects why they should work with you and what you stand for in today’s competitive marketplace.
Your brand is not what you say it is, it’s what others say about you. This means your brand must go beyond just words; it needs to encompass all of your clients’ and prospects’ experience with you.
Learn How to Create a Killer Digital Brand and walk away with the ability to:
- Know why clarity and positioning win the day
- Nail a powerful brand voice
- Tap into the magic of meaningful visuals
- Identify low-cost, high-impact opportunities for brand engagement
- Exploit the uninspired turtles in your region
Yes. That is a picture of me. And yes, that is my dog aBoo. We are soaked. Quite soaked. We live in Portland, Oregon. So, of course we must navigate the rain on our morning walks. But, you’ll never find me with an umbrella. By birthright, Oregonians do not carry them. They are a sign of wimps; people afraid of a little bit of water. And, yes. It is blurry. (HA! You try to take a selfie with a wet 110 pound Newfie in the pouring down rain.)
What you won’t find me without is my rain gear: layers of waterproof and water-resistant jackets, pants and shoes. In fact, that is why keeping my morning walk ritual isn’t hard. The right gear makes getting out the door much easier.
The right gear makes all the difference.
Recently, I’ve been offering individual coaching on the world of digital marketing, helping people understand and harness the intersection of the web, marketing and the social world for their business or personal brand. Many times, after our three-hour session, people ask, “OMG! How do you know all of this stuff?” “Where did you learn this?” My answer? “Marketing is my hobby. I love creating. I love experimenting. And frankly, I have a genetic predisposition to tools. I love tools. (Thanks, Dad! This is likely why I have a belt sander and sand blaster in my garage.) Again…
If you head out into the digital world with only an umbrella, you may look foolish – you may simply get soaked, or you may be tempted to give up and head right back inside. To help make your digital efforts a bit easier, I’ve created My Ultimate Digital Gear Guide. The guide lists some of my favorite resources for scheduling social, finding sharable content, building websites, creating visuals and quite a bit more. (Get your guide by downloading via the image to the left.)
Whether you do your own marketing, or you have a team of professionals supporting you, poorly planned or executed social selling efforts could be costing you clients and sales. In 2016, you cannot overlook the opportunity to outsell your peers. You need a workable digital marketing plan that is easy to follow and just takes minutes a day. In this rebroadcast of the ShoeFitts Digital Institute, you’ll learn ways to:
- Scale digital marketing to meet your sales efforts
- Create a sustainable digital marketing plan
- Discover ways to monitor and measure
- Avoid antiquated practices that no longer produce results
- Execute a digital marketing plan with the confidence and tools you need to succeed
Can you really grow to love social media? From the outside, social media appears to be a struggle. Too many compliance headaches. Too much time. Too few clients online. Too little return.
Many firms have shared with me they don’t know what they don’t know. Therefore they don’t do. This approach leaves many firms sitting on the sidelines, letting the digital world pass them by.
Newsflash! The Internet has disrupted the way we acquire information and interact with the world. It is shaping an entirely new idea of what’s possible in marketing, sales, business and our world of financial services. Responding to the digital demand is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.
Have you lost that loving feeling where social media is concerned? Do not despair. Just in time for Valentine’s Day I offer five reasons why you should stop being a wallflower and start dancing. The social sphere allows you to:
- Easily develop a personal brand: An optimized LinkedIn profile is a sure-fire way to solidify your personal and professional brand. The time it takes to optimize your profile will immediately pay dividends in better Google search ranking for your name and your firm’s name. And, don’t forget a professional headshot. Adding a professional photo makes you 14 times more likely to be found on LinkedIn.
- Be where your prospects are: LinkedIn reaches 37% of the U.S. population. It is particularly popular among college graduates, those in higher-income households and the employed.
- Accelerate connections: When I speak about using LinkedIn for financial advisors, I often say, “LinkedIn is the largest rolodex in the world.” Imagine the ability to tap into the power of nearly 400 million people worldwide? With a bit of ongoing effort to grow your network, you’ll begin to notice the connections within connections.
- Scale your top-of-mind efforts: Active profiles – those that share updates and interact – are more likely to be viewed. Think of it as a super simple way to stay top of mind with just the touch of a few strokes on your keyboard. Consider this tip from LinkedIn, “To be seen, you need to move, if you are camouflaged in the crowd, you will stay well hidden.”
- Lead the conversation: 74% of prospects chose the company that was first to help them along their buying journey. By consistently contributing helpful content on a particular subject, advisors can begin to lead the conversation rather than follow.
Need help creating an optimized LinkedIn Profile? Or are you ready to take the social world by storm? Stay tuned for news about my social selling bootcamp. Coming later in March!
New ShoeFitts Marketing monthly broadcasts show financial advisors how to utilize key digital concepts and ideas in their daily practice.
Portland, OR, January 14, 2016: Financial services industry professionals can now take full advantage of digital marketing to elevate their brand, find and develop leads, and increase sales by attending the new monthly ShoeFitts Digital Institute live broadcasts. Featuring host Sheri Fitts, CEO of ShoeFitts Marketing, the series breaks down social media know-how into manageable and executable steps.
“Nearly every day, one industry group or another reports that financial services individuals who are embracing the digital sphere are exceeding and outselling their peers,” explains Fitts. “The ShoeFitts Digital Institute specifically helps professionals in the financial services industry understand how to bring the most important social selling ideas and concepts into their practice.”
For instance the January 21 broadcast, The State of Social in 2016, explains the top social selling hacks. “In this show, I share the latest trends and tips, plus showcase the sales and business growth opportunities,” Fitts says.
The February 18 broadcast, How to Make Digital Marketing Work for You, walks attendees through the steps necessary for determining and executing a well-conceived and holistic approach. “Not sure how to get started? No problem,” Fitts explains. “I outline the key digital marketing plan considerations, including how to leverage digital channels, and how to measure and evaluate your return on investment.”
Fitts, with some 25 years of marketing experience in financial services, understands the tremendous selling power of today’s digital marketplace since there are now some 1.5 billion global social media users spanning all generations and demographics. She recently launched a comprehensive self-paced eCourse, Social Selling for Financial Advisors, to address social selling in today’s competitive marketplace.
“Financial services professionals must embrace the digital sphere and understand how to effectively utilize social selling to make connections and elevate their sales,” Fitts says, adding: “The digital space is playing an ever-increasing role in the business-to-business environment, particularly in the people-facing financial services industry.”
About Sheri Fitts and ShoeFitts Marketing
Sheri Fitts, a well-regarded global speaker, engages audiences by sharing stories of her own experiences and experiments with marketing and social media strategies.
ShoeFitts Marketing helps clients be unforgettable. The Portland, Oregon-based consulting organization draws on decades of experience in the financial services marketplace to identify, create, and implement inspired marketing and social media strategies and solutions for its clients.
Halloween treats come early for financial services professionals looking to lay the ghost of compliance to rest. Professionals in the financial services industry can now overcome their compliance fears about social media by enrolling in the Mastering Compliance online course by Sheri Fitts, CEO of ShoeFitts Marketing. A module within the Social Selling for Financial […]
Iconic coaches, top athletes, high achievers, and innovative start-ups all know setting goals is an important component for success. Yet, regardless of industry or stature, anyone and everyone looking to attain business growth needs to define a process and plan, and with today’s connected world those goals must encompass social media.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
~ Yogi Berra
What should those goals include? Within the context of your overall sales and marketing program your social media plan should detail the following: brand perception and awareness, public relations, thought leadership, engagement and time management, competitive intelligence, and lead generation.
Clearly, there are many points to consider, but if you want rock your sales, you need to focus on the latter two and incorporate social selling. Just what is social selling? In short, social selling means actively using the resources available online and on social platforms to ferret out information about prospects so you can form meaningful connections that lead to business.
Social media is no longer just a tool for B2C purchases; businesses left and right are using social media to research, validate, and converse about B2B purchases. A recent McKinsey & Company article notes: “Business-to-business selling has become less linear as customers research, evaluate, select, and share experiences about products.”
Now consider the impact on sales:
- 78.6 percent of sales people using social media outsell their peers. source
- 55 percent of B2B purchasers source information on social media. source
- You are five times more apt to get your foot in the door if you have a LinkedIn connection. source
Convinced? Good! Be sure you have a copy of our Six Steps to a Spectacular Social Strategy to guide your efforts. Then, hang on for more insights, tips and resources on social selling coming your way next week.
Six Steps to a Spectacular Social Strategy
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Speaking & Events
Sheri speaks to audiences throughout the financial services industry, including Ameriprise, LPL Financial, Commonwealth, Schwab Impact and more. She’ll help you create an unforgettable experience for your next event!