In the past, financial advisors often appealed to prospective clients by attending networking events or getting referrals from existing clientele. Nowadays, more and more of you are finding success by doing the online equivalent! Social media has attracted an incredible number of users in recent years, as middle-aged and older Americans flock to sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Smart advisors are tapping into this new networking opportunity, and enjoying an influx of new business because of it.
If you’re interested in making new connections on Facebook, you will be faced with one very important decision right away:
Should you use your personal Facebook account, or create a separate business page?
There are benefits and drawbacks to each option. In general, you might want to consider using your personal Facebook account if:
- You are already the name and face of your practice
- You already have a Facebook account, and a large number of local or influential contacts. This means you have already done the work of creating a “warm market” of people who already know and respect you as a professional. It should be easy to tap into this warm market and begin to attract new contacts.
- You want to show your personal side to clients. This can be a good idea in many cases, since we all like to do business with people we know.
On the other hand, it is sometimes better to create a separate business page for your practice. Do this under the following circumstances:
- You want to create a “brand” for your practice, rather than attaching it to your name and face.
- You tend to post things you wouldn’t talk about in a meeting with clients (political or religious topics, for example). In some situations, mixing your professional persona with your personal online account can backfire.
- You don’t already have a solid “warm market”, and your main goal is to attract new prospects. A business page will allow you to create ads or boost posts, meaning you can select a target demographic and Facebook will display your content in news feeds of users matching that criteria. Basically, it’s very low-cost and effective advertising that helps to build your online following!
Either of the above options is fine to use. The decision really comes down to personal preference and how you feel about your local market. Some advisors even choose to use a combination tactic, tapping into their warm market via their personal page, while establishing a business page to attract new prospects.
One word of caution, though: Remember that the content you post will be the major factor which decides whether your audience tunes in and pays attention to you. Always offer them something of value, such as links to your blog, or start a conversation. Never post blatant sales pitches, and don’t post so often that you annoy your online followers. You want to post valuable content on a consistent basis, build credibility, and boost your website traffic. Over time, you will notice that your prospects convert into clients, your practice grows, and your profits soar!