I recently got the chance to speak with Richard LoPresti, financial services thought leader and social media communications strategist. As president of RecommendedAdvisor, Rich merges his 14-year career in financial services with his background in strategic social media communications to help financial advisors and financial firms find and grow their client base through social media.
What do you enjoy most about working in social media for finance?
I really enjoy helping others. In my position, I can help more people than I’ve ever been able to help through traditional methods of communication. I can now literally connect with the world.
I truly believe that if a financial advisor can connect with their clients and prospects through social media, they can prove that they have their clients’ best interests in mind, and more easily help them reach their financial goals.
What are your biggest challenges?
Many firms are using FINRA and SEC regulations as an excuse to prevent their advisors from using social media. As a result, advisors are moving to firms that allow them to use social media to help grow their client base and tap into the benefits of social media.
Can you share some tips for financial advisors getting ready to embark on their social journey?
1. Make a case for social media.
Most big financial institutions don’t fully understand what social media is and what it can do for their advisors. They need to understand that social media will help their advisors to connect more deeply with their client base. If done right, social can help locate, win, grow and retain business.
2. Look at how social media can help achieve your existing goals.
For example, an advisor knows that if they make 100 phone calls, they may reach 20 people. Out of those 20 prospects, they may get five of those people to take action and attend a seminar, and as a result, they may wind up with two new clients. In less time, advisors can reach 1000 qualified prospects, engage 40% of them, drive 50 of them to a seminar, and close half of them. That’s what social can do.
3. Bring your offline world online
Connect with your existing clients and prospects online. Start with Linkedin and work your way to other networks. Educate your clients on the benefits of your additional communications through social media. Don’t make the excuse that your clients are too old and aren’t online; it is in your best interest to bring them on. Take this time to educate them.
What are your predictions for how social will change the future of finance?
While younger generations are online and social, they are just the first wave to adopt social media. As it becomes easier and more popular, older generations are catching on. Want proof? Take a look in your local library and you’ll see full classes on how to use social media, tablets, and e-readers. The opportunity is huge. People buy from people they know, like and trust. These new sales channels are here to stay.
Is your financial firm up to speed on the benefits of social media? How have you made a case for social media in your company? What are your predictions for the future of social media and the financial industry? For more on how social media can work for your financial services company, download our ebook, How to Create a Social Media Strategy for the Financial Services Industry.