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The #1 Marketing Asset every Financial Advisor should Hold in the Portfolio

Sara Grillo - Social Media Video Marketing

There were three times in life when my career almost brought me to a nervous breakdown. The first was my last semester at NYU Stern when my professor threatened to fail my thesis if I didn’t change the topic at the last minute. The second was after Lehman crashed and I realized I was competing with literally thousands of qualified candidates to get back the position I had lost. The third was when I had my second child in two years and struggled to meet the grueling demands of the financial advisor quota I faced, and this led to me to skip maternity leave. Needless to say, at all three points I was ready to bite the head off a rattlesnake.

It’s no coincidence that both of these remarkable experiences were caused by the same heavy pressures that so many financial professionals face. Over the last 20 years I worked in a variety of industries but I can honestly say that finance is one of the most stressful occupations one could have. Why is that?

  • Unlike many other industries, most people in finance confront the reality on a daily basis that a market downturn they have no control over could cast them out onto the street.
  • When I was a FINRA-registered rep, I lived in constant fear of a lawsuit due to a compliance breach. It’s always lurking even for the most cautious.
  • Heavy regulation has precluded any real degree of product differentiation unless you are dealing in hedge funds, CTAs, or commodities. For most financial products there are very few core differences from one to the next, making it hard for the brokers and advisors who sell them to present a true competitive advantage.
  • Most financial advisors market their practices through word of mouth. In a bad market, all the good you’ve done is forgotten and nobody has anything nice to say about you. You’re literally as good as your last trade. Regulation also precludes advisors from publicizing any client testimonials. So this all makes it very hard to get street cred, especially if you’re starting out.

And on and on…

The good news it that with a little bit of creativity, which to be blunt is the last thing on any financial advisor’s mind given all the stress they’re under, you can refocus the lens through which the world sees you. It all starts with strong branding. I outline my formula for accomplish a good, solid business image in this piece about business branding. Themed messaging that is unique and goes deeper can intrigue the reader and cultivate a following, but it doesn’t come easily.

Financial advisors should also pay attention to where their online content is placed. Distribution through sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and many more is how you reach the targeted audience and ultimately earn back your marketing spend, which to be blunt is the treasure at the end of the rainbow for us all. Agree?

Many financial advisors are wary of social media such as blogging and online video because of the heavy compliance regulations that their firms uphold. This will never change and is something out of your control. You have to work with it, not allow it to make you avoid the digital world altogether. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying go 100% Facebook all the time. The best strategy is a hybrid approach that combines in person, digital, and phone prospecting. Why is this? Some prospects don’t like cold calls. Others don’t use LinkedIn. Others are people you’ll never meet at any networking events because their schedule doesn’t allow for it. Diversification, my financial advisor friends, is the only way to ensure that if one method becomes compromised it doesn’t mean an empty pipeline.

Sara’s Upshot

Like anything else, building your brand takes time and commitment.

Authenticity is what matters most in any financial advisor who wants to get new clients. Learn the no BS way to use social media to get new clients by joining my membership here.

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If Social Media Video Marketing Is So Great, Why Isn’t Everybody Doing It?

Sara Grillo - Social Media Video Marketing

Social media video marketing is the wave of the future and the best way to engage an audience online. I don’t know why everyone isn’t doing this already. Well, actually, I do know because here’s what some of my clients say.

Social media video marketing is expensive.

Yes, my friends, creating a professional, high quality video to represent your business will cost you a golden fortune. It carries with it a myriad of expenses, ranging from production costs, license fees, disc storage space, props, cast stipends, etc. The list goes on forever if you want to do this right.

For this reason I recommend creating only one or two videos that are rich in brand and can be circulated widely with success.  Those are your anchor videos that you embed in your website, use as trailers on your social media channels, send to prospects, etc.

These gold level videos are an investment that you make only once or twice. If you do it right, they create enough of a draw that you will boost your following, convert them to buyers, and earn the money back.

The bulk of the videos can be “quickie”, 2 minute clips which are semi-produced at your company or home. You’d have to invest in lighting, a good camera, a microphone, a YouTube account, and perhaps a professional backdrop.  These semi-produced social media marketing videos can help retain attention after you hook the audience in with the trailer videos.

What I’ve learned is that while quality matters, people care more about the content.  I successfully promote one of my business lines through YouTube exclusively.  While occasionally I do get complaints about my home videos, it hasn’t stopped me from getting many new clients because my content is spot on.  In fact, people see it as genuine when they hear my babies cry in the background. It makes me seem human and people love the authenticity absent of overly stiff and phony marketing pitches.

Social media video marketing is time consuming. 

Same as the money argument.  Make the big investment once and then follow it up with less time intensive, content rich “quickie” vids.  The more you do this, the easier it becomes. I don’t have a script and talk extemporaneously into the camera now. There is no way to make this go faster other than practice.

For most small businesses, setting aside the time to edit, tag, categorize, and lastly publish the video onto social media is too much of a stretch. Check out my marketing services tab to find out why companies work with me to get this done.

I don’t like having my picture taken. 

Neither did I – until I saw how lucrative social media marketing videos can be.  And then when my bank account got bigger I liked having my picture taken.

I don’t talk well into the camera.

Neither did I, until I practiced.  There is no way to make social media marketing video go better other than practice. Here’s a quick tip: try using humor. This is best served by a quick anecdote.

The first few months of working with a new client are kind of like the honeymoon period in a new relationship.  Everybody lives in fear of the moment of the first fight when the claws come out.

As I’ve gotten more experienced as an entrepreneur I’ve come to see tremendous value in having these conflicts because when there is a disagreement you see who you’re really dealing with.  In a sense you haven’t met the person you’re working with until something goes wrong.

I once I had a disagreement over a fee that a client did not want to pay although the contract explicitly stated the fee was due.  I reduced tension by using humor which broke the mental pattern of defensiveness and made them feel like I was dealing with them on the human level. You see, humor is human. When we laugh it makes us remember that we are human beings.

So here’s some critical advice to business owners or anyone really who is going for it, who is trying to get somewhere in business. In a tense situation, use humor. Show them your heart. Show them that you are a person first and a business person second, that you want the best for them and it’s not all gloom and doom, and that you can find the bright side and bring them a smile even in a dark situation.  It will empower both you and them to stay committed to working together, as I am with all my clients, and protect your success.

Social Media Video Marketing: The Bottom Line

Here’s the bottom line. If you want people to trust you, they have to know you; there’s no better way than seeing you on video.

You’ve got to spend your money on something. Out of all the uses of your marketing money, video is the best way to go. If you aren’t doing this, you should be – because your competition certainly is.

Authenticity is what matters most in any financial advisor who wants to get new clients. Learn the no BS way to use social media to get new clients by joining my membership here.