You Have a Million Dollars. You want to invest that million. Who do you trust?
Well, I don't have a million dollars but what money I do have I want to put into the hands of a trustworthy investor. I have been with Edward Jones for several things in the past, 501 for college, IRA, etc... but I didn't have a local agent so I went to work researching.
Maybe it's just because I build websites for a living and focus on lead capture, but man was I picky. I stalked this guy! I first looked up Edward Jones people in the area. I found 4. I looked up to see if any of those people had their own website. As expected, they had a sub page of the main Edward Jones site but only one actually USED the site. Two only had their profile picture and name, one had her picture and the canned content of Edward Jones - nothing custom, and the last one had his name, certifications, personal information, hours and lots more. Hmm... this guy is looking good.
So then I stalked him.
Yep, I did. I researched him on LinkedIn and Facebook. Found his personal profile and all his pictures were public. I like this guy! Nothing overly political or crazy, just a nice looking guy with his wife. His LinkedIn profile was up to date and professional. He hadn't been in the business as long as another agent but I really liked all the work he had put into his business AND his marketing.
No, it wasn't flashy and honestly, nothing really cost him much money, but he did his online work and because of that, he had a new client.
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This got me to thinking about online profiles. If I was this crazy and researched this much about this guy, don't other people? We use Facebook and social media now to find dentists, doctors, and handymen in the area, why not everything else?!
Do you know how people are finding you? If you don't have the options out there, they may never find you.
I have school age children so I run in those circles. I can't tell you how many moms I have talked to that Facebook stalked their kid's teachers before the school year starts! Heck, I've even done that once. (don't tell me you've never researched someone on Facebook).
So what are we putting out there? A website that looks like it hasn't left 2002? A Linkedin Profile that stopped posting in 2012? A Twitter account that's never seen a tweet? Or a Facebook profile littered with profanity and political rants?
I'm not saying you can't be you... by all means, do what you want, it's your life out there. But remember that your clients may be doing a little research on you - or a lot of research as I did. What are they finding out there? Are you proud of it? Would it make people want to contact you?
Even if you are just using your broker's company site. People DO research a brokerage, just like I researched "Edward Jones" and not just financial advisers in Marysville. If you use what you have been given, have you maximized its power? Is all your information correct? Links correct and not broken? Does it scream "I'm the person for the job?" If you're not sure, ask someone. You might be surprised! (BTW - as a side note, I told my EJ Agent I stalked him and even though he was a little shocked, he was relieved what I found was appropriate!)
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But I also hear some of you saying: "Are they spending more time marketing than doing their job?"
Well, you never know. Spending an hour or two a month updating accounts or just making sure your website represents you well doesn't really take that much time, but the return, even for just one or two clients, could be well worth it.
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Image Credit : 401(k) Flickr