For my part I have been hosting lead generation training via Zoom webinars and last week alone I presented to around three hundred advisers.
But training and personal development is one thing; what is important more than anything right now is a sense of Community.
As more and more social platforms have emerged since 2004, IFAs have repeatedly been sold the idea that social media will attract new clients to them by magic. In fact, my own research suggests that fewer than 5% of advisers in the UK can rely on their social media activities to attract clients. But what has emerged is that IFAs get more value from social platforms when networking with each other rather than when using it to attract professional introducers and new clients.
Most IFAs rarely attract new clients with social media for one main reason – they don’t have a formal social media plan which seeks to engage with their ideal client avatar. And there is still a sizeable percentage of advisers whose compliance regime is stuck in the ark, thus restricting any meaningful use of social media which most other industries and professions enjoy. I also work in the Pharma industry and even they are now realising that online engagement between doctors, influencers, drug companies and indeed patients is now a normal part of business life.
What is bizarre amongst UK financial advice firms is the wildly different approaches taken towards compliance and social media – with more enlightened firms being completely relaxed about what their advisers use it for, coupled with random sampling of posts – to firms that won’t allow their advisers to even post about their favourite football team without it being approved first.
In the meantime, social media has been at its most valuable amongst financial advisers when used to grow community. That said there is still a hard-core group of financial advisers who use online communities to do the exact opposite, and who relish in criticising and attacking other adviser’s business models – and often business models that are successful by any measure.
This must stop if the profession has any hope of uniting in a way that enhances the perceived value of obtaining professional financial advice – which, let’s be honest will be increasingly important as we work our way through the current Coronavirus pandemic.
To their credit, the majority of IFAs in the LifeTalk community on Facebook have stepped up to the mark and are freely sharing ideas, experiences and expertise around how best to support clients during this challenging period.
Community matters, and played right will be the ultimate vehicle for promoting and marketing the value provided by the profession.
Philip Calvert is an author, speaker and marketing consultant to financial advisers