Jay Coulter is an investment strategist, consultant, podcast host and author of The Resilient Advisor. His company, the Resilient Advisor, describes one of its primary goals as providing world class educational programs designed to help financial advisors better serve their clients. He joined the ETF Think Tank recently to discuss content marketing and how social media can be used to help advisors expand their reach.
Coulter got his start back in 2011 at a non-profit. He initially got involved on social media to spread the word and then developed a podcast to augment the effort. As it grew, he developed an advisory business that included social media, a blog, and a podcast to connect with people. These platforms, in his view, are a great way to build credibility and authority.
What’s the best way for advisors to use social media? Coulter believes you should approach it like a marketer and optimize your time spent even if it’s limited. His team identifies people to reach out to who meet the profile of who his company likes to work with. He likes to start by sending a message that offers an introduction, states his message, and asks to connect. He never pitches a product and views it as an opportunity to merely make a connection. If they like what his group offers, he feels they’ll find him on the podcast or live stream. That type of relationship is grown more organically and has a better chance of success.
Coulter believes that advisors need to consider the platform used and content produced when trying to appeal to clients. Twitter can be a great conduit to market and connect. Twitter direct messages, he’s found, have worked well. Advisors, however, need to consider who their target client is. If a financial advisor is targeting doctors and dentists, they’re probably not consuming social media and may need to be targeted in other ways. Facebook and Instagram may be a better tool for reaching certain people. Some advisors are even dabbling in TikTok to expand their footprint. Social media as a whole will be a key for connecting.
Coulter talks about how people’s attention spans are shrinking and content needs to reflect that. Instagram Reels, for example, can be a great tool because they are quick 15-second clips that are easy to consume and share. He is also bullish on YouTube and considers it his core property because it’s optimized for SEO, he can run ads on that content and can get shows in front of thousands of people. He likes to take an original 20-30 minute interview clip with 5 distinct topics, for example, and split it into short clips. You can produce shorter content that’s more targeted and you can easily share that content with his other channels.
While social media can be a great opportunity to reach out to current and potential clients, Coulter thinks direct emails are still one of the best ways to connect. He finds that roughly ¾ of results are going to come from either introductions or referrals. If advisors can get people to sign up for a free periodic communication or newsletter, it allows them to capture an email address and then they can progress the relationship from there. It’s easier to go from prospect to lead to customer than trying to go directly from prospect to customer. Podcasts can work for gaining attention because people can listen to them in the background and they can be less intrusive. The most important overarching factor is simply being out there because it’s what’s important to building the long game.
Coulter acknowledges that developing a social media presence, including video and podcasting, can be challenging. For many, it can be intimidating and often takes practice, but the focus should remain on serving the clients and not the product you’re selling. A softer approach instead of a hard sell can work better for building long-term relationships. Advisors need to treat their social media as a profession.
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