Not long ago, a strong digital presence was an afterthought for many RIAs. Today, digital planning is one of the first steps on the path to independence. A recent Cerulli Edge report showed that among employee advisors who prefer independence, 55% are interested in starting a new practice rather than joining an existing one and 33% are interested in launching an independent practice with one to two partners.
As the number of advisors leaving wirehouses to go independent increases, more advisors are realizing the importance of having a strategy in place to ensure a clean and successful break. Executing a detailed and in-depth digital branding strategy is a big part of that planning process.
Laying the Foundation for a Clean Exit
Nowadays, it is important to have a clearly defined digital branding strategy ready for implementation at the launch of your new practice. When creating a digital plan for independence, it’s vital to note that it should be customized to an advisor’s individual employment agreement with their wirehouse. The rules of protocol versus non-protocol will come into play when mapping out a team’s plan. As with any long-term business planning, the more time you have to develop your digital branding strategy, the better.
There are a number of important components of a digital brand strategy such as social media, local search engine optimization (SEO) and of course, having your own website. According to HubSpot’s 2020 Marketing Report, 97% of consumers learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. For all business owners, including financial advisors, the need to show up digitally is stronger than ever before.
Financial advisors in the past have often failed to account for the efficacy of social media campaigns in their branding and digital media strategies. This can be a fatal error, as over 3 billion people worldwide currently use at least one social media platform. As social media continues to increase in popularity, financial advisors are beginning to realize the significance of building a strong digital presence after transitioning out of the wirehouse.