In industries across the nation, Americans have stepped up to attempt to mitigate the strain and stress COVID-19 has caused. Healthcare workers are fighting the war on the frontlines. Grocers are continuing to keep households fed. Apparel manufactures are dropping the t-shirts and manufacturing much needed face masks. Americans have united, using their expertise to assist their fellow neighbors. But the reality is, the financial impact this pandemic has caused has been devastating across the nation – unemployment is projected to reach 20% by some experts and small businesses have seen 50% reduction in customer demand1.
As a financial advisor, the world needs your expertise now more than ever. We break down why it’s so important you guide clients during times of crisis and what you can do about it, starting today.
Take unemployment for example – with 22 million Americans filing for unemployment, Google saw a huge spike in search volume for the phrase “file for unemployment.”
The issue is, with increased search volume, comes increased results; unfortunately, these results do not necessarily yield beneficial, or factual advice. Enter the advisor. As a financial advisor, you are the expert and you have the credentials. The more accurate content – about real-time concerns – coming from an expert like yourself, the easier it will be for these families to identify a useful resource… your website. To ensure your content is getting in front of the eyes of those who need it, share content consistently on social media with a link back to your site. Reach out to your prospect email list and share thought leadership content such as a monthly outlook or market recap. As you are creating the content, always keep SEO in the back of your mind.
Discussing finances – especially when they are unstable – isn’t an easy task. If people feel they are being spoken to, and heard, the process will be much easier. This is where having a niche, and being specific in your communications, not only helps you as the advisor, but more importantly, it helps the struggling prospect or client. People love to relate. All financial situations are unique, even if we’re all experiencing the same crisis. In times of uncertainty, fear, and distress, feeling connected to others helps.
Speak to your niche and cut through the noise of the group you represent. Whether it’s a small business owner trying to stay afloat, a corporate professional being forced to revisit retirement plans, or a young engineer working from home as we shelter in place, people are trying to work through the moment while trying to keep their futures intact. Update your messaging with timely information which speaks to the specific challenges your audience may be facing and weave it through your digital channels – website, social media, and email marketing.
As struggling Americans scour the internet for advice and direction, they are not looking for a cookie-cutter guide to financial literacy. They are searching for real solutions to serious, pressing problems. People need to trust the content – they need human connection to build that trust. The more advisors who are getting in front of the camera recording content, scheduling zoom appointments, and ultimately sharing their expertise – despite the medium or quality – the better. This doesn’t require thousands of dollars of equipment, a team of producers, designers, and PR efforts. All it requires is a phone with recording capabilities, and an honest, authentic, and accurate message. Remember, you have conversations around finances ALL the time – simply translate these conversations into a video or podcast to reach those struggling families and help them make sense of their financial future.
Despite the increase of robo-advisors, and investing apps since the 2008 financial crisis, when surveyed in 2018- nearly a decade later – 75% of RIA’s and fee-based advisors said that investors were more likely to work with a financial advisor than they were prior to the crisis2. Why? Because when crisis strikes, people look to experts. Advisors, you are among the experts the world needs right now. Be proactive, be loud, be heard, and guide your clients through these times.
1 National Small Business Association member survey
2 Financial Planning – Financial Crisis Haunts Clients 10 Years Later