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Using Digital Marketing as Part of Your Succession Plan

I've been working with financial advisors long enough to realize that creating a viable business isn't the only thing on their minds. Creating a viable business that can be handed over or purchased and developing a plan for succession is another big piece of the puzzle.

My financial planning clients range from those who are not even close to retirement to those who can see it peeking over the horizon. For those advisors who are still building their businesses, they might be working solo, but they know they have to have emergency measures in place to protect their clients should the unthinkable happen to the advisor.

But for those who are feeling the pull of retirement...they're coming up with a solid plan.

The advisors I work with who are getting closer and closer to more time on the golf course know that the only way they're going to be able to live their dream retirement is if they have a succession plan in place. In other words, they want to attract one or more new advisors into the practice who can slowly start taking on more responsibility until they run the practice.

What does this have to do with digital marketing?

It was as I was onboarding a new client that I realized that one of the reasons they were interested in my services was not to attract new clients...they wanted to attract young advisors. In this practice they have been a team of three for years, but they're all around the same age - which means at some point they might all be entering retirement at the same time.

The new generation of financial advisors has grown up in a digital age. They're on Instagram and LinkedIn and maybe even Facebook (although if they're really young they might not be). Not only that, but their ideal client is on those platforms as well.

What was ingenious about this practice is that they decided they wanted to start pulling in some new, younger advisors who they knew would be hungry and go out and find new business. Not only that, they knew that the younger advisor would be excited to participate in digital marketing - because they're probably already comfortable with the platforms.

My instruction from the older advisors was "make us look cool" - not just to attract new clients, but to possibly bring in more young advisors as part of their succession plan. The next part of the instruction was, "Work with the new guy."

It's been perfect. Their young, new advisor has ideas and loves to collaborate. He's comfortable making informal videos to help educate the clients. From the moment he walked in the door, this practice made this guy an integral cog in the machine by giving him the responsibility of working on digital marketing.

I have a feeling that this established practice's new dedication to digital marketing was a selling point to the advisor who just joined. If this 20-something guy had asked, "Hey. Can I do videos to educate our clients and put them out on social media?" and the older advisors said, "Nah. We don't do that" - that might have been a turn off to the new guy. Maybe he would have thought twice about joining the practice.

Not only that, but in the words of my client...good digital marketing makes you "look cool." It makes you look relevant and keeps you current. If a young, new advisor looks at a website that looks like it was built in the 1970s (which some do and I don't know how that's possible because we didn't have the internet then), they might just click on by until they find one that appears to have their - excuse my language - shit together.

So, when you think about your digital marketing, don't just consider how you look to the client (although that is a biggie). Think about how you look to a young, hungry advisor who could take your practice to the next level.

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