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One of the best ways financial advisors can bolster their credibility and reach potential clients is available for free.
It's called social media.
However, merely joining Twitter and Facebook won't cut it, according to Dasarte Yarnway, founder of Berknell Financial Group in San Francisco.
He shared his views about building a brand on social media at the Wealth/Stack conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Yarnway also hosts "The Young Money Podcast."
"Outside of opening the account, you need to join the conversation," he said. "Engagement is key; finding your voice is the second thing."
Used correctly, social media can provide financial advisors with an outlet to showcase their expertise, network with their peers and meet potential clients.
"We really look at social media as more of the credibility factor and an awareness of who we are and what we do," said Nina O'Neal, a panelist and partner at Archer Investment Management in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Here's where to get started.
Identifying your specialty is a good starting point for generating content.
"It could be that you're working with millennials, and you're going to create content on this thing," said Yarnway.
"Or it could be talent: You're good at cryptocurrency, so you write about this particular thing," he said. "That's the simplest way to do it."
Panelist Tyrone Ross Jr., a Woodbridge, New Jersey-based investment advisor specializing in cryptocurrency, initially built his Twitter presence by tweeting on bitcoin.
He now hosts "The Human Advisor Podcast," which debuted this week.
When panelist Justin Castelli, a certified financial planner and founder of RLS Wealth Management in Fishers, Indiana, struggled with writing about the fiduciary rule back in 2016, he decided that video might be a better way to explain the regulation.
"I thought, 'I can communicate quicker doing video,'" he said. "And I realized that people consume content in different ways.
Video turned out to be the best medium for Castelli, as he can generate many pieces of content from one shoot.
"I can take a video clip and chop it for Instagram Stories," he said, referring to the brief videos users can post to the site.
Similarly, the audio can be repurposed for Castelli's podcast "All About Your Benjamins," and he could use the video to accompany a blog.
Aside from keeping active on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, O'Neal has established contacts with the financial news media.
She has also recently been featured in a video series on being a working mom called "The Juggle is Real," and she's written guest columns for several trade publications covering the advice industry.
O'Neal has also grown her own network of fellow advisors, establishing a study group from the peers she's met on Twitter, also known as the #FinTwit community.
"I think sharing other people's content, reading it, getting value out of it and leveraging them as resources has been very valuable for me," O'Neal said. "It's a professional benefit I didn't expect from social media."