21 Jul 2014

Build Your Business with Social Media

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Tap into a New Client Source

What a difference a few years makes. Social media has exploded. Over 800 million people now connect with each other using Facebook—more than one-half on a daily basis. And hundreds of millions more connect using other social networking websites like LinkedIn and Twitter. News feeds report stories live in real time. Blogs are often the fastest and best source for cutting-edge legal commentary.

The rise of social media has fundamentally changed how we all communicate in both our personal and professional worlds.

Professional adoption of social media

Just 2 short years ago, many professionals operating in regulated industries were still debating whether to engage in social media. At many firms, partners simply didn’t know what to make of these tools. IT professionals expressed concern over security lapses and breaches of confidentiality. HR people assumed staff would go online and waste valuable work time.

But times have changed. Given the trends noted above, fiduciaries are beginning to realize the potential of social media to market their services, build connections with other fiduciaries and potential clients, gather and share information and grow their practices. So the question now is not whether to engage with social media, but how?

In the coming weeks and months, we will provide detailed articles on the main social media marketing tools you should consider using.

The Advantages of Using Social Media

More and more, fiduciaries are creating social media profiles to interact and engage with clients, potential clients, and referral sources. Social media not only gives you 24/7 online exposure, but potential clients are able to research you recommend your business to others. Every time your exposure increases, so does the potential to increase your client base.

Social media marketing can be very effective in expanding your pool of potential business, and the opportunities are endless when interacting and connecting with potential clients where they are already communicating. In addition to connecting with existing and potential clients in a more personal way, social media enables you to:

•          Build stronger personal connections with colleagues and peers.
•          Expand your business development network with prospects.
•          Nurture referral sources.
•          Build your personal brand and profile within the industry.
•          Stay on top of industry trends, news, and regulations.
•          Monitor client industry news and trends.
•          Learn from industry influentials/thought leaders.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to take an educational approach to social media, rather than a sales approach. Social media is about building relationships, so fiduciaries need to take a roundabout approach to generate new business. You can start by authoring and sharing content that will position you as a thought leader in your community, grow that community and foster relationships online using social media, and develop strategies that will get you noticed and eventually lead to potential client and referral sources.

Before you jump into social media with both feet, do some research on and offline for a “reality check.” In addition to communicating with followers and readers you hope will hire you someday, you should be making connections with other industry members so when they know of someone in need, they can refer you as a credible source. Talk to your existing clients, respected industry leaders, and your office staff about how they would like to connect with you and on social media. In addition to the “how”, ask:

Where do existing clients and industry leaders want to connect with you online?

Is it Facebook, your website via a blog, forums, Twitter, LinkedIn? As a fiduciary, you may not have much time to dedicate to social media, so you’ll want to “make it count” in the places where your audience is.

What would they like to know about you and your services?

Remember, you want to educate, not give away free advice. Ask your existing clients what types of information they would like to know about you and your profession. You may be surprised. Depending on your audience, they might want a range of content, from your commentary on recent high-profile cases to updates about new additions to your office. The point here is to educate and build rapport to be seen as a reputable business and service.

How much time do you and your staff have for social media?

Again, it’s understood that fiduciaries don’t usually have a lot of spare time. Figure out how much time you have to dedicate to social media each week. Ask if staff members would be willing and able to dedicate some time (and how much) to social media efforts for your company.

What incentive do you have to offer?

Here again, talk to your existing clients and industry peers. Identify what it is that turned those clients on to you. Was it your knowledge of the industry (Expertise)? Maybe your willingness to take their calls day or night (Client Care)? That thing that hooked them will be your not-so-secret weapon, your message when you approach your social media audience.

Find time for Social Media by using Productivity Enhancing Software by BMS

BMS offers free software to help fiduciaries and their staff automate many routine, time-intensive tasks involved with the administration of your cases. TrustWorks, our no cost software, allows you to keep track of assets and the funds received as those assets are sold off. In addition, when it comes time to distribute funds, our engine allows you to account for the most complex of distributions and even lets you set aside reserve funds for monies that need to be set aside for later. You can even do all banking functions such as writing checks and request wire transfers all through our TrustWorks software platform. Learn more by visiting us at: BMSadvantage.com/TrustWorks.