Jan 12 2024
Finding the optimal online and offline branding blend in 2024
Striking a balance between online and offline strategies is essential for financial advisors looking to engage and resonate with their clients. Here’s how you can make the best of both worlds.
Express your authentic self physically and virtually
For Jeanette Hilot, a three-year MDRT member from Quezon City, Philippines, being a financial advisor is about creating a life-long relationship with clients. Therefore, it is essential to brand oneself as trustworthy online and offline, not just during the sales process but even after.
Regular visits to her clients’ residences allow Hilot to observe their living conditions and interact with their family members and loved ones. For her, having genuine interactions with the policy beneficiaries is as vital as creating connections with her clients. “If my clients allow, I engage and build relationships with their beneficiaries to educate them about financial literacy, which helps my clients recognize that I value the money they have entrusted me through their policies.”
As she uses Facebook as her central online marketing platform, Hilot prefers using her account instead of managing a separate professional account. It helps her establish credibility, save time, share interesting things about herself, and connect with the right prospects. “When branding yourself online, you must be interesting and share the real you. You must not hide yourself from the public as you are there on a mission to help them.” She finds it helpful to balance sharing insurance-related content and posting personal updates on her online platform.
Hilot emphasized the importance of making her clients feel her presence online. One of her strategies is sending a simple message to them every first day of the month. She ensures she is prompt in addressing their concerns through online messaging platforms.
In 2024, Hilot plans to explore the traditional way of sending out flyers in their neighborhood and continue doing regular visits with clients. “There is no strategy that fits all clients.” Therefore, asking them the right questions is crucial to understanding the suitable online and offline blend to service them.
Customize your approach depending on the platform
Pauline Casingal, a one-year MDRT member from Makati City, Philippines, values her clients’ comfort levels regarding meeting arrangements but also understands that some aspects of financial advising are better handled online or offline. For example, processing claims and applications and investment portfolio updates is ideally done in person. However, some clients value the convenience of conducting these sessions virtually.
She offers flexible service models to satisfy their needs and preferences. For Casingal, it is important to establish mutual understanding with her clients when setting up online and offline engagements. “Sometimes clients initially prefer virtual meetings, but I see the need for in-person interactions to explain complex product information better.” She inquires about their preferred meeting location and accommodates their choice to demonstrate how much she values having personal interactions with them.
When presenting virtually, Casingal engages with the same amount of energy she would exert in person. She encourages financial advisors to make virtual meetings more creative. “Do not let the virtual setup limit you in making your interactions fun and interesting.”
For Casingal, balancing in-person and virtual interactions by accommodating diverse client preferences helps financial advisors provide personalized and efficient service.
Always be present to your clients - online and offline
Angelika Lola, a two-year MDRT member from Quezon City, Philippines, stands by the “Always Be Out There” (ABOT) strategy. Just as “abot” is the Filipino word for “reach,” she connects with her prospects and clients on various online and offline platforms.
Lola manages an online community through her Facebook page, “Healthy Money, Healthy Mind.” As a health and wellness advocate since college, she found it easier to build her unique selling proposition online, merging her financial advising career and health and wellness advocacy. “My online community likes that I share my lifestyle and life mantra alongside insurance-related educational content.”
To expand her network offline further, Lola started setting up physical booths with her teammates in different communities to introduce themselves to a new target market and establish personal connections with potential clients. “This is the strategy we want to continue in 2024 to reach out to larger communities, hopefully.”
Aligned with the ABOT blueprint, Lola plans to explore creating video content and boosting her presence on other social media platforms, such as TikTok, as a response to the changing behavior of her target audience. “Some people search for a particular plan or policy on TikTok because they prefer easy-to-consume content,” she says.
Lola has two tips for finding the optimal online and offline blend for financial advisors. The first is treating their online accounts as their “walking resume”, ensuring their content reflects a positive yet genuine image, while the second is promoting face-to-face interactions to amplify their presence and spread their influence.