Well, you might not think that you’re not sabotaging your reputation. If so, are you making your reputation stronger in your community? Or, are you actually sabotaging your reputation by doing nothing to manage it? Both of these are issues I’m hoping you will at least think about.
How do you build your reputation?
This is the first question I want you to ask yourself. I want you to mindfully think about what makes your firm unique. I want you to ask yourself what a potential client would be interested in learning. I want you to think about the best way to communicate with your best and most profitable clients.
You should start thinking about different channels you can use to build your reputation. Do you want to use social media? What should your website say? Do you have a blog on your website? Is there a place for a monthly email newsletter? How about your place in the community? What does your office look like? I hope you’re starting to get the idea. Building a reputation is a multi-faceted approach. Spend some time brainstorming what the different avenues are before charging down anyone of them.
Do you think social media will create clients?
I want you to think long and hard about how clients decide to do business with your firm. I’m going to bet that few or none come from social media. Social media does have some uses. It can be used to help point readers towards other activities you have going on.
You might use social media to talk about activities your firm is involved in. You might use it to get people to be aware of blog posts, changes in your firm, webinars your firm sponsors. Don’t think social media is going to create clients. Ask yourself this question, “If I was looking for a financial planner would I use social media to find one?” If the answer is no, then the answer is probably no for your potential clients.
Who are the consumers of your information?
I’m hoping that your answer is more than potential clients. Your reputation is going to be determined by others in your industry, COI’s, suppliers and wholesalers. You see reputation isn’t just determined by clients. You want to manage how others think about your firm. Reputation management is at the center of this practice.
Do you plan your reputation management program?
Your firm is going to get a reputation whether you want it to or not. If you spend time in your firm thinking about and planning how to enhance your reputation, you’re much more likely to find your reputation steadily improves. Reputation management should not be an ad hoc activity. It should be something that is done in a mindful manner.
You need to have a reputation management officer in your firm. This person’s job will be to think about who is playing what role in improving your firm’s reputation. This is not a full time job. Once you decide what activities you’re going to focus on it should only take an hour or two a week. You’re going to find that someone needs to make sure that important activities get done. If not, you’re not managing your reputation you’re just accepting whatever happens.
What are you going to do next?
Now that you have a basic idea of what reputation management is and some of the various activities that make up reputation management what are you going to do? Sit down, take out a piece of paper and write down a few ideas. Start a conversation in your firm. Hopefully some good ideas will bubble up.
Speaking of reputation. In our Linked In group Sustainable Value For Your RIA we talk about this issue from time to time. Why don’t you click here and come over and join our group?