Updated Thursday, July 24, 2014 as of 4:26 AM ET
Personal vs. Professional? What Advisors Should Share
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
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How do I balance my personal and professional life online?

For many professionals, this is the number one question asked regarding social media strategy, but itís time to remove this divide. Thereís more to you than just your job. Advisors should embrace social media as an opportunity to show all dimensions of your life and character.

YOUR ONLINE BRAND

When it comes to building an online brand, those you think wouldnít care about your hobbies and interests actually do. Many financial advisors are discovering that by incorporating some personality into their digital presence, they are humanizing their brand and increasing the chances of gaining new business leads.

The fact is, consumers on social media choose to follow and do business with those they find relatable, those companies and people they can establish a personable connection with. As an advisor, you should let your professionalism, expertise and thought leadership grab the attention of clients and prospects Ė and your personality should help seal the deal.

PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL

With social media profiles such as Facebook and Pinterest, advisors can easily blend the personal and professional to build chemistry and commonality. For example, Facebook is all about moments and is perhaps one of the strongest platforms for showcasing the different facets of who you are. With a Facebook page, you can highlight professional expertise by sharing articles and thought leadership pieces. However, you can also share personal moments, such as photos from the company baseball game or recent volunteer activity. These moment-driven posts create a dialogue based upon something that everyone, despite their background, can relate to and remember.

Although it is recommended to blend both sides of who you are on social, keep these best practices in mind:

1.Make what you are sharing meaningful. Share posts that illustrate your expertise in the industry and passion for what you do.

2. Donít confuse "personal" with "private." Use discretion when you post. Remember, youíre sharing on social to build connections that can possibly lead to new business opportunities.

3.Interact with people. Even though youíre sharing posts that blend both sides of you are, you want to avoid being a constant commercial. Remember to engage in conversation with those who comment on your posts. Opening the dialogue and taking advantage of those touch-points with followers will only strengthen your digital brand.

Remember, whether itís your personal life or professional life, itís still you Ė and you should use that to your advantage on social media.

Caitlin Zucal is the marketing coordinator for RegEd.

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(3) Comments
Great post Caitlin, As a former advisor and early adopter of social media in Financial Services I completely agree with your advice and support the authenticity and transparency that social provides. Many of my early clients were friends before they became clients and part of the reason they chose to work with me and my wife was because of our personalities and the values we shared.

I think advisors need to consider exactly why they want to begin using social media and then determine how it can be extension of their brand, quirks and all. It may sound too much like a 70's after school special, but being yourself is the best strategy when it comes to social.

Victor Gaxiola @VictorGaxiola

Posted by victor g | Wednesday, April 02 2014 at 2:11PM ET
In the age of social media, there is no such thing as having a private life. Etiquette and good manners manner more than ever.

SCW

Posted by Stephen W | Wednesday, April 02 2014 at 3:17PM ET
SCW - you are so right! We have all seen how smart phones with cameras have been helping to shape good behavior by capturing (some people's, not ours)bad behavior. Etiquette and good manners are, as you say, more important than ever.

Victor - I agree with you, it pays to be authentic, quirks and all. But we need to present our best public personas at all times. I've always said life is too short to work with people I don't like and trust. And with more and more ways to get to know people online, I can quickly decide if we should be part of the same "tribe" or not.

Caitlin - good advice as always from you. Showing our passions is a good thing but having some sense of a filter is also a good thing. We are known by the company we keep. And by the things we hold dear. Social media gives others a window into our lives so posting pictures of work-related celebrations and good works in the community is a great way to use Facebook business pages.

Posted by Marie S | Wednesday, April 02 2014 at 6:43PM ET
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