Wow, that titles screams excitement doesn’t it?

Financial planning is one of the necessary, grown-up, things that anyone with an ounce of responsibility must face at one point or another.

It’s right up there with car insurance and house insurance and while many people don’t really want to deal with the notion of insurance, usually level heads win out and they, at some point, will get their financial house in order.

There are some pretty interesting statistics online about who is using Social Media and what the target demographic for most Financial Planners is.

Consider the following:

35% of 35 to 44 year olds have their own social network page
89% of Facebook users in Canada are between 18 and 55.
68% of Linked In users in Canada are between 18 and 49.
20% of Linked In users in Canada are over 50.
The average age of a Twitter user is 31.

When we align this with Canada’s most affluent demographic, we find considerable overlap. These are the very people that need to have professional Financial Planning in their portfolios.

Here’s a little-known fact. I started out in the Life Insurance/Financial Planning industry. While it was many years ago much of the same misconceptions and mis-information still monopolize the reputation of Financial Planning.

In the old days…10 years ago, a Financial Planner who was a great networker would have the opportunity to speak to potential clients at dinner parties or club events and would be able to dispel any such misconceptions.

Today however, everyone is online. They’re on here looking for information. If they want to know the difference between Whole Life and Universal Life they’re going to look for that information on the web, from the comfort of their home or office. There is no risk for them to do so, no one that may be “selling them” over the phone, just relaxed ingestion of information.

This is where the opportunity for a Social Media savvy Financial Planner can make a big difference. Now instead of dolling out information at a dinner party he or she can provide great, relevant information to a vast array of potential prospects.

While meeting with a Financial Planner this week I was asked “who would want to read anything about Life Insurance? It’s kind of boring for people who are not in the industry.” I’d go along with that. Not many people I know want to know how actuaries come up with the stats on when a person is supposed to die. (probably doesn’t make great dinner conversation either)

However, there is something that most people are interested in and it could be a fantastic tool for Financial Planners setting up Social Media campaigns.

Story telling.

Yep, a great story, about real people, with real issues, that were solved by a professional Financial Planner can make for some compelling reading.

People want to read about others successes. How Jim Smith paid for 3 daughters to go to University by setting up policies for them at infancy and letting those policies compound, tax free for 20 years each. (ok, that could have been a bit more compelling but you get my meaning.)

Story telling builds the Financial Planner up as an industry expert. The “go to” person for anyone with questions. It also builds enormous trust. When people are genuinely given information that they would otherwise have to pay for, they become loyal followers.

Having a great blog that answers questions, dispels myths, provides great value and demonstrates an excellent knowledge of current best practices is tantamount to having a one-on-one conversation with hundreds of potential clients.

The trust you build by giving your knowledge away for free is currency. They tell their friends that the information found here is exceptional, accurate and current and people will return again and again for more and your list grows, and grows, and grows.

Additionally by using Social Media to provide value you show your clients that you’re doing everything you can to make your business on the cutting edge. You take time to learn new technology therefore you must take time to learn everything new about financial planning as well.

Increasing your value to your clients = increasing your return on investment of time or money into Social Media.

Written by jax