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Being intentional with posts and making them as meaningful and impactful as possible will help people get a feel of who advisors are and the types of clients with whom they work.Tero Vesalainen/iStockPhoto / Getty Images

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The internet is a great way to get to promote your business. For financial advisors, having an online presence is essential, even though it can be challenging deciding what information to share that will have the biggest impact.

Here are four ways advisors can create an online presence that helps the right people find them, learn about their services and, ultimately, become long-term clients.

1. Know your audience

To market a business online successfully, it’s important advisors know their audience.

Take a step back and outline the ideal client profile. Who are the clients you want to attract? What do they like? What do they need help with? Are there specific topics that resonate with them and make them more likely to contact you for a meeting?

Understanding the answers to these questions will help advisors craft a marketing strategy that speaks directly to the people who matter most for their business. The more direct advisors can be in their marketing efforts, the more likely the content will be relevant to their ideal clients.

2. Have a professional and attractive website that’s easy to find

At the most basic level, advisors need to have a website that looks good, is easy to search and contains relevant information about their business.

Better yet, a website that contains information that shows the types of clients with whom the advisor works and how they can help them will encourage the right prospective clients to spend more time on the website and return to it.

Although most referrals come from word of mouth, prospective clients will search for an advisor on Google. First impressions are important, and an impressive website will build credibility and trust.

Advisors should also make sure their website is optimized for search engines – even those who already have a strong website in place. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of developing an online presence in a way that enables websites to show up higher in search engine results.

There are many ways to improve SEO, but one place to start is by using keywords. What will people search for when they’re looking for an advisor? Think of any specific niches that an advisor may have, such as “financial advisor for doctors” or “financial advisor for divorcees.”

Including these words in blogs and pages on a website can help increase where an advisor shows up in searches.

3. Create a presence on relevant social media networks

If a business doesn’t have a presence on major social media networks, chances are its competitors do.

That’s especially true for advisors. Peers are using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to engage with their current and prospective clients. Having a presence on these platforms will increase engagement and create an interactive space.

The advisors who have success in this space look at it as an extension of their website and another way to showcase their brand. Being intentional with posts and making them as meaningful and impactful as possible will help people get a feel of who advisors are and the types of clients with whom they work.

4. Content is king

Content is the foundation of an online presence. It’s what makes people want to stay on a website and return to it again and again.

The content needs to be interesting and relevant so that users come back for more after they’ve read it once or, better yet, share it with others. Whether an advisor is a content creator or content curator, it’s important to have a variety of quality content to post and share.

Emily Reed is co-founder and chief executive officer at HeyAdvisor in Toronto.

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