IdeasLab 2020: How to build networks with digital marketing

17 September 2020 Glacier by Sanlam

At the recent Glacier by Sanlam IdeasLab 2020 held 8 and 9 September, Francois Muscat, Digital Marketing and Social Media specialist, posed the question that many intermediaries ask him often, “Why do we need digital marketing”? His response is quite compelling and had many participants leaning in as he shared his insights.

“I’m a face-to-face financial adviser, why do I need an online presence?”

The short answer to that question, says Francois, is that intermediaries are no longer in control of the information that investors rely on to make financial decisions. The information sources are as broad and as varied as your client can Google. Francois notes that if, as an intermediary, your main business is derived from referrals, you should know the following:

• Your online presence leads to referrals.
• Digital marketing enhances relationships and builds your reputation.
• A digital marketing strategy allows you to position and promote yourself as an expert.
Francois emphasised that financial advisers are already experts at building relationships, so your digital presence helps to augment this capacity.

He offered some advice to advisers around building their online presence.

1. Be your best
This means:
• Start by finding out how you currently are presented on the internet, which means Googling yourself.
• Establish yourself on the internet. A good place to do this is to create your website, but Francois warns that attention must to be paid to content on your website, and what needs to happen to get people to visit your website.
• When somebody visits your site, you literally have 10 seconds to compel them to stay.
• Your website is an extension of you.
• Demonstrate your expertise and start a blog. Blogging gives you a voice and fresh content. It also establishes you as an expert in your field.
• Give your prospects more ways to get to know you and reach you.

2. Be connected
This means connecting with friends, clients, centres of influence, prospects. It also could mean finding your niche as an adviser. Which client sub-groups could you focus on as a service provider?

3. Be knowledgeable and show your expertise
This means publishing content that demonstrates your informed opinion, balanced view and a voice that has gravitas.

4. Be part of the community and start conversations
Starting conversations is a way to get people to talk about you even when you are not in the room.

Glacier Financial Solutions (Pty) Ltd and Sanlam Life Insurance Ltd are licensed financial services providers

Quick Polls


Which of the following business models do you favour to achieve a sustainable succession outcome in your financial advice practice?


[a] I will find an independent financial planner to buy my business
[b] I will sell a portion of my advice practice to a large corporate
[c] I will join a large firm and give up my independence
[d] I will invite another independent financial planner to join me
[e] I will partner with a large firm
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