Need More Content? Check this out!

FSP Gainfully
“Content is the reason search began in the first place.” 
Lee Odden said this and it’s truer than true. Financial service professionals struggle with content. It seems I hear on the daily:
  1. I can’t find content for my followers.
  2. I don’t have time to write my own content.
  3. I wish all the content was located in one place.
What if I told you this is possible today? What if I told you this was not only possible but also free to use as a financial service professional? Well, let me introduce you to Gainful.ly.

I can’t find content for my followers.

Content is truly king. Without it, you just have a blank webpage, an unfinished eBlast, or an empty blog. Content is what fills up the blank canvas. The problem is, you have to know where to go to find it and in a short amount of time, or you have to have it yourself. Yeesh!
With Gainful.ly – you literally have a one-stop shop for content. The platform is free to use for advisors. Financial professionals literally sign-up in a matter seconds, attach social media accounts and start looking for content to share. It’s really that simple.

I don’t have time to write my own content.

Look, I get it. I write a weekly blog column. This can take anywhere from an hour to three hours depending on how much research I need to do, editing, fact checking, etc. and I’m an experienced writer. What if you’re not? What if sitting down in front of a blank screen freaks you out? Well, look to Gainful.ly to provide you with the necessary content needs.
The platform reminds me of Pinterest. You have a dashboard where you pin articles to send out. I’ve never seen anything on the platform which took more than three clicks (most are two or less!).
Having a resource like Gainful.ly allows advisors to be mindful of their time, which is very important to the thousands I meet with each year. You can produce more content, but you can’t produce more time!

I wish all the content was located in one place.

Gainful.ly has been the easiest of the content platforms for advisors to use….period! The amount of content trusted providers are adding to Gainful.ly grows by the weeks. Since all of the content is searchable, you can find pretty much what you’re looking for all in one place.
Also, the platform has an application for both Android and Apple. This means you can be away from your computer and still find content to share on your social media accounts. So, no excuses, folks! You can do this!
At the very least, what will it hurt for you to sign-up for a free account and try it out? You have everything to GAIN!
If you’re part of a broker-dealer, let me know. I would be happy to introduce your compliance officer to the platform and schedule a demo with the Gainful.ly folks.

Just in case, you’re wondering too….

By the way, I receive ZERO COMPENSATION for making this recommendation, so for anyone out there who thinks I’m being paid to say any of this, nope – nothing – nada – zilch. This recommendation comes straight from my heart to yours to help you amplify your business…that’s just how I roll.
Let me know how it goes – take the platform for a whirl and share your thoughts!
Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!
Sheryl Brown | @BIONICsocialite
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Are you Rockin’ your Twitter content yet?

FSP Rockin Their Twitter Content

I’m saying the scary word…yep…financial service professionals will want to plug their ears while saying, “La la la la la la la la!!!” Are you ready? I’m going there today: TWITTER! Before you completely bow out of the conversation, what if I told you there’s a really cool place you can go to get your Twitter content and you don’t even have to post it – it will do it for you?

Now that I have your attention…

Tweet JukeboxI had heard Tim Fargo’s name for a very long time. If you worked in social media – you would too. He wrote an awesome book back in 2013 called “Alphabet Success“and while promoting the book he figured out what a lot of us already knew in financial services: it takes a long time to schedule tweets! It’s the number one reason I hear financial service professionals avoid Twitter – sheer time! Gah!!

Tim (along with a few others) developed an application out of a need to save time which would post tweets on your behalf. You simply go to http://www.tweetjukebox.com and sign-up for an account to connect your Twitter account, you then select your “jukebox” which plays the type of content you want your followers to see, and then…you kind of set it and forget it.

But wait, there’s more!

I started using this tool right at the end of 2015 and I have to say, it’s been some of the most engaging posts on my Twitter account. I chose their free Quote Jukebox and turned it on. I was not really sure it would make a difference, but it was free – so why not, right? It definitely couldn’t hurt.

I’m three months in to using this platform. My impressions on Twitter have increased, my mentions have increased, the quality of my connections have increased. Basically – my Twitter got better because I’m playing that funky content on my Twitter without spending one single minute of my time doing it. Now THAT is worth talking about!

Taming Twitter

Tim Fargo’s idea which was crafted out of a simple need has literally tamed my Twitter content conundrum. The quality of the TweetJukebox quotes plus the interaction I’m receiving on Twitter (and in case you are wondering, the sentiment has been 100% positive – not a single negative reaction to date) means this tool has value.

The free version includes two jukebox subscriptions, but the paid version is only $13 per month and you can have access to ten jukebox subscriptions – and there is a lot of stuff to choose from, plus – you can add your own jukebox and be a content producer, should you want to go that route.

TweetJukebox allows you a new, funky and fresh way to reach out to your audience without a lot of time and effort on your part. This is very attractive to many of us in financial services and I challenge you to try this tool and let me know how it goes!

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!

Sheryl Brown | @BIONICsocialite

A sweet treat: Cool way to show love through your content

Financial Services Professionals Why We Need More Content Like Encore

Grab a cup of coffee and let’s have a quick chat.

In any given week I am asked the same question over-and-over again, “Sheryl, how do you find all this content to write about?” Content is something all of us in financial services need more help with and I have found a sweet secret to share with you today: it’s called Encore.

Encore is a platform which turns social media “noise” into insights. The Encore Weekly Sidekick is my biggest secret cheat for fun content. Head over to http://info.encorealert.com/sidekick and sign up for their weekly email where you will have daily ideas provided to help you deliver something new and interesting to talk about on your social channels.

Now, you might be thinking, “I’m a professional financial services provider – why would I talk about the first day Trivial Pursuit was sold?” The answer is simple – financial services, as a whole, is pretty boring stuff. Yep – it’s true. I have never seen one person jump onto their Facebook and say, “I bought an annuity yesterday!” and that’s because we are pretty boring overall, but content, like Encore’s, helps us be more relatable and interesting.

Who remembers Gangnam Style?

gangnam

A Korean rapper has one viral song and today it still holds the title of YouTube’s most viewed video at more than 2.2 BILLION views! I think the dance, everything about it, is so creepy and dumb – but 2.2 BILLION views equals crazy good content. There’s not even a good takeaway on this content because unless you speak Korean, you can’t really sing along with it. In fact, every person I’ve asked what the song is about says they have no clue. [Which crazy enough – Business Insider translated for us and the song is just as dumb as the dance!]

Then, I was thumbing through Visual.ly one day, I was stunned to see this infographic – so you can learn how to do the dance. [I’m particularly fond of Step 5.]

gangnam infographic

So, how would I use the Encore Weekly Sidekick?

In this sample sidekick report, you see you will receive a monthly theme as well as a daily list of all things to celebrate.

sidekick

Monthly

You might use the Thanksgiving theme to talk about all the things you and your clients are grateful for and tie them back to financial services. For example, a daily #GratitudeJournal from the principal of your firm talking about the things they are grateful for (plus, it makes your brand human). Then, turn it around and ask your clients what are they grateful for this month?

For diabetes month, you could feature articles about how to control diabetes or talk about how insurable diabetes is today and to give you a call to talk about it.

Daily

If November 8 is Cappuccino Day, you could put a picture on Facebook and tell your clients you would love to have a cup of cappuccino and catch up with them. You could do a stock photo of coffee or – you can be really crazy – and have someone take a picture of you at the local coffee house enjoying a cup of coffee…be different! You could do a little spin on the X-Ray Day and send out a picture of an x-ray and say you would love to take a deeper look at their insurance policies and examine ways to help them save money.

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.

Joseph Chilton Pearce said this and I firmly believe it was directed at financial service professionals. We must lose the fear of being wrong in our clients’ eyes. Yes, we are professional people, but we are also human beings, and we need to talk about things which appeal to our clients.

Encore provides this list free of charge. They did not pay me to write this; in fact, they will find out I wrote this the same time you are. Bottom-line: I simply like their stuff! I encourage you to consider adding this newsletter to your marketing arsenal. Be sure and tag me when you post so I can cheer you on for being different this year!

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!

Sheryl Brown | @BIONICsocialite

 

 

 

 

Pinterest – there’s a right way to use it and a lot of wrong ways

Pinterest for Financial Professionals

Starting the new year off with a little fun, but a big lesson. Pinterest is a social media platform which might be on your marketing list to consider, but only if you have an awesome LinkedIn profile set-up AND the platform fits your demographic group (so it’s perfect for those of you with a woman-based business focus).  Like everything in life, there is a right way to use this platform and many wrong ways. Unfortunately, I see a lot of the wrong ones.

What’s right?

Working in financial services, many of you who are registered reps will probably not be able to use this platform at all. The compliance to monitor Pinterest is not solid yet and if you post something, you all know it must be able to be monitored. For those who can use the platform, it’s a great way to share (or “pin” as they call it on this platform) interesting articles, motivational quotes and even a few pictures of fun things (…er, I might have an entire board devoted to bacon).

  1. Pin content interesting to your followers. If you sell Medicaid Supplement insurance, what does the majority of this group like talking about? This might not only include a board for the MedSupp articles you write or like, but also home improvement projects, tips on frugal shopping and even some recipes. Whatever your audience likes and knows, share content that talks directly to them.
  2. Pin content at least once a week. Your boards need to have consistent content like any other platform. Be sure to pin at least once a week to show up in newsfeeds.
  3. Share your pinned content on another platform. Once you pin an article, share it to your LinkedIn account as an update. Cross-promotion of content is encouraged!

So, what’s wrong?

Remember your boards are a reflection of you and your business. Perception is the reality; whether we like it or not.

  • Make sure your profile picture is appropriate. I recently visited an insurance consultant’s Pinterest board where they are taking a selfie, in the bathroom with bathroom types of things around (if you know what I mean). Yeah, I don’t think so. Try and use the same profile picture you did for LinkedIn instead. The synergy will be useful when you cross-promote your pins to other platforms.
  • Check your content before pinning. If you see another pin on Pinterest you feel would be great to share, be sure and open it and make sure it goes to an actual article. A lot of people are using click-baiting as a marketing tactic (basically posting about one thing and then make you click through to something else unrelated) and this will turn your followers off – big time.
  • Secret boards – learn to use them. I was visiting a financial professional’s Pinterest profile where they had boards about small business, motivational quotes and long-term care insurance. Not too shabby right? Except, they went into the “Creep Zone” when they also had boards titled exotic, her fantasy and dream girls. Pinterest has a feature called, “Secret Boards” – use them! You can pin without your followers seeing. For example, I have a secret board for my New Years Resolutions where I keep all the articles I want to review on getting my house in order, losing weight and cocktails I want to make by the pool this year. I then move pins from my secret boards to my open boards.

Pinterest can be a “pinteresting” platform to use in 2016; make sure you do it right though! If you have questions about this or any other social media need, feel free to contact me with your questions.

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!

Sheryl Brown | @BIONICsocialite

Guess what day it is…for posting on #SocialMedia?

camelOh Mike…

See what happens when you know the right day to post something?  Does that type of information seem elusive to you?  When do I post on Facebook?  Does Twitter have a better time for retweeting?  The answers are out there, but the target is always changing.  So you need a good rule of thumb, right?

I don’t care what anyone says – there is no way to predict what time in the future someone will read someone.  If so, please let me invest in some lottery tickets with you.  Having said that, predictive analytics are being used to help bring the bulls-eye a little more into focus and attainable.

great pin on the Ash Brokerage Pinterest page called “What are the best times to post on social media?”  provides some insight on posting.  The breakdown is:

  • Facebook:  Thursday and Fridays.  We have definitely found if there is something REALLY important we want our followers to know, we post it on Friday around lunch.  Start calling it Facebook Friday instead and you’ll remember!
  • Twitter:  Saturday and Sunday.  So you can see where posting something on Friday on Facebook, you really want to wait until the weekend to post it on Twitter then.  This means turn off the automatic posting from Facebook to Twitter!
  • LinkedIn:  Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Posting during business hours, especially Tuesdays from 10am to 11am are optimum.  If you have business owner clients, be sure you’re posting here for sure!
  • Pinterest:  Saturdays from 8pm to 11pm.  If you’ve not ventured into Pinterest, heavily consider using this platform if you work mostly with women.
  • Instagram:  Mondays.  Putting photos on Instagram during business hours, posts have a tendency to spike between 3pm and 4pm ET.
  • Google+:  Monday through Friday.  There seems to be a peak on Wednesdays at 9am.  [Guess what time I’m posting this today!?] Does anyone use Google+ yet?  The number one reason which is search engine optimization says you should be!

Hopefully, this will help you narrow in on what days you can do better marketing for your business, start up new conversations and experience better traction with your content.  As always, if you ever have ANY questions, reach out and ask me.   We want to see you be successful!

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC with your posting now!

Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite

If you don’t believe me, then listen to @DaveKerpen at least!

listenI get it.  You need reassurance.  You want to believe what I’m telling you and then the little voice in your head says, “Why am I listening to that crazy gal at Ash Brokerage about social media?”  Well, you don’t have to – you can listen to Dave Kerpen of Likeable Local instead!

Recently shared on Inc.com – – Dave’s article about the Eight Terrible Social Media Myths to be aware of had me jumping up from office yelling, “YES, YES YES!”  I hear these same things every. single. day. and feel a huge social media hug from my social media brother from another mother when he says:

  1. Your customers ARE on social media.  Please, financial advisors, be where your clients are or your competition will!
  2. You don’t need to join every social network.  Can I get a witness here?  We should only be on the social networks we can manage, if we try to be all things to all people we will surely miss something.
  3. Choosing the right channel.  Dave’s article reminds to not choose just one channel, but I would like to tweak this and say, “Choose the right channel.  Do it well.  Then, consider adding other channels.”  If you always stay on one channel, you run the risk of never learning how to adapt to other networks.  Again, consider your clients and be where they are.
  4. Content is not necessarily king.  I believe context is the new sheriff in town.  Rather than post a bunch of malarkey (for the sake of posting), post what your clients are interested (yeah, that might be bacon or cats sometimes).  REMINDER:  Be compliant in your posting though!  Know your static and interactive content and whether it’s financial-related or not.  If you have questions here, please ask!!
  5. Take it easy on that delete button.  I wrote about deleting comments a while back.  Don’t just delete things you don’t want to acknowledge; it’s just a bad habit that you need to break.  Instead, figure out why they are saying it and correct that part.  Keep control of your brand by being an active participant of the conversation.
  6. You don’t need millions of fans or followers.  Stop believing when you go to someone’s Twitter account and see they have 10,000 followers that they are all real too.  Many people have been conned into buying followers and I’m not a fan of this practice.  The people you’re connecting with day-to-day are more than good enough; value them.  Work with them, get introduced to others they know.  You’ll be amazed at how you can grow your business simply from the people you know today.
  7. You do want to measure, but pick your battle.  If you were a social media manager, you should measuring all the time – but you’re not, you’re a financial advisor.  I do think some metrics should be a part of your social media presence though.  The most important metric I recommend for the majority of financial advisors is the engagement rate:  basically, how effective you are in engaging your audience.  It’s a simple formula of Total Engagement (your likes, comments and shares) divided by your Total fans | followers | connections.  Work on engaging your audience and the rest will really work itself out.
  8. Contrary to believe, the “me” in media doesn’t mean it’s about you!  If you think social media is about you, then you’re being a social media jerk – stop it!  (I wrote about this a few months ago.)  You are using social media to help create awareness through thought-leadership and friendships, not by promoting yourself.  Put yourself in their shoes, would you want to be spammed by you?

All social media managers, regardless of industries or communities of professionals, really do want you to be successful.  Dave Kerpen is one of those good guys too and it’s why I’m so grateful for the things he shares.

Go into 2015 with a new confidence about social media.  Find a starting place and become an adopter of this practice.  If you need help, reach out to me or anyone in social media.  You’ll likely find we are all excited to get you up and running!

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!

Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite