What advisors can learn from the radio

What I learned having a radio show grow an RIA

Not the typical headline for someone that writes about technology as a tool to grow your business. However, technology allows for the lessons that we learned from having a radio show to be implemented in any firm.

I grew up in the Financial Services industry. My dad started a traditional wealth management business about 25 years ago that has now morphed into one of the more prominent firms in Atlanta. I was always around the business, doing whatever I could to watch my dad build his company and to learn. He had middling success from the beginning, but everything began to take off when in the early 2000’s we brought in a long time radio host. And then my business partner today has continued that show on.

The radio right?! Who still listens to the radio? Well, a lot of people.

Although the radio show is an essential channel for marketing, it’s even more important because of what it provides for our clients-proactive, educational communication.

Staying in contact

As a financial advisor, it’s vital that we regularly stay in contact with our clients to help them understand how they are doing. Doing so guards against them having to wonder how they’re doing and whether it’s working. Because, regardless if we’re dealing with our doctor or our financial advisor, whenever we lack transparency, or there are long delays in updates on how we’re doing, we begin to worry and start questioning. This lack of clarity or understanding ultimately leads to frustration.

As advisors, it’s our job to ensure our clients that they aren’t falling behind and help them understand how they are moving towards their goals. It’s also our job to keep them apprised of what they need to do to ensure that they meet every goal they have and that their money won’t run out.

As technology continues to evolve, our clients are continuing to have access to more and more information. Heck, when dad first started his company, he had to call into Schwab at the end of the day to see what the markets did. And even earlier in his career, he would have to wait until the paper came out the next day. And our clients had to deal with the same thing. They didn’t instantly know what the president tweeted or that a company CEO was ousted or that Tesla didn’t hit their mark of Model 3’s. Instead, they had to trust the process, trust your allocation and focus on the longer term. They had to do this simply because it took a longer time to get the information.

Times have changed
However, very recently, times have changed. Heck, the before mentioned examples were just over twenty years ago. Conversely to twenty years ago, our clients routinely worry about their financial situation a lot more and a lot more often. They receive insights from ten to fifteen other people including so-called experts. They’re telling them to start trading options and to begin shorting Home Depot. They are now exposed to that hot marijuana stock that has popped 200%, and they are left wondering why you aren’t helping them get that exposure. And, what about Crypto? “Why aren’t we in that?” “I see it hit an all-time high?”
Our jobs continue to get harder as access to information becomes more available. Don’t get me wrong, the accessibility to information is fine, it’s just that we must be sure to keep people from being irrational.
Knowing this, it’s no surprise why Vanguard came out with a study that showed an advisor adds over 3% annually to the performance of a portfolio. And over half of that 3% was due to behavioral coaching.

And that is where the radio comes in to play. The radio taught me the power of proactivity. It gave us the ability to have a platform to talk to not only prospects but also to our clients. It allowed us to provide them with the rundown of how we are thinking inside our investment committee and office walls. Although Its value may not be able to be seen on a P&L or in a bank account, it sure does show in the inbox and voicemails.

The radio show gives us an ability to continually stay ahead of the news and help people understand what it means back to the philosophy that we talk about every day in the office. And so when someone has a question they know they can turn to the radio on Sunday morning to understand how everything impacts them.

And now firms across the country are getting the opportunity to have this same impact without having to be behind a mic or have a radio show.
Technology is allowing advisors to be in more constant communication with their clients. Whether it’s being more consistent with your email marketing, implementing video messages into your client communication strategy or implementing a chat tool to allow your clients to interact with their financial situation, the value is for you to be able to drive the conversation away from the headlines and back to each client’s specific situation. Like it or not, technology is changing the way we can communicate with our clients. The good thing about it is that you’re able to choose whether that change is for the better or worse.

When we began building Benjamin, we asked ourselves, “how can we take the lessons learned from the radio and build it into a medium that will be the next “radio” and that is the mobile device. Whether it is podcasting, texting or push notifications, clients turn to their phone first when it comes to getting information.
So, as technology continues to expand, continue to think through how you can use technology within your tech stack to be more proactive and stay in front of your clients more frequently and more personalized.

Quick Takeaways:
-Proactivity keeps clients at bay with all the headlines going on.
-Invest time and/or money in technology allowing you to build the new form radio