By Dan Solin
How do you market your services during a volatile market and at a time where “social distancing” is the new normal?
Delicately and tactfully.
The wrong way
People are already at a heightened state of anxiety. Your marketing shouldn’t aggravate their fears.
Avoid focusing on the need to update estate plans, beneficiary forms and health care proxies. This should have been part of your ongoing services, and not something you emphasize during a pandemic.
Any marketing that could be perceived as an effort to capitalize on the current crisis is inadvisable.
Avoid clichés. Examples include: Stay safe. Stay healthy. We are all in this together. Wash your hands. These are extraordinary times.
If you can’t do better (and you definitely can), it would be better not to communicate at all.
Finally, even if you correctly warned about high valuations and advised your clients to adjust their asset allocations before the market tanked, no one wants to hear you were “right”. This isn’t the time for bragging and self-congratulation.
The right way
I received an e-mail recently from someone I hadn’t seen in many years. She said she wanted to know how I was doing.
I was touched. How thoughtful. No agenda. Just a genuine concern for my well-being.
The best marketing during this period is something similar. Why not reach out to your clients and, instead of dispensing your advice, simply ask how they are doing and encourage them to contact you if they have questions?
This type of communication is genuine and sincere. Exactly what’s needed at this time.
You could also consider providing information unrelated to investing that your clients might find useful. On social media, I’ve been posting extensively on positive developments in the fight against COVID-19. I use credible sources and provide information not widely disseminated.
These posts often get thousands of views. Some viewers have contacted me and thanked me for my “uplifting” posts.
Providing resources about how to set up a home office or how to apply for unemployment benefits could also reinforce you and your brand as genuinely helpful and concerned, even though you don’t profit directly from these activities.
We have a sixth sense for sincerity. Your marketing should reinforce your intention to be helpful and empathetic.
That’s dynamic marketing that will pay dividends long after COVID-19 is relegated to the dustbin of history.
This article has good tips on smart and responsible marketing during this health crisis.