A fluctuating economy, a competitive financial services landscape and abundant new legislation are just three of the countless challenges South African financial advisers contend with today. But while these challenges will undoubtedly contribute to shaping the industry’s future, embracing technology and staying abreast of strategies to improve your current offering could be the difference between remaining relevant – or not.
Financial services clients today are becoming more and more tech-savvy and discerning. They make most of their connections on social media and they are definitely researching financial products online. Many people prefer to stay connected in one form or another, which is why digital technology has become one of the cornerstones of productivity in most South African businesses.
But keeping up with the barrage of services, tools and devices available can be overwhelming, which is why you should consider digital technology solutions which will easily integrate with your business’ overall growth strategy. Here are a few simple ideas to get you started.
Work In the Cloud
Cloud computing sounds very technical and riddled with complexity but it is genuinely a very simple tool that can help your business in a number of ways. South African small business fund provider, Merchant Capital, says that cloud computing allows you to run your business more efficiently and flexibly because you have access to all your information anywhere and from any device. Not only will it help to improve productivity, it is also a cost-saving mechanism since you will no longer need to pay for maintenance of physical infrastructure (like hard drives) which was traditionally used to store information. What’s more, most cloud computing services use the latest security software so your information is always safe. Get started with tools like Open Stack or Microsoft Cloud.
Showcase Your Expertise
A good way of growing your brand is to share your insights about different topics. You can do this by showcasing your expertise on an online platform. If you have something you can share about the work that you do – be it a case study or a think piece about the future of the industry you’re in, the chances are somebody somewhere can benefit from it. Consider penning short articles on your LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) profile every week or create a blog or website where you can publish your view and share the link on your social media profiles. Free website building tools like www.wix.com or https://www.yola.com/ can help get you going.
Create and Update Your Business Social Media Profiles
No small business can afford to ignore social media networking sites. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are real opportunities to connect with thousands of potential clients and learn more about the industry you’re in. However, social media experts warn that in order not to waste any time, you need to select only the platforms most conducive to your business’ needs. For example, Facebook and Twitter are good for building relationships or engaging followers on topics of general interest through online conversations but LinkedIn is an excellent professional hub for showcasing your expertise.
Content Is King – Always
Over time, people may come to respect your opinion about any number of topics, which is why what you say is most important. Content strategy specialist, Jessica Davis, explains that if there is one thing that all audiences look for, it’s ‘the freshness factor’. Engage with audiences as meaningfully as possible and try to provide an insightful opinion about the work you do or share tips that will help improve people’s lives. “Make quick lists of specific topics that are relevant to your industry and use content curation tools like https://storify.com/ to find shareable content.”
Florence de Vries is a communications manager in the financial services industry