I’m in Chicago today where I’ll be speaking on a panel about social media and building a strong online presence at the Women Advisors Forum. I’ll be joined by three other professionals: online visibility expert Stephanie Sammons (http://www.wiredadvisor.com/), industry marketing consultant Pat Allen (http://www.rocktheboatmarketing.com/) and Leia Farmer, Deputy Chief Compliance Officer for Securities America, Inc. (http://www.advisorpod.com/ / http://www.securitiesamerica.com/). 

What an amazing panel. I can’t wait to hear more of what my esteemed colleagues have to say.

This will be my fourth conference in the last two months addressing the same topic: everyone wants to talk about using digital tools and interactive communications these days.

I was pleased to conduct an interactive session for NAPFA in Salt Lake City in May, then flew immediately down to Ft. Lauderdale to present at a special advisory board retreat put on by linkedFA. Last week I was in Orlando where I presented a session at the Securities America national conference called “Get Exposed: Working with the Media and Building Your Online Presence.”

I’ll be tweeting live through out the Women Advisors Forum on Monday, June 20th. If you’d like to follow the conference on http://www.twitter.com/, sign in to your account and do two things:

Follow @marieswift

Find the hashtag #WAF11 and you will see all the conference related tweets, including some photos I’m snapping with my Android.

If you’d like to learn more about the Women Advisors Forum live events and/or join the corresponding online community, visit http://www.womenadvisorforum.ning.com/. Look for my Networking 2.0 contributions there, as well.  My last post gave an overview of the many women advisor events I’ve been attending.

What’s hotter than social media?

The only topic that seems to be hotter than social media right now is women advisors and how they can use their unique strengths to help more clients and build successful books of business. I’ve attended five women advisor events in the last four months alone.

I have to admit I was once a skeptic, but now I’m totally sold. That’s why I’m here in Chicago for the third of five Women Advisors Forums being produced by SourceMedia in 2011.

If you haven’t been to one of these wonderful events, you might want to consider joining us at the fall events. There’s one slated for Boston and one slated in Santa Monica and they are well worth your time.  While mostly it’s women advisors who attend these events, a few curious men have also joined us. So don’t be shy if you’re a man who’d like to see what it's all about and get new insights on working with women.

HOW CREDIBLE AND VISIBLE ARE YOU?

Next week, I’ll start a series of articles that will provide some highlights from “Get Exposed: Working with the Media and Building Your Online Presence,” the presentation I gave at the Securities America conference last week.

You can be the best financial advisor in the world but if people don't know you're there, they'll miss out -- and so will you. Smart advisors know that they've got to be visible and credible, both online and in the real world, if they want to survive and thrive. Traditional media relations when coupled with online visibility strategies can help you get results. 

Over the next few weeks, I’ll discuss:

-- Why it’s important to pursue the media’s attention.

-- How to get exposure in local and national consumer publications.

-- Basic media etiquette and interview skills.

-- How to leverage any media mentions you get

-- How to create a professional website.

-- Online do’s and don’t’s.

-- How to evaluate a website vendor.

-- Best practices for creating a powerful online presence.

-- A system for harnessing your growing array of digital assets.

-- When and how to add social media to your strategy.

You will gain tips on building a network of media contacts, learn how to become an industry expert in your market, and how to work with a variety of media channels. I'll share stories of how successful advisors used media mentions and other digital tools to build a solid online presence. I will also touch on social media options and provide tips on how you can improve your virtual storefront.

Meanwhile, here’s a link to my slide deck from the Securities America conference: http://www.4shared.com/document/uDTBp7wQ/Get_Exposed_SAI_National_Conf_.html

And in my Conference Downloads library, you will find more good resources including my Web 2.0 Diagnostic Tool, Positioning Statement Worksheets and some really interesting Industry Thought Leader Round Table Transcripts. Everything in my Conference Downloads library is a free download.

If you are in Chicago attending the Women Advisors Forum, I look forward to seeing you in person!

Marie Swift is president and CEO of Impact Communications, Inc., a full-service marketing communications and PR firm that has for over twenty years worked with some of the best and brightest in the financial services industry.