The best ways to use tech tools to attract clients

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The explosive growth of technology, from social media to data analytics, has created new ways for financial advisors to attract clients.

“Where I’ve seen technology become helpful is in distributing the firm’s planning content or intellectual capital,” says Taylor Gang, a CFP and a principal and wealth manager at Evensky & Katz/Foldes Financial Wealth Management in Coral Gables, Florida. “There are social media and services that you can hire to make this more targeted than it used to be.”

Those services include an aggregation tool that Evensky & Katz has hired to distribute content on LinkedIn pages and elsewhere. The firm also places videos on YouTube.

Social media, online tools and Google Adwords allow firms to deliver their messages in a targeted manner, Gang says.

Altfest Personal Wealth Management in New York is thinking of starting a podcast, says Andrew Altfest, a CFP and managing director at the firm.

Thanks to new technologies, the firm has succeeded in getting more content in front of its existing clients, he says.

“Current clients are a significant part of our growth,” Altfest says. “The more we can keep them engaged with content through the use of technology, the more we will see in referrals.”

Technology tools help the firm segment its clients in helpful ways.

“We can use a software program to customize content by clients that are interested,” Altfest says. “For example, we can have a program for women clients, young professionals and health care professionals.”

When it comes to using technology as a prospecting tool directly, “we’re maybe in the second inning,” Altfest says.

At this point, the firm asks prospective clients to give some of their financial information before coming on board, so it can have more productive meetings with them, he says.

“There are tools out there that are starting to allow people to preview the experience of working with the firm before they become clients,” Altfest says.

The firm plans to put a video at the front of its website, interviewing wealth managers and showing the offices.

“Right now, there is nothing to show what it will be like as a client,” Altfest says. “Where I think this will go is even more productive meetings with prospects.”

But Gang says that it is difficult to use all the technology available because of privacy concerns.

“We are significantly behind other industries in adopting technology by design,” he says. “The [Securities and Exchange Commission] has come down hard on firms that aren’t treating sensitive information carefully enough.”

That issue is paramount for Evensky & Katz.

“And it comes at the expense of something tech-related,” Gang says.

This story is part of a 30-30 series on how technology is changing your practice.

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