|Disclaimer: Rule is currently pending review with new administration. More on the regulatory freeze here.|
December 2020 marked not only the end of a tough year, but also an exciting time for financial advisors who may soon be permitted to use client testimonials. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revamped its marketing and advertising rules to meet the needs of a more modern industry.
The ability to use client feedback to promote services is a welcome change, but also unfamiliar for many.
Here’s what you should know about the new financial advisor marketing rule and how it can help boost lead generation and promotion for your financial business.
Benefits of Client Testimonials
Reviews and testimonials are an essential part of marketing in the 21st century. The SEC’s long-awaited marketing rule will allow financial advisors to more easily and effectively promote themselves.
As part of a larger marketing plan, client testimonials and reviews can:
- Promote trust among potential clients
- Make current clients feel appreciated
- Increase credibility
- Be easily shared on social media platforms
- Set the scene for compelling blog posts
- Inspire your staff
- Act as learning opportunities to help you improve
There are endless ways to use client testimonials to improve your financial advisor marketing plan. Add them to your website for an easily-accessible library of reviews. Share quotes from your clients on your social media pages. Use a client testimonial as an intro to a blog post. Send testimonials to your staff and colleagues as a means of encouragement.
Testimonials are not only great for brand awareness and discovery, but they’re also a great tool to use when trying to convert current prospects. Share reviews in follow-up emails to promote credibility and trust. A sales pitch is a lot more convincing when it’s backed up by a real-life experience.
Be Informed on Rules and Regulations
If you choose to use testimonials in your marketing plan, be sure to stay compliant with rules and regulations. The SEC has shared general guidelines that testimonials and endorsements from your clients should be fair, balanced and not intentionally misleading.
Here are some important things to remember when talking to your clients about writing testimonials:
- Don’t reference specific investment advice or performance results
- Only share statements of fact that you’ll be able to substantiate to the SEC
- Don’t promote potential benefits without mention of risks
- Don’t share statements that are intentionally misleading
As a financial advisor, you’ll also need to prominently disclose whether your endorsers are clients and whether they’re being compensated. Also keep in mind that you’re responsible for overseeing compliance of your own endorsements, so written agreements with your endorsers are a good idea wherever possible.
Start Planning Now
The new marketing rule is eligible to go into effect 60 days after publication in the federal register. Financial advisors will have a transition period of 18 months after the rule’s effective date to make sure they meet all compliance requirements.
When you’re ready to add testimonials to your website, we can help. Chat with our team for advice on the best placements and layouts to fit your design and SEO needs. If your website needs an overhaul, book a time for a complimentary demo with us.
WHO ARE WE?
At Advisor Websites we help financial advisors grow their business and enhance their digital marketing strategies with their own personalized website. Our platform offers a selection of effective and proven frameworks that are personalized to reflect your business and brand.