Millennials are worth over a trillion dollars in potential business. Dr. John L. Evans explains how financial advisors can connect with them, digitally.
My son is 17, he and his friends play in a funk band in my garage and practice every weekend. They are planning out their lives, making mistakes and choosing what universities to attend. These five young men very much embody how most people envision millennials.
They are not millennials.
The keynote speaker at a conference I recently attended emphasized the importance of understanding the difference between younger and older members of this cohort. According to the Pew Research Center, the last group of millennials was born in 1996, which makes them 22. The same research study indicates the eldest group of millennials is turning 37 in 2018. Moreover, this group comprises the largest generation in the U.S. labor force and they are quickly approaching baby boomers as the largest generation of voters.
So, it should come as no surprise that this demographic is worth over a trillion dollars in potential business. But how do you connect with them? How do you win young hearts and minds?
I asked my client Evan, an uncommonly successful millennial natural gas executive, for some insight.
“Three things,” Evan responded thoughtfully. “First, stop with all paper letters and ads. My people like trees. Second, the ideal millennial advisor will consistently demonstrate his expertise through digital portals. I would want to see that he or she is cyber relevant. Lastly, I want to see compelling digital evidence that my advisor has created value for like-minded young executives like me. Does she know my business cycles? What about my issues with cash flow from vendors? My risks? Show me the money! Oh, and one other suggestion: no more steakhouse dinner invitations with some guy in a tie doing PowerPoint. No thank you!”
One premise rings true: they will not be marketed to like their parents and grandparents.
The Knowledge Labs™ FireStarters program has several tools to help you develop this client base. One of the most powerful methods is inbound marketing via “word of mouth” on social media platforms.
The practice of inbound marketing attracts potential clients based on creating the kind of content that consumers find compelling. When your clients share your content, it indicates to their social network that you are trusted, you’re providing a high quality of service and the desired outcomes are being achieved.
Here are three ways to help you generate the kind of content that gets your clients clicking, sharing and talking.
- Inspire users to generate and share content about your business
It’s a wonderful idea to invite your clients to a charity dinner, but an even better, and more sharable opportunity for millennials, is to invite them to do charitable work. Recruit your team and your clients to do some good work in the community. Take pictures and make sure to include the volunteer organization in the description of the event on social media. These kinds of posts get attention from your clients, your clients’ friends and people who are passionate about the organization.
- Share customer testimonials
So much of what we do is about long-term goals, but there are also wonderful short-term planning instances that really help your clients. Have you helped someone strategize how to buy their first home? Perhaps you’ve created a short-term savings plan to help someone take their dream vacation. Ask if you can share their testimonials on your social media, if that option falls in line with your firm’s compliance policy for social media.
It helps to have a web presence: Millennials often search for reviews before choosing to do business with someone. Having written feedback on independent sites speaks volumes to your credibility.
- Connect with industry influencers and thought leaders
I’ve spoken with clients who worry that following influencers and thought leaders via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook diminishes their authority as a source of information. Millennials actually view people who don’t follow industry leaders as out of the loop.
Following posts from people you admire in the industry can inspire great ideas and generate interest about your business from potential clients who ascribe to the same ideologies or interests. It can also help keep both your industry and non-industry posts relevant.
There’s much ado about marketing to millennials these days – for good reason, as the stakes have become enormous. Don’t let digital networking methods intimidate you. Encourage your millennial clients to engage with your content and let social media spread the word about what you have to offer.
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