The founders of MyFinancialAdvice.com, a site designed to enable financial planners to offer advice online to middle-income Americans, launched on Oct. 12 OnlineAdvisorCentral.com, which is designed to promote use of social media by advisors.
Kevin Condon, head of advisor services at MyFinancialAdvice.com, says that while more and more advisors are embracing social media they don’t have a way to monetize the effort.
MyFinancialAdvice.com, which was launched in 2003, provides the online engine for charging a client for advice. OnlineAdvisorCentral attempts to build on MyFinancialAdvice by incorporating the use of social media to engage potential clients. The site offers online video training, peer support, ongoing one-on-one assistance, and “monetization” tools to conduct advice sessions online.
“The fact that there are 800 million Facebook accounts was going to attract the attention of advisors eventually,” Condon told AdvisorOne in an interview on Monday. Reports have shown that 50% of Facebook accounts are visited daily, which means all of their “friends” are on the web as well. Since financial planning is a “referral business,” he continues, “it was natural for us to look at this [type of site] and say: ‘Social networking will make it possible for people to get to know each other and interact before they walk through the advisor’s door virtually.’”
Because MyFinancialAdvice has been up and running since 2003, OnlineAdvisorCentral, Condon says, is fully compliant and provides advisors with a place to “get all of the safe uses and techniques and best practices on how to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube and start putting together an online presence so they can do advice sessions online for people who are not candidates for sophisticated, annual, lengthy review types of services, but have questions.”
The site provides a way to reach the middle income and mass affluent clients that Condon says the industry has complained for years aren’t being served by advisors.
As the website explains: “Online Advisor Central is the comprehensive resource for financial advisors who want to take full advantage of the latest social media and online advice delivery tools and techniques to build and sustain their practice. [The site] will help you excel at social networking and to convert your online activity into revenue, cost effectively and within compliance guidelines.”
Advisors who become members before Oct. 31 will pay a $595 annual fee, $200 off the regular price tag.
The site also includes advisor testimonials. One reads: “I appreciated the guidance taking us past just the home pages for the various forms of social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and into deeper, smarter and more strategic uses of the tools associated with each platform.”