Cold calling just wasn’t Ann Zuraw’s thing – even though her peers told the Greensboro, N.C.-based financial advisor that it was the only way to grow the individual advisory practice she founded in 2005.
While struggling with ways to grow her client base, and even whether her career choice was the proper one, Zuraw happened to attend a blogging conference with a friend. “I sat there listening and I thought ‘I could do this,’” she recalls.
That’s how www.womenmoneyanddivorce.com got going.
Zuraw found her blog, aimed at women going through divorce, to be a great way to express herself, share her knowledge with a demographic she cared about, that she felt was underserved, while avoiding the awkwardness of cold calling.
Her readership grew quickly, she says, and so too did her client base, with readers of the site liking the information they were getting there, wanting more. Many became clients of Zuraw’s firm, Zuraw Financial Advisors, she says, and then referred their friends, sisters, mothers and even grandmothers.
Over time, she renamed the blog www.ChicksChatandChange.com, and broadened its scope to cover all issues she considers pertinent to women and financial planning, including information about different asset classes and investing. She has recently added a Spanish section as well. “I’ve evolved online and with the times,” Zuraw says.
Zuraw works her way through the alphabet, choosing a letter each week around which to center her blog. She is also extremely active on Twitter (she has close to 10,000 followers) and shares informational videos on YouTube and on Periscope TV, an online video platform where posts are only available for 24 hours. She shared her first Periscope video in March and by August, she had four million viewers.
This extensive use of social media has helped Zuraw grow her practice. It’s a medium she is extremely comfortable with, she says, and with which she has flourished – so much so that she made BrightScope’s list of the Top 100 Most Social Financial Advisors for 2015.
But more than the visibility it’s given Zuraw and more than the number of new clients she may have got through her online presence, what she really values social media for is the platform it provides her to share valuable information – her own insights as well as papers, reports and articles from a broad range of other sources – with a wide universe of women from different ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds and age groups.
“My blog is about being positive and empowering and encouraging women to take important financial decisions,” she says.
Her blog serves as a platform for discussion and her social media outlets allow Zuraw to give women as much of the knowledge and information that they need.
“I work hard on social media and I enjoy what I do,” Zuraw says. “I view my presence on social media as providing nonprofit education for women, and it’s something I really enjoy doing. I am encouraging women to learn.”