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8 Ways to Make the Most of SEC’s New Ad Rule, Client Testimonials

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It’s not the 1960s anymore. Financial advisors can finally let clients speak publicly on their behalf. In December, the Securities and Exchange Commission changed the rule on investment advisor marketing. 

The new rule — which goes into effect May 4 covers a variety of topics, one of which is that advisors can now use client testimonials to promote their services.

It’s a change that is long overdue. 

As SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce noted in her statement on the new rule, “Having qualified for its AARP card nearly a decade ago, the advertising rule was long overdue for amendment.”

The old guidelines on advertising, which were first established 1961 and hadn’t been updated in decades, didn’t take into account the widespread use of the internet and social media. 

In today’s digital age, many people won’t read a book, go to a restaurant or even make a doctor’s appointment without first going online to see what others have to say about their experience. 

The old restriction on testimonials left financial advisors at a distinct disadvantage. Even other professionals, such as lawyers and insurance agents, had already been allowed to use client endorsements in their marketing.

The new rule is a welcome change. Still, before rushing to showcase positive client reviews, advisors will be well served to take a moment to consider how to take full advantage of them. 

Testimonials can serve as more effective promotions if advisors do more than ask clients to endorse them on LinkedIn or offer a quote that can be used in social media, on a website or in a brochure. 

The slideshow above outlines eight ways to be strategic and smart with the use of testimonials. 

Keep in mind that this is your time. 

The SEC has finally given financial advisors the chance to have clients tell the world how valuable their services are. With a smart, strategic approach, you can maximize this opportunity.

Brooke Worden is President of The Rudin Group, a global boutique marketing firm specializing in financial services. She can be reached at [email protected]


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