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February Is I Love NAIFA Month

Why religiously following these commandments will catapult your practice to the next level!

What will it take to make 2023 your best year ever? Ever think about finding religion? No, I’m not talking about going to church or joining a cult. I’m talking about following the digital commandments, not handed down by Moses or even Meta, but embodied by some of the best practitioners in the digital marketplace. If you are wanting to up your game and take your marketing to another level, then pay close attention to these foundational keys to success:

1. Thou Shall Not Become a LinkedIn Stalker

Who has two thumbs and loves being solicited by random strangers? Well, actually, not this guy! So, don’t be that person on LinkedIn. And you know who they are! The one that sends you a connection request that you know seems like a stretch, only to immediately upon acceptance send you a thoughtless message asking you to discuss whatever awesomeness they have that you neither want nor need. If you don’t like it, then it stands to reason neither will your prospects. So take care with your requests and only connect for genuine reasons.

2. Honor Thy Brand

People don’t buy your stuff, your fancy clothes, your marketing, or your approach, they buy you. So, the question is, does your digital brand reflect who you are and why you do what you do? When people connect with your why, this becomes a much more compelling hook than anything else you can promote. So, try to find a way to weave your why into your content and marketing as much as possible!

3. Consider Thy Audience

Marketing used to be a “spray and pray” approach where we tried putting our stuff out there in front of enough eyeballs to hopefully grab the attention of a few people to make it worth our while. But that approach is dead, and frankly, good riddance! Why try to reach thousands of people when the thousands aren’t really your ideal clients anyway? Why not position yourself in front of the few hundreds of people that are your ideal clients and have the highest likelihood of engaging with you? To do that, you need to know your audience and have a well-developed digital persona of who your ideal client is in the digital marketplace so you can direction your content and marketing efforts to meeting them where they already are.

4. Thou Must Produce Quality Over Quantity

With so much content being produced across so many platforms, people respond to things that are thoughtful, exhibit good quality, and stand out from the noise. That might mean buying a higher quality camera for your laptop, or investing in a microphone, but take a good hard look at the quality of marketing and content and make sure it’s a shining reflection of you in all your glory amidst a sea of mediocrity.

5. Thou Shall Not Over Post

First of all, who has that kind of time, right? However, similar to the point about quality, with so much content coming out all of the time, you might actually stand out more simply by not being the one that posts on LinkedIn every single day. When you take time to produce good quality content, stuff that is thoughtful and genuinely considers your audience, this in and of itself stands out.

6. Thou Shall Not Become a Serial Liker

While it is true “everyone likes being liked” this doesn’t mean you can impress or attract people by liking everything they put out. Instead, be purposeful when you like something, and more importantly, be someone that comments and engages with other people’s content. Consider reposting a good post or article you found thought-provoking. Do unto others what you would want done unto you!

It’s time to move out of the wilderness and into the promised land of digital marketing success. While following these commandments won’t guarantee you dozens of leads each month, they will absolutely help you stand out in all of the right ways and for all of the right reasons and reinforce to the marketplace that you are a solid subject matter expert people should want to connect with. Ultimately, taking an audience-centered, thoughtful, and measured approach to content will make your brand a force for good and allow you to attract the right kinds of opportunities and avoid the wrong ones.

Brian Haney, CLTC, CFS, CIS, CFBS, CAE, LACP, LUTCF, RFC is CEO of The Haney Company in Silver Spring, MD. He is also the 2018 recipient of NAIFA’s Diversity Champion Award and the 2017 recipient of NAIFA's Advisor Today 4 Under 40 Award, and the 2021 NAIFA Young Advisor Team (YAT) Leader of the Year. He is a current NAIFA National Trustee and you can contact him at bhaney@thehaneycompany.com.

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