We’re closing out the first month of 2021 with another fantastic showcase. This time we had the opportunity to catch up with Brian Carney, CFP®, AIF®, ChFC®, CDFA®, co-founder of RiversEdge Advisors in Wilmington, Delaware. We learned so much about their marketing and social media strategy, what the design process of their new website was like and so much more.
Every advisor business we collaborate with is unique, and we love having the opportunity to reflect once their website project is complete. Keep reading to find out more about what Brian had to say about the process and what’s on the horizon for their practice.
1. To start, can you tell us more about how RiversEdge Advisors started and the story behind your unique name?
Our firm was created to provide a collaborative planning process for clients to get answers to their most pressing financial questions and a clear strategy on how to achieve their unique financial goals. We started with a mission to build a firm that would provide purely objective financial planning and investment management advice on an independent platform.
We chose the name RiversEdge Advisors because our firm is located on the edge of Christina River in the heart of the Wilmington Riverfront in the great state of Delaware. During the 1920s, the building that now holds our office was critical in manufacturing steel-hulled ships for WWII due to its proximity to the river.
2. Video is an integral part of a successful marketing and content strategy, and we noticed that you included a short video in your “New Client” section. Can you tell us a little more about your video strategy and what tools you used to make the process easier?
We think people like to consume content in different ways and video is one of them. We plan on adding even more videos to help provide additional methods to distribute information to our website visitors. The video in the “New Client” section, that is a video from eMoney that we show everyone in their first meeting with us. It does a tremendous job walking a potential client through the process they will go through should they decide to work with our firm.
3. In your “Events” section, you have included information about both past and future events. Your past events look like they went very well, and we can’t wait to attend live ones again! Can you discuss your plans for future events as we hopefully return to normalcy sometime soon?
We absolutely love hosting events and have missed it tremendously during the pandemic! Every year we host a large Open House event in our office which usually has over 150 attendees. In the past, we have hosted a craft beer tasting, bourbon tasting, pumpkin carvings, and a boat tour. We would love to do some of those events again and we have already begun planning live events for when we are able which would include a huge “End of Pandemic” party—fingers crossed! We are dedicated to creating fun events that allow us to connect with our clients and friends of the firm in a laid-back environment.
4. We noticed that several of the advisors at your firm have a background or interest in sports or an active lifestyle. We’re all for finding unique ways to market your firm and services, so is there any way that you involve these interests in your marketing efforts?
You are definitely correct; we are a very active firm and many of us have played (and still play) sports competitively, and it has a profound impact on who we are as a firm. Participating in sports creates outstanding lessons in teamwork, leadership, camaraderie, competitiveness and of course the desire to play. Whether it be attending local Philadelphia professional sports games, playing golf, or creating fun events like a Kentucky Derby Themed party, we definitely incorporate our love for sports into our marketing efforts.
5. Regularly blogging is a great way to drive traffic to your website and show you are an industry thought-leader, so we commend you for keeping up with blogging! Can you tell us more about your strategy and how you regularly create and publish content despite an already busy schedule?
Thanks so much! It can definitely be a challenge to find the time to keep up with regular blogging and still do your “regular job.” We make it a team effort and meet weekly to discuss various ideas that we think clients and centers of influence would be interested in hearing more about. Recently our team wrote an article about the 2nd wave of the PPP loan and I recorded a video to our YouTube channel to discuss the contents of the article. We also have created a podcast that will be released very soon that will be another way to deliver information. We want to be a resource for valuable information and blogging is critical to creating that extremely valuable content.
6. Being active on social media is crucial to growing your online presence and marketing strategy, and we noticed that not only are you active on The Big Three-Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter but also Instagram. Can you elaborate on your social media strategy and discuss how it has helped your firm grow?
It is funny you are asking this question because we have been working on centralizing our social media efforts over the past few months. We recently hired a social media consultant to help us with our message and to get the content we create onto the platforms you mention. It is one thing to put out information, but it is another thing to have people on social media engage with it. This is a work in progress, but something that is the main marketing initiative for 2021.
7. We love client success stories, where they have a moment when they realize all of their hard work has paid off. Do you have a story like this that you would like to briefly share? It can be about client success or something that you have achieved yourself.
As financial planners, we too often get caught up in investment returns or planning ideas and can lose sight of the impact we have on people’s lives. A few years ago a client of mine, Jim, was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and was given about two years to live. I had worked with the client and his wife, Sue, for a number of years and met with them annually to review and update their financial plan. While Sue was an active participant in the meetings, she deferred to Jim on most financial decisions. Once Jim got sick, it became our mission to prepare Sue for life without Jim and create a simple and straightforward financial plan for her to follow.
Over the course of those two years, we spent our meetings helping Sue get comfortable with their finances and increase her financial literacy quickly. While it was heartbreaking to see Jim pass away, I was so proud of the work that we did in helping Sue. We were able to have a profound impact on her life by reducing her financial anxiety and empowering her to make financial decisions. Of all the clients we have helped, working with Jim and Sue is the proudest moment of my entire career
8. What is the best piece of advice that you would share with advisors that are looking to redesign their website?
Get help! Designing a website is typically not something an advisor has the skill set to do. It was great to be able to explain what we were hoping to say and have Twenty Over Ten put those thoughts into reality. They helped us focus on what was important and keeping things simple and straightforward.
It was great to be able to explain what we were hoping to say and have Twenty Over Ten put those thoughts into reality. They helped us focus on what was important and keeping things simple and straightforward.
-Brian Carney CFP®, RiversEdge Advisors
9. The future of the financial industry is constantly changing, and this has been made even more evident because of the pandemic. Where do you see your firm headed in the next five years and what plans do you have in terms of marketing and growth?
I am an eternal optimist (except when it comes to the Philadelphia sports teams), so I choose to look at the positives the pandemic has created. Our firm was a little “old school” in the sense that as of February 2020, 95% of our meetings were held face to face in our office. As we enter February 2021—99% of our meetings are virtual and our office is completely virtual with all of our employees working from home every day. Our productivity has actually skyrocketed, and we have been more productive as a team working from home.
In terms of marketing and growth, the pandemic has completely disrupted the thinking that your clients need to be local and you need to see them face to face. The opportunity for this is outstanding for financial planning firms; we literally can work with a client anywhere in the world and provide the exact same client experience. We are no longer limited to working with clients that are close to us geographically.
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About the author
Blair is a digital marketing assistant at Twenty Over Ten and has a passion for uncovering what drives online traffic and the highest engagement. She follows more animals on Instagram than humans and her greatest achievement is her daughter, Grey.