TikTok is Ripe for the Taking!
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Don’t look at me like I’m crazy – hear me out. TikTok in 2020 is what Instagram was in 2012. Here’s why you want to get there first.
What is TikTok?
According to Oberlo, TikTok is one of the fastest growing mobile apps on your phone. It allows you to post 15-second videos of yourself lip syncing and dancing to music. Like Instagram and Snapchat, TikTok is predominantly used by the younger generations, in this case Generation Z.
Before you write this off and say it’s not for you, hold on a minute.
- What teenagers do actually does influence the older generations (stop denying this).
- You’ll be able to quickly produce cool, relatable content that you can repurpose and use in other parts of your marketing. This will elevate your engagement on those channels as well.
- Very few, if any, advisors are going to be willing to take a risk on this – which is exactly why you should.
Good. Looks like I was able to get you to suspend your forefinger before you clicked off this article. Thanks for staying.
Kids aren’t (that) stupid
Your kids’ consumer preferences do in fact have an influence over yours. Follow my logic.
- Do you watch what your kids do?
- Do you talk to your kids?
- Do you observe what your kids buy?
- Do you monitor whom your kids follow on social media?
- Do you shop for your kids and take their opinions into account when deciding what to buy?
- Have you ever borrowed an item of clothing or a toy that your kids own?
- Have you ever starting using a word or phrase that your kids use?
- Did you ever ask your kids’ opinion of someone – a babysitter, pool cleaner or personal trainer – who you were considering hiring for your or your family’s needs?
See my sparkling “Yay” hat in this YouTube video? This got plucked off the shelf during a shopping trip to Claire’s boutique in search of rainbow glitter nail polish (you know by now that I have four kids under six years old, right)? How’d that happen?
By the way, I got a myriad of compliments on this hat from my business social media followers, none of whom are children. Grillo is nuts, you say.
Tell me if you agree with this lunacy.
- For most parents, your kids are the #1 focus of your attention.
- You trust what your kid says before you trust a random person you don’t know, a testimonial, something you read, or a Yelp review.
Now here’s where it gets really bonkers. Does this math equation compute for you?
Attention + Trust = Brand Affinity
Get to those hard to reach, uber-wealthy parents through their largest influencers, their digitally ambient children who are voraciously devouring social media.
Now that’s ludicrous!
It’ll win you some cool points in other venues
Listen up advisors.
You’re never going to beat Merrill Lynch, Fidelity or Personal Capital at their own game. They’re already where you want to be and they’ve got billions more to invest in marketing. Those brands have no interest in TikTok because their angle is not about being relatable, scrappy, personal and human. It’s the opposite. Hey look at us, the big ole’ establishment. Don’t blink or you may just find yourself the owner of a Wells Fargo account you didn’t intend on.
Now do you see the opportunity this creates?
Here are some other reasons.
- I love the idea of advisors having to communicate in 15-second recordings . Yes, brilliant! See my Two Sentence Rule. On TikTok, advisors can’t ramble on and on about the SECURE Act. You’re forced to be cool.
- There’s plenty of opportunity to gain a following natively on the app itself. You can use hashtags, create response videos, and respond to viral trends such as the “Me Versus” challenge.
- You can save your content and share it elsewhere. I know someone who creates videos in TikTok and posts them to his LinkedIn feed. He doesn’t even put the content on the app itself.
- At the very least, join TikTok to meet the young people getting rich from social media (Charlie D'Amelio with 19 million followers). At some point, their parents get dialed into the conversation.
Everyone who got famous took a risk and did something this crazy
Did you see the statistics I cited earlier in this article? TikTok is growing too fast to ignore.
Wherever there are people paying massive amounts of attention to something, there is the potential to make money off of it. The problem arises only if you don’t take it seriously. Everybody thought it was too much of a stretch to make everyone use the computer to order a cab, until someone made it work. And now it’s Uber with billions of sixpence and a pocket full of rye.
Imagine if you’re that one advisor who found a way to harness TikTok to your advantage?
The idea that gets ridiculed the most is the one most worth doing. Yes, you are taking risk. But thank goodness that all of you are financially savvy enough to know that risks can always be managed. There is a put option available, called, “try it for three months and delete your account if it isn’t working.”
Advisors, live your lives! There’s at least one song that gets you fired up when you hear it at the mall or when you’re at the supermarket. Why should you have to hum it under your breath? High-net worth individuals are human beings, too, and the authenticity breaks down walls. Inevitably somebody is going to tell you the lighting was off or you are too old to do this. Those are self-conscious people with no backbone. Tell them to buzz off.
TikTok strategy for advisors
Did I convince you? Try this.
- Get the 17-year olds’ attention by doing something cool and fun, yet educational at the same time.
- Get them to talk to their parents about you.
- Get their parents to follow you on other marketing platforms where you can return to being your boring selves. Once you get them on your newsletter list you can go back to your comfort zone and send out that your Q3 market update with all your tacky graphs and charts. What a relief it’ll be!
- Keep currying favor with the kids while you convince the parents that their kids (who like you) are the ones who’ll be working with you for longer than they will be.
Here are some ideas waiting to be advisor TikTok videos:
- Mo Money Mo Problems by Notorious B.I.G. – Read my blog about what happens to families who don’t have the right estate plan.
- Gold Digger by Kanye West – Your mom and dad hate your boyfriend because he spends money like it’s water? Tell them I taught you what a prenup is.
- It’s All About the Benjamins by Puff Daddy – How to manage your taxes once you get your first job.
Even if TikTok isn’t your thing, I hope I’ve at least shown you something about what social media can do for your brand. People who join my membership get access to creative strategies over a multitude of social platforms. Too crazy for you? Try it anyways!
Sara Grillo, CFA, is a marketing consultant who helps investment management, financial planning, and RIA firms fight the tendency to scatter meaningless clichés on their prospects and bore them as a result. Prior to launching her own firm, she was a financial advisor