Marketing your services as a financial advisor isn't as hard as it seems.
If financial services was a foot race, marketing would be the first giant hurdle you had to leap over, right after the rope ladder that is getting your licenses and certifications. Business marketing is the process of promoting your services to potential clients so you can move them through the lead pipeline. To successfully market your services, you need to get in front of the right people at the right time. This can feel like trying to hit a bull's-eye blindfolded, but it neednâ€™t be such a shot in the dark. With the right marketing strategy, financial advisors can attract and convert prospects and even re-engage existing clients and turn them into regular sources of referrals. These 10 financial advisor marketing ideas will help you grow your business inside and out.
Ditch the general messaging.
The first rule of successful financial advisor marketing is to market to your audience, your whole audience and no one but your audience. â€śYou canâ€™t be everything to everyone,â€ť says John Anderson, managing director of practice management solutions, independent advisor solutions at SEI in Oaks, Pennsylvania. â€śProspects will seek out experts to solve their issues so create personas that you can use to help focus on your ideal clientâ€™s needs and concerns.â€ť He suggests starting with a content marketing campaign directed at your target clients through social media, such as blogs, podcasts or even videos. â€śBy showing your expertise within that persona, you set yourself apart from a generalist advisor,â€ť he says. Best of all: it has a low cost and can be leveraged across multiple platforms.
Optimize your website for your ideal client persona.
In addition to social media campaigns, financial advisors should design their websites with their target client in mind. A recent Broadridge survey found that 57% of industry innovators generated leads from their website. â€śOptimize your firmâ€™s site to educate, connect and capture leadsâ€ť by making it a â€śone-stop shop for all information on your offerings as an advisor,â€ť says Kevin Darlington, vice president of advisor solutions at Broadridge. This way prospects can do research on their own time. â€śYour website should also be a straightforward way for prospects to get in touch with you, with all contact information readily available,â€ť he says. â€śItâ€™s easy to do and can be as simple as adding blog content or an email capture form.â€ť
Personalize your online presence.
Like your firmâ€™s website, your own online presence should be personalized for your target audience, too. According to Edward Jones research, clients and prospects spend 16% more time on a personalized website, says Matt Burkemper, principal of Branch Team Talent Acquisition at Edward Jones. Nearly 80% of the 18,500 Edward Jones financial advisors have said they benefited from tools allowing them to personalize their online presence, he says. For instance, within weeks of reinforcing her personal brand online with some of her accomplishments and local community philanthropic involvement, Sarah Reznik, a financial advisor with Edward Jones in Newbury Park, California, saw an increase in prospects reaching out through the "contact us" form on her site. â€śWhen I asked them specifically what it was that brought them to me, they all mentioned my biography on my website,â€ť she says.
Be a resource matchmaker.
The other side of not being everything to everyone is allowing for the fact that you cannot be the expert in every area of financial planning. With the future of advice â€śrapidly transitioning from holistic wealth management to longevity planning,â€ť advisors need to â€śembrace the notion of connecting your clients to aging, transportation, health care and caregiving resources,â€ť says Julie Genjac, managing director of Strategic Markets at Hartford Funds. â€śGather a group of longevity experts in your community and ask them to speak on a panel.â€ť These experts could be assisted living facility directors, elder law attorneys, certified aging-in-place specialists (CAPS) or geriatric care managers. â€śWhen your clients share what they learned with friends and family, you will be at the center of those conversations,â€ť Genjac says. â€śThey will appreciate your willingness to help them navigate these life phases and you will undoubtedly deepen your relationship with them.â€ť
Host your own 'genius bar.'
Financial advisors can take a page from Appleâ€™s (ticker: AAPL) playbook and engage clients and prospects by hosting an interactive, technology-based client event a la Appleâ€™s concierge-style customer support genius bar, suggests Genjac. â€śTechnology can seem overwhelming for people of all ages,â€ť she says. So why not have a group of clients (and their guests) bring their tablets and smartphones for some free tech support? â€śAt the beginning of the event, share a story of how technology has helped you or a family member in a positive way,â€ť Genjac says. â€śThen ask clients to take out their devices, and help them download apps for ride-sharing, shopping, entertainment, and budgeting.â€ť Then, every time one of them uses an app they downloaded at the event, theyâ€™ll be reminded of you and how you helped them.
Teach them something non-financial.
Client events neednâ€™t be technology or finance-related to improve financial advisor marketing efforts. Edward Jones recently â€śpartnered with the producers of PBSâ€™s Tastemakers series to host nine culinary events across the country,â€ť Burkemper says. The events allowed clients (and their friends) to learn a new skill alongside their financial advisor. â€śThe memorable events, managed by the home office marketing team, are not only immersive, theyâ€™ve brought together more than 850 financial advisors, clients and prospective clients to learn enriching skills,â€ť he says. Theyâ€™ve also helped advisors expand their businesses. Paula Fedirchuk, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Seattle, used the events to connect with prospects from professions and organizations she had yet to explore.
Send offseasonâ€™s greetings.
Nothing beats having your face adorn your clientâ€™s holiday mantle alongside dozens of other greeting cards except having your face adorn your clientâ€™s mantle all by itself. â€śInstead of sending clients a standard winter holiday greeting, consider picking a more obscure time of year when their mailboxes arenâ€™t stuffed with cards,â€ť Genjac says. For instance, send a â€śhappy springâ€ť card complete with a bulb of your favorite flower. Or a happy Fourth of July card with your favorite barbecue recipe. â€śWhen your client sees the flower sprouting from that bulb, or makes your favorite recipe, they will think of you,â€ť she says. And when someone else comments on the flower or recipe, your client will say, â€śItâ€™s from my financial advisor,â€ť which could segue into a referral opportunity.
Send a regular newsletter.
If you arenâ€™t sending your clients and prospects regular newsletters, someone else is, Genjac says. A newsletter is essential to keeping your name in mind. By doing so, your clients and prospects will be more likely to think of you when they have a question or want to make a change with their investments. â€śThe content of the newsletter is not as important as the activity,â€ť Genjac says, â€śbut be sure to include personal updates about your team,â€ť such as marriages, births, recent travels or milestones. â€śSharing those details shows the more human side of the business to clients and prospects and creates points of connection.â€ť She suggests picking some timely educational articles to include with an update on the team.
Measure the right things and measure them obsessively.
Just as a financial advisorâ€™s relationship with new clients typically begins by learning about the clientâ€™s goals and devising a plan to reach them, a financial advisorâ€™s marketing plan should be based on goals and driven by metrics as well, Darlington says. â€śImagine an advisor showing up to a client review without data and details of progress and investment performance.â€ť It would not go over well. Advisors should â€śtake their own medicineâ€ť and measure their marketing efforts against a clear plan. â€śFor example, a growth-oriented advisor might be highly focused on attracting and converting new clients,â€ť Darlington says. In which case, he should be measuring the various parts of his sales and marketing funnel based on how many leads he identified and where they came from.
Donâ€™t be afraid to invest more money in your marketing.
Financial advisor marketing is more than just a tool in your toolbox; it should be a part of your overall business strategy as a financial advisor, Darlington says. â€śThis means not being afraid to invest heavily in any-and-all aspects of your marketing.â€ť Broadridgeâ€™s survey found that those financial advisors who were winning more clients were also the ones more frequently investing in all marketing channels, from digital marketing to advertising to in-person events. â€śWe found that the average advisor is spending 3.3% of annual revenue on marketing and that the average cost per new client acquisition is $929,â€ť Darlington says. â€śWhen you consider the lifetime value of a client, thatâ€™s a defendable figure.â€ť
Financial advisor marketing tips:
Ditch the general messaging.Optimize your website for your ideal client persona.Personalize your online presence.Be a resource matchmaker.Host your own â€śgenius bar.â€ťTeach them something non-financial.Send offseasonâ€™s greetings.Send a regular newsletter.Measure the right things and measure them obsessively.Donâ€™t be afraid to invest more money in your marketing.