You know what your advisory practice needs, but getting new clients is not always easy. You need to lay the foundation to drive traffic and get more prospects to talk to in order to grow your business. These 8 financial advisor marketing ideas will get your new client generator going and get it on its way to working for you.
These ideas are scalable and affordable. Whether you are still looking for that first 10 million under management or the next 100 million; want to get to 5 million in annual annuity premium or 20 million – these will help you get there.
What every financial advisor, regardless of budget, should be doing to get more ideal clients and keep them engaged.
Below is a list of the basic things all advisors should be doing to proactively engage their clients, prospects, and centers of influence. This may look overwhelming; don’t worry!
Truth is, most of these items can be automated and outsourced.
For now, you should know what needs to be done and why. Be open-minded and feel free to add items you think would be smart for your target market.
1. Have an Awesome Website
Having a simple, engaging, and informative website for your advisory practice is critical for a successful digital marketing strategy. You do not need to pay thousands of dollars to get a detailed design. Using other advisor sites and popular trends as your baseline, you can get an idea of what your site should look like. If all else fails, lean on the templates your website host offers and pick what is aesthetically pleasing to your eye. You want to make it your own while maintaining the ease of a modern website.
Your contact information should be the first thing anyone can find when looking at your website. Putting the Phone numbers and a ‘contact us’ button in the top right of the website will allow both users and website crawlers to find your information quickly and efficiently. Making sure it is text based, as images will not get picked up on. This would make it difficult for a client to click your number or copy/paste it. Keep it simple, no one is coming to your site to read a novella or hunt down your contact info.
Financial Advisor Marketing tailored in your area
Most likely they searched ‘Financial Advisor in my area’ and they want to contact you. Of course you will need to convince them you are the right fit for their needs and that is what the pages you build in will accomplish.
Most templates will come with pages already built in for you. You do not need to utilize them all. Before you begin designing it would be best to lay out a sitemap for yourself to what you want to accomplish with the site. If you are here, let’s assume you want to drive clients to contact you. Here are our recommended pages you should have:
- About us – This will give your clients a quick introduction to who you are and what you are about. A mission statement should be put here and this would also be where any biographies and photos of staff would go.
- Services – This can be a ‘what we do’ area including what your office will offer. You can make one large page explaining all of this or sub pages. If you do create sub pages, make sure you use a ‘nesting menu’ to keep the main navigation clean and clutter free. Some examples of break out pages could be financial planning, wealth management, and insurance services.
- Resources – This can be an area for your current clients and potential clients to get updated information on the market and what you can bring to the table. These can be blogs, announcements, events, and additional content you create.
- Contact – Having a page dedicated to a form and information to get in contact. Yes you will also have a big button right at the top. Some recommendations would be ‘Contact us’, ‘Talk to an Advisor’, ‘Get in Touch’, or ‘Get Started.
While mapping out the website you want to keep search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. SEO helps search engines like Google find your website and verify your content is consistent, new, and engaging. Most template websites will help with SEO ‘out of the box’ and those are great tools but constant engaging content will be the key to success.
Read our 7 Local SEO Must-Dos for Financial Advisors guide a more in-depth look at how to set up your website to succeed with SEO.
2. Maintain a Blog
If you want to build a business that can compete in this century, you NEED content marketing.
As we mentioned previously, new and engaging content is key for search engine optimization success as it signals that your website is not stale. And it provides pages they can rank for keywords that are important for your business.
A blog is usually written but you can incorporate audio or video. A post can either be a personal piece or a very broad overview of a topic. You can talk about the current market trends, the current client trends, or hone into specific topics like Roth IRA’s or how much cash should I have on hand in retirement. They can be written from your perspective or like a college thesis, depending on the tone and voice you are trying to present.
Maintaining a blog is important for multiple reasons:
- Gain Traffic – It is one the easiest (and cheapest) ways to gain traffic and get leads online. Search engines are looking for content on a specific subject to recommend. Having constant content will entice users to keep checking back in.
- Stay Connected – It is an easy way to stay connected to your clients and prospects.
- Credibility – It makes you more credible, as you are a provider of educational content. You can become a consistent source for content that can improve your clients and prospects outlook.
- Rank Higher – It will help your website rank higher – i.e. people will find your firm more often when they search on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc. SEO is based around constant content. Making sure you site is updated with fresh content will get you ranking higher.
- Leading Edge – It shows you are on the “leading edge,” so to speak. Establishing yourself as a voice within the community and an authority on the matter will provide the edge.
- Unique – Most of your competition is not doing it.
Make sure your blog content is designed and targeted to the specific issues your ideal clients are looking for online. Spend about 15-30 minutes each week crafting helpful messages and educational content. This content is scientifically written so search engines find my blog when specific search queries are made. A good example of a retirement blog is retirement.tips - check it out to get ideas and inspiration on articles.
3. Send an Email Newsletter
Driving traffic to your site and your blog through search engines or social media is a good start, but keeping people engaged increases the lifetime value of each piece of content as well as the likelihood that a prospect becomes a client.
This is where email newsletters come in.
These newsletters do not need to be chalked full of content. Some can be single subjects, some can be recaps of the week/month/quarter, or a link to a few articles. You can even retool the blogs you have been writing or use it to promote your content. You have already put in the work to maintain your blog and publish articles, your email newsletter will act as another distribution channel.
Here are some ideas for newsletter topics:
- What’s going on (curated roundup of investment or retirement blogs/articles)
- Market watch & outlooks
- Investments related articles
- Retirement specific articles
- Retirement Specific Articles
You'll need to use an email service provider like Mailchimp to send your newsletter. These providers will also have templates you can use for your newsletter so you don't have to reinvent the wheel. A good template would include an image, title, and short blurb about the article/blog. Then you will need a call to action button under all that so the reader knows to click. This link will bring them to your website or the article/blog to read.
Consistency is a big deal when it comes to sending a newsletter. Subscribers will get into a groove of when the email will arrive and if you are writing quality content you do not want to disappoint.
Once you're set up, your biggest challenge will likely be building your email list. The best people to start with are your existing clients, followed by prospects that you're trying to convert. You can gain additional contacts (and prospective clients) by adding a "subscribe" page to your website and using forms on your blog posts and other pages to entice visitors to provide their email.
Capturing emails from your website increases the value of your search engine traffic and creates a great funnel top for capturing new leads. Another way to get subscribers for your newsletter is to run ads on social media platforms like Facebook. With the right message, even a small budget can get you dozens of new subscribers per month.
Easy Implementation Tip: We provide everything advisors need to succeed with email marketing as part of our turnkey advisor marketing program - and we make it super simple. We have all the content written, approved by compliance, and then private label our newsletter so all you have to do is add them to your email template and send it to your list.
4. Provide a Newsletter for a Specific Audience (CPAs and Estate Attorneys)
In addition to your client newsletter, consider a separate one aimed at specific audiences that could bring in new business through referrals, such as CPAs and estate attorneys.
To become a recipient of these referrals, you need to deliver something of value to the audiences, something other advisors are unlikely to be providing: genuine help!
While it's possible to build relationships with local professionals through in-person networking, digital marketing can help scale your efforts to build trust and become a go-to for client referrals.
One effective approach is to send out a periodic print and email newsletter with ideas to help CPAs (or your target profession) run a better business, get more clients (if they want them), and enjoy life more.
Creating a specialty newsletter follows the same steps as a client newsletter, just with the extra step of creating printouts and mailing them out. The print version may even be more useful at first as it may be difficult to get local CPAs to sign up for your newsletter without meeting them first.
5. Start a Podcast
Podcasts are increasingly popular, in part because of the low barrier to entry. All you need to start one is a microphone, software to record and edit the audio, and an account on an audio platform to upload to. This is another avenue for building an audience, credibility as an expert, and a network.
We recommend recording a few episodes before launching the podcast that you can fill in gaps for weeks you don’t have any content, run out of time, or decide to take a break. This will still allow you to have content to provide to your audience and relieve some pressure of a weekly recording deadline.
To get started:
- Research existing podcasts.
You want to listen to other podcasts in your market and genre to get an idea of what content you want to present. Is it going to be short and sweet? Long and informative?
- Build the brand and online presence.
Branding the podcast is important. It can be as simple as your company/practice name or unique inline with the topics you will cover. Just make sure it is your own and no other podcast has the name.
- Get a microphone.
Most computers have microphones built in. These are sufficient for video calls and memos but will not cut it for a podcast. The sound will be hollow like rain on a tin roof. You can always look at options but our preferred mic currently is Audio-Technica ATR2500. Another popular option is the Logitech Blue Yeti.
- Get a Digital Audio Workstation.
While they look intimidating, these programs will be how you can ‘cut’ dead air, remove hiccups, and go from a single take to being able to piece together multiple recordings. You can go BIG and get a Pro Tools setup (industry standard for studios) but you don’t need all that.
You can create a BandLab account and get access to a free robust ‘in browser’ DAW or download a free DAW from Audacity to get started. Either option is free and has a large community to help you get started and get support.
- Set Up an Account on a Podcast Platform.
You will need a place to post the podcasts and there are lots of options. While it does not need to be all of them, pick a few options for your listeners. You will need to create account(s) for the following services:
- Apple (formerly iTunes)
- Google Podcasts
You have recorded, edited, and are now ready to unleash the podcast unto the world. You can post to any of the above listed services but you will need to advertise and promote yourself. Be sure to write promotional blogs for your podcast episodes and include them as part of your newsletter.
6. Hold Client Appreciation Events
If you're just starting out as an independent financial advisor, you will want to hold off on this one. But once you have at least a handful of high-value clients, it makes sense to consider holding client appreciation events.
There are a lot of ways to spend non-business time with clients that show you value their relationship and enjoy being around them. They can be large or small, formal or informal. Depending on the type of event you're holding, you may even want to encourage them to invite friends or family.
The key is to make sure your events cater to your clients' interests (which should closely match your own). Some examples include wine tastings, holiday parties, golf outings, sports games, and barbecues.
These events are great for building and maintaining relationships with your clients, making them feel valued. It can also be a great source of referrals. Encourage your clients to bring a friend or 2. This can help others currently not doing business with you to become more familiar with your practice.
They also present opportunities to get them to shift more of their assets to your practice or to have them introduce you to people in their network that they feel could benefit from working with you. When hosting high-value clients, these introductions are likely to be other high-net-worth individuals that match your definition of an ideal client.
7. Host Educational Webinars
Webinars are another useful digital marketing tool available for financial advisors with a variety of benefits. They allow you to engage a wide audience from the comfort of their home (or office), allow you to position yourself as an educated authority, provide a source of content for your website, and help you build your email list.
Like a blog or podcast, webinars can be about any number of topics, be it recent market developments, commonly asked questions about financial planning, or even an advisor Q&A session.
Even if you're not doing a Q&A webinar, make sure you always have 3 or 4 pre-written questions you think viewers may have after the webinar. This way when you finish you can ask if there are any questions and break the ice if need be with those pre-planned questions.
There are many tools available for hosting webinars. Zoom and Gotowebinar are among the most popular platforms, though there are subscription costs for both.
You can use your blog, podcast, social media, and newsletter to promote your webinar and encourage people to sign up. If you feel your topic is particularly compelling, you can also run digital ads, though this could prove quite expensive.
8. Host In-Person Seminars or Classes
Much like client appreciation events are great for networking and maintaining relationships with clients, in-person seminars and classes are one of the most effective tools for attracting prospects that match your ideal clients. Like webinars, you are able to reach a large group of prospects.
Unlike webinars, however, you can build a closer connection through the in-person interaction while providing a valuable service to your community by sharing your financial knowledge.
While there are many potential arguments against in-person events (they don't work, they're too expensive, there's too much competition), these can be overcome through skilled execution, making them a reliable source of new prospects and clients. Here are are tips for how to be successful with seminar marketing:
- Target prospects age 55 and above. They have immediate and pressing financial needs, plenty of assets to make the cost more than worthwhile, and usually more time to attend your event than younger people.
- NEVER skimp on recruitment. Like your webinar, you can leverage your blog and newsletter to promote your seminar to your existing audience. If you're using direct mail, make sure you buy your list from a reputable source. You can also use digital advertising dialed to target the closest demographics possible to your ideal prospective clients on platforms popular with 55+ people such as Facebook.
- Have a compelling offer. The offer presented in your outreach invitation is the most important component in having a successful event. You MUST promise a high-value offer to get motivated registrants that will actually come to your event.
- Choose your date wisely. It is best to host events toward the end of the month (so prospects get their invitation in the same month as the event), away from holidays, and on days where there are not likely to be conflicts such as religious services or popular sports/community events.
- Evenings are your best bet. If you are marketing to pre-retirees that are still working, they generally will be more available in the evening than the morning or middle of the day. Schedule your events for times that will not conflict with regular working hours while giving people enough time to get home and get ready, like 6 or 7 PM.
- Pick a suitable location. When hosting educational seminars, look for educational settings. Avoid meeting spaces in hotels, malls, or other commercial venues (high-value prospects will not be inclined to attend a seminar held at a Holiday Inn Express. Instead, look for a space in a library or university. Many colleges have rooms that can be rented for a nominal fee.
- Skip the dinner. If you're using an educational venue, this probably isn't even a possibility, but it's worth underscoring that the dinner seminar isn't effective for reaching high-value prospects. They can afford to buy a steak dinner at the best steakhouse in town already. By skipping the dinner, you avoid the risk of people showing up purely for a meal with no interest in what you have to say.
Remember that the only purpose of the seminar is to build trust, create desire, and get appointments. You do not do this by selling products. You do this by providing a real benefit, being a likable person, and making your services seem valuable enough that prospects want to come make an appointment with you to discuss how you can help them further.
Our Retirement Wealth Academy program has been helping financial advisors grow their practices through in-person classes for years. We make it easy by providing all of the materials for the class and recruiting all registrants -- all you have to do is find a location and make a presentation. Contact us today to learn more about the Academy and how it can help you reach your AUM goals.