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Strategies to Improve Your Marketing for Estate Planning Services

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An estate planner meets with a pair of prospective clients who saw his digital marketing materials online.

In the estate planning industry, where the focus is often on legal requirements and financial management, marketing might not seem like an obvious priority. But estate planning marketing can help firms establish their presence and build brand awareness. Having a recognizable brand can instill confidence and build trust among potential clients. Through targeted marketing efforts like content creation, social media engagement and paid digital advertising, firms can showcase their expertise and differentiate themselves from competitors. Here are six strategies to help estate planners improve their marketing efforts.

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1. Optimize Your Website for SEO

The digital age has ushered in a new era for professional services, and for estate planning firms, search engine optimization (SEO) is not just a buzzword but a foundational component of their marketing strategy. SEO encompasses a spectrum of techniques aimed at boosting a website’s visibility on search engines like Google.

To understand why SEO is especially pertinent in the legal field, consider how prospective clients seek estate planning advice. They are likely to rely on search engine results to find and evaluate estate planning attorneys and advisors. Therefore, a well-optimized website is not just about achieving higher rankings – it’s about building a reputation and earning trust with potential clients.

Here are four common ways to optimize your website for SEO and potentially boost your firm’s reach:

  • Produce high-quality content: Educational and engaging content that addresses the needs and concerns of potential clients can improve your website’s SEO. Consider creating blog posts, articles, case studies and FAQs related to estate planning topics.
  • Use keywords: Key phrases related to estate planning should be woven into the fabric of your online content. But be wary of overusing them, a practice known as keyword stuffing, which can be detrimental to your SEO efforts. Instead, aim to produce authoritative content that naturally incorporates these keywords, thereby enhancing your visibility and establishing your firm as a thought leader.
  • Technical improvements: The technical architecture of your site is also a component that search engines evaluate. Best practices like optimizing file sizes, using browser caching and ensuring mobile responsiveness help create a positive user experience.
  • Off-page SEO: Acquiring backlinks from well-known legal websites and ensuring your firm is well-represented in local business directories can significantly elevate your firm’s status online.

2. Build a Google My Business Profile

Google My Business (GMB) is a centralized platform for businesses to manage their online image on one of the world’s leading search engines. A well-maintained GMB profile is instrumental in boosting a firm’s visibility in local searches, thereby directly influencing its ability to attract potential clients seeking estate planning services nearby.

Setting up and optimizing a Google My Business profile is a straightforward process that can significantly contribute to a firm’s digital marketing strategy:

  1. Claim or create your GMB profile
  2. Complete every section of your profile with accurate and up-to-date information
  3. Add high-quality photos of your business
  4. Encourage and respond to client reviews
  5. Regularly update business hours and make posts to keep your profile active

Maintaining your GMB profile is equally important. Ensure that business hours are current, and engage with client reviews promptly and professionally.

3. Invest in Paid Search

An estate planner meets with a client.

Paid search can be one of the most effective digital marketing strategies. This form of advertising involves the placement of ads within the results of search engines, allowing advertisers to pay a fee only when their ad is clicked by a user.

The mechanics of paid search advertising are grounded in the pay-per-click (PPC) model, which hinges on the strategic bidding of keywords pertinent to an advertiser’s business. For example, estate planning firms may bid on terms such as “estate executor,” “trust administration” or “elder law attorney.”

When internet users search for these terms, the firms’ ads may appear prominently alongside organic search results. However, costs are only incurred when the ad is clicked, signifying a user’s interest. It’s important to understand the intricacies of keyword bidding and cost-per-click (CPC) strategies, as well as the ad auction system. This system is the process by which search engines determine the placement of ads, with several factors including bid amount and ad quality contributing to the final decision.

4. Offer Free Consultations or Workshops

Offering free consultations or educational workshops can be a magnet for prospective clients and a robust foundation for building trust.

Why is personal trust so essential in estate planning? It involves sensitive decisions about one’s legacy and assets – subjects that are inherently personal and require a high degree of confidence in the advisor. By offering potential clients the opportunity to experience the quality of service without financial commitment, firms can effectively demonstrate their commitment to client well-being and foster a sense of reliability.

When structuring free consultations, you may focus on striking a balance between showcasing expertise and respecting professional boundaries. Best practices suggest limiting these sessions to 30-60 minutes and focusing on a general overview of services rather than delving into the nuances of an individual’s personal financial situation. Three potential benefits of this approach can include:

  • Establishing the professional’s knowledge and value
  • Preventing the overextension of free labor
  • Setting forth clear parameters for the prospective client

5. Be Active on Social Media

Social media can be a powerful tool for estate planning professionals looking to expand their reach and reinforce their brand. Estate planning firms seeking to maximize their social media impact must consider a structured approach to their online presence.

For example, LinkedIn can be a prime channel for sharing in-depth knowledge and becoming a thought leader in the estate planning industry. Meanwhile, estate planners can engage with their community on Facebook by promoting local events and educational sessions. Interactive features like Facebook Live can be used to answer questions and provide real-time interaction, potentially increasing client engagement.

Visual platforms like Instagram and educational channels such as YouTube can break down complex estate planning topics into more digestible content, making them more accessible to the layperson.

6. Leverage Client Testimonials

Featuring testimonials from satisfied clients on your website can help you market your estate planning services.

Recognizing the sensitivity and importance of managing one’s final affairs, potential clients are often in search of something or someone they can rely on. This is where client testimonials come into play, providing that reassurance by sharing relatable experiences from those who have previously navigated the complex path of estate planning.

On the digital front, a firm’s website should showcase testimonials, especially on service pages and high-traffic landing pages where information-seekers converge. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn can amplify these stories, targeting demographics who are contemplating their estate planning needs. However, it’s vital to present a breadth of client stories, which demonstrates the firm’s versatility in handling a wide spectrum of estate planning scenarios.

While the importance of authenticity cannot be overstated, it’s equally important to frame these testimonials within the bounds of professionalism and legality. The American Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct, for example, mandate that communications about legal services must not be deceptive or misleading.

Bottom Line

Whether its optimizing a website for SEO, engaging potential clients with educational content or leveraging the precision of digital tools like Google My Business, estate planning firms can use a variety of digital strategies to attract and retain clients. While results may vary and are influenced by how these tools are employed, the potential for enhanced client acquisition and firm growth is evident, urging estate planning professionals to carefully consider and integrate these practices into their marketing plans.

Tips for Expanding Your Advisory Business

  • Email campaigns can play an important role in the marketing strategy of a firm that’s looking to grow. Be sure your marketing emails offer an incentive for the recipient to “opt-in” and potentially work with you. That can mean sending free educational materials like an estate planning checklist or providing some kind of incentive designed to pique the lead’s curiosity.
  • Marketing is just one of the many sides of the business that financial advisors have to manage, but there are tools to make to simplify and improve this process. SmartAsset AMP (Advisor Marketing Platform) is a holistic marketing service financial advisors can use for client lead generation and automated marketing. Sign up for a free demo to explore how SmartAsset AMP can help you expand your practice’s marketing operation. Get started today.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/fizkes, ©iStock.com/AlexanderFord, ©iStock.com/adamkaz

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