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A solid client base is central to your success as a financial advisor. But without a defined plan for marketing yourself, making connections can be an uphill – and ultimately unsuccessful – slog. “A marketing strategy can single-handedly make or break an advisor’s practice,” says Dan Biagini, chief distribution officer at Foundations Investment Advisors. Whether you’re a new advisor who’s just getting started with marketing or you’re ready to revamp your existing marketing plan, here are five tips that can help with increasing your reach and cultivating stronger client relationships.

Marketing Tip #1: Clarify Your Value

Being good at what you do as an advisor matters. But if that’s not being communicated to prospective clients, you’re likely missing opportunities.

“A lot of advisors may think because they’re good at what they do, their phone will ring off the hook with people wanting to work with them,” Biagini says. “The reality is most advisors don’t know how to articulate their value to customers and often struggle to get in front of new prospects.”

It’s vital that you can articulate exactly how you help the clients you currently work with, as well as the ones you hope to bring on board. Developing a mission statement that encompasses whom you serve – and how – is the first step in fine-tuning your financial advisor marketing strategy.

Marketing Tip #2: Keep It Simple

As with any type of business, marketing for financial advisors is all about the sell. Again, that means knowing:

  1. Whom you serve
  2. What you have to offer them

This keeps the focus on the client. Overloading your marketing messages with mentions of awards you’ve received or the various designations you hold, on the other hand, can backfire.

“Advisors must communicate about how they help their clients survive and thrive,” Biagini says.

Anything else can end up being information overload. Return to the marketing mission statement you developed and drill down to the core of what you want to communicate to clients.

Marketing Tip #3: Share Your Message in the Right Places

Financial advisory services is a highly competitive landscape. The more you are able to target your marketing, the better your chances are of finding the people you want to reach.

There are two dimensions to financial advisor marketing: online and offline channels. Start by looking at your digital footprint. That may include:

Now, evaluate how effective each channel is for driving the leads that you want to reach. Specifically, consider how likely your target client is to use those channels.

If you want to market your advisory services to retirees, for example, you’re more likely to find them on Facebook versus Twitter or TikTok. But if you want to market to a younger client base – say, 30-somethings who are ready to begin financial planning – then you might find that video marketing is more effective.

The goal is to identify the marketing pathways that are working best. From there, you can work on improving your marketing strategy to increase conversions. And if you realize that a particular channel is not producing results that could be a sign that your target or ideal client is spending their time elsewhere online.

Marketing Tip #4: Be Ready to Adapt

Financial advisor and her clientsFinancial advisor marketing can result in being painted into a corner if you’re limiting yourself to a single marketing funnel. For example, in-person workshops and seminars are a popular way for advisors to connect with new prospects. But the COVID-19 pandemic effectively brought that marketing tactic to a halt, requiring many advisors to pivot. That’s a lesson to absorb and apply in your business. In other words, don’t put all of your marketing energies in one basket.

“If you’re only running one marketing funnel, you are automatically hiding from a population of prospects who would never be in that funnel,” Biagini says. “For example, a prospect you get in front of via radio or a podcast typically is someone who would not attend an in-person workshop.”

Again, it’s important to be selective about how you branch out. But good financial advisor marketing means being prepared to step outside of your comfort zone to expand your reach.

Marketing Tip #5: Think Beyond the Basics

From a client perspective, it’s easy to view financial advisors as all doing the same thing: helping people manage money. But if you want to improve your marketing, you have to get prospects and existing clients to rethink that assumption.

“Advisors need to be thinking about how to add services to their practice that help them become a customer’s personal CFO and not just a stock trader or money manager,” Biagini says.

Consider the range of services you currently offer, then ask yourself where there might be room to improve or expand. The more you can set yourself apart from other financial advisors, the better results you might see from your marketing strategy.

The Bottom Line

Female financial advisor at her office

The right approach to financial advisor marketing can drive a steady supply of leads and an ever-growing business. The wrong approach, on the other hand, can mean advisors are overshadowed by their competition. Growing your advisory business begins with having a marketing plan that helps boost your visibility while making it clear to clients why you deserve their business. While these aren’t the only ways to leverage the power of marketing, they are some of the most effective ways to get the attention of clients and prospects alike.

Tips for Financial Advisor Marketing

  • Consider how much time, money and effort is reasonable to invest in marketing your services. If you’re a newly established advisor, for instance, you may be limited as to how much you can invest financially in things like building a website or creating digital ads. You may benefit most by targeting your marketing spend to efforts that are likely to produce the highest return on investment, such as those that can connect you with prospects directly, so you can focus on growing your business.
  • Increase your visibility online. When people need a financial advisor, they typically go to one of two places: friends and family or an online search engine. If you haven’t searched for yourself, take time to do so and see what comes up. How easy is it to find your website or social media profiles, for instance? How quickly and clearly does your online presence convey what you’re about?
  • Outsource your marketing. If you’re not able to dedicate as much time as you’d like to on marketing, there are ways to get help. For example, using an online lead generation service like SmartAsset can help you scale your business quickly while leaving you free to do what you do best: assisting clients.

Photo credit: ©, ©, ©

Rebecca Lake Rebecca Lake is a retirement, investing and estate planning expert who has been writing about personal finance for a decade. Her expertise in the finance niche also extends to home buying, credit cards, banking and small business. She's worked directly with several major financial and insurance brands, including Citibank, Discover and AIG and her writing has appeared online at U.S. News and World Report, and Investopedia. Rebecca is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and she also attended Charleston Southern University as a graduate student. Originally from central Virginia, she now lives on the North Carolina coast along with her two children.
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