Knowing how to market yourself as a financial advisor is essential for growing a thriving practice. Without a proper marketing strategy, gaining a foothold in the competitive landscape can be challenging. There are different ways to market your advisory business, both online and off.
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Why Marketing Matters for Financial Advisors
Marketing is vital to your success as an advisor because without it, you may be invisible to prospective clients. Your services may be exactly what an investor needs but they won’t be interested in using them if they don’t know who you are or how to connect with you.
A strong marketing campaign can elevate your firm’s visibility and solidify your brand image. It can also allow you to get the right eyes on your business if you’re leveraging marketing tactics that are likely to grab the attention of your target audience.
Marketing is particularly important in the early stages of starting an advisory business, but even established firms understand its value. Consider it from an investor’s perspective. If you’re looking for the best place to get financial advice, would you be more likely to choose a firm with a recognizable brand or one that you’ve never heard of?
How to Market Yourself as a Financial Advisor
Developing a marketing plan starts with understanding who you want to reach, where you can find them and what you have to offer them. The best financial advisor marketing campaigns integrate all three of those things to deliver the right messaging, to the right people, in the right places.
If you’ve already selected a niche, this step might be fairly simple. But if you haven’t, spend some time thinking about who you want to serve and how you can meet their needs. If your ideal client is a 50-something near-retiree, for instance, the way that you approach marketing will likely be very different from an advisor serving young professionals who are just starting their careers.
Once you’ve got those fundamentals down, you can move on to exploring different options for marketing your business. Here are five common ways to market yourself as a financial advisor:
Start an email newsletter. Email can be one of the most impactful marketing tools, as it allows you to take your message directly to clients. You can segment your email list to send out targeted messages that are relevant to each segment’s specific pain points.
The key to successfully marketing yourself as an advisor with email is crafting messages that current clients or prospects actually want to read. Emails don’t need to be lengthy, but they do need to be compelling, which starts with a headline that encourages recipients to open the message. There needs to be a strong hook to capture and hold readers’ attention, followed by a clear call to action.
When done well, email marketing can lead to more conversions for your business. If you’re not building an email list yet, that’s something you might consider incorporating into your plan. There are different ways to collect email subscribers, which may be easier if you’re using this next strategy.
Market with your own website. Having a professional website can lend credibility to your business and it affords an opportunity to be seen in online searches. You might think of your website as the hub around which your marketing plan revolves.
A good website should make it clear what your brand is about, what you do and whom you serve as an advisor. It should also spell out all of the ways that visitors can get in touch with you and include a strong CTA encouraging them to do so.
Adding social proof, such as testimonials from current clients, can underscore your legitimacy. Incorporating a blog or resource article library is an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and expertise. You can also add an email newsletter signup form to each blog post or article and offer readers an incentive to join. For instance, if your clients are in their early 40s with kids you might offer them a downloadable “cheat sheet” guide to college planning.
Build a social media presence. Whether you love or hate it, there’s no denying the impact that social media can have on growing a business. Creating the type of social media content that your target audience is most interested in can help you develop a loyal following that’s more likely to use your services or refer you to people who need them.
Which social media outlets you focus your energies on can depend on who you’re trying to connect with. For example, if you want to reach clients in their 20s or 30s you might put your energy into creating short-form videos for TikTok or Instagram. On the other hand, if you want to get your message in front of people in their 50s and 60s you might try running ads on Facebook.
If you’re on social media, remember that engagement matters. The more frequently people comment on your posts, like them or share them, the greater the chances the various algorithms that drive these platforms will like your content and show it to other people that aren’t in your followers list. Checking out some of your competitors’ social media accounts can give you a better idea of what kind of content tends to resonate most.
Try direct mail. Direct mail marketing might seem old-fashioned but it’s still a popular option for how to market yourself as a financial advisor. Similar to email marketing, direct mail marketing allows you to segment your mailing list and create customized messages for each category of client you serve.
Direct mail has some advantages since people may be more likely to open a physical piece of mail out of curiosity. It’s all too easy to delete an email without opening it but it can be harder to just toss a piece of mail that’s sitting right in front of you.
If you don’t have time to start a direct mail marketing campaign, there are companies that can do it for you. All you need to do is supply the messaging and your mailing list and the company does the rest. Outsourcing these types of marketing activities can free you up to focus on other aspects of growing your business.
Host a webinar, masterclass or workshop. Clients seek out advisors because they want to get professional advice on how to manage their money. Hosting a free webinar, masterclass or workshop can be a great way to give prospective clients a sample of your expertise.
You might offer a free online webinar as an incentive to join your email list, for example. When people sign up for your list, you can send them a secure link to a prerecorded video that offers an in-depth dive into a specific topic.
In-person workshops or masterclasses are another option if you’re hoping to boost your visibility in your local community. You might reach out to your local chamber of commerce, community college or senior center to offer yourself as a guest speaker on retirement planning, college planning or other topics that are relevant to the people you want to attract to the workshop.
There’s no one-size-fits-all method for how to market yourself as a financial advisor. It often requires some experimenting and a little trial and error to find the right path. Tracking your results over time can give you a better idea of which strategies are working, and which ones may need to be fine-tuned or abandoned altogether.
Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business
- Building a website for your business alone isn’t enough to guarantee that people will be able to find it online. You need to give some thought to search engine optimization (SEO) and how to use it to make your site more visible in online searches. Keep in mind, however, that SEO can sometimes take months to kick in so if you’re looking for faster results, you might try an online lead generation tool instead. SmartAdvisor, for instance, can help bring leads to you so that you’re connecting with the right prospects.
- It may be worth hiring a social media manager to help with your online marketing strategy. A social media manager can take over key tasks such as drafting content for social media platforms, scheduling out content and managing comments or interactions with followers. When evaluating potential candidates, consider their track record of boosting engagement for past clients to gauge what kind of return on investment you can expect.
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