A rock-solid marketing plan is instrumental for success as an advisor, but if you lack the time—or the expertise—to create one on your own, you might outsource that task to a professional. Marketing firms for financial advisors can do the heavy lifting of developing a winning strategy for increasing a business’s visibility and cementing its brand reputation. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing one to work with.
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What Do Marketing Firms for Financial Advisors Do?
Marketing firms that cater to financial advisors can offer a variety of services, but the end goal is typically the same: Help you attract new leads and increase conversions so that you’re able to grow your business.
A financial advisor marketing plan may incorporate a variety of strategies, including:
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Direct mail marketing campaigns
- Website design and branding
- Blog and website content
Marketing firms may also include PR outreach as part of their suite of services. That can include reaching out to media outlets on your firm’s behalf to offer you as an expert source for a news story or issuing press releases to bring attention to something notable or significant your firm has achieved.
Benefits of Outsourcing Financial Advisor Marketing
Outsourcing marketing activities can be a worthwhile investment if it helps you to achieve your goals. Here are three common reasons to consider hiring a marketing firm for financial advisors:
- Working with a marketing team allows you to tap into their expertise and knowledge, without having to guess about which strategies might work.
- Professional marketing firms tend to stay up to date on the latest trends and may be able to spot opportunities to market your business that you might otherwise overlook.
- Letting someone else handle marketing activities for your firm frees up time in your daily schedule that you can use for prospecting, networking and serving your clients.
Whether it makes sense to work with a marketing firm can depend on what you’re hoping to accomplish for your business and how comfortable you feel letting someone else take the reins. While you might have final approval over marketing campaigns, you’re not the one who’s putting them together.
Your goals can also influence your decision to work with a marketing agency or not. For example, some common goals for financial advisor marketing can include:
- Attracting more of your ideal clients
- Gaining more referrals from existing clients
- Hitting specific numbers with social media engagement
- Increasing website traffic and conversions
Are these things you might be able to do on your own, without the help of a professional marketing firm? Absolutely, but you have to consider how much time you’ll have to focus on furthering those goals. If you’re already navigating a jam-packed schedule day to day, letting someone else handle your marketing may be the smartest move you can make.
How to Choose a Marketing Firm for Your Advisory Business
A simple web search turns up dozens of results for financial advisor marketing firms but it’s important to dig deeper and do your research. Some of the main factors to weigh when evaluating and comparing different firms include:
- The range of services they offer
- Which type of advisory firms they specialize in working with if any
- How much they charge for their services
- What type of minimum contract they require if any
You may also want to consider the firm or agency’s overall reputation in the advisory space. Firms may publish testimonials from past or current clients on their website, which are worth reviewing. You can also check online reviews to see what people are saying about a particular marketing agency.
Tapping your network is another option. Asking other advisors which firm they use or have used for marketing may offer insight into which agencies have earned a better reputation than others for meeting—and exceeding—the expectations of the advisors they work with.
Questions to Ask When Hiring a Marketing Firm
Once you have an idea of which marketing firms you might want to hire, the next step is booking a meeting. Whether you meet in person or virtually, this is an opportunity for you to “interview” the marketing agency to decide if the two of you might be a good fit.
You don’t want to go into this meeting empty-handed. Here’s a list of questions to take with you if you’re not sure what to ask a marketing firm:
- Do you specialize only in marketing for financial advisors, or do you work with other types of clients in different industries?
- If you work exclusively with financial professionals, do you specialize in any particular type of firm?
- What is your track record for generating leads or increasing conversions for your past or current clients?
- Can you explain in detail the range of marketing services your firm offers, including both online and offline strategies?
- Do you offer additional services, such as website-building or PR outreach?
- What would I (or my firm) be responsible for handling if anything?
- Do you require a minimum contract and if so, what is the duration?
- Is there an upfront fee to enter into a service agreement?
- What other fees do you charge for your services?
There’s one more consideration when choosing a marketing firm for financial advisors and that’s location. If you’d like the option to be able to meet with your marketing team in person, then you may need to narrow your search to agencies that are in your geographic area or are close enough that traveling wouldn’t be too much of an issue.
On the other hand, if you’re comfortable handling all of your communications online that could open up more possibilities for choosing a firm. You could choose an agency that offers its services to advisors across the country and exchange face-to-face meetings for virtual ones.
And if you’re specifically interested in gaining new clients, you might consider adding an online lead generation tool to your marketing strategy. You can fast-track connections with leads and automate follow-ups, allowing you to save time while nurturing relationships with prospective clients.
If you’ve been managing marketing on your own and thus far been disappointed with the results or are struggling to formulate a cohesive strategy, it may be time to consider outsourcing. A marketing firm could help you to gain the exposure that you’ve been looking for, without tying up precious hours of your day.
Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business
- A professional advisor website can help you establish your online presence and act as a hub for your marketing plan if you’re using social media to drive traffic back to it. Building a social media following and gaining visibility in searches can take time, however. If you’re looking for a shortcut, you might consider letting SmartAdvisor help you connect with a broader audience. SmartAdvisor equips you with the tools you need to gain new leads, vet them and reach out to prospects in less time.
- While some marketing firms for advisors offer a wide range of services, others may be more niche in their objectives. For instance, some agencies exclusively handle digital marketing and others only develop direct mail marketing campaigns. Evaluating what you need help with most can make it easier to decide which type of firm to work with.
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