Your day is probably filled with meeting clients, managing investments, and staying current on the latest market trends and regulations. While managing the day-to-day operations of your business, there’s something else you need to think about: Marketing. While at times marketing can be seen as a pain point for advisors, it can be the difference between reaching your own personal financial goals and falling short. Marketing doesn’t necessarily mean a massive amount of work or large investment on your part. Anyone can learn the marketing basics by following a few simple steps.
Here are 8 simple and effective marketing tips for financial advisors to get you started:
#1 Make Your Website Stand Out
In today’s electronic environment, your website is possibly the most important piece of marketing you have. Many prospective clients will visit your website to learn more about you and your business. Some potential clients will decide if they are going to schedule an appointment based on what they see on your website. At the very least, visitors to your site will get a first impression of you and how you conduct business. Make it count by having a user-friendly website that makes it easy to learn more about you and your team, as well as a contact form and possibly a blog with relevant content to your clients.
#2 Identify Your Target Market
Do you have a niche that you primarily serve? Is there a profile of the type of client that you prefer to work with? If so, this is where you cultivate that market. Focusing your marketing efforts toward that audience as an authority in that area can bring you more customers in that niche and further solidify your status as an “expert.” For example, if business owners are a great market for you, find local meetings of professional organizations and network yourself in those circles.
#3 Get Referrals from Current ClientsWho better to trust with enhancing your business than your current clients? Offering referral incentives to your current customers can help build up your client base as well as keep your current clients happy by making them feel valued. Also, your strongest clients are probably likely to have friends and family who may also need your services and prove to be great long-term clients as well. If you get resistance, for example if your clients tell you most of their friends and family have an advisor already, consider offering a free second opinion on their investments. Perhaps you see something their current advisor didn’t, and now you have a new client.
#4 Don’t Forget About Your Current Clients
Speaking of your current clients, don’t forget them in your marketing efforts. This audience can be a valuable resource for referrals and continued business. In addition to referral rewards, consider also throwing “Client Appreciation” events and sending birthday cards or other forms of regular communication. Making sure your clients know you’re thinking about them (and their investments) between meetings can go a long way toward maintaining that relationship long-term.
Take advantage of opportunities to network. For example, local Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, and other professional organizations are a great place to get in front of an audience and discuss your services. Many of these group meetings or events have a guest speaker, and that could be a great opportunity to get in front of an audience to reach potential new clients.
#6 Social Media: Is it For You?Social media can be a valuable tool in your marketing arsenal, but it requires its own marketing strategy and approach, and of course its own set of regulations. Additionally, social media is a fast-moving two-way communication channel, meaning that people may comment on your social sites and pages, and expect a response almost immediately. Before committing yourself, be sure you have the resources to dedicate to social media marketing. That said, social media can be a great way to promote yourself and your services to a wider audience.
#7 Focus on Quality, Not Quantity of ClientsSending a mass direct mail advertisement may bring you lots of calls and appointments, but the chances are that most of those leads won’t turn into profitable relationships. Instead, use the above suggestions to cultivate relationships that have the potential to become lasting clients.
#8 Plan AheadMarketing isn’t something that brings in clients overnight, and planning ahead makes for successful marketing all year long. Create a 12-month marketing calendar, noting times of the year when you are historically busier or slower as well as any holidays or local events to keep in mind. Plan for heavier marketing leading up to slow times, and taper it off when business typically picks back up. While the calendar will most likely evolve and adjust over time, you will have a tentative plan for marketing rather than planning at the last minute.
While marketing may not be your specialty, it’s an important part of cultivating new relationships to offset the natural progression of some clients leaving while still maintaining your ideal AUM. Focusing your efforts on those clients with the most potential using the steps above, while also maintaining relationships with key clients is an important part of an overall marketing plan. Feeling overwhelmed? Start off small and gradually work your way up to larger marketing efforts and goals, and you’ll be a successful marketer in no time!