Setting your own schedule, being your own boss, leaving the confines of your current cubicle – if the life of an independent financial advisor is calling to you, here are 5 steps you need to know to branch out on your own. These Digital Marketing tips will help you take that step into independence, whether you practice in a virtual setting or open a physical brick-and-mortar office.
Step 1: Create an Interactive Online Presence
There’s no question: You need a website.
Spreading the word about your new business doesn’t happen through outdated channels like cold calling and direct mail anymore. Those expensive and ineffective methods have gone by the wayside. Today, the very best way to let people know about your services and introduce yourself as a contender is on the Internet.
Your image is everything, and never is this truer than in the world of investing where people’s savings are on the table and emotions are at play. Not only are you asking to handle a family’s nest egg, but many times you may as well be speaking Greek about concepts that many know little about. It is hard to break through these barriers and get to the people looking for investment help. But there is a way. You do this by cultivating a positive image for your firm, and today, this is done on the Internet.
The Internet is where people naturally go to search for information and services. We all do. The discoveries we make on the Internet help us make decisions, form our opinions and motivate our purchase decisions. Information is a powerful thing, so it’s important to get your firm out there with your own custom website to establish yourself as an expert in the industry.
Remember, when you create a website for your new financial firm, you are creating an all-important image or “brand” that must make a big impression on your visitors and leave them wanting more.
As you create your custom website, remember to identify and speak to your target audience. Who is your ideal client; the segment of investors that is most interested in your services? If you determine that current retirees are your focus, make sure the content on your website speaks to them and not a Millennial who is just getting started. What does your ideal client want to find when researching firms online? Make sure you deliver.
There are Digital Marketing tools for financial advisors to identify their target audience. When you pinpoint who this segment is, then you can create your website with custom, interactive content that appeals to them so your site is not only relevant but feels personal too.
You’ll also want to reach out to your unique target market through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And leads should be able to access these platforms directly from your website. Don’t make a potential client go somewhere else to connect with you.
When your Internet presence does generate communication from your viewers, make sure you respond. This is a very effective way for you to deliver personalized information and establish a valuable relationship with potential investors.
Step 2: Put Your New Business in the Spotlight
Investors have to be able to find you so they can visit your website and become your clients. This is the basis of Digital Marketing for financial advisors. If you know the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how to use this powerful tool to your firm’s advantage, the leads will have no trouble finding you. Because Google and other search engines rank websites and Internet content based on factors like keywords and original content, it is vital to understand this process. When done well, properly strategizing for Search Engine Optimization will help your firm appear in the coveted top-spots of an Internet listing of search results so that you can grab a potential client’s attention before your competitors.
Step 3: Deliver Relevant Content
Creating a blog, which is web content you post in the form of articles, will not only put the polish on your all-important image, but it will also keep your website visitors engaged and your leads coming back for more. But there are key steps to making your blog effective.
Most importantly, you need to post original content that is relevant to your industry on a regular basis. When you cover topics that are helpful and current, potential clients will appreciate it and possibly “share” your content, which can provide more audience reach and brand recognition for your new company.
If you don’t have the time or interest in creating content yourself, reach out for help. A good Digital Marketing firm can create regular content for you, but make sure they are experts in your field. You need to come across as an expert in the financial services industry, and when someone who doesn’t fully understand your industry makes a small mistake, it can ruin your image. Investors are smart. And they’re weary. Any red flag can scare them away quickly.
Step 4: Encourage Leads to Take Action
Once you have grabbed their attention, you need to encourage leads to act.
Traditionally, starting a blog was simply a way to supplement a financial advisor’s website and create a forum for an advisor to weigh in on hot topics while distributing valuable tips. This is still true and can be done in many creative ways, but a new financial advisor branching out on his or her own must not make the mistake of treating their blog solely as a source for relaying information because your blog can be so much more.
Your blog is a valuable tool that should generate all-important leads crucial to the livelihood of an advisor starting out on their own. Therefore, the content on your blog should not only inform your target audience, but it should also compel them to take the next step.
You don’t do this by making a hard sales pitch. In fact, this strategy will tarnish your image in the eyes of today’s savvy consumers. Instead, you curate content that resonates with your target audience and lets them take the next step on their own terms. Offering free resources in return for contact information in a natural way to do this. You can continue to pique curiosity and position yourself as the expert that is front of mind when your contacts are ready to take advantage of your services.
Step 5: Understand What Works
Generating your own leads is easier when you understand what works and what does not. By analyzing performance results over time, you can better craft your content to better appeal to your audience. There are tools that can help you measure your blog’s reach, the visitors on your sites, the success of your Internet presence and much more.
If the thought of collecting this essential data and managing an online presence seems daunting, there are professional marketers that specialize in Digital Marketing for financial advisors.
Paladin Digital Marketing works solely with advisors in the financial realm and has been applying proven strategies to make the Internet work for independent advisors since 2003. Working with an expert Digital Marketing firm can help you navigate industry nuances like pitfalls, compliance issues and trends. This can be a huge asset for an advisor going it alone, when there is much to do.
Any misstep can be the difference between making it or breaking.
If you do partner with an expert Digital Marketing firm, make sure they can offer support in all of these areas:
- Custom websites
- Blog posts and newsletters
- Contact generation
- Automated email campaigns
- Internet eBooks, checklists and appointment schedulers
- Identifying and defining target markets
When it comes to Digital Marketing for financial advisors, a strategic partnership can provide peace-of-mind, especially for advisors branching out on their own. Make sure your marketer has a track record of success and can position you against the big institutions, whether you practice virtually or at a physical address.