Looking for more leads from your financial advisor website? You’re not alone. Read on to see why an E-Book is an inexpensive but very effective way to generate leads.
Challenges of Lead Generation for Financial Advisors
Today’s consumer buys services differently. Instead of picking up the phone or emailing you for information on your firm’s services, most will simply check you out on the internet. Isn’t that what we all do? Who still gets out the Yellow Pages when we need an electrician, or if we move to a new town and need a new accountant? Sure, we may ask a friend or colleague for a recommendation, but don’t we always check them out on the internet before deciding they are worth the trouble of contacting?
Given the reality that contact with you is almost optional, today’s buyer holds the power. If you have a website, you probably have some still-anonymous people checking your firm out from time to time. You just don’t know they are there.
So what can you do to find out who they are and establish a conversation?
You can offer something of value, for free, that entices them to give up their contact information.
Enter the “E-book”.
Educate, don’t sell.
In today’s world of inbound marketing, people find your firm on the internet. Then, it’s up to the content on your website to convince that anonymous visitor to submit their contact data. Blog articles and videos are very valuable types of content, but for turning visitors into leads, few things are as effective as an E-book.
What’s an E-Book?
Short for an electronic book, an E-Book is simply an educational piece on one topic. Fortunately, it is not a 150-page textbook or something that needs to be exhaustive. Instead, it’s usually somewhere between 12 to 30 pages. The subject should be something your firm has expertise on that directly concerns those you are trying to attract.
Here are some examples:
If you’re an advisor who focuses on helping those who have lost a spouse:
Top 10 financial mistakes to avoid after you’ve lost your spouse
If you are targeting young professionals just getting established in their careers:
How to save for your future and pay off debt at the same time
Or these may relate to your areas of expertise, such as social security or tax-efficient investing. Regardless, the topic should be something that is a big pain point for your target market.
Then, the E-book should obviously position your products and services, indirectly, as the solution to the problems and challenges outlined in the book. Since you’re the author and are providing it free, be sure to include information at the end about your firm and services. This can also be a great place to offer a free consultation phone call. But be careful to keep the book itself neutral…it should not be one long sales pitch. Remember, you’re the expert, so you want to provide real advice. You won’t appear like an expert if the entire book just says “hire us”. But it is perfectly acceptable to recommend that they contact an experienced professional for help on certain issues. In fact, giving them tips on how to find the right professional can be a powerful way to build trust with readers.
How extensive should the E-book be?
While you do want to provide value, you don’t want to provide a complete do-it-yourself guide. Instead, you want to educate just enough so the prospect learns something valuable and raises their awareness. Then, when they need more help, hopefully, they’ll think of your firm. After all, you literally wrote the book on that issue.
Require contact information to gain access
Remember that our purpose for creating the E-book is to provide something of value in exchange for contact information. So you will want to have your E-book protected and require a user to submit contact information to download it. Because trust is also a concern, you want to make sure that you are clear that their information will be kept private and not shared. It’s best to be totally transparent on what you are going to do with it, as people fear spam or unwanted phone calls.
So, E-Books are a tool that can help generate leads by offering something free in exchange for contact information. What else is great about an E-book?
Builds your credibility as an expert.
An E-book with your name on it helps position you as an expert on the topic. It is also a great way of differentiating your firm. Given that prospects want their advisors to be experts, this is an extremely valuable aspect of publishing an E-book.
Helps boost your visibility.
E-books can help boost your search engine rankings which make your firm more visible. How? First, search engines like websites that put out a lot of fresh, quality content. By adding content like E-books, you’re going to get search engines updating their information more often, which can help your website rank higher.
Also, many times E-books encourage visitors to return, as they begin to see your website as a valuable source of information. This increased traffic can lead to more visits, which can improve your search ranking.
It’s a flexible tool that can be used in a variety of ways.
Another very valuable aspect of E-books is the number of ways you can put it to work for you:
- You can, and should, list it prominently on your home page as a free offer
- You can offer the E-book to your existing email list to inspire some activity from older contacts
- You can promote the free E-book offer on social media to attract more prospects
- You can create a custom landing page specifically for your E-book, to generate traffic from search engines
- Unless your E-book is time-sensitive, it can be reused (or updated) so should remain a viable offering in the future as well.
- You can later repurpose the content of an E-book into individual blog articles
If you don’t have that time or the talent in house to create an E-book, you can have one ghost-written or white-labeled for you. This is a great option for most busy advisors, but just be careful to buy from a provider who understands the industry and who can match the tone to the personality of your firm.
But for a modest investment today, you can get a tool that can generate a return on investment many times over in the form of future clients for your firm.
Jeanne Klimowski is the founder of Wavelength Financial Content Inc. Wavelength is a Paladin Digital Marketing Partner.