Every financial advisory firm knows recruiting additional professionals is one way to expand their firms. The new recruits should bring clients, assets, and revenues with them. So why don’t more financial advisors develop effective strategies they can use to recruit professionals who do not want to start their own firms.
One obstacle can be the size of the firm. Smaller firms may not have the resources to support more financial advisors. Firms may have to reach a critical mass of resources and revenues before they can utilize this strategy. It also pays to be doing something unique that would cause advisors to want to join a firm.
An easier answer may be higher payouts, but at some point, the payouts are so high it may feel like current owners are giving away the store.
A popular strategy is relieving financial advisors of some of the burdens of the industry. The parent firm may provide RIA registration, compliance, investment, and back-office services. Being part of a bigger firm with fintech has some definite advantages. At a minimum, it enables advisors to focus on clients and prospects
So what else can you offer financial advisors that will cause them to affiliate with your firm? How about using digital marketing services that solve every financial advisor’s biggest problem - enough qualified prospects to talk to each month.
Just about every financial advisor in America requires additional leads to grow their practices. The main question is how they will produce the leads and who pays the third-party expenses.
Smaller firms may require advisors to pay for their own leads. Larger firms may pay for the leads that are produced by third parties.
Instead of advisors producing leads, a lower cost solution is to buy leads from third parties that also use digital marketing (SEO and SEM) to produce leads. Financial firms or professionals can buy leads from these firms. So, this can be a firm, professional, or both expense. The good news is advisors only pay for the leads that are produced by the firms. There are some quality and competition issues for this type of lead.
Some advisors use digital marketing advertising campaigns to create their own leads. Most often the advertisement will have a free offer that takes the investors to landing pages where their contact information is obtained.
The role of digital marketing may be to identify the keywords that will be advertised on, develop the ad and landing page, conduct testing, and monitor results.
Additional Digital Marketing Solutions
The best idea may be to use digital marketing services that produce four extremely valuable benefits for financial advisory firms:
- Build awareness for brands
- Make firms more credible
- Convert more visitors into high-quality leads
- Facilitate the sales funnel process
Building Brand Awareness
Digital marketing for financial advisors starts on the Internet. Investors have to be able to find advisors to start their research processes. Keywords are critical for this process. The goal is to reach the right advisors on the Internet.
Building this visibility is the first step in developing a digital marketing strategy that will produce leads for financial advisor firms.
There are several ways financial advisors can use digital marketing to increase the visibility of their brands. They can use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to earn visibility. They can use SEM (Search Engine Marketing) to buy their visibility with advertising campaigns.
Even SEM users should be concerned about SEO because it is part of building a strong digital marketing foundation. Regardless of how investors find firms, they will use the Internet to research firms “before” they initiate contact.
Increasing Brand Credibility
What investors see on the Internet, when they research financial advisors, is a critical next step in the development of leads.
There is no question investors are more comfortable with brands they think they know and/or can research online. Many firms may not be brand names, but they can still make it easy to research their firms.
Financial professionals may have landing pages or bios on websites, but they do not have lead generation websites. Firms have websites that may represent the interests of financial advisors. There are some overlapping interests in play here.
A frequently overlooked aspect of building brand credibility is the investors’ research processes. At this point, just about every investor will visit the websites of the financial advisors that interest them. Therefore, financial advisor websites have to be competitive with the other websites that investors are looking at.
Since you don’t know which websites investors are looking at it pays to have the highest quality, custom website that you can afford. Websites are the digital storefront for your firm.
Many advisors are beginning to use testimonials, reviews, video, and case studies on their websites.
Website Conversion Rates
The more traffic financial advisors have on their websites and the higher the quality of the websites the higher the probability investors will give up their anonymity and submit their contact information.
It makes sense that this is a very critical step in a financial advisor’s sales funnel. Either visitors submit their contact information or they don’t. And, if they don’t, they rarely revisit financial advisor websites a second time. Knowledgeable advisors consider this a one-time opportunity.
An important digital marketing tactic is to offer visitors something of value in exchange for their contact information. The offer that has the greatest success is a free eBook that addresses a financial pain point that is experienced by a financial advisor’s ideal types of clients.
Move Through the Sales Funnel
Digital marketing makes it easy to find and contact financial advisors and it will only get easier in the future as more people use the Internet to find all types of professionals.
It is important to note the Internet is both a source of leads for financial advisors and facilitates the research processes of investors. For example, we know more than 80% of investors are going to visit financial advisor websites and more than 60% will Google search the financial advisor names.
A well thought out website and Google presence will facilitate the conversion of leads into qualified prospects. What’s the difference? A lead is someone advisors have never talked to, but the advisors have their names and contact information. And, that is all you have.
A prospect is someone financial advisors have talked to and there is mutual interest between the two parties. Advisors provide the services that investors are seeking. And, the investors meet all of the advisor’s requirements for clients. For example, a qualified prospect must meet the financial advisor's minimum asset requirement.
Many advisors already benefit from digital marketing business practices. They are the earlier adopters who are currently building brand names in their local communities and nationwide.
Some financial advisors are late adopters, but it is only a matter of time before they get in the game. They will have to if they want organic growth that is fueled by investors who will be using the Internet to find and research financial advisors.