Most financial advisors are aware increasing numbers of investors are using the Internet to find, research, and contact all types of professionals.
All three of these steps are critical if financial advisors want to use digital marketing to generate new clients for their firms and practices.
Most financial advisors are hyper-focused on the production of leads for their services. They mistakenly believe the “find” function is the key to their success.
They could not be more mistaken. The “find” function is the easy part for investors. All they have to do is enter a few keywords (find financial advisors in Phoenix) in Google and they have found hundreds of firms.
The key to a financial advisor’s digital marketing success is the “research” function. This is the stage where investors do their homework and the results determine who they contact. This means investors will be visiting financial advisor websites and google searching their names. What they see on the Internet determines which firms are contacted for initial interviews.
The contact step is a no-brainer. Investors find financial advisors’ contact information during the research phase. Once again, the key to digital marketing success for financial advisors is the research phase and not the find or contact phase.
Every financial advisor would like their website to produce leads. A lead is an investor who meets the advisors’ minimum requirements and has an immediate need for a financial advisor. However, that is not how the process works for most investors.
The typical investor is a cautious individual who may or may not have used the services of financial advisors in the past. They are cautious because they do not want to make a serious financial mistake by selecting the wrong advisor.
This means the majority of investors who are using the Internet to find and research financial advisors are seeking information first and financial advisors later. This makes perfect sense because this is the process most people use when they buy all types of goods and services.
Therefore, advisors who use digital marketing must be prepared to follow this five-step process to convert investors who find them on the Internet into revenue-producing clients.
Step One: The Find Phase
This is the “Find” phase of the process. If investors are seeking information, then you have to be the provider of that content. This is how investors will find you.
They may find a blog article or social media post that brings them to your website. You have been found. Step one is behind you.
Step Two: The Getting to Know You Phase
Once they have found you, the next step for financial advisors is to start building a relationship by being their source for high-quality information they can trust. This is not the phase for aggressive sales tactics. That would be premature. This is the phase for building a positive relationship that the investors can trust.
The best way to begin building that trusting relationship is to be the source of information that investors are seeking.
Step Three: The Lead Capture Phase
In an ideal world, your financial advisor firm becomes the source for the information they are seeking. This is the step when you convince investors to give-up their anonymity and submit their contact information to you.
This means you must provide high-quality content in Step Two in order to capture their contact information in Step Three. The best content will provide a solution for a financial pain point.
For example, what is one of your ideal client’s biggest financial concerns? What about running out of money late in life when they need it the most? This could be a great topic for an eBook or webinar that has a registration requirement.
Step Four: The Development Phase
Once you have the investor’s contact information you should begin the marketing process that converts a lead into a prospect.
How do financial advisors differentiate leads and prospects? A lead is an investor that has provided his or her contact information to you. At this stage that is all you know about the investor.
You have a name, email address, and telephone number, but not much more. You are in a position to initiate contact with investors who provide their contact information.
An important phase is the conversion of leads into active prospects. A prospect is a person you have spoken to and there is mutual interest. The investor meets all of your requirements and vice versa. Mutual interest is the key to this phase in your digital marketing process.
The content you provide to prospects should always have some relevance to their financial situations. For example, if the investor is a pre-retiree, then all of the content you provide to this person should have some relevance to financial issues that impact pre-retirees.
Another key aspect of this phase is your need to become a valued resource for these leads and prospects and minimize your use of sales tactics. The premature use of these tactics could cause some investors to turn away and select other advisors. Sales tactics should be slowly integrated into this phase of your sales process.
At this point, your goal is to be a great resource.
Step Five: The Conversion Phase
Let’s assume you have become a valuable source of high-quality information for investors in steps one through four. Now is the time to convert these investors into revenue-producing clients.
This may not even be a sales process if you have delivered enough value during the other phases. In fact, in a number of cases the investors make the hiring decision without any sales tactics on your part at all.
The relationship has become so solid no selling is required. There is a meeting of the minds that you are the financial advisor that this investor has learned to trust. And, trust is the key to building long-term relationships that benefits both parties.
A financial advisor’s 5-step digital marketing tactics assume all investors need high-quality advice they can trust.
This 5 Step process assumes it is in the financial advisor’s best interest to establish a relationship before they ask investors to sign on the dotted line. This process will take longer, but it is infinitely more productive because it fits the way most people buy services and products. They use the Internet to find, research, and contact service providers, in this case, financial advisors.
Digital marketing for financial advisors tactics have to fit the process. High-pressure sales tactics no longer work because investors have more choices and more control over their selection processes. That’s because the Internet has given them unprecedented control over information that used to be controlled by financial advisors.
At this point, it is safe to say financial advisors must adapt their digital marketing tactics to the way investors find, research, and select financial advisors on the Internet.