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Financial Advisors Use Digital Marketing to Quick-Start New RIAs

Here is an analogy that highlights the moving parts of inbound marketing. Let’s fantasize for a minute about an alternate universe. You own a store in a retail mall. You pay a substantial amount of rent to be located in the mall. 

Not only do you get your space, but the mall is also responsible for the traffic that your store needs to produce revenue. When there is no traffic, there is no revenue. Malls die when there is insufficient traffic. 

Once potential buyers are inside the mall it is your responsibility to entice them to visit your store so your sales representatives can convince them to buy your products.

Now substitute the Internet for the mall and your website for your retail store. Your visibility on the Internet (mall) determines the amount of traffic that visits your website (store). Your conversion rate determines the ultimate success of your store or website - that is, converting visitors into leads, leads into prospects (mutual interest has been created), and prospects into revenue-producing customers.

Digital marketing is your fastest, easiest, least expensive way to build visibility for your firm and leads for your advisors. Leasing space in a mall will not get the job done. The financial advisor equivalent is leasing an office. It still needs visibility and traffic to be successful.


The Cost of the Store

If you were a retail merchant you would more than likely spend a lot of money building, staffing, furnishing, stocking, and maintaining a retail store. You have thousands of dollars of fixed costs per month before anyone has bought any of your products.

There is a less expensive alternative when your store is a website and the Internet is your mall. This alternative is a retail killer when customers can place orders and receive the product the same or the next day. Just ask the mall merchants how Amazon has impacted their businesses. And, it is just beginning.

It is much less expensive to build a new website than it is to open a new store or if you are a financial advisor, a business office that potential clients can visit.   


The Cost of the Traffic

The cost of the store (dollars per square foot) is only half the battle. What if no one visits your store or they are in and out, like web surfers, without buying anything. You can have a lot of fixed costs and no return on investment. This can be a very frustrating experience unless you decide to spend even more money on paid advertising campaigns to produce additional traffic.

The same is true for digital marketing. The right financial advisor website is critical, but websites do not produce their own traffic. The real work is two-fold. You need traffic for your new website, but perhaps even more important, you need the right types of traffic. 

That would be people who need your services and can afford to pay for them. This is dicier than it sounds based on your minimum asset requirement and your preferred types of clients.

But, you can thrive on the Internet when you use target marketing to produce the right types of traffic.                                    


The Quick-Start Solution

It stands to reason that it takes time to build your visibility on the Internet. In particular when you are starting from ground zero with a new name, website, and URL.

Taking your digital marketing budget into consideration, the sooner you start building visibility on the Internet the sooner you will start increasing the traffic on your new website. 

You should see some short-term impact due to Local SEO. Content marketing and social media will start having a bigger impact a few months later. Some current visibility can accelerate your movement along this curve.

You may even want to consider committing additional marketing dollars to this endeavor to expedite the process.  Sure you can go slow, but that reduces your results and extends your timelines. The more you commit to digital marketing the better your immediate results will be.


Late Adopters

You may be concerned that too many financial advisors already have great websites and substantial online visibility. These are the early adopters that jumped on the digital marketing bandwagon quite a while ago. Some have actually become very skilled at using the Internet to produce high-quality leads for their firms.

It is too late to be considered an early adopter in most markets - that ship has sailed. But, it is not too late to have a custom, lead generation website built for you. Then you can focus on building Internet visibility that will drive the right types of traffic to your website. 

There are thousands of keyword combinations that can produce this type of traffic. So it is never too late to begin building a strong digital marketing presence. The key to success is doing it the right way so your odds of success are higher.


Digital Marketing Commitment

It also stands to reason that bigger firms have the capacity to spend more dollars on digital marketing. Some of them are also brand names. Smaller firms have to be more conservative, but if they want to grow they have to make some level of commitment to marketing.

Why you may ask? Without a doubt, the single biggest challenge most financial firms face is the production of enough quality leads each month. 

They can choose to go backward and use Outbound Marketing tactics, for example, cold calling to produce leads or they can embrace the future and use Inbound Marketing. What’s the difference? 

Outbound means advisors initiate content with investors - an invasive form of marketing. Inbound means investors initiate contact with financial advisors. The Internet makes this possible and it is the way most people search for all types of professionals (CPAs, attorneys, financial advisors).

Digital marketing is a logical choice because it represents the future for marketing financial advice and services. And, it is never too late. You just have to be prepared to do it right based on Google’s standards.



At the end of the day you need a combination of digital marketing solutions:

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