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Financial Advisors Use the Internet to Market Themselves as Investment Experts

Most financial advisor marketing does not include marketable track records for two reasons. First, producing an audited, GIPS-compliant track record for all of the advisors’ clients is a daunting and expensive process. Second, the typical financial advisor has a wide range of clients, based on ages, risk tolerances, circumstances, and goals. Therefore, the financial advisor doesn’t manage one portfolio like a mutual fund, the advisor is managing several portfolios, which contributes to the high cost and complexity of producing a compliance-approved track record.

The lack of track records makes marketing investment advice a conceptual sale – the most difficult type of sale. Investors must accept there is no proof for the investment expertise claims of financial advisors. In fact, they all claim to be experts, whether it is true or not. This makes trust a key component of every financial advisor sale. Investors have to believe what financial advisors are telling them when they are in marketing mode.

How can advisors use the Internet and other tactics to make credible claims for their financial expertise? We are going to explore several digital marketing tactics that will accomplish this extremely important goal.

In all cases, financial advisors should check with their compliance departments before using any of these marketing tactics. There is a good chance compliance officers will require fairly thorough disclaimers when you use these tactics. It is always better to be safe than sorry when faced with a substantial fine for publishing misleading information.


Who Are The Real Experts?

It stands to reason all financial advisors claim to be trustworthy financial experts when they market their services to investors. For purposes of discussion let’s assume their claims are true – all financial advisors are experts. Unfortunately, investors still have to pick one, so they are still in the position of having to determine who is the best of the best.

And, since all financial advisors are not created equal, investors are still confronted with the task of selecting the best advisor based on criteria that varies by the financial advisor.

Therefore, it stands to reason, the financial advisors with the most effective strategies for marketing their expertise have a serious competitive advantage. But, how do they do that and still play by industry rules?

The answer is the Internet and the information financial advisors make available on the Internet. 


Write Blog Articles

Who writes articles? Financial experts write articles.

What do investors see when they input financial advisor names in a search engine? Ideally, they will see a number of high-quality articles that have been authored by firms, professionals, and/or ghost-written for you. And there should be a certain amount of consistency to the flow of new articles, which will improve the visibility of financial advisor content on the major search engines. Google rewards consistency – if it is high quality.

The topics of the articles should be focused on the financial interests of financial advisors’ ideal types of clients. Even better, the topics describe major financial pain points of investors and provide information about potential solutions without giving actual investment advice. 

Downloading content from libraries is a waste of time and money. Google only gives SEO credit to original content that is at least 1,000 words in length and is open and read by investors. There is no SEO value when content is downloaded by hundreds or thousands of financial advisors.

Don’t have time to write content? Consider using the services of a digital marketing agency that has experience in the financial service industry.


Produce Social Media Posts

Financial advisors should also consider using social media to expand the visibility of their content. They should also use social media posts to promote curated content that is written by influencers who produce relevant content.


Write Pillar Pages

Pillar pages will also increase the visibility of financial advisor content. This is a Google convention that establishes financial advisor authority for various topics. For example, a financial advisor is an expert on topics that impact pre-retirees or more specifically baby boomers who are close to retirement.

Google search “ How do pillar pages impact SEO?” to learn more about them.

Financial advisor blog articles should be connected to pillar pages for maximum visibility. 


Recommend Online Reviews

Happy clients are inclined to leave positive reviews because they want to help the firms they like add new clients. The opposite is also true. Unhappy clients are inclined to leave negative reviews, in particular when they feel the advisor’s advice has damaged their financial interests. There is also a good chance most clients are relatively passive. They do not post positive or negative reviews because the reviews do not benefit them.

If advisors are going to encourage current clients to post reviews, then this email should go out to all of the advisors’ clients. The email should not be limited to the advisors’ best clients, which would be a major disclosure item.


Encourage Website Testimonials

The SEC is finally joining the 21st Century by updating its rules in regard to reviews and testimonials.

All financial advisors, firms and professionals, should consider using testimonials on their websites. Only happy clients will agree to provide positive testimonials and financial advisors will want to publish those positive testimonials on their websites. Visitors expect to see positive testimonials because financial advisors control them. But, they still have value. In fact, reading positive testimonials and reviews may be the tipping point investors need to initiate contact. Positive testimonials are much more powerful than no testimonials.

This is a definite compliance issue. Advisors will need disclaimers that say the investment experiences of clients who provide testimonials and those who do not provide testimonials may not be the same. They may be higher or lower.


Ask for References

Financial advisors have used references since they began selling financial advice, services, and products. When new prospects ask for references, it is very difficult to say you do not have anyone they can talk to. It is much safer to have three current clients that prospects can talk to.

Everyone knows financial advisors will not knowingly provide a bad reference. On the other hand, many investors feel more comfortable selecting advisors after checking their references. In this case, positive feedback may be their final tipping point.

A word of caution. It is stepping over the line to coach references to make particular comments. References should be free to make comments that are based on their personal experiences with financial advisors.

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