Letting the world know that you exist somewhere out there can be a challenge if you’re a small business owner or run your practice with only a few team members, like most financial advisors do. However, that problem can be solved depending on how you approach your marketing strategy and efforts.

What if we were to tell you that the main reason you’re having trouble growing your business - through generating more leads - is lack of time? You may not even realize it, but that’s the bitter truth. This is a fundamental problem, and it’s got nothing to do with your business model or your niche or even the financial landscape.

This article is written with financial professionals in mind. Anyone running a small business in the financial services industry looking to grow their business will find several helpful tips here. (For more from Advisor Websites, see: 12 Web Design Words Financial Advisors Should Know.)

What Common Factors Contribute to Lack/Loss of Time for Advisors?

Lack of marketing know-how: We have been working with financial professionals for well over 15 years and in our experience, marketing has been a constant thorn on their side. The underlying issue is that when they think “marketing,” they imagine that if done right, they’d be dealing with more prospects than they can handle. That is vey optimistic, but not entirely incorrect. Yet, marketing is a full-time job, just like being a financial advisor, and it requires some serious investment to start delivering results.

So then, what happens when someone with no prior experience jumps on the marketing bandwagon and starts swinging ideas wildly with less-than-ideal execution? You guessed it - frustration due to bad results is what happens.

There is just so much to marketing, and a small business can’t handle everything while being occupied with their core business. So, you have to pick your battles wisely. Is it the coding or the web design you want to get done first? Or would you rather focus on content marketing? How about segmenting your target audience? 

Not enough resources: You’ve probably heard of the term ROI - return on investment. Investment - that’s the keyword here. You need to invest either time or money (often both) in order to see some kind of return. (For more from Advisor Websites, see: How to Turn Your Advisor Website Into a Remarkable Brand.)

Being a small team (or a one-man team like most advisors) limits your options when it comes to what’s doable and what isn’t. Can you afford to take four hours off your other tasks to write an article? Will you be comfortable with investing $5,000 for an SEO audit of your website? If you answered “no” to the above questions, then the resources at your disposal are possibly eating into your available time due to inefficient use.

Fear of the unknown: Everyone likes money (well, almost everyone). But how do you make more if there’s only one sure way that you know of and are comfortable with? You still can in theory, but wouldn’t you want to achieve your own financial independence as early as you can? Oh yes, you would! This gives you a reason to look into other options, but also instills fear because you don’t know what to do or how to do it.

It’s a vicious cycle - you don’t take the risk and stick to what you know, so you’re back where you started. In fact, you didn’t even move. Kudos to those who took the leap of faith, but what about the ones who didn’t or couldn’t afford to? They find themselves trying to figure things out, wasting valuable time that could’ve been used better elsewhere. After all, time is money, right?

Your Problem Is Lack of Time

If the above problems don’t apply to you, great. You don’t need to spend time reading the rest of the article. If they do, still great, since now you know what the real issue is. Managing time is not the challenge here, knowing how to spend it efficiently is.

Think of it like this - there’s a puzzle you have to put together, but you don’t know what it’s going to look like when completed, so you have no idea which piece goes where. You spend hours examining the pieces but you don’t make any progress, because it’s a mystery to you. Is it a painting? A map? A landscape? The same issue applies to your business, especially on the marketing side of things. To that end, we created a marketing self-assessment worksheet for financial advisors to help them visualize every single piece of the puzzle that is growing their business. By answering the correct questions, you’ll be able to pinpoint where the problem is and act on it.

Stay tuned for our next article, where we'll dive into some of the most common problems that lead to wasted time for financial advisors.

(For more from Advisor Websites, see: Fintech: What Advisors Can Expect in 2017.)

-This article was written by Lester Tiro and originally appeared on AdvisorWebsites.

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