Finding new and better ways to connect with clients is always a good idea but it can be challenging. More opportunities to reach prospects are proving useful, especially thought leadership content and digital marketing.
We recently sat down with Taylor Schulte of Define Financial to learn about some of the core marketing strategies that have worked well for his team. Below, he explains how advisors can leverage certain tactical approaches to grow their practices.
Concentrate on a Targeted Strategy You Can Scale
One of the biggest issues advisors face when creating a marketing plan is trying to achieve all of their goals at once. While this may sound good in theory, it makes it hard to track what’s working, and what can be improved.
“I think a lot of advisors try to do too much all at once, and it’s just not possible to be successful with all of those things at the same time,” says Schulte. Social media is one example. While it may be tempting to create content for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram all at once, the reality is that each platform requires a different strategy and what works for one may not work for another.
Instead of trying to scale your efforts quickly, Schulte recommends taking a more narrow approach. “Focusing on one marketing activity that supports your marketing goals, and that speaks to your target demographic, is where most advisors should spend their time.”
So consider where your target audience spends its time online and establish a presence there. Dedicate more effort to growing your brand on that social media platform before you branch out to others.
Once you've accomplished that, think about whether you even need to use other social media to any substantial degree. Remember, you need to target not just your specific audience, but your time, effort, and money, as well. Therefore, give some thought to containing your focus to the platform(s) where your core audience predominantly exists. Then, scale your time and effort to other digital destinations as needed, as your audience expands.
Defining your target audience is critical to your marketing success since some marketing approaches and messaging could be more relevant for one demographic than for another (e.g., millennial prospects versus Gen Xers).
Play to Your Strengths When Developing Your Marketing Mix
Consider putting your money, time, and effort into what you enjoy doing. Your marketing efforts are more likely to be successful if they’re authentic to you and harness your existing strengths.
If you’re someone who enjoys writing, launching a blog can be a great way to showcase your expertise and highlight the things you want your readers to know.
Likewise, if you’re someone who enjoys sharing their ideas in a visual or audio format, creating videos or starting a podcast can be an effective way to grow your brand. “Once you’ve found a platform that comes naturally to you, you can start producing content on that platform, and then you can build a process to repurpose that content,” says Schulte. Repurposing content is a great way to get as much value from your marketing as possible.
As you continue to grow your practice, you’ll eventually be able to create a more robust marketing mix with efforts that work hand in hand. For Schulte and his team, this has happened gradually since Define Financial first launched in 2014.
“There are five to six things that we do really well, and they all work together in different ways. That’s what I think advisors should shoot for,” he explains.
Develop an Effective Call-to-Action
Once you’ve established your strategy, it’s important to ensure that you’re connecting with prospects who are interested in what you have to offer and want to learn more about you and your firm. The best way to do this is with a clear call-to-action (CTA).
To make a CTA as impactful as possible, Schulte recommends placing it in a prominent section of your website—such as your homepage—and making it easy for readers to take action. Also, stick with a single CTA. “If you have multiple CTAs, users can get paralyzed,” he says.
Ask yourself what you want them to do and how you can make that process easy for them. For example, if you’d like them to set up a consultation, your call-to-action should reflect this.
Why Do Financial Advisors Need Marketing?
Financial advisors need to engage in some form of marketing because most cannot get all the clients they need to prosper and grow from simply word of mouth and referrals. Marketing to your target investor can help you establish a relationship with that investor before you ever meet them. Smart, solid marketing helps you let investors know that you exist, how you can help them reach their goals, and the extent of your expertise and experience. Marketing can prime them to seek you out as their advisor.
How Do You Market A Financial Advisory Firm?
In a variety of ways. For example, with consistent, ongoing messaging presented on a social media platform. Or, with a blog that drives home the advantages your firm offers through the exceptionally useful content that you publish. Once you've gathered interest, you can host an online event. You can also market your firm in less obvious ways (e.g., by becoming a respected and well-known member of your community).
How Much Should My Marketing Budget Be?
Ballpark, consider allocating 5% to 10% of revenue to your marketing efforts. That includes spending on making your website as useful to prospects and clients (and, thus, valuable to you) as possible. Maximize the value of your marketing dollars as well through content marketing (e.g., email marketing, blogging). Advertising can also be a part of the mix but it can eat up spending so be sure the type you choose is affordable and fits your marketing objective.
The Bottom Line
Expanding your marketing efforts may feel challenging, but a targeted approach can focus your time and effort while maximizing your results. By narrowing your efforts and being strategic, you can more easily identify what’s working and build on that.