Top 10 proven marketing tips for financial advisors
We break down the basics of successfully marketing your financial advisory firm and the best practices for attracting the right potential clients.
August 05 · 8 min read
As a financial advisor, you already know the importance of having a solid client base and a steady stream of qualified leads waiting to be converted. This has been the case since financial services became a thing. And while the goal has not changed, the method of achieving it has continued to evolve through the years. And that’s why succeeding in the financial industry means knowing how to stay up to date with your marketing strategies.
That’s essentially what this quick guide is all about. We break down the basics of successfully marketing your financial advisory firm and the best practices for attracting the right potential clients. Let’s get to it.
Digital marketing for financial advisors
The first thing you should know is that digital marketing for financial advisors is generally harder than most other types of service-based businesses. You’d be surprised at how many financial professionals are frustrated with their marketing efforts and even feel bad because they think they’re not doing enough to bring in new clients. If you find yourself in this boat, know that you’re not alone.
Marketing challenges facing financial advisors
One of the main challenges is the fact that financial services are simply not so easy to market. You’re selling a service that people only purchase a few times in their lifetime. And this type of decision is more important than choosing a lawyer or a family doctor. As a financial advisor, you’re asking people to open up to you about their biggest financial goals in life, how much debt they have, how much money they’ve saved, the value of their investments — some people don’t even tell their spouse this type of information.
And so, choosing a financial advisor is more than a logical decision. It also comes down to emotional conviction, which is more difficult for people to see through. As such, it’s important to have a marketing strategy that supports this very crucial consideration.
Another reason is that the consumer landscape is changing. The boomer generation that previously made up the bulk of the target market for financial advisory firms is gradually ceding the way for Millennials and Gen X consumers.
These generations interact with brands differently. For them, it’s not just about seeing your website or social media page online. They favor meaningful connections over flashy ads and fluffed-up marketing pieces. They want to buy products and services from brands that share their core values. Unfortunately, not many companies have been able to make the switch and therefore struggle to attract prospective clients.
How much time should you spend on financial advisor marketing?
The amount of time that you should spend on financial advisor marketing should be proportional to how long your firm has been in business. Here’s a quick breakdown
0-3 Years — 75%
If you’re just starting out or your financial advisory firm is less than three years old, you’ll need to spend around 75% of your time on marketing. The reason for this is simple — no one knows your brand yet, so you must focus your time on improving brand awareness and new client acquisitions.
4-5 Years — 50%
If your firm has survived this long, then it’s likely because you have a solid client base bringing in steady incomes. That’s definitely a good thing, but keep in mind that the financial industry is constantly changing, and your marketing efforts need to adapt accordingly. So spending around 50% of your time on financial advisor marketing is definitely a good way to go.
6+ Years — 25%
Even if you have been in business for six years or more, you will still have to spend around 25% of your time doing digital marketing for your firm. You might not necessarily need new clients at this stage, but remember that you still need to maintain brand relevance, as well as your competitive edge. Plus, it never hurts to expand your client base since it translates to more revenue for your business.
Proven financial advisor marketing ideas
For most financial professionals, the marketing game plan is essentially turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Overnight, relationship marketing through one-on-one meetups and professional networking events vanished. Businesses that were able to modify their approach continued to enjoy marketing success, while the rest simply folded from the resulting fallout of the pandemic.
How did they go about it?
Let’s look at the top 10 marketing tactics that financial planners and advisors can utilize for their business in the new normal.
1. Embrace a true specialization
Today’s financial services consumers want to work with a specialist who understands their unique circumstances and can provide tailored solutions. It’s much easier to find your ideal client by marketing a specific niche. Remember that trying to please everybody usually results in nobody being delighted with your services. At best, your work will just be average with no distinct advantages compared to what your competitors offer. This makes it a hard sell in digital marketing. Specialization allows you to deliver your best work.
Do you work more with retirees, executives, or small business owners? Do you specialize in a specific area of finance such as wealth management or estate planning? Then your marketing efforts should be directed to these areas and target audience. Develop a unique value proposition and highlight what advantages potential clients stand to gain from doing business with you.
If you don’t have a particular area of specialization, give prospective clients a reason to choose you. For instance, if you’re a certified financial planner (CFP) or have any other relevant qualifications, outline them in your marketing materials so people can easily see what value you’re bringing.
2. Make sure your financial advisor website is up to task
Today, making a solid first impression with new prospects means having an awesome website. The general expectation is that a finance professional will have an organized, well-designed website. After all, your business revolves around money. It should therefore be evident on the look and functionality of your financial advisor website.
A professional website is a must-have in any successful digital marketing strategy. It is the first place prospective clients will look when they’re interested in your financial services. It’s also important for establishing your credentials as a financial expert.
Beyond making a strong first impression about your financial advisory firm, your website is also a powerful lead-generation tool. As such, it shouldn’t just inform visitors about what you do but also prompt them to take action, whether it’s calling your office landline, filling out a contact form, or scheduling an appointment.
Hire a web design agency if you must and make sure your website is fast, informative, and mobile responsive.
3. Double down on your content marketing
Have you heard the saying,” if you don’t have the content, you don’t have anything at all”? Behind every sound marketing plan is a well-crafted content marketing strategy. It is the backbone of pretty much all your inbound marketing efforts.
Think about it — your website needs content; your social media pages need content; your ad campaigns need content; your marketing emails need content… everything digital marketing revolves around showcasing the right content in front of the right target client.
There’s no shortage of areas in which you can utilize content marketing for your business. From blogs and guest posts to whitepapers and case studies, even to infographics and video content. The more relevant content you publish, the more your credibility as a financial professional grows. And you need this credibility because it is what will prompt people to take that all-important step to become clients.
You don’t have to do it all at once. Instead, focus on a particular channel and double down on it until you become a household name. For example, you could create explainer videos about complex financial concepts and post them on Youtube so people can easily grasp them and understand why they need your services. Be consistent with your posts and grow your subscriber base. You could also contribute guest posts on relevant sites to build authority.
Ultimately, the goal is to be the go-to resource for your target market when it comes to matters relating to the kind of financial services that you offer.
4. Prioritize local SEO
Search engine optimization is definitely a big deal in financial advisor marketing. How else will people find your website and social media profiles? But beyond the usual SEO best practices, it’s important to pay close attention to local SEO for improved business development.
This is basically what establishes your financial advisory firm on the local scene. And if you can’t get people in your local community to be excited about your financial services, how much more people who live hundreds or thousands of miles away.
The quickest way to get started with local SEO is to create a Google My Business (GMB) profile. This will enable you to claim your local listing and the resulting benefits — prioritized results in local searches, pin location of your business address on Google Maps, snapshot information (business name, address, phone number, operating hours, etc.) on Google search results pages, and more.
Signing up on GMB and claiming your local business listing is free. And once completed, it can provide a significant advantage over your competitors who have been dominating the search engine rankings for ‘financial advisor’ keywords and other related terms.
5. Tap into the power of social media marketing
Social media presents a very effective way for financial advisors to connect with their target audience and build meaningful, lasting relationships. These channels are also great for promoting brand awareness, as well as for lead generation. There’s no scenario where social media isn’t useful to your financial advisor’s marketing strategy.
That being said, you have to be careful about compliance issues when creating social media marketing campaigns for your financial services. Even the content posted on your social media profiles needs to be compliant too. The financial industry is highly regulated, and whatever information you share must be in line with the guidelines set forth in the FINRA Regulatory Notice 10-06.
In terms of the ideal social media platforms for your marketing campaigns, Linkedin and Facebook remain the most popular options. Twitter and Quora are great options, too, since they allow you to share your expertise and value proposition to your target audience. But if you really want to stand out, consider video content and sharing. This is more engaging and, therefore, more likely to bring in new prospects for your business.
6. Invest in proper reputation management
As a financial planning professional, your primary goal should be to deliver the best possible services and insights to your clients. This is what builds your reputation. But the online space is often unpredictable, and sometimes your business reputation can suffer as a result. Sometimes, it doesn’t even take much to trigger a string of poor reviews about your service, and before you know it, your firm’s online reputation is down in the dumps. This is the last thing you want as a financial advisor.
That’s why proper reputation management is a must-have item in your financial services marketing arsenal. This involves constantly monitoring your business’s online reputation and dealing with any issues in a proactive manner. For instance, if you notice a bad online review about your services, respond to the person right away and address their concerns directly.
Also, encourage your clients to post their testimonials about the quality of your services. The more glowing testimonials you have, the better your online reputation will be. More importantly, these positive reviews can help offset any existing negative ones and improve your average star rating.
Lastly, never promise what you can’t deliver. When people engage the services of a financial advisor, they’re usually expecting quality returns. That doesn’t mean they should shoot themselves in the foot by promising unattainable returns. This is the surest way to earn scathing reviews. People don’t joke with their finances, after all.
7. Utilize online events to gain more exposure
Webinars, podcasts, and online workshops are great for improving your brand’s exposure to a predefined target market. You don’t even have to be the one to organize them. Simply attending these events and sharing your invaluable insights on various subject matters is a great way to make your name known.
However, be sure to actually contribute productively to the event. Don’t just attend for the primary aim of advertising your services. That’s a huge turn-off. In fact, as much as possible, don’t talk about your business. The people who are genuinely interested in your services will get in touch with you afterward.
8. Automate what you can
One of the best things about digital marketing is that you have access to various tools and platforms that allow you to automate your marketing efforts. Even better, they allow you to track the performance of your marketing campaigns so you can identify any areas that need tweaking.
If you’re doing marketing by yourself, consider going for a multi-faceted tool or platform, so you don’t end up wasting money on individual softwares. Some of the must-have tools include Buffer or Hootsuite for social media content syndication; B12 for web design and business management; Salesforce for customer relationship management; Mailchimp for email marketing, and so on.
If you’re doing financial advisor marketing through a digital marketing agency, make sure to go through the performance reports that they provide so you can stay up to date on how your lead generation and marketing efforts are going.
9. Understand your marketing goals and metrics
“When you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there” — Lewis Caroll
The same can be said for your financial advisor marketing plan. Yes, the main goal is client acquisition and retention, but there are several sub-goals that you must first attain before getting there. Knowing what metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track will go a long way in helping you make informed marketing decisions.
One of the best ways to do this is through a free online tool called Google Analytics. It provides in-depth information about your business website and visitor behavior. You can track important details like the basic demographics of online users, the device they used to access your website, what part of the world they’re accessing it from, what page they landed on, what page they exited on, how long they spent on the site, and so on.
10. Master the art of referral conversations
Referrals remain one of the most powerful lead generation tools available to financial advisors. Reach out to your existing clients and ask them to refer your services to their respective networks. If you’ve been providing top-notch services so far, they should be more than willing to oblige your request.
For some of your clients who have been with you a long time, you don’t even need a special time or place to bring up the conversation. You could simply ask them during your next meeting. No harm in trying, after all.
You can take it a step further by incentivizing referrals. Offer rewards to people who actually send potential clients your way. Whatever the reward, make sure it has real value. For example, a simple $50 gift card or a branded souvenir item will suffice. But make sure it provides actual value to the recipient. This might prompt them to send you even more new prospects. And all you spent was the amount expended on the reward, which you can easily work into your marketing budget.
The bottom line
Financial advisor marketing is unique and therefore requires a different approach than you would for other types of businesses. Even more so now in the new normal. Potential clients are more hesitant than ever to leave their money and financial future in the hands of just anyone. The key is to craft a holistic yet targeted marketing strategy that tells your story, builds trust among your target audience, and convinces them to take that step to work with you.
B12 can help you accomplish this.
We start with a powerful AI-built website to establish your online presence. Simply tell us what you need, and the AI will get to work building out your site while our professional web designers take care of the personalization. Your custom financial advisor website will be ready to launch in as little as one to two weeks.
The website will also include built-in business management tools like an online booking and scheduling tool and a state-of-the-art billing and invoicing system. Once that’s done, you can also take advantage of our digital marketing solutions, such as SEO, copywriting, blogging, and more. The B12 team works tirelessly to draw the right kind of attention to your financial advisory services.
Sign up on B12 now to get started with these must-have tools and features for your financial services business.