Financial advisors get into the business to try to help their clients, not to become marketers. And yet marketing is essential to their business. A lack of communication is a top reason clients cite for leaving their advisors. Consistent marketing builds trust and makes clients feel valuable. A marketing strategy that reaches out to current and potential clients regularly is a critical competitive advantage.
A 2019 survey found that strong communication between advisors and clients is key for retention. Eighty-five percent of respondents said that communication style would be considered when deciding to retain their advisors, and even more, 88 percent, said communication would impact whether or not they would refer the advisor’s services to someone else.
Trying to piece together a marketing platform using disparate technology solutions, such as Mailchimp for email and WIX for websites, is a fragmented approach and often more costly. A more likely path for a financial professional, or any small business owner who isn’t an expert marketer is to choose a platform that offers website capabilities, a range of communication tools and content to fuel custom or automated marketing campaigns.
There is no shame in admitting that you’re no expert at social media, don’t have the time to write and send email newsletters regularly, can’t build a website from scratch, and can’t find the time to develop content while running your actual business. A technology partner can take the guesswork out of marketing, start you off with regular content to ensure constant, compliant client communication, and give you insights to initiate the right marketing campaigns to meet specific business goals.
What to look for in a marketing provider
When shopping for a technology partner to help with your marketing efforts, look for an all-in-one solution that is easy to use, comprehensive, scalable and enables multi-touch, multi-channel communication with leads and clients.
The right marketing partner will enable you to communicate via email, your website, and social media, and give you the ability to create and promote virtual and in-person events for clients. The right partner will use content to make sure leads find your website, and once there, allow you to nurture and convert these new leads into clients. A marketing technology partner also allows financial advisors to meet people where they are––text, phone, email––and manages the process. The idea is for the vendor to help automate redundant tasks, save you take and free up your time to focus on building wealth for clients.
How marketing brings in leads
Good marketing is proven to bring in leads, and content marketing has been shown to drive engagement and lead generation. A recent study shows that 72 percent of marketers report content marketing increases engagement and an equal amount say it has increased the number of leads.
There are three categories for the types of content that is key to attracting leads:
- Canned content on relevant topics
- Curated content through interaction
- Personal content so a client gets to know their financial advisor
All of these content types, taken together, help your audience build their trust in you and your business, but canned content gets an undeserved bad reputation. “Canned” content includes articles that are well researched and professionally written to ensure a standard of quality, relevance, and regulatory compliance. In some cases, it’s even passed FINRA review. While other financial professionals may also have access to this content, it’s highly unlikely that others will match your exact mix of content with your target audience in your geographic area. With the ability for canned content to help attract new leads to your business, why deny yourself access to this valuable resource?
Curated content are articles published by trusted third-party sources, such as those from the Wall Street Journal or USA Today, that are carefully selected for your client base. Curated content can show that you’re aware of events and trends that impact your clients, and provide an opportunity for you to provide commentary that highlights your knowledge and expertise.
Personal content is often about the advisors themselves. What are you passionate about? What causes do you champion? Are there any personal milestones that your clients could relate to? Sharing these glimpses into your personal life can go a long way with helping clients/leads relate to you and build trust even before they meet you in real life.
How you know it’s working
Many advisors underestimate the power of marketing because they fear they won’t see results, but with the right investments, marketing is proven to grow engagement and sales. If prospects are engaging with, responding to, liking, sharing or taking action based on what you send them––your marketing is working.
While potential clients may silently follow you for months before reaching out, they often end up going with an advisor because of some piece of content shared that felt targeted to them. People seeking financial guidance want to know that the professional managing their money is trustworthy, knows what they are doing, and has experience managing situations just like theirs. Engaging with a marketing technology partner can help you showcase all of these attributes.
When you’re ready to move past DIY
A mix of the three kinds of content listed above, approved by compliance and successfully deployed in a range of marketing campaigns, spanning all channels to meet leads exactly where they prefer, is how modern advisors introduce themselves to future clients. If you’re working with a competent marketing partner, your business should grow. So, it’s also important to look for a solution that fits your needs now, and has room to grow with you as your business evolves.
Becoming an expert marketer isn’t what advisors want to be doing with their time, and technology frees them to do what they are most passionate about. The typical advisor spends as much time doing business development for new clients, as they do actually meeting with current clients. If you remove the marketing strain, you would have more time for current and prospective clients. After all, marketing solutions can save you time, drive efficiencies and eliminate necessary, but repetitive, tasks. It also allows you to segment your messages to better target client groups, and showcase areas clients can expand their work with you, leading to more business.
Scott White, CEO, FMG Suite, is passionate about the FMG Suite mission to help financial advisors and insurance agents. As a past attorney, Scott learned firsthand the difficult balancing act that most service professionals experience between servicing their clients, marketing and growing their businesses. Scott joined FMG Suite in January 2015. Prior to joining FMG Suite, Scott was a corporate attorney focused on private equity and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to practicing law, Scott was an Account Executive for The Dow Chemical Company.