How To Grow Your Financial Advisory Practice With Proven Marketing Techniques
Financial advisors face a variety of challenges in their daily practices.
They must assume different roles including asset manager, financial planner, psychologist and marketer in order to succeed.
And while most advisors can fill these roles successfully, one of the roles that is often the most unfamiliar and challenging is that of a marketer.
Here are some of the biggest challenges that advisors face today in their efforts to grow their business and promote their brand to the public with digital marketing.
Inbound and Outbound Marketing: Creating a Balanced Marketing Strategy
Both strategies serve a purpose and each works best in conjunction with the other.
Inbound marketing will improve the results of your outbound marketing tactics and outbound marketing will positively impact your inbound marketing.
Create a balanced marketing strategy that includes inbound and outbound marketing and you can get a better ROI for your marketing dollars, generate more leads, and increase your AUM.
Inbound Marketing is The Future
The financial advisor that does nothing but outbound marketing like cold calls, direct mail, and referral marketing will never be able to generate business without spending much of their time and effort.
But when you combine your inbound and outbound efforts, your outbound marketing will produce better results.
It’s an exciting time for inbound marketing, as content promotion and distribution are becoming more sophisticated and producing impressive results.
As the long-term effects of an inbound marketing strategy become more evident, it’s no wonder that financial advisors are focusing more on their inbound marketing than ever before.
The advancements in digital technology mean that more advisory firms can realize that all-important ROI with inbound marketing techniques.
There should be no doubt that an inbound marketing strategy, and the technology tools behind it, are a critical part of a successful marketing strategy. Here are just some of the inbound marketing tools you can use to grow your firm:
An inbound marketing strategy takes time to produce results, but the effort, and the wait, are worth it.
The key to driving business with inbound marketing is to spread your net wide, but target it to the right audience.
Not only will inbound marketing build your brand, it is significantly more cost effective.
But Outbound Marketing is Still Effective
The advisor that focuses solely on inbound marketing may not have the patience or the resources to wait for the long-term results.
That means you need to include outbound marketing because it is still effective for advisors and can provide more immediate results.
Outbound marketing can be defined as anything you send out directly to prospects to start them on the journey from prospect to client.
Think of it as ‘pushing’ your message out; trying to find people who are interested in your advisory firm’s services.
This can be in the form of mail, trade shows, email, cold calling and advertising.
There are limitations on the effectiveness of these traditional marketing efforts due to prospects’ limited patience and the ability to screen and block messaging.
For many advisors, there may be an assumption that direct mail is no longer effective, but it is.
If most people are spending their time online, wouldn’t it make sense to advertise there?
You may be thinking "Does anybody actually pay attention to advertising they receive in the mailbox these days?"
The answers are ‘yes,’ and ‘yes!’
How many emails and display ads do you see each day on the internet?
Studies show that over 269 billion emails are sent around the world each day and we encounter around 63 display ads daily as we browse.
On the other hand, the average person only receives around 2 pieces of mail each day.
Less mail to sort through means prospects are more likely to take the time to read your marketing piece.
When prospects give you their full attention, there’s a better chance they’ll take action.
Most unsolicited emails are deleted quickly, but that’s not the case with direct mail.
Get your message to the right prospect and your piece can easily outperform emails destined for the spam folder.
To succeed in growing your AUM, you need to get good at both inbound and outbound marketing.
You need to do the things that attract clients today and tomorrow.
Social Media Gives Financial Advisors a Platform for Creating Relationships
Financial advisors rely on statistics because their world is one based on numbers and facts.
The potential ROI of social media marketing for financial advisors includes convincing statistics that should make any advisor take notice.
According to Think Advisor, social media marketing is being used by most financial advisors, and the majority say it has improved relationships with clients and generated more leads.
86% of advisors who use social media reported gaining an average of $5 million in business.
There’s every sign that social media, and the marketing opportunities for the financial services industry, will continue to grow.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other popular social platforms have become the modern equivalent of the coveted “word of mouth” that traditional marketing has sought for generations.
When you place ads and content on these platforms as well as Google, YouTube, and others, you can reach your targeted audience where they spend most of their time.
“The power of social networking is such that the number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 3.02 billion monthly active social media users by 2021, around a third of Earth’s entire population.”
Your Social Media Strategy Should Focus on Your Audience
Prospects are looking for answers to their financial questions online, and you can use social media to answer those questions and more.
These prospects are also looking for a connection in addition to relevant information, and social media gives advisors the ability to achieve both.
Providing value is the key. Social media isn’t about asking for a prospect’s business—it’s about giving them relevant information through content and engagement.
In the financial services world, it’s critical to build confidence and establish authority before thinking about securing business.
It’s about being genuine and personable while discussing financial issues to create real connections.
Your prospects understand that financial advisors are a necessity for financial planning but they won’t be ready to engage and consider doing business until trust and credibility have been established.
Skip the traditionally aggressive marketing techniques and focus on your online presence to provide valuable, engaging content instead.
The most valuable content, strategies, and other marketing elements aren’t effective if they don’t reach the right audience.
Advisors must be able to target their most viable prospects to turn them into leads.
Advisors can discover these quality prospects by taking an objective look at what type of clients they can service most effectively.
The better you define your prospects, the better chance of providing the most relevant content for establishing your authority and credibility.
Social media marketing is effective not only because it reaches your audience where they spend their time but also because it is a social activity.
People like doing business with people they socialize with, even if it’s only in a digital world and the interaction is transaction-based.
Prospects must have trust in your expertise, but they also want to know your story and who you are.
Being “social” online can also mean becoming a part of the larger story. For financial advisors to be relevant to the right audience, they must share more than the typical press release or industry article.
Your advisory firm can really stand out and connect by using humor, sharing interesting or unusual information from the financial industry, and most importantly, expressing your unique brand and personality.
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Marketing Automation is the Key to Managing Your Marketing
“The wonderful thing about marketing automation is that once you create the initial content, you simply forget about it and let it work its magic. Emails automatically get sent to any prospects who sign up for your updates. Social media posts get published on a schedule. That means you get back to focusing on running your business like you should.”
From optimizing time spent on marketing to determining which clients and prospects should receive the most focus, financial advisors can realize much more than just automating repetitive tasks with marketing automation.
Automation software and systems can undoubtedly handle the often tedious marketing tasks, but the most valuable benefit lies in an automation tool’s ability to analyze, adapt, and make the most of your marketing dollars.
Automation Gives You More Time for The More Important
Advisors are busier than ever keeping up with industry trends and learning the best ways to reach more prospects and generate leads.
But you can often find yourself working on tasks that don’t have an immediate impact on revenue.
By leveraging marketing automation for your strategy, you can minimize that “busy work” and focus on the more important elements of financial services—like financial planning for clients and educating prospects.
The benefits of marketing automation solutions are hard to overstate. Tasks and projects that once took days now take hours, and what took hours, now takes minutes or less.
This decrease in time spent on marketing means you can spend more time improving your expertise, researching trends, and expanding your services for a more immediate impact on growing your AUM.
Automate to Save Time and Money and Create Better Relationships
One of the key benefits of a marketing automation system is not only more time to do the things you need to do, but also reduced labor costs.
Reducing labor costs means you can reduce your marketing budget without diminishing your returns and the savings can be invested in other areas.
Imagine enjoying better marketing results AND having more money to invest in a larger budget for expanding your services, hiring elite talent, or numerous other opportunities for increasing AUM.
Another cost savings inherent in effective automated marketing systems is that they simply make your marketing efforts more effective.
Through integrated analytics and other tools, marketing technology can help you identify opportunities, weed out poorly performing marketing elements, and focus on marketing efforts that perform well.
This analysis often leads to marketing avenues that might have otherwise gone unexplored, many of which could provide an even better marketing ROI.
One of the long-term benefits of a marketing automation system is its ability to build your financial advisory’s brand.
Brand position, the component that describes offerings and services and their intended audience, is critical for reaching the right prospects and building industry authority.
A marketing automation system is not only designed to ensure consistency but also to position your brand in front of more targeted prospects and clients.
Without automation, building your brand by capitalizing on most of the available marketing platforms would be difficult at best.
Automated marketing systems excel at creating engaging communication between your firm and your targeted audience.
From determining what content performs the best to analyzing an audience’s feedback, an automated marketing system can analyze this two-way communication and adjust to create stronger relationships.
Automated marketing is built for “listening” to consumers and adapting your marketing approach accordingly.
One of the less obvious benefits of a marketing automation system is the impact on communication between departments.
The common belief that marketing and sales can’t coexist comfortably is a prime example of how automation can help overcome traditional barriers.
Sales departments blame marketing departments for a lack of leads and marketing departments often feel that sales may not foster those hard-earned leads.
With a marketing automation solution, the increased odds of obtaining leads and creating more prospects will build a better relationship between these equally important departments.
How Do You Find the Time to Tap Into the Power of Digital Marketing?
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Managing your financial advisory practice takes up a lot of time. From nurturing prospects and clients to day-to-day operations, financial advisors can often be stretched too thin and unable to find the time to grow their AUM.
More than anything, managing your financial advisory services is about managing your time.
According to a Kitces study, when breaking down the tasks of where financial advisors spend their time, the biggest chunk is spent meeting with their current clients with an average of 8.8 hours per week.
A little over 5 hours is spent preparing for these meetings and almost 7 hours is spent working on the supporting financial planning, investment, and analysis to answer client questions.
Add 6 hours of follow-through tasks and the average advisor spends about 27 hours on these direct client activities.
The next most time-consuming domain for advisors is prospecting, which consumes about 9 hours per week: 5 hours of marketing and related business development and 4 hours meeting with your prospects.
From there, advisors spend almost 6 hours on investment-managed-related tasks like investment research, trading and implementation with clients, 4 hours on administrative tasks, 3 hours on professional development, and 5 hours on other management responsibilities.
The typical financial advisor spends as much time searching for the next new client as he does meeting with all their existing clients from week to week.
Every hour spent on digital marketing such as crafting emails, writing blog articles, reviewing your website and nurturing leads is an hour not spent doing the work that grows your business.
Your focus should be on producing revenue through product sales and financial strategies—you’re not a marketer, you’re a financial advisor.
Your skill-set is designed for creating wealth, not for creating marketing campaigns.
That’s why outsourcing your financial advisor marketing needs may be the next best step for growing your firm.
Finding more time to do the things you are uniquely qualified to do means having a digital marketing strategy that works for you—not the other way around.
For marketing solutions to help you overcome these challenges and to learn more about why a marketing consultant could be the answer for growing your AUM, check out 4 Marketing Funnels That Work Financial Advisors.