Many financial advisors come to me asking about what to prioritize in their marketing. They’ve usually been in business awhile, feel stuck at a certain level, or have bigger goals they want to achieve. No matter what direction we take, the financial advisor website is the first place I look before we starting working together. That’s because this foundational marketing elements tells me alot about where we need to begin.
When I coach advisors, we often embark on two parallel paths — (1) developing or strengthening foundational marketing assets and (2) crafting and sharing a compelling story for their ideal audience. Both require an understanding of who your high value hyper target is that you want to attract. Once we have that we can move forward productively.
The first path is an investment in “marketing assets” that may not provide return right away, but they serve to provide value over time. The second path is your momentum: the actions you take to grow your business that benefit from having a strong foundation. While I do not recommend that you wait to finish your foundation before you work to tell your story, this article will focus on those marketing assets that will provide return on investment: your website, your list, and your presence outside of your platform.
Financial Advisor website
Your website should demonstrate that you:
- Understand your audience’s needs and have a high value service, clearly articulated, that solves their problem(s) and helps them achieve their aspiration(s).
- Know hiring a financial advisor requires a vast amount of trust, so you offer no risk and low risk ways to engage and get to know you:
- Share educational content through videos, blog articles, or podcast episodes that require no information sharing. Display linkedin and other social media icons so they can follow or connect with you.
- Develop a relevant, hyper-targeted lead magnet that moves the visitor along in their engagement. Ask for a name and email address to add this person to your list. They will begin to get to know you through the email you share (see List below).
- Provide reinforcement of your credibility through: credentials, memberships, awards, and media mentions along with client testimonials and stories (compliance-approved, of course).
- Value their time. You describe a ‘right fit’ client, and make it obvious and easy to take the first step. Here’s a checklist of items I look for:
- A schedule button in the top right corner
- A call to action front and center on the home page (above the fold)
- A phone number that is easy to find
- A link to scheduling software (calendly, OnceHub, Acuity)
- Spelled out minimums (e.g. $1,000,000), service specifics (Must include portfolio management, we do not do hourly planning) on the scheduling or Contact Us page. If you want to reinforce this limit, add a required “I understand” checkbox.
- Share a “typical client” description(s) on your Service or About page or include case studies that depict common scenarios.
Check your website against this list. Are you making it easy for the right people to engage with you?
Your marketing list
What are you doing to create your marketing list? Are you adding prospects to the list? Where do you keep your client list? Usually financial advisors can quickly point to their CRM to identify where their client list lives and sometimes they have an accessible active prospect list, too. But are you building a lead list?
One of the most valuable assets you can create for your business is a list of people who may be interested in your service at some point in the future when they experience a trigger event that creates a sense of urgency. This database is a marketing asset to mine for years to come.
Ease into the relationship
While most advisors focus on the small percent of people who are ready to take action right now, the majority of visitors to your website are not yet ready to sign up for a free consultation. Most likely, they find you while browsing in between meetings or at lunch time, and they will move on with their day within minutes. How do you let the visitor introduce themselves in a low-risk way?
One of the most effective ways to capture the interest of people is to offer highly-targeted free content known as a lead magnet (e.g. a downloadable guide) in exchange for a name and email address. When hyper-focused, a lead magnet serves to screen in (or out) people for your list. Let the person ease into a relationship and get to know you through the email follow-up and content you send. This way, when they are ready, you’ll be top of mind, and they’ll reach out to you.
If you don’t yet have a clear way that someone can sign up for your marketing list in exchange for something valuable, then now is the time to add a lead magnet to your experience.
In addition to the lead magnet, You can also add people* to your list who:
- you meet in person, call you, email you, text you directly (psst, ask first),
- register for a webinar you host
- attend an event
- sign up for your newsletter or your blog updates (not very effective as your only list building tool, but helpful to have)
- schedule a consult (seems obvious, but many people fall off along the way in the lead-to-client-conversion cycle)
*Be sure to disclose this when they provide their personal information that you will be adding them to your list, and that they can easily unsubscribe (which is the case for any email management software you use, whether Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Active Campaign, or other communication tools).
Presence outside of your brand platform
Showing up in search can be one of the easiest ways to gain traffic to your website. There are a few boxes you need to check here to meet the foundational marketing requirements.
Claim or revisit your google business listing.
While it seems implausible that an advisor in this day and age does not have a google listing, I have worked with advisors who have overlooked this important marketing step. If it’s been awhile since you checked your listing, you may have room for improvement. Go to https://business.google.com/ and add images, posts (with CTAs!), or other improvements to make your listing stand out.
Be on Bing places for business, too
Once you have your Google listing all set, you can import the information from that listing into Bing places for business with a click of a button (and then a few more clicks). You can regularly sync your google listing with your Bing listing if you choose.
Focus your “find an advisor” listings
While you may be tempted to check all of the boxes for service you can provide or audiences you are able to serve on your “find an advisor” profile listings, you should reinforce the type of client you want to attract.This way you act in service of the visitor, and you decrease the number of “bad fit” prospects to your site.
For example, Jane Yoo, a Bay Area financial advisor who works with accomplished women in technology who are dealing with equity compensation, zeroes in on a “good fit” client in her listing for both XYPN (figure 1) and the Fee Only Network(figure 2).
You can imagine that a person who reads her listings will be able to determine right away if Jane may be able to help. And she doesn’t waste time talking with people who are not a fit.
Complete your Linkedin profile
Whether you include social media marketing in your plan or not, set up a Linkedin profile (here’s hoping you already have by now) and complete it. You’re a professional and this is a network where people can check you out in that capacity. If you want to build trust and come across as legit, you need to be on Linkedin so potential clients who research you find you. Even though you may never post to your profile (and I prefer you don’t if you aren’t going to make it hyper-targeted, insightful content) you do need to have one. Have a personal profile and a company page (with the personal one being more important).
A few basics for your Linkedin profile
When you click the pencil in the corner of your profile, Linkedin guides you through the set up process. In addition to the tips I include (figure 3) to boost your impact when someone discovers you, be sure to keep adding to fill out your full profile. For instance:
- Tailor the About section to speak to your ideal client.
- Give a description of your firm in the Experience section (and connect to your Company page).
- Link your former employers’ pages to your profile.
- Showcase your content in the Featured section.
Inspiration from marketing assets
When you can think of your financial advisor website, your marketing list, and your presence outside of your brand as marketing assets you may experience a surprise benefit: inspiration! Building these valuable foundational elements in alignment with your ideal audience. Leverage them over and over and you experience the return of your investment and effort. You’ll feel momentum in your marketing as you work the parallel path to attract in new clients.
Working alone to sure up these marketing assets can be overwhelming or just plain unappealing. For insight and advice on what to prioritize, schedule a consultation with me to learn how we can work together to strengthen your foundation.