You've probably been told that marketing is one of the top things you should focus on as a financial advisor. It's true, but that doesn't mean it's easy! The most important thing to remember is: don't worry about other people's goals. It's easy to get caught up in wanting to do more than what makes sense for your business, leading to feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with yourself when things don't go perfectly according to an unrealistic timeline or budget. Instead, set realistic goals for yourself—and then go out there and achieve them!
We will break down the most fundamental ways to start growing your business.
Focus on the process, not just the results.
The process is more important than the result. When it comes to achieving your goals, it's different from other types of work because there's no way of knowing if you'll succeed until the project is done. It can be discouraging and make you question whether or not it was worth it.
However, focusing on the daily habits that will take you toward your goal will help propel you forward and energize you for the long haul. By focusing on these small things every day, they become second nature over time, which leads to faster results overall!
Start a blog.
A blog is an excellent way to attract new clients and position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. It can serve as a valuable tool for attracting new business, too. Blogging helps attract potential clients by:
- Helping you stand out from competitors: A blog gives you a chance to establish yourself as an expert in your field, which will make it easier for customers to trust you with their finances. This can make it easier for people looking for financial advice or investment tips to find your business over others.
- Building credibility: Starting a blog shows that you're confident enough in what you do that other people will be interested in reading about it!
- Establishing yourself as an authority on the topics relevant to your target audience: The more interesting and informative content there is on the subject matter related to their needs right now--the more likely someone might want some help with those needs soon.
Create a calendar.
Planning is key to growing your business. If you don’t have a plan, it's easy to get side-tracked or distracted by other things. A marketing calendar will help you keep track of the activities that will grow your business and make sure you stay on track with what needs to happen when it comes time for those tasks.
Some ideas for creating a marketing calendar include:
- Creating a content calendar – where do you want/need content? What topics should this content cover? And when? Try to plan at least one blog post per week (more if possible), one YouTube video per month (more if possible), and consider doing an Instagram takeover or Facebook live event once every three months or so.
- Creating a social media posting schedule – how often do you want to be posting on each platform? Do these times align with when people check their social feeds during different parts of the day (for example, Facebook is most active between 9am-5pm while Twitter trends best during the early morning).
Ask for referrals.
Referrals are gold. While it's essential to ask for them and make sure they know you are looking for referrals, don't pressure anyone into giving a referral if they aren't ready or willing. If someone isn't interested in referring their friends or family members to you, respect that and move on. Many clients have taken B2B marketing consulting services from me because I was referred by another client first, so don't be afraid of asking for referrals!
If a prospect asks about our fee structure or what services we offer, we always let them know that we'd be happy to discuss options with them and can provide more information (in writing) at the time of inquiry. That does not require an immediate decision from our prospective clients, instead we want them just take home some information about what kind of services we offer so they can make an informed choice when ready later down the road.
Be an expert.
Identify what you do that makes you unique. If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that no two people are exactly alike. What makes your financial advice different than anyone else's? Write down how your approach differs from other advisors' and make sure they're integral to your business model—don't just add them because they sound good or seem like something people would want from their advisor.
To be authentic, consider sharing this information with clients when they first meet with you so that they have context for how and why their situations differ from others. You might even create a list of "myths" about the industry (i.e., "Financial advisory doesn't have to be so expensive") so that when someone brings them up during the conversation, you can explain why these ideas aren't accurate and demonstrate how you break free from these stereotypes.
Promote your practice.
Promote yourself and your services. This means advertising your business, marketing, networking, and getting yourself out there.
- Use social media: Social media has come a long way since its inception in the early 2000s—and it’s still growing. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to connect with current clients while also providing a platform where you can share information about events or promotions that may be of interest to others in your target market.
- Get active on professional associations: Another great way to promote yourself is by becoming involved in professional associations related to financial planning or wealth management. These organizations often host events where members can meet one another face-to-face (and learn new things), which can help foster relationships that may lead to referrals down the road!
Ultimately, marketing your business effectively is about understanding your target audience and finding relevant ways to engage with them. These five tips will help you understand your target audience, what they're looking for from an advisor, and how to be there for them when they need it most.