Marketing for financial advisors can often feel like a “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” process. On top of that, what works one day might not work the next.
There’s no way around it: Marketing is hard for advisors.
As a result, advisors often spend more money and time than needed on finding new clients. That’s why we decided to put this list together of the top five marketing tactics for financial advisors.
What Makes a Marketing Tactic Successful?
When comparing the best marketing tactics, we must first consider what constitutes a successful approach.
Pretty much any marketing strategy can bring you leads—but the good ones bring you qualified leads. What good is a truckload full of people’s contact information if none of them want to work with you? Or if you don’t want to work with them?
The best marketing strategies (and really the only ones worth investing in) will bring you leads that fit within your ideal client persona in terms of investable assets, occupation, stage in life, etc.
Onboarding a new client can easily take a couple months with all the meetings, signatures and account transfers involved. Add to that the time and money you spend turning prospects into leads into clients, and you could quickly end up with a client acquisition cost that leaves you in the hole for a few years.
The best marketing tactics help keep your acquisition costs low when it comes to money, time and energy spent by your team.
Top marketing strategies for financial advisors fit neatly into your existing funnel so you can easily transition a marketing qualified lead into a sales qualified lead and beyond. The best tactics are narrow in scope, feeding you leads that are ready to go.
Now that we’ve established what makes a marketing tactic great, let’s look at the top five marketing tactics financial advisors can use to find qualified leads at a manageable cost.
Not to toot our own horn, but we like to think that our new financial planning app Lasso is in a category all its own when it comes to advisor marketing.
Don’t get us wrong—there are also plenty of quality marketing tools out there for advisors.
But none like Lasso.
Lasso is a financial planning app that allows investors to build quick and easy financial plans based on their goals. After choosing a goal, they input how much money they’ll need to save, how much they have, and their timeline for completing the goal.
After that, they have the option to share their rudimentary plan with advisors in the app. The advisor then builds a simple proposal in the app and submits it back to the investor for review. If the investor likes what they see, they accept and you take it from there!
You can’t get much more qualified than that. You as the advisor get to review the investor’s goals and financial situation before you even talk to them! If they don’t seem like a good fit, you’re under no obligation to submit a proposal.
On top of that, you can use Lasso to re-engage cold leads.
And the best part of all is that it’s 100% free for both advisors and investors. Lasso is entirely paid for by fund managers that use the platform, so you don’t have to spend a dime.
2. Client Referrals
Word-of-mouth is the oldest marketing tactic out there for a reason: it works.
Client referrals have consistently been shown to be a solid source of new business. According to Michael Kitces, referrals from existing clients generate 19 times more revenue than it costs to acquire them.
Angie Herbers says you should shoot for an annual client referral rate of 40%—meaning if you have 100 clients, 40 of them should refer you new business every year. That sounds too good to be true, but it’s possible.
How can you do it? Provide an unforgettable client experience and let your existing clients know that you’re growing. As Herbers says, don’t just come out and ask for referrals.
“Part of the reason clients often don’t offer referrals is because they don’t know whether or not you can take on more clients,” she says. “In your annual meetings, stress how much you appreciate your clients—and also let them know you’re growing.”
3. Email Marketing
You may have heard: Google is getting rid of third-party cookies. If you know what that means, then you know it’s cause for concern when it comes to your marketing. If you don’t know, here’s the basic situation:
Cookies are how marketers and advertisers track user data on the web, allowing them to serve targeted ads and custom messaging to catch your attention. Cookies are the reason you see ads for shoes for weeks after buying a new pair of tennis shoes.
In the interest of privacy, Google is killing the cookie, which will make it harder to pinpoint your advertising dollars on the right audience.
Enter the undisputed all-time king of digital content marketing: email.
With the disappearance of third-party cookies, first-party data is more important than ever, and the best first-party communication method you have is the oldest trick in the (digital) book.
Sure, email is old and can be very poorly done, but you can’t argue with the facts.
- On average, every dollar spent on email marketing brings a return of $42
- 78% of marketers say they’ve seen an increase in email engagement during the pandemic
- Consumers are far more likely to engage with a company’s email than social media
Well-written, engaging emails are by far the best digital way to nurture relationships and stay front of mind with your prospects.
4. Blogging Frequently
Marketing requires a multi-pronged approach, and one strategy that you can’t afford to ignore is getting your website to appear higher in search results.
The algorithms used by search engines are mysterious and constantly changing, but one clear factor they use is how frequently your site is updated.
Blogging regularly keeps your website fresh when search-engine spiders come crawling. Not only that, but publishing often will help build an audience and increase pageviews—two more factors search engines love. Another plus? Companies that blog get 97% more links to their site than those that don’t, and you better believe backlinks are important for SEO.
Building a list of engaged readers who regularly turn to you as a trusted source of information is considered by many to be the Holy Grail of advisor marketing. There are multiple ways you can add new contacts to your list, and they all fit together nicely:
Ebooks – Publish ebooks that your clients would care about, and you’ll find that you attract the kind of prospects you want. Topics can be anything from Social Security to retirement income planning to estate planning—anything that resonates with your target audience.
Webinars – Take your ebooks and produce webinars on the same topics. You’ve already done the research, which will make producing a webinar that much easier.
Pop-ups – One of the easiest ways to add people to your list is to add a pop-up to your website. It could ask them to subscribe to your newsletter or download a resource or anything you want.
Ultimately, the best marketing tactic is what works for you, and there’s no better way to find that out than to get out there and start trying them out!