Via Seeking Alpha: Are There Proven Marketing Strategies For Financial Advisors?
The answer is a resounding “yes” depending on financial advisor’s ability to execute marketing strategies that are based on modern best practices.
Why best practices? In an intensely competitive world, success requires proven strategies that work.
Who Initiates Contact?
There are two strategies for initiating contact with investors: Outbound Marketing and Inbound Marketing. The tried and true method is Outbound that requires advisors to initiate contact with investors: telemarketing, direct mail, seminars, etc.
Inbound Marketing is just the opposite. Advisors use the internet to reach investors and motivate them to initiate the contact. This is a more complex form of marketing because investors have to contact you. Naturally, investors require exceptional reasons to give up their anonymity and submit their contact information.
Outbound Marketing relies on relationships and sales skills to win new business. Right or wrong it is a manipulative process when advisors use relationship skills to get investors to like them. They know consumers inherently trust people they like.
Inbound Marketing has a much bigger challenge. In general, trust has to be developed on advisor websites and on the internet when investors’ Google-search advisor names. The content and free offers on advisor websites have about three minutes to convey the right information and develop enough trust that investors will submit their contact information.
Advisors, who use Outbound Marketing Tactics, rely on their sales skills to market them as financial experts. And, because the sales process is largely verbal they have a certain amount of latitude to misrepresent and omit information because there is not a written record.
On the other hand, all of the information on financial advisor websites is documented so these aggressive advisor sales tactics do not work in the virtual world. Websites have to communicate clear, concise, accurate information that describes a competent, ethical financial firm.
Increasing numbers of advisors are going to have to specialize to be successful. It will take teams to convince investors they are experts in multiple disciplines.
For example, an advisor wants to control multiple revenue streams so he tries to convince investors that he is an expert in financial planning, investment advice, insurance recommendations and tax strategies. More astute investors do not believe one advisor is an expert in all of these fields. Credibility score is 0.
Another advisor represents a team of professionals who are experts in their respective fields. And, because they talk to each other, investors benefit from their coordinated advice and services. Credibility score is 10.
Credibility has always been a function of what you do and do not tell investors. The internet makes transparency even more important because advisors have one opportunity to convince investors they are credible and trustworthy.
In the future, every advisor will have to make critical decisions about the information that appears on their websites.
- Do they publish fee schedules or not?
- Do they publish minimum asset requirements of not?
- What information is published by smaller RIAs with limited staffs?
Most investors are not ready to make decisions when they are contacted by advisors using Outbound Marketing tactics – after all, the contact was the advisor’s idea.
The same may be true when advisors use Inbound Marketing tactics that help find, screen and contact financial advisors. Investors find them on the internet, visit their websites, view their content and download free offers.
Advisors need sophisticated drip systems that keep their names in front of prospects until they are ready to meet.
The best drip systems have content that targets the persona of the prospect. For example, the content that appeals to a millennial may not appeal to boomers. And content for boomers may not appeal to people in their late retirement years. The messaging in drip systems must be tailored to the interests of the prospects.
Proven marketing strategies for financial advisors that work include:
- Inbound marketing for internet visibility and website traffic
- Websites that convert traffic into qualified prospects
- Websites that establish trust in three minutes or less
- Websites that establish instant credibility
- Websites that practice transparency
- Sophisticated follow-up tailored to the needs of prospects