The world of marketing has changed – that’s not a myth. And it’s technology that has driven a lot of the transformation. We can’t say it enough: Financial advisors can no longer rely on old-fashioned techniques like cold calls and mailers. Today, financial advisor marketing revolves around a good, interactive and lead-generating website.
Have you accepted the change?
Many advisors think they have – “I have a website.” But that’s not enough anymore. Simply having a website does not guarantee it will be found when potential clients go to search for advisors and financial services in their area. A financial advisor website should include local SEO strategies, attention-grabbing Calls to Action (CTAs) and compelling content that is updated on a regular basis.
Just having a website only means that your information is somewhere in cyberspace, like a static brochure that may or may not be read. Having a lead-generating site that actually attracts new business and sets you apart from your competitors gives you an actual chance at being found online and then researched by investors who want to work with you.
If the concept is overwhelming, remember, your competitors know what investors are looking for too, and it’s a safe bet that they have updated their marketing strategy. There are companies that can help bring you into the modern world of marketing. Don’t drag your feet.
Many established advisors believe they don’t need to change – “The way I do things has worked in the past, so if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” The catch, however, is that the way investors find advisors has changed, putting a snag in that old process.
Below are 10 common financial advisor marketing myths. If you believe one to be true, it may be time to talk with a marketing specialist and up your game.
MYTH #1: I DON’T NEED TO CHANGE. IT WORKED FOR MY FATHER AND IT WILL WORK FOR ME.
This is a dangerous rumor. While your parents may have run a successful business for years, this is not that same world anymore. Even just 10 years ago, the Internet was not as prolific as it is today. Smartphones didn’t have the capabilities they do today. The Internet is literally at investors’ fingertips at all times. Why would a potential client want to be disturbed at dinner time with a cold call anymore? Investors are taking control of the advisor-investor relationship and they are using the Internet to find, research and select a financial advisor without giving up their anonymity until they’re ready.
Truth: Advisors need to have a strong and effective web presence if they want to attract new clients. The Internet has changed the game.
MYTH #2: I DON’T NEED MORE LEADS. I’M FINE WITH MY CURRENT CLIENTS AND RELY ON WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING.
This is another dangerous conviction, because it’s simply not true if an advisor wants to grow – or just maintain – his or her business.
The truth is, some clients will move. Some will divorce and need to change their advisor. Some will pass away. What will happen to your practice if a client leaves? What will happen if you lose that referral?
Truth: A strong Internet presence can attract leads for years to come, with no real work from the advisor until a lead makes contact.
MYTH #3: IF I’M GOING TO JUMP INTO THE MARKETING GAME, A BIG NAME, GENERALIST MARKETING FIRM WILL BE BEST.
This can be an expensive mistake. And the opposite may be true. A big name marketing firm may work for large, well-known companies, but does the firm work with financial advisors? If not, these experts may know how to sell a car, a soda or a new gadget, but do they understand the importance of hiring the right advisor, the terminology you and your clients use and what establishes an advisor as an expert.
Truth: The financial services industry requires a more specialized body of knowledge, and a small, financially focused marketing firm may be able to do more for an advisor.
MYTH #4: I’LL JUST DO MY MARKETING MYSELF. IT’LL BE EASY.
This too can be an expensive mistake! Even if you are well-adept at writing and have a good idea of how you want to market your business, proper marketing takes time. And time costs money. Especially for a financial advisor.
Truth: Spending time writing content and updating your online listings to ensure all is up-to-date may not be the best way to spend your energy. Let the professionals handle your marketing, so you can focus on what an advisor does best: Investing.
MYTH #5: I’LL JUST REPOST ARTICLES. CONTENT DOESN’T NEED TO BE ORIGINAL.
While reposting articles can be a good tactic, it shouldn’t be an advisor’s only way of producing content. Google gives higher rankings to content it finds original. Google uses complicated algorithms that can spot an original piece of content from a fake and will rank it as so.
Truth: By simply reposting, you’re actually giving someone else the credit. Establishing yourself as an industry expert requires original, well-read content.
MYTH #6: SOCIAL MEDIA IS JUST FOR MILLENNIALS. I TARGET AN OLDER GENERATION, SO I DON’T NEED A SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE.
This statement is simply not true. More and more adults are using social media to research financial advisors, and more commonly, to read reviews and comments about firms. Social media is a marketing platform that should no longer be ignored. And more times than not, these opportunities are free!
Truth: Don’t ignore social media. It plays a powerful role in today’s financial advisor marketing strategies.
MYTH #7: MARKETING IS TOO EXPENSIVE.
While hiring a marketing firm isn’t inexpensive, establishing a strong online presence can pay for itself in just the first year.
Truth: Building a strong online presence shouldn’t be considered a cost at all, but rather the biggest investment you will make in your business.
MYTH #8: I CAN CREATE A SIMPLE WEBSITE AND BE DONE.
This is a route that some financial advisors choose to take, but we have seen many advisors realize that the strategy doesn’t work very well, and they often end up spending more money to upgrade their website in the long-run. Using a template-based approach to creating a website may not offer analytics and follow-up to review what’s working – and what’s not. Templates also don’t ensure your information stays correct, and incorrect information on the Web is one of the worst things you can do for your business.
Truth: Do it right the first time and spend the money necessary to get you established online.
MYTH #9: INVESTORS HAVE MY NUMBER, SO THEY CAN CALL WITH QUESTIONS.
People don’t want to do this anymore. Calling means investors have to give up their anonymity before they’re ready. Even sending an email requires an email address before an investor has done their research and knows whether it’s a good fit. This makes many investors very uncomfortable.
Truth: Investors are turning to the Internet to research advisors before making contact. Successful financial advisors need to ensure they’re established where their clients are looking for them.
MYTH #10: MARKETING ISN’T VALUABLE.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, especially as more and more investors turn to the Internet to find, research and eventually hire a financial advisor.
Truth: Proper financial advisor marketing may actually be the best investment you will make in your business.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.