Running a financial advisory firm is hard. In the early years, it’s a hustle to find clients and pay the bills. Five to seven years into the practice, there are workflows to optimize, staff to hire and train, and a full book of business to manage. Life gets busy.
Which is why so few advisors go the extra mile and create a marketing strategy. According to Pershing, only 30% of all advisors have a formal marketing plan.
The remaining 70% must believe that “hustling” is their marketing plan.
That is a big mistake. Those who fail to invest in an advisor marketing plan might save some time on the front end — but they hurt their practices in the long run. There’s the stress of not knowing where your next client will come from. There are periods of “feast or famine”, when the office is either dead — or swamped with urgent work. Finally, without an overarching plan, it’s impossible to be sure that your professional practice will be intentional and ideal for you as the advisor.
Why don’t more advisors have a marketing strategy? Many of them find the task daunting. Some don’t know where to start.
Here’s a simple blueprint that will demystify the process and put you back in the driver’s seat.
An ideal client could be an actual client who you have in your practice today, someone you wish you could clone and have ten more of. Or perhaps you don’t have any “ideal clients” in your practice yet. Either way, it’s important to be clear on who you want to serve.
There’s a lot of talk in the industry about choosing a niche, yet many advisors get it wrong.
Their mistake is thinking about an ideal client as a mythical unicorn. They treat it as a theoretical exercise. As a result, their marketing messages fail to resonate with real people in the real world. Here are some suggestions for helping your ideal client take physical shape.
There is no one-size-fits-all financial advisor marketing plan. Whatever advice you find online or in a book must be tailored to fit your practice, your plan for growth, the type of clients you serve, etc. However, there are three ideas that will help any marketing plan.
Finally, translate your marketing strategy into a concrete set of action steps. This is a critical step that many advisors miss!
Everything you do in marketing should help you hit two goals. First, showcase your expertise. Second, compel those who need it to reach out to you — and take action.
Remember that only a small percentage of your audience (1-2%) has a sense of urgency about needing their services at any given time. Your marketing should speak to that small group in a way that drives action. At the same time, it shouldn’t alienate the vast majority of your audience just because they aren’t in “active solution-seeking mode” right now. Nurture them and keep the connection open for when their need becomes urgent.
Here’s some more bite-sized advice on crafting your marketing messages.
Here are three key take-aways from our experience of helping 200+ financial advisors figure out their marketing strategy.
Do your research, but don’t get stuck there for days and weeks and months. There’s no such thing as a “perfect marketing plan” — the world changes too quickly for that. Get it to 80%. Translate it into concrete steps with dates and assigned responsibilities. Then, run with it. You can always course-correct in flight.
If you can use some advice on your advisor marketing plan, niche choice, or messaging, check out our Facebook group for even more tips and discussions on the topic!