Most financial advisers and planners are small businesses, so you need to be smart with your marketing budget. You cannot do everything – and nor should you.
It’s crucial that you focus your time, investment and resources towards activities which will help you achieve your marketing goals (which will be different for everyone).
So, what are some strong ideas for marketing your financial planning business to new clients? In this article, we’ll be suggesting some to you whilst listing some pros and cons of each approach.
Please bear in mind that this article is for inspiration and information purpose only, and does not constitute our recommendation for your own personal marketing strategy. To discuss your marketing with a specialist here at MarketingAdviser, please get in touch via the contact forms to arrange a free, no-commitment consultation.
Marketing idea #1: Seminars
Some IFAs like to “get their foot in the door” with potential new clients, by demonstrating their knowledge and competence at a seminar about pensions, inheritance tax or other important areas of financial planning.
This can be a great way to establish trust with prospects, gather email addresses for later follow up, and arrange individual consultations with individual attendees.
The main challenges you will face with seminars, however, include booking an appropriate venue which is easy for people to get to; getting the word out about the event; and ensuring a decent rate of attendance (plenty of people might reserve, but you can bet many will cancel).
Marketing idea #2: Events
Running your own seminar is one option. However, another idea is to “piggyback” onto another local or industry event, possibly by setting up your own stall there.
This approach can be a powerful way to make connections with attendees and other stand-holders at the event or conference. Many IFAs are able to run short financial consultations with prospects at the stands themselves, for instance, to try and get more leads.
The difficulty with this approach lies in cost – getting a stall at events or trade shows like these does not typically come cheap. You also have the problem that everything is marketing to everybody, so you cannot be sure that the quality of the leads you are getting will be much good. It’s also quite hard to measure your return on investment.
Marketing idea #3: Buying pension leads
Some vendors will offer to “sell” leads to IFAs in the form of a large email list, claiming that the people on there are “opted in” and have expressed an interest in financial advice.
There is something to be said for this kind of “scatter gun” approach to financial adviser marketing. After all, if you buy 10,000 email addresses and message all of them with an offer, you would hope that perhaps at least 10 would express interest.
However, the problems with this approach are multiple. Not only do you have to consider the privacy and data protection issues you are stepping on by “buying” personal data like this, but you also need to factor in the quality of the list. The fact is, multiple businesses will have bought that same list and spammed the recipients too, so they are likely to be highly unreceptive to your offers.
Marketing idea #4: Pay Per Click advertising (PPC)
If you have a financial website or landing page to send interested people to, then PPC channels such as Google Ads or Bing Ads can be a powerful way to get the word out to prospects online and generate some digital footfall.
The advantage of a digital marketing channel like this is that it is highly measurable. You can see how many people see your ads, how many people click on them and how many convert (e.g. by downloading a guide or filling out a contact form). You can also refine your ads to show to people who meet your audience criteria (e.g. by restricting your ads to showing only in certain locations or times of day).
The disadvantages of this approach are that it is easy for your ad spend to get out of control if you do not actively manage and optimise it. You also need to factor in that the leads you get might not always be the best quality (e.g. recruiters).
Marketing idea #5: Search engine optimisation (SEO)
SEO for financial advisers involves trying to get your website to appear at the top of Google search results for important keywords used by your target audience.
The strength of this approach is that it can secure a steady stream of high quality leads to your business, once you achieve the top spots. The difficulty, however, lies in the fact that it can be quite competitive and time-consuming to get to this position.
Marketing idea #6: Email marketing
You might have noticed that we came down a bit hard on the idea of buying pension leads. However, that does not mean that we look down on email marketing – which can be a great way to nurture leads over time towards a sale.
The difference here lies in how your email list is attained and built over time. With an “inbound” marketing approach, you encourage people to subscribe to your newsletter by inviting them (e.g. on your blog, or at the end of a white paper they downloaded).
Over time, you can build up trust in your brand by demonstrating thought leadership and bring your subscribers closer to a buying decision by offering continual value.
The challenge here lies mainly in getting people to subscribe to your newsletter. You need to be clever and offer people a strong incentive to do this, as we all get plenty of emails these days cluttering up our inboxes!
We hope this list inspired some ideas for your own marketing and gave you more confidence in the digital tools available to use in your marketing mix as a financial adviser. The important thing to note is that no single marketing channel is likely to be the answer to your desire to increase brand awareness, lead generation or client retention. Just like an investment portfolio, it is important to “diversify” your marketing so that each channel can play its part in moving you towards your goals.