Marketing can be complex and intimidating. If you’re like most advisors, you either steer clear of marketing completely or you have a couple things you do when you have the time and energy (which isn’t often).
With the advent of the internet, marketing is a continually evolving toolbox of growth strategies that vary wildly in terms of effectiveness, difficulty, time required, cost and more.
If you’re running an RIA or are about to launch your own, then you don’t have time to research everything that’s out there. You’re busy helping your clients and growing your firm.
That’s why we compiled this list of our six favorite marketing strategies for RIAs. Ignore the latest marketing trends. If you never venture beyond these six tools, chances are you’ll do well for yourself.
Ask anyone who’s considering hiring an investment advisor to tell you what they’re looking for, and nine times out of ten intelligence will top the list, right next to trustworthiness and transparency.
Blogging is a fantastic way to prove you’re not only qualified but also a better fit than any of your competitors. If you’re smart enough to pass the Series 65 exam and build a company from the ground up, the chances are you know your way around financial planning. So how can you share your insight with the world?
Don’t get me wrong—blogging can be a time-consuming undertaking. But it doesn’t have to be. Build your articles based on conversations with clients, and do some research to flesh out your answer a bit.
You don’t have to publish a crazy amount, either. Figure out what works for you. The best publication schedule is the one you can actually accomplish. If one blog per month is all you can handle to begin with, then that’s great. Schedule out your content calendar accordingly.
If you really can’t find the time to write blogs, find someone who can help you. Maybe someone on your team has a creative bent and would enjoy being in charge of your blog. Or there are plenty of content writing agencies out there that can help you turn your ideas into articles without losing your perspective or voice.
Not only will routine blog posts position you as credible and current, but they will also increase your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), meaning you’ll be more likely to get discovered by prospects via search engines.
2. Social Media
Gone are the days when you could simply include your name in the phonebook and call it good. As wealthy consumers start to get older and technology increasingly plays an even more critical role in our daily lives, having a virtual presence is essential.
If you don’t already have an account on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, put that on the top of your to-do list. Encourage your friends, family and clients to like your pages so you can build up a solid following. Simultaneously, you’ll want to come up with some postable material to share.
If you need help coming up with interesting tweets and posts, consider sharing the following:
- Industry news
- Show that you stay on top of relevant matters and have a commitment to education.
- Team member introductions
- Let people know who they’re working with and why they should trust your team.
- Helpful tips and reminders
- Take note of things you think your clients would benefit from knowing and share your two cents.
- Witty quotes
- Give people a sense of your firm’s culture by finding statements you appreciate.
- Commentary on trending matters
- If certain keywords are trending or you notice people weighing in on a topic, see if you can chime in and attract others who are engaging in the discussion.
3. Google Pay-Per-Click Ads
Getting to the top of Google searches is the result of countless hours spent building your online reputation through content marketing and building reliable links. Either that, or you can always jump to the head of the line with PPC ads.
Google pay-per-click ads, which fall under search engine marketing, are designed to put your firm’s website directly in front of prospect clients any time the keywords you’ve told Google you’d like to bid on are searched.
With a little bit of research on proper audience targeting and a solid bidding structure in place, you can be introduced to new faces for a fairly inexpensive price. The best part is, as the name of the advertising strategy implies, you only have to pay when people click on your ad. If 1,000 people see your RIA’s listing after searching “financial advisors near me,” you don’t have to pay a dime unless they click.
4. A Compelling Website
This one almost goes without saying, but every RIA should have a modern, mobile-friendly and multi-functional website. Your website should put your clients and prospects at ease by clearly outlining your services.
You’ll want to make sure each page of your website contains webhooks, which essentially are custom callbacks that will lead viewers down a virtual rabbit hole. For example, if someone is reading a blog on your website about cash flow, direct people to other parts of your website that talk about that same subject.
Consider including the following items on your website to increase leads and stand out:
- Pop-ups to sign up for your email newsletter
- Geographic information or a map showing where you’re located
- Appointment-scheduling apps
5. Email Marketing
With more than 3.9 billion daily email users, email marketing has positioned itself as a quick and effective way to reach your audience. With the ability to segment existing clients and prospects, you can easily send custom messages at the touch of a button.
Some marketers will say that you should get in the habit of sending email messages on a weekly basis or as much as every other day, but the last thing you want to do is bombard your network. Sending out email updates every other week or on a monthly basis can work wonders. It’s all about quality, not quantity.
Informational updates, industry news and detailed overviews of your services might be topics worth exploring.
There’s no point in composing your thoughts if the email is going to fall under a boring subject line that will be deleted before it’s even read. Before pressing send, you’ll want to ask yourself, “Would I open this?” If not, punch up your subject line a bit.
OK, this one isn’t necessarily digital, but it’s the cornerstone of growth for any RIA. If you only take away one thing from this list, it should be that referrals are everything.
You could have the sharpest marketing firm on the block cranking out solid blogs for you every week, filling up your social media accounts with engaging posts and sending clickable newsletters to prospects’ inboxes every day, but what will move the needle the most is having a loyal group of clients who can promote you to their friends and family.
Lyndon B. Johnson put it best when he told people one handshake was worth 250 votes. One client’s kind words about your firm could have a profoundly positive ripple effect pointing you to qualified leads.
Don’t just take our word for it—a whopping 58% of wealthy investors found their financial advisor via referral.
Network marketing sometimes goes under the radar because it seems more like a relationship builder than an advertising tactic, but building a community of people to be advocates of your brand is, by definition, what promotion is all about.
And the best part? Referrals can be the easiest marketing tactic of all. Add a request for referrals as part of all client meetings. You’d be surprised the response you can get if you just ask.
Want to talk about breaking free from the plateau and boosting your RIA’s growth? Reach out to our team of industry veterans.