Marketing is one of the most important aspects of running a successful advisory business. Without a clear strategy for promoting your advisory services, you may find yourself treading water instead of pushing ahead with your growth goals. It’s important to take the time to develop a workable financial advisor marketing plan before diving into any marketing activities. Ready to tackle your marketing plan and start scaling your business? Here’s how to get started.
What Is a Financial Advisor Marketing Plan?
A marketing plan for financial advisors is exactly what it sounds like – a documented plan for marketing and advertising your services to prospective and existing clients.
Having a clear-cut marketing plan to follow can be critical to your business development. When you take the time to devise a plan for marketing, it becomes easier to:
Identify your ideal client and audience
Determine how to position yourself in the market
Clarify your messaging to ensure that it’s delivering the appropriate message
Outline your goals and objectives for marketing
Gauge your potential return on investment for different marketing activities
Develop your marketing budget
Allocate your time and energy efficiently to produce results
You shouldn’t launch an advisory business without first drafting a detailed business plan. And it makes sense to approach your marketing efforts with a cohesive plan in place so you’re not wasting on tactics or strategies that are destined to fail.
What to Include in a Financial Advisor Marketing Plan
Every financial advisor is different, so it stands to reason that every advisor’s marketing plan will be different as well. But it can be helpful to have a general financial advisor marketing plan template to follow that outlines the basics of what to include. So as you create your individual marketing plan, here are some of the key areas to cover:
1. Marketing Goals
Before you begin marketing your advisory services, it’s important to assess your reasons and objectives for doing so.
For example, you may be hoping to:
Increase your brand visibility
Generate referrals from existing clients
As you develop your marketing plan, consider the specific goals you have for doing so. If these goals are broad, consider how you can distill them to quantifiable measures.
For example, gaining new clients is broad, while gaining 10 new clients in a six-month period is specific. Building authority is a general goal; being featured as a guest on three personal finance podcasts is measurable.
The more you can clarify your goals, the more equipped you will be to develop an action plan for achieving them. Again, this is an area where the more specific you can be, the better. If you can break each large goal down into smaller goals and individual action steps, you can create a clear roadmap to follow.
2. Tactics and Strategies
Goals can only take you so far in marketing. You also need to determine which techniques you’ll use to promote your services. At this stage in your financial advisor marketing plan, it can be helpful to brainstorm a list of all the tactics you’re interested in, which may include:
Creating a website or blog
Cold calling or cold emailing
Attending in-person networking events
Participating in virtual networking events
Launching a podcast
Being a guest on a podcast or radio show
Offering in-person or digital workshops or seminars
Enrolling the help of a lead generation service
Social media and video marketing
The marketing strategies you choose should be designed to put your advisory business at eye level with prospects. For instance, if you know that your ideal client spends most of their time on a particular social media channel then it might make sense to target your marketing efforts to that channel versus other ones.
When choosing strategies and techniques to use, consider whether you’ll prioritize some more than others. This can help with the next step in creating a financial advisor marketing plan.
3. Marketing Budget
A business plan is incomplete without a budget and it’s the same for a financial advisor marketing plan. The budget section of your plan should cover:
How much you can realistically afford to dedicate to marketing
How that money will be allocated to specific marketing activities
What type of ROI you anticipate from each one of those activities
When deciding how much to spend, go back to your list of strategies. Consider whether you want to spread your marketing budget across every one you plan to pursue or prioritize some activities over others. Again, this can all tie in to what type of return you hope to get from the various marketing techniques you plan to use.
4. Plan Execution
Once you’ve determined your goals and the individual action steps that need to be taken, you’ll need to determine who’s accountable for the plan itself.
If you’re running your advisory business solo, without a team, then you bear full responsibility for seeing the plan through. On the other hand, if you operate your advisory practice as part of a team consider how you’ll divvy up marketing tasks.
Either way, this step is important because having a plan for marketing isn’t enough by itself. You also have to ensure that the plan is going to be carried out. So consider how and when you’ll put your plan to work.
Assessing Plan Results
It’s possible that you may begin to see results from your marketing efforts right away, though it’s more likely that it will take time to gain traction. As you wrap up your plan, consider how and when you’ll assess results. For example, you may want to measure your progress at the 30-day, 60-day and 90-day marks. Again, if you’ve created specific goals from the start, then measuring them at this stage should be relatively easy.
And if you find that your marketing efforts are not producing the results you’re looking for, consider what you may need to improve to get your plan to work.
The Bottom Line
Marketing is a skill that can take time to develop and refine. While you may be more interested in dedicating time to helping your existing clients, it’s important to balance that with attracting new prospects. Having a financial advisor marketing plan in place can help you scale your business more efficiently.
Tips for Attracting More Clients With Marketing
Use your time wisely. Marketing to attract new clients shouldn’t interfere with your ability to take care of the clients you already have. If you want to make the best use of your time on both fronts, consider using a lead generation service like SmartAdvisor to help you find clients and scale quickly.
Embrace the possibilities of digital marketing. In an increasingly digital age, there’s no room to shy away from new technologies or digital marketing challenges. By broadening your scope to include new digital innovations, you may be able to similarly broaden your client base.
Photo credit: ©iStock.com/skynesher, ©iStock.com/triloks, ©iStock.com/scyther5