Every advisor I meet is looking for the holy grail of marketing. They want something that’s not very expensive, with a guaranteed flow of new prospects.
I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, but I can’t find it. Here’s what I’ve learned from speaking with hundreds of clients and working with advisors who use our firm.
Don’t be coy
I recently made an inquiry of a vendor we wanted to consider as a resource for our clients. I spoke with the business development person who told me he gets 7-10 inquiries a day and is overwhelmed with referrals. I told him we had nothing further to discuss.
The next day the President of the firm contacted me. He said they were always interested in new business.
Don’t be coy. It doesn’t work. If you want more business, be open about the fact that you’re in growth mode. People will respect you for your candor.
Invest in yourself
You’re great at discussing how important “human capital” is with your clients, yet you’re reluctant to invest in yourself and your firm.
Marketing costs money. While you should spend wisely, successful marketing can be costly. Most advisors allocate only 2% of gross revenue for marketing. It should be closer to 5%.
I recently asked 100 advisors to give me an example of a marketing initiative that worked. Only two people in the audience raised their hand. Both found speaking to a niche market was productive.
I heard no stories about Facebook ads working. No one told me they generated significant business from social media marketing.
My most successful clients do most of the marketing themselves, without expensive consultants. They use a number of channels, including:
- Writing books
When I ask them “what works,” they tell me it’s the combination of these activities.
One firm advertised at its local airport. They couldn’t trace any business directly to those ads, but they were confident their profile was raised.
There is no “secret sauce” to making the phone ring. Instead, a multi-pronged approach to marketing your firm is more likely to be successful.
Don’t waste a prospect opportunity
It’s really difficult to generate a new inquiry. Sadly, many advisors squander this opportunity.
Resource of the Week
Michael Kitces has some interesting insights into marketing for financial advisors in this blog post.