Historically, financial advisors have relied on word of mouth and cold-calling to generate new leads and grow their business, but consumer preferences have changed. Today’s consumers generally don’t respond well—if at all—to cold calls, and online business reviews have become the new word of mouth.
Now that many traditional marketing strategies to generate leads for financial advisors have become obsolete, advisors are seeking out new methods such as inbound marketing to identify prospects.
The beauty of inbound marketing is that it doesn't require you to hunt down leads. Instead, you create a holistic strategy that helps your business get discovered by people looking for help with retirement income planning (or whatever it is that your business specializes in) and guides them through what we call the “buyer’s journey,” or the steps that someone takes before they become your client
6 Tips for Attracting Prospects in 2022 and Beyond
Let’s look at six of the most effective lead generation techniques financial advisors can use to bring in highly qualified leads and turn them into new clients.
1. Identify your audience.
Don’t waste time and resources talking to the wrong people. Be specific about who your audience is in order to get the most ROI out of your marketing dollars. Creating buyer personas is a great way to focus on the type of client you want to attract and build a content strategy that will appeal to them.
A buyer persona is a fictional character you create to represent the types of clients you would like to attract. For example, a mass-affluent medical technician with $1.5 million in assets who wants to retire within the next few years and needs an advisor to help them navigate taxes in retirement. Be sure to create a persona for every segment you want to target to ensure you generate content that speaks directly to the concerns and goals of that specific audience.
2. Create valuable content.
Inbound marketing is valuable to you because it generates leads and helps you engage with potential clients. But your content is only an effective lead generator if it benefits your audience.
In order to create value, you need content that addresses relevant pain points, answers common questions, and entertains as well as educates. Offering a variety of content types — such as blogs, checklists, Q&As, infographics, videos, and e-books — is a great way to maximize your reach because different content types can help you meet your lead generation goals.
3. Nurture leads through email.
A well-planned email conversion path subtly guides your new leads through their buying journey without overwhelming them with an immediate sales pitch.
Use your personas to create targeted email campaigns triggered by specific user actions, such as downloading a white paper or signing up for a webinar. These campaigns not only provide multiple opportunities to convert leads into clients, but they also give you trackable metrics to gauge the success of your campaigns.
4. Connect on social media.
Social media channels offer an easy access point to get your content and messaging in front of your target audiences, so your brand stays top-of-mind.
Use your social media platforms to connect with current and prospective clients on a personal level. Start a conversation about your latest blog content or relevant company news to increase engagement and give your company a human side.
5. Increase awareness with reviews (both good and bad).
Whether shopping for a toaster oven or a financial advisor, most consumers use online reviews to help them make purchasing decisions, small and large. Reviews give your business credibility and build trust if you manage them properly.
Prior to 2020, financial advisors were prohibited from using reviews and testimonials in their marketing and sales materials. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has since amended that rule, but there are restrictions on how and when reviews and testimonials can be used.
For example, all assertions within a testimonial or review must be verifiable. In other words, if an advisor claims to be an expert in Social Security income planning, they must be able to prove that they are.
Additionally, sales and marketing material that includes a testimonial must clearly state within the advertisement whether the individual who provided the endorsement is a client and if they were compensated for their testimonial.
Advisors who choose to use reviews for marketing must allow both good and bad client experiences, as every testimonial used must be presented exactly as it was written.
It’s important to respond to all of your online reviews, both good and bad, because it shows potential clients that you pay attention to feedback and are committed to improving.
6. Follow the golden rule.
Today’s consumers aren’t fond of cold calls and are even less appreciative of email spam. Buying a list and mass emailing everyone on it is bad for business and can get you into legal trouble.
To stay on the right side of the SEC’s rules and regulations, your leads must opt into your marketing messaging. Although that might limit your number of overall leads, the leads you get will be inherently well-qualified because they actively choose to hear what you have to say.
Learn More About Lead Generation
The traditional approach to lead generation is ineffective in today’s technology-driven financial environments. Financial advisors must look to digital content and inbound marketing strategies to meet new prospects where they are and build relationships.
The six tips above are an excellent jumping-off point, but for financial advisors who are just ramping up their digital initiatives, there is much more to learn.
Download “The Financial Advisor’s Guide to Lead Gen” to discover how inbound marketing and optimizing your online presence can open up new lead gen opportunities to grow your business.