Building a client pipeline is one of the most important aspects of running a financial advisory firm. Even for established firms with a strong local reputation, financial seminars and webinars are a proven strategy for demonstrating your expertise to an audience of potential clients looking for an expert to manage their money.
Like any marketing strategy, the value of the webinars and financial seminars you conduct is determined by the tactics you use to promote these events to the right audience. Similarly, the webinar or seminar presentation itself should be viewed as a strategic opportunity to demonstrate your financial knowledge, showcase your services, and emphasize the value of working with your firm.
When marketed correctly, webinars can be an effective form of prospecting that expands your customer base.
Why Is Marketing Your Financial Webinar Important?
Financial webinars are new to many advisors. We’ve seen seminars used to engage prospective customers for more than a decade, but transitioning from in-person seminars to live or on-demand webinars is not apples to apples.
At the same time, video, on-demand webinars, and live webinars have become common tactics to connect with potential clients in many industries—including financial services. For consumers, these webinars are an opportunity to expand their financial knowledge while evaluating your firm’s own expertise.
Without some kind of incentive or excitement, audiences aren’t going to automatically register for and attend your events—let alone convert into paying clients. If you want to maximize the value of these events, you need to execute a marketing strategy that spreads the word about these webinars among the audience of consumers you’re trying to reach.
11 Tips to Make the Switch from Financial Advisor Seminars to Webinars
Although there’s a fair amount of overlap in the strategies and goals of marketing financial advisor webinars versus financial seminars, the digital nature of webinars creates some unique challenges—as well as opportunities—that need to be accounted for.
Though a webinar ultimately offers greater flexibility in its outreach than an in-person seminar, it can also require more planning to effectively market this event and leverage its ability to attract new clients to your firm. Here are 11 tips on how to modify your seminar marketing strategy to support new engagement strategies using webinars.
1. Promote webinars on your website and through email, newsletters, and social media.
Take advantage of all available channels that offer free promotion of your webinar. The best way to reach a digital audience is through your available digital channels. Take advantage of your existing network of followers and subscribers to build visibility for your webinar through cost-free channels.
Across each channel, offer a sign-up form to generate basic lead gen information and to gather contact information that can be used to send reminders of the upcoming webinar event.
2. Partner with CPAs, libraries, and other organizations to promote free educational opportunities.
Online promotion of webinars is key—but it’s important to remember that your firm’s ultimate goal is to attract new clients on a local level. For that reason, it’s important to complement online promotion with more traditional marketing strategies you might have used for seminars in the past.
From the community board in your firm’s building to local buildings and organizations that might cater to your target audience, consider opportunities you might have to increase awareness of these webinars through traditional channels. Post flyers in visible locations, and find out if local CPAs or other financial businesses might be willing to promote your webinar to their clients.
You can even post this information in local coffee shops and other small businesses that serve your target audience. Flyers or other materials in these locations not only supplement your online marketing, but they can also drive webinar sign-ups from individuals who might otherwise never learn about your webinar offering.
3. Offer an incentive for attending the no-obligation webinar.
A free gift, free personal consultation, or other basic incentive can give prospects one more reason to attend your webinar. You can also offer additional incentives for bringing along a friend, which leverages referral marketing to expand your conversion opportunities.
4. Highlight the specific angle or focus of your webinar.
In the same way that specific focal points and topics are key to creating successful seminars and webinars, marketing should be focused around the questions being answered and/or the information prospects can expect to receive.
By highlighting these key points, you allow your attendees to enter your webinar with specific goals of what they want to learn. It also ensures that your audience is highly engaged and interested in the content—which gives you a better chance at making a strong impression and converting a new client.
5. Invite guest speakers with a large online following.
Guest speakers are a great way to supplement the information offered in your webinar, and it can offer even more value in marketing the webinar to a relevant audience. A local CPA, for example, could participate in a seminar about the importance of building tax-efficient retirement strategies—and the CPA could then promote the webinar across their social media accounts, email newsletters, blogs, and other owned media. This extends the reach of your marketing for free, while also keeping that visibility focused on a relevant audience.
6. Ask existing referral partners to promote to their own marketing lists.
If your business relies on existing partnerships to drive referrals for your business, ask them to promote your webinar on their social media accounts, or even to display flyers or other information in their lobby.
7. Consider paid promotion on social media to target prospects who fit your targeted customer profile.
In addition to organic social reach, your business can use paid promotion to target local prospects who fit the profile of your ideal customer. You can target your ads based on location, age, income level, and other demographic and behavioral data to optimize the relevance of these ads.
A webinar about retirement planning, for example, could be targeted to an audience between the ages of 35-65 and one that lives within five miles of your business and falls into a specific annual income category.
8. Upload video recordings of webinars and seminars to your website.
After webinars have been completed, save the video file and upload it to your website. This repurposes your webinar content and allows your presentation to engage an ongoing audience.
Better yet, offer this webinar as gated contact in exchange for a form fill-out to generate lead information. In this way, you can guarantee lead information for every webinar view.
9. Follow up with clients after webinars.
After the webinar is completed, follow up with prospects the following day to see if they’re interested in learning more about your business or becoming a client. You can choose to do this through direct, personal outreach, or you can use an automated tool, such as an online survey, to gather feedback and determine which leads offer the most prospective value to your business.
Follow-up surveys might ask the following questions:
- How valuable did you find the webinar?
- How confident are you in the advisor’s expertise?
- Are you interested in attending future webinars or seminars?
- Would you like someone to contact you about becoming a client with our company?
Even if the information gathered from these follow-ups doesn’t help you convert a new client, it can help you better understand the needs and desires of your target audience—and create future webinars and messaging that better serve those needs.
10. Execute a nurturing strategy for prospects who need more time before committing to an advisor.
As your prospects consider whether they want to manage their wealth with your firm, drip emails and other nurturing campaigns can keep your business top of mind. These techniques can engage prospects by sharing useful information that might convince them of the benefits of working with your company and/or addressing any lingering questions they might have.
11. Use a mix of seminars and webinars to provide more flexible attendance options.
Financial advisor seminars and webinars each offer their own strengths for financial advisors and their own benefits to prospective clients. Whereas some prospects will seek out face-to-face interactions with your company, others will appreciate the flexible access offered by webinars. Providing both of these educational opportunities will maximize your engagement opportunities across your entire target audience.
Turn Webinars into a Powerful Client Pipeline
The marketing tactics used to generate attendees and leads through webinars may be different from your standard methods used with in-person seminars. But the overlap in marketing strategies—as well as the value each informative session offers to potential clients—should give advisors an upper hand as they modify their marketing to support an engaging digital experience.
Discover more ways to successfully generate leads for your firm—download the Financial Advisor’s Guide to Lead Generation today.