Recap: 7 Financial Advisor Marketing Mistakes: Are you making mistakes with your marketing? How would you know if you were? You don’t know what you don’t know unless you educate yourself by analyzing your strategic direction, reading marketing blogs and books, and course correcting to avoid problems.
Financial Advisor Marketing Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague
Working with advisors since 2004, I’ve seen a lot of mistakes, errors in judgment, and miscalculations. The most common error I’ve seen is advisors who don’t think they need to spend time marketing.
In my talks and presentations I like to say that even if you have been in business six plus years, you should still spend 25% of your time marketing your practice.
Many inquiries I receive on my website are framed in questions advisors have about the effectiveness of their marketing. Answering these questions is difficult without a significant time investment.
Imagine if you will, that a prospective client came to you with questions about their investment allocations. Would you be able to give them a quick and easy answer without a complete picture of their financial situation? No, of course not. You’d need to know how much they have saved, what their goals are, and where their money is invested before you could give a complete answer.
Since I’m not able to give an in-depth appraisal or recommendations for all the marketing questions I receive, I’ve decided to write a seven-week blog series about financial advisor marketing mistakes.
Avoid marketing mistakes
How are you handling your marketing? Do you maintain a consistent plan all year long or do you jump from tactic to tactic constantly shaking things up until dizziness sets in? Running a successful practice requires juggling tasks and duties, but marketing is one thing that shouldn’t be constantly changing.
I feel there is a real need for advisors to candidly appraise their competitive advantage, assess where they are making errors, and make a plan to overcome their challenges. Sometimes this entails a complete re-branding of their firm and other times it requires delegation of their marketing to an outside firm.
Whatever the case for your business, I’m going to outline what I feel are the seven biggest marketing and sales mistakes that advisors make. Believe me, there are many more than seven, but I’m going to stick with seven for brevity’s sake.
Here are the financial advisor marketing mistakes:
Mistake 1: Financial Advisors Lack a Target Market or Niche
Are you marketing to everyone and anyone? If so, you are really marketing to no one! Advisors would make their lives far simpler if they could narrow down their target market and specialize in the needs of one to three niche markets.
Be strategic and focus your practice on a group of ideal clients that you would enjoy working with.
Mistake 2: Financial Advisors Should Avoid Template Websites
Template websites have many issues that prevent advisors from taking full advantage of inbound marketing. Not only that, a custom website allows utilization of marketing tactics that help a firm grow smarter and be more productive. With a custom website, advisors can attract their ideal clients effortlessly using branding as the basis of creating engagement.
Mistake 3: Financial Advisors Lack a Value Proposition
Getting to the heart of an advisor’s competitive advantage helps to shine a light on the true value provided to ideal clients. It’s not the standard “Who we are, who we serve, and how we do it.” Even more important, once you decide upon the secret sauce, calling attention to it on your website is where you’ll have success.
Mistake 4: No Business Networking Strategy
Cultivating referrals and getting in front of prospective clients are both real benefits of implementing a business networking strategy. Do you do any networking? Are you getting out of the office? Do you have a good network of professionals to refer to your clients when they need professional expertise?
Mistake 5: Failing to Sell the Dream
Clients are attracted to your services because they want and need your expertise to help them achieve their goals. But don’t make the mistake of failing to “sell the dream” of the emotional benefits of working with you. We are all driven by emotions. Some of us want to get away from “pain” while others want to experience “pleasure.” Connect with prospective clients in conversations by discussing the dream of achieving financial freedom.
Mistake 6: Advisors Lack a Professional Brand
Creating a professional brand for your firm will help you attract ideal clients from day one. There are many factors that make up a “brand” from your firm name to the way your office is decorated. If you plan your brand based on who you want to be in five years, you’ll be on the way to branding success.
Mistake 7: Failing to Sell the Value of Financial Planning
What is your value to clients? What mistakes have you helped them avoid? How has this made a difference in their lives? Learning to sell your value means having the right conversations with your clients and prospective clients and getting comfortable with talking about value.
Don’t doom your financial planning business by making these mistakes!
Financial Planning and Investment Management businesses are built on marketing and strategy. By planning up front who is your Target Market and what is your Value Proposition, you’ll have a more clear message and a professional brand.
By working with a professional designer on your web presence, you’ll set the subconscious, emotional aspects into play with your prospective clients, who will be pre-sold to work with you on their challenging financial situations.
By getting out of the office and meeting other financial professionals, you’ll develop a network you can rely on when a referral is warranted, and you’ll probably have fun doing it!
By selling the dream of having financial goals to achieve and working on them, you’ll get into the emotions of money and how mistakes can ruin a portfolio.
By working on a different and exciting brand, you’ll set yourself apart from the competition. No one will be able to compete with you.
And finally, by selling the value of financial planning you’ll help your target market achieve their lifetime goals.
Well that’s it for the 7 Financial Advisor Marketing Mistakes. How many were applicable to your practice? What did you learn? More importantly, what will you do now? Success often means implementing new tactics and behaviors but it also means giving up old beliefs and habits. I hope you found value in this series.
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I’m not a financial advisor but I am an independent consultant, so I’m sure the same advice and questions come up for me also.
I have to admit to two things. One, I’m not a consistent marketer and two, I’m a “very rarely do it” marketer. I have a major distaste for it and it’s amazing that I’ve been able to survive for almost 13 years because of it. I usually get things like what I have now though, where I’ve been consulting on location for 10 months at this juncture and could have more coming. I don’t market while I’m working a project because I don’t know when it’ll end and it’s hard marketing while I’m on the road. But I need to learn how to solve that one so I not only have more options but I make more money, because short projects always pay better and I get to do more of the work from home.
Even if you are not an fa, these marketing “rules” still apply. In fact, they apply to almost any industry. I get your reason for not being a consistent marketer, but just imagine if you will that you were consistent and that the consistency brought you three times the prospects that you are getting now. Wouldn’t that give you the opportunity to hand pick the projects you decided to work on? And wouldn’t that allow you to charge more?
Just a little food for thought…
Thanks for stopping by Mitch. I appreciate it and I love your blog.