Even if you have a stellar history of managing portfolios for clients who trust you, it’s not always easy to get prospective clients to see your success. You can only do so much when you’re networking in person — and it’s not like you can share private financial information to prove your expertise.
To effectively grow your financial planning business in today’s competitive marketplace, go online. To position yourself as an expert, and leader, in your industry and your community, you must create and implement a digital marketing strategy.
Get the expert marketing advice and tools you need to find new financial clients and increase investment from existing ones.
Many financial planners have relied on in-person networking in the past, but the strategy can be impractical — especially as scheduled live events are becoming fewer and farther between. Instead, you need to have a comprehensive strategy that implements many different methods as part of your daily business plan.
Try integrating digital tools — including search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and email marketing. Consider running a mobile-responsive website to increase your exposure, offer an impressive experience, and drive your social visibility.
It’s possible to reach prospective clients in ways that they appreciate, while also maintaining and strengthening the relationships you have with your current clientele. Here’s a more in-depth look at the best lead generation strategies that financial planners can use to bring in more clients.
Be active on LinkedIn
If you are going to choose just one social media platform to engage your audience, start with LinkedIn. This site targets professionals, many of whom have accumulated wealth that they need help in managing. Consider LinkedIn as an online version of a Chamber of Commerce meeting in your community.
Start by filling out your profile thoroughly, so that prospective clients can review your experience and education. To start finding more financial planning leads, you can give people a reason to reach out to you — perhaps with an offer of a free consultation.
But don’t leave the ball in their court. Connect with your current contacts online and ask them to recommend you to their contacts. Look for announcements about life changes or work anniversaries. Let these milestones serve as an opener to discuss their financial plans for the future — and how you can help.
Sign up for online events
You know how valuable lunches and handshakes are to growing your business, but that can be tricky when health-related restrictions put a damper on social interactions. That shouldn’t stop you from seeking out online meetups, events, and conferences that can connect you with targeted clients.
Continue to educate yourself on the new strategies and advancements within your industry, so that you can share what you learn with your current and future clients. Provide tips through your social media posts and email marketing campaigns. The more you share your knowledge with the community, the more people will look to you as a leader in your field.
Submit guest blog posts
Another way to share your expertise and encourage more financial planning leads to come to you is through content marketing. Consider hosting a blog on your website. Send blog post links to your email list and your social media contacts to encourage your audience to visit your site and schedule a meeting with you.
It’s also worth your time to write blogs for other sites that you know your prospective clients read. Ask your satisfied clients where they get their financial information and news, and then reach out to those online publications. Have a few topics ready that you think would be interesting, just in case the editor asks you to pitch a blog post idea or two.
Having a byline in reputable publications can underscore your trustworthiness and your experience in the financial industry. While you normally won’t get paid for your writing, you can leverage your work by using it to connect with prospects.
Ask for referrals
It’s no surprise that many financial planning clients come from word-of-mouth advertising, but today’s referrals happen online — and often from strangers instead of friends and family members. Online reviews must be managed as part of your overall digital presence.
To do this, you need to claim your business on the three largest review sites: Google My Business, Facebook Business Pages, and Yelp. This will give you the ability to fix errors in your searchable contact information, as well as add in an exhaustive list of services you provide. You’ll also be able to respond to reviews, both good and bad.
Wondering how to get more positive reviews? Just ask! Often, satisfied clients are happy to recommend you to anyone who could benefit from your services. Ask them to write referrals for LinkedIn and your website, too.
Don’t stop with the big three listing and review sites.
Participate in directories
Marketing professionals often start a digital campaign by describing, in detail, everything about their targeted and future clientele. You can do the same by brainstorming not only the general demographics of your prospective clients, but also specific traits — like their values, hobbies, and behavioral patterns. Once you get a good idea of who you’d like as a client, you’ll know where to market yourself.
Online directories — such as the Financial Planning Association Directory and BrightScope — are likely where your prospective clients will look for you. Make sure you are participating in each of these listing services, and include as much information as you can to entice them to learn more about you.
Keep your information current at all times, and think of online directories as basically free advertisements. Consider adding in some keywords, so that your listing can organically rank higher when someone searches on Google for financial planners in your area.
Tie it all together
These action steps — staying active on social media, being present for online events, utilizing content and referral marketing, and getting yourself listed in online directories — are all part of a process designed to create new relationships with prospective clients. Think of it this way:
First, provide an impressive experience that will “wow” people to generate initial leads.
Next, entice them by staying in touch and staying top-of-mind.
Then, engage them by driving your social visibility and increasing your exposure.
Finally, connect with your prospects and convert those financial planning leads into clients.
A powerful way to tie all your work together is through an email marketing campaign. Have a section on your website to encourage people to provide their email addresses so that you can easily share information that you’ve gathered about the industry on a regular basis.
You can offer to send them a checklist for their financial health or another free tool in exchange for signing up for your online newsletter. Once you’ve got a solid email list, you can send interesting and educational emails at least once a month. Encourage people to schedule a consultation with you in every outreach effort.
Digital marketing is a successful strategy for generating new financial planning leads, but it can take time to be effective. Be patient and persistent. Think of the Rule of Seven — prospects, in general, need to connect with you and your brand at least seven times before they are ready to do business with you.
It’s worth the effort to position yourself as a leader and a trusted professional to turn to for financial planning needs. Want more tips on online marketing? Check out Constant Contact’s The Download. This free marketing guide is designed specifically for those in the financial services industry to earn more leads and find greater success.