How to Grow Your Financial Advisory Practice with Online Marketing
Are you marketing online already and want ideas to do it better?
Many financial advisors are successfully using online marketing to grow their business. Some are even marketing online exclusively.
Here’s a proven online marketing system for advisors, step-by-step.
The key is to build your email list.
An email list is your database of names and emails of investors who have indicated some interest in you and your services. These are people who know you or know of you and have figuratively raised her hand and said, “I’m interested and it’s okay to market to me.”
The more contacts you have in your email list the better. Note: your email list is very different than a list you might buy from a broker or similar source. Such a list consists of people who never heard of you. That’s a very poor pool, to say the least. I tried it and found it was a complete waste of time and money for email marketing.
You should organize and optimize your list for online marketing. The best way to do this is to invest in a service like Aweber. Aweber is an email software company in the cloud that you can use to organize your list and send your marketing material to your people. I’ll explain more later.
A Very Successful Online Marketing Model
The most widely used and successful online marketing system used today goes like this: first you have to have a website which will be the hub of your strategy. The most effective websites talk about their prospects needs, wants and problems first and foremost. Talking about yourself, your mission statement, how good you are, and how you do what you do is on the back burner. You have to show you understand and can help your target market.
The next thing is to have an enticing, valuable resource for prospects. This could be an article, e-book, video or someting else. You give away this valuable information free in exchange for their name and email address. This gives you permission to market to them. How?
Periodically, email them more valuable information along with your promotional offers. For instance, after explaining the best age to apply for Social Security, you might invite them to your webinar, or offer a free second opinion of their portfolio.
The ultimate goal is to have a sales meeting with the prospect.
Usually before a prospect is willing to have such a meeting, you need to nurture him/her. So you email articles packed with useful information that position you as a helpful expert. Your aim is to get people to know, like and trust you.
Therefore, one of the most important items on your website is this free offer I’ve been talking about. This offer is privately referred to as “the freebie,” or “lead magnet.” Display your freebie prominently on your website; usually in the upper right-hand corner. Craft an enticing title.
I’ve seen some good ones titled:
1. Five Mistakes Investors Must Avoid
2. The Truth about Retirement Plans and IRAs
3. What you need to know about 401(k)s
I’ve seen some bad – very bad – ones like:
1. “Why you should deal with our firm”
2. “Read about the recent reward we just won”
3. “Join our email list.”
Notice the difference between the first three offers and the second three? The first set offers something of value to the prospect and piques his curiosity. There’s nothing enticing about these last three, no enticing reason to get it.
Should You Use a Pop-Up?
A pop-up for your freebie will significantly increase your sign-ups. I used to resist using them, because I find them annoying, but they produce results. Most people are used to them and are forgiving.
Other Places to Put Your Sign-Up Form
You should look for creative places to put your sign-up form. A special navigation tab called “Free Stuff” works well. This tab will open up to a page that explains the value of your freebie in more detail and increases conversions.
The bottom of your blog is another good place for you to put your sign-up form. They read your blog and if they like it, they are inclined to want more.
Speaking of blogging, regular blogs that you post on your website and then send out as an e-zine is an essential part of this system. You need to do this at least monthly, every other week is better, and weekly is best. This keeps you on top of mind and engages readers.
Blogging is a way to brand yourself as an authority and nurture the prospects on your email list. Include a brief self-promotional offer in each blog. Occasionally email a standalone offer advertising your services.
You’ll find some readers will unsubscribe when they get your promotion. Don’t take this as a loss. It’s better not to have them on your list. They would never buy your services in the first place.
You can also promote your freebie in the real world when networking or after giving a speech.
The beautiful thing about the system is it makes you an instant expert. It’s an easy and effective way to build long-term relationships. It pre-sells prospects, so closing is easier. It is inexpensive, much less than land mail or advertising in newspapers or magazines. You also have the freedom to market from anywhere you want.
One last tip; when promoting in your e-zine have a link to your sales page on your website that describes:
- Benefits of your services
- Who you help
- Case histories and testimonials (if compliance will let you)
- What they can expect from doing a financial review with you.
- What benefits they will gain
End with a call to action. Have them call/email for an appointment. You might want to look at how I do mine
Follow these steps repeatedly, rinse and repeat. The more often you do it, the more automated it becomes and you can delegate some of the steps.
Have you been doing online marketing to grow your practice? Please share some of your ideas.
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