Bill Good Marketing

Exhaustive Guide to Expanding Your Client Base for FAs

The Importance of Building a Solid Client Base

Building your client base is a process that never ends. Even if you have a full roster at the moment and are fully satisfied with the clients you’re serving, you still need to do prospecting to grow your advisory practice.

The best time to prospect is when you don’t need to.

Growing your client base doesn’t only result in revenue growth, it’s also proof of your expertise. It’s not strictly about adding to your bottom line and client acquisition – continuing your marketing efforts even when you don’t need to, help enhance your reputation and credibility within the industry.

On top of that, more happy clients also mean more people who can spread the word about your advisory firm. Turn clients who are fully satisfied with the experience you provide into ambassadors and grow your referral network.

This can easily snowball – imagine if just half of your current clients refer you to their friends. As word spreads, this becomes a word-of-mouth acquisition channel that you won’t even need to promote as frequently.

Continuous growth is necessary, especially as your clients will gradually leave, and you’ll need new clients to fill the pipeline. Make the effort consistently so you don’t get left behind by competitors.

Understanding Your Potential Clients

Before you can start building, you need to know who you’re building for.

Knowing your potential clients is the foundation of everything that you’ll do.

It’s not an understatement to say that your business will change depending on who your clients are. The type of services you offer, how you position yourself, your business plan, and the marketing channels you use to attract and convert clients all should change depending on who you’re trying to help.

If you know your clients well, you’ll be able to create an excellent client experience that gets people raving about your services.

Fortunately for you, most people stop at the demographics and surface-level information when creating their ideal client profile. Let’s say that your target audience is people who are within 10 years of retirement. You know where they live, and you have some basic financial information as well, such as their salary range or the average expenses per year.

You can, however, go much deeper than this.

  • What problems or challenges are they experiencing that they feel they need to hire an advisor?
  • What kind of outcome or desires are they looking to fulfill?
  • What are they looking for in a financial advisor? Is it expertise, trust, or a friendly face?
  • What kind of concerns do they have when hiring a financial advisor? What almost stopped them from hiring you in the first place?

When you answer the deeper questions, you can understand your audience so well that you can anticipate what they need from you.

This knowledge is the unfair advantage that will make you stand out from competitors.

Traditional Methods to Grow Your Client Base

When you hear the word traditional, you might think these methods are outdated.

But that’s not the case.

In fact, these techniques are more reliable than some modern digital marketing strategies you use today. These techniques have stood the test of time and are still being used by advisors to build and grow their firms.

Getting referrals from current clients is one of the best acquisition channels available. Once you get your referral system set up, it becomes a low-touch channel that runs on its own.

Most advisors make the mistake of asking clients if they have people they can refer. Quizzing them in this way puts clients on the spot, making it hard for clients to come up with an answer. Rather than putting both of you in this awkward position, there’s a much subtler and easy way to get referrals.

To start with, you have to provide an excellent client experience. Make sure that every touchpoint with your clients is as easy for them as possible.

 You also need to go above and beyond to stand out from other financial advisors. For example, you can list out events and milestones in your client’s life when a message from you would be appreciated. This doesn’t have to be related to their financial life either. You can send birthday cards during their or a family member’s birthday, or congratulatory cards for the birth of a new member in the family, graduation, or anniversaries. By turning this outreach into an automated system, you’ll be able to give all your clients the VIP experience they’ll remember the next time someone asks if they can recommend a financial advisor.

Next, networking. In this case, you should visit events where your ideal clients would likely be. Industry events, seminars, workshops – they’re all gold mines for potential clients. These events are not just about learning new things; they’re also about meeting new people. It’s about shaking hands, exchanging business cards, and building relationships. For example, you might meet a potential client at a seminar on retirement planning. By engaging them in a conversation about their retirement goals, you could pique their interest in your services.

People want to feel valued, they don’t like to feel like they’re just another number for you. So make sure that your connection is built in a genuine way. Even if they don’t become your client down the road, they might know someone who needs a financial advisor. It’s a good opportunity nonetheless.

The third and final method is through strategic partnerships. The concept is similar to referrals. Except this time, the ones who’ll refer clients to you is another service provider who serves the same clientele.

For instance, you could partner with a tax consultant or a real estate agent. They could refer their clients to you for financial advice, and you could refer your clients to them for tax or real estate services. It’s a win-win situation.

However, make sure that this arrangement is beneficial for both of you. The aim of this partnership is a mutually beneficial situation, but it can easily turn into a one-way street, so make sure that you have a written agreement to cover what is expected from the relationship.

Embracing the Power of Digital Marketing

Most people look for what they need online. Having a strong online presence is even more important than having a physical office.

To survive in this digital-first era, you’ll have to supplement your traditional methods with digital marketing strategies that will help you reach a wider audience.

With digital marketing campaigns, your focus would be to move prospective clients to conversion without any handholding on your part. These techniques help you build trust and relationships with prospects on autopilot.

Being active on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok will help you reach more people. On some platforms, you’ll need to put in a conscious effort to reach people who need your help. But as long as you’re consistently posting, engaging, and giving value to people, the algorithm will help you reach more people.

Content marketing includes creating valuable content that will help you build your authority as a financial advisor. This includes creating an SEO strategy that will lift your content to the top of major search engines. People are looking up and browsing your content because they have a problem they want to solve. For this reason, they’re usually closer to conversion than people who accidentally found you on social media.

Finally, there’s your website. Most prospects don’t see it until they’re set on engaging with your business, but this makes the role of your website even more important. People are doing their due diligence to make sure that you’re the right fit for them. So make sure that they can easily find what they’re looking for.

Providing Excellent Client Service

Having excellent service is the first step to ensuring that your clients are satisfied. Clients who are happy with your services are more likely to stick around, even during tough times, and recommend you to their family and friends.

One way you can elevate your client experience is by maintaining an open channel of communication with your clients. If your aim is to build a partnership that will last for a long time, this is non-negotiable.

There are two main channels you need to set up first: where your client can give you feedback, and the other to give clients regular updates.

You’re not going to get everything perfectly right away. Feedback from your client helps you change your business so it fits better with what your client needs, instead of what you think you should be doing. A customer-focused business changes your best practices into a more personalized service, which will make it harder for clients to part ways with you.

On top of that, you also need to maintain regular communication with your clients. You don’t have to contact them every day, but you should keep them in the loop whenever possible. Be more proactive and inform clients about things that might affect their financial plans, such as their investments, market trends, and any relevant events.

You can also send things that you think clients might be interested in, including suggestions, investment opportunities, and other financial knowledge that might benefit them. You can do this as an event as well, for example, through a private podcast or regular webinars.

Investing in Continuing Education and Certifications

The financial industry changes all the time. Being a lifelong learner will help you stack up the skills you need to serve your clients with up-to-date information and techniques.

On top of that, formal education, certifications, and licenses are a testament to your expertise.

You can only do some things if you have a license for it, especially things that are related to investment management. Other designations, such as CFP, aren’t mandatory. However, people might intentionally look for people with these designations.

Get Expert Help in Expanding Your Client Base with Bill Good Marketing

Your client base is the core of your advisory firm. There are four core things you need to improve to continue growing the quality of your client base: client experience, prospecting process, marketing methods, and your skill as an advisor.

It’s a lot to tackle at once. But who says you have to do it from scratch?

Bill Good Marketing has spent decades helping financial professionals grow their businesses.

Andrew D. White

Andrew is a digital marketing expert here at Bill Good Marketing. Before joining Bill Good Marketing, Andrew spent most of his previous work experience in the digital marketing realm helping small businesses with things such as Web Design, SEO, and Social Media Management.

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