Bill Good Marketing

Build Your Business with Financial Advisor Marketing Funnels

Every financial advisor wants it. Most in the financial services industry never get it. Those who do are recognized as the top producers at their firms.

Of course, we’re referring to creating a marketing funnel that produces predictable results month after month. If that’s what you want, read on. We’ll show you how you can develop a marketing funnel to produce the predictable results you want.

Laying the Groundwork for Financial Advisors

You can’t build a great house without first building a great foundation. Your foundation needs to be made up of three things. It starts with building a great brand. As part of that brand, you need to establish your digital presence. With your brand in place, you need to master client communication.

Financial Advisor Branding: The Foundation of Your Marketing Funnel

Let’s start with your brand. What does a great brand look like? It communicates to your potential clients that you are uniquely qualified to be their financial advisor. Your marketing strategy must show that your ideal client works with you because of your expertise. It also must show why they should want to work with you because of who you are.

To do that, you must show them that you are an expert financial advisor, a good, kind, well-mannered individual, and a contributing community member.

Recently, in an airport, an advisory group was advertising its services on one of the electronic billboards. While we questioned the efficacy of starting a marketing funnel at the airport, the ads stood out. They showed the group had a sense of humor and were experts in their knowledge of retirement planning. It stood out as unique.

Do you stand out?

Developing a Marketing Funnel for Financial Advisors

How can you stand out? What do you do for your clients that is unique?

Your entire marketing strategy as a financial advisor should be focused on your unique value.

Start by asking what your ideal clients want. What do they need right now from financial services? It’s best to pick five primary obstacles you have been helping your new clients overcome to get to those things they want. Then, define how your expertise is needed to help overcome them. That’s a big part of your unique value!

Once you outline your unique value, it’s time to communicate it. It all starts at the top of your marketing funnel, in what we call lead generation. If you specialize in tax-smart investment strategies, your lead generation campaigns should primarily focus on that. Demonstrate through your communication that you understand the detailed tax strategies that will help your ideal client. Any email marketing, webinars hosted, social media posts, or workshops hosted should address how you help your clients overcome those primary obstacles you’ve outlined.

Digital Marketing: Engaging Prospects and Clients

Your next job is to make sure when your target audience searches online for the services you provide, they find you, and you look good. This is all about how you’ve set up your search engine optimization (SEO). As an individual advisor, you will not likely compete for the top of search engine results. But you need to be found on the first page of the search results. You can do many things to improve your SEO but be sure you stick to communicating your unique value.

When you get someone on your site, you must look good immediately. Within seconds, your visitor needs to see the possibility of you becoming their financial advisor. Here’s a challenge for you. Run an online search on the other financial advisors in your target areas. You need to visit at least ten other websites – twenty would be preferred. Just look at their landing page. They all start to look the same, don’t they? Your digital marketing must show your unique value.

You also can’t ignore social media platforms. They aren’t going away regardless of your feelings on Facebook or LinkedIn. Your potential clients are looking for a financial advisor using those platforms. Your digital marketing efforts must include sharing your insights on social media. Ensure your content further establishes your identity as an expert financial advisor, caring individual, and contributing member of the community. This will help your audience see why they should work with you. Adding links to webinars or podcasts will also help with your content marketing efforts.

Now, your foundation building needs to focus on how you care for and communicate with your existing clients. Your top priority is to provide all the services you have promised them. The consistency of your delivery is your top priority here. Too often, advisors will start a new communication strategy and fail to keep it going. Your clients should hear from you through your email list, videos, letters, and events. This ensures retention.

If you are not retaining the clients that you bring in, there is no point in bringing in new clients. With retention in place, you can focus on turning your clients into advocates. Your clients want to advocate for you. They want to send you referrals. They just don’t know how. This is, again, where your consistent communication of your unique value will help them know how and why to send their friends to you. These referrals and introductions from clients are the best way to acquire new clients. It should always be your number one form of lead generation.

The Sales Funnel: Converting Leads into Clients

Lead Generation

For your marketing strategy to generate enough new qualified leads, you need at least three lead generation strategies running. If you want to grow your wealth management practice, you’ll need at least four campaigns producing predictable results.

What do we mean by predictable results? That all comes down to our definition of a campaign. A campaign is a series of organizational and promotional steps that, if repeated to a group of people, will generate new inbound leads. We have documented dozens of successful marketing funnels for financial advisors in twelve different channels. They span from client referrals and introduction strategies to digital marketing. From webinars to business acquisitions.

You must keep great statistics, no matter which channels you choose and then which campaigns you run to target those channels. Those stats will help you know your total costs per new client. That will be critical to knowing your return on investment (ROI). The higher your ROI, the better off you will be. Even when you find a campaign that is producing consistent results for now, don’t stop tracking it now. Having great data on each of your campaigns will help you make adjustments as markets and people change.

Many advisors fail in their marketing funnel because they either don’t run enough inbound lead generation campaigns or only focus on potential clients who are ready for an appointment now. They completely skip over lead development. One of the more critical aspects of a healthy marketing funnel.

Lead Development

Let’s use seminars as an example of one of your channels that will produce your predictable results.

According to our case studies: At a typical seminar, you will have between 10 and 14 households. Let’s say you have ten households attending to keep our numbers simple. You should have at least five of those ten households schedule an appointment. Of the five appointments, you should get at least three new clients. (Incidentally, we should talk if you are not getting these numbers or better.)

Most would stop here and feel they had done well. But that is just one top-of-the-funnel process. You have the rest of the funnel to work on now. With just three of the ten households who attended your seminar becoming a client, you now have seven prospects in your funnel. Those seven prospects will fall into one of four categories. We call them Pitch & Miss, Green Cherries, Red Cherries, and Hot Prospects.

Hot Prospects

Your hot prospects have scheduled their first appointment. Once they sit down with you in that appointment, they enter your sales funnel, which we’ll discuss later. The key to hot prospects is to make that appointment as soon as possible and as easy as possible to attend.

Red Cherries

These are the prospects who wanted some more information. They attended your seminar, didn’t check the box for an appointment, but asked to be sent some more information on social security maximization strategies. The key with these prospects is to send the requested information immediately and follow up with a call within three days after they have received that information. In that phone call, your job is to gather information about them and what they are trying to accomplish.

Green Cherries

These prospects are waiting for a life event. Maybe they came to your retirement income strategies seminar but won’t be retiring until next year. Maybe they attended that small workshop on private equity placement, but they won’t have the cash to invest until after closing the sale of their small business. The key to these prospects is to stay top of mind. As the financial advisor, you need consistent information to send that continually reinforces your expertise.

Pitch & Miss

These prospects either went through your whole presentation and said no or went part of the way and then ghosted you. Either way, you clearly missed something, and your conversion rate isn’t as high as you’d like.

Some advisors feel anyone in this category should be kicked out. You could do that. However, we’ve seen too many pitch-and-miss prospects eventually convert to clients to throw them out.

If you missed them and still want them as a client, you must stay in front of them. Add any pitch-and-miss prospects you still want to your monthly communication strategy. That strategy will include any email marketing, digital marketing, and physical letters going out to your clients and potential customers.
You will also need to speak with them regularly. We recommend calling them every three months. Your first call should be to dig a little further into another aspect of their financial life. If they have ghosted you, use a call/letter strategy over three weeks. If there is still no contact, push that process out for three months and try it again.

No matter where your prospects fall within the funnel, the goal is to keep them progressing until they schedule an appointment or tell you to go away.

Of course, some prospects just don’t progress. They become stagnant and never communicate with you. That’s why we recommend sending them a specific offer for three different informative reports at least once per year. You follow up that offer with a phone call. They must either request that specific information or ask to stay on your lists. If they do neither, they are removed from your prospect pool.

Sales Funnel

Once someone sits down with you in the first appointment, they have entered your sales funnel. If they were introduced to you or were a referral, nearly 100% of them should become new clients. If they came from one of your other inbound lead generation strategies or have been in the lead development stage for a while, you should be converting at least 65% of them into new clients.

The key to converting someone to a new client is demonstrating how you, the financial advisor, are uniquely qualified to help them overcome the main problem they feel they are facing. This is done through a series of steps, not a specific number of appointments. It starts with discovery. This isn’t discovering everything there is to know about them. You’ll have the lifetime of the relationship to do that. Your job as the financial advisor is to discover what help they need right now. Your next step is to put together everything you’ll need to show them how you can help solve that need. You then need to educate them to the point they understand how your solution will help them. Finally, you need to agree on how you will proceed. While we’ve documented sixteen steps needed for a successful sales cycle, these are the broad steps.

Get Your Marketing Funnel Producing Consistent Results with Bill Good Marketing

Creating four different campaigns to target multiple channels that produce consistent results can take years to dial in. There are many campaign variables to evaluate and adjust. Once dialed in, you will also still need to get all the messaging and pain points right to capitalize in the lead development stage.

That’s where Bill Good Marketing can help.

For over 45 years, we’ve been helping financial planners and RIAs from all over the world master their marketing system. We’ve helped advisors fine-tune their sales funnel to ensure they are consistently bringing in new clients. We’ve seen all the mistakes, documented the best practices, and written all the campaign steps.

If you are trying to reach the next level, but have only ever grown through referrals, we can show you how to increase those referrals and launch a full-fledged step-by-step marketing plan. If you had a great campaign running that just doesn’t seem to be working anymore, we can help you dial it in with the current best practices.

If you’re ready for a powerful marketing solution, reach out to us. Let’s launch your campaigns together. Visit and take the first step towards a legacy of excellence.

Picture of Matt Hicken
Matt Hicken

Matt Hicken is our Sr. Vice President of Consulting and Triple Double Architect. During his nearly 14 years helping to run an advisory business, Matt and his team doubled their production three times, going from $500k annually to $4.5 Million. In that time, they also made a firm change and transitioned from a 50% transactional model to a fee-based business.

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