Remember when marketing was all about print ads, direct mail, and cold calls? Some of these traditional marketing techniques are still effective to this day. Personalized letters, in particular, are one of the highest ROI channels we’ve seen for financial professionals to date. That said, a lot of these methods are only usable in very specific cases now – they’re not as effective for many reasons…
Free Lead Generation Ideas for Financial Advisors
Finding new clients is a chore for most service-based businesses — financial advisory included.
There’s plenty of competition — your potential clients can even look up financial planning tools and Frankenstein their way to a plan. And your prospects might not be aware that they need a professional’s help to run a financial check-up yet.
And if you want to keep your business afloat and grow, you need a steady stream of fresh, new leads.
To break out of the cycle, you need to be resourceful with your lead generation strategies — stop burning your time and money on strategies that aren’t working for you.
The goal, then, is to find a strategy that can bring in real, qualified leads for minimal cost.
Let’s jump into some of the best financial advisor lead generation practices that we use to this day.
Traditional Lead Generation Strategies We Still Love
When it comes to finding new prospects, many financial advisors rely on traditional-style lead generation strategies. These include activities such as cold-calling, networking, targeted in-person prospecting, business leader outreach, seminars, direct mail, and advertising through print or radio. Sound familiar?
And while these strategies are time-consuming and expensive compared to more recent methods, we use them because they still work.
And when combined with modern digital strategies, you can even amplify your results!
Let’s say you recently built a connection with someone on LinkedIn®. You jump on a coffee chat to get to know each other. And after the call, you send a personalized “Thank You” letter with your logo on it. This is where your top-of-mind awareness begins, by defining yourself as a caring individual and using genuine courtesy.
If you’re doing cold calling, direct mail, or advertising, it’s time to add a few more methods to your prospecting playbook.
New Lead Generation Strategies to Try
These online strategies are long-term, inbound marketing strategies – they require consistent care and management – but they’ll help get you some quality leads. Much like planting seeds for later harvest, instant results are rare with this approach. But when integrated into a 360 plan, they can be very effective at building an online presence that ensures you stake your claim in that top-of-mind real estate.
Start a Blog
Unlike the dark ages of 2010, blogs don’t mean a collection of personal ramblings anymore. (Although, they could be if that’s what you want to be known for.)
Starting your own blog is a great way to showcase your expertise as a financial professional. Creating content that helps your target audience with their problems, answers their burning questions, and talks about industry events that are relevant to their problems turns your blog into a trusted source of information.
Showcasing your knowledge will build trust with prospective clients before they even book a discovery meeting. This trust goes a long way, especially when they’re on the fence about hiring a financial planner.
However, content marketing isn’t just about providing good, timely advice (that your compliance officer will approve and appreciate). It’s also about making sure that people see it.
- Using SEO to help your prospects find you organically through search engines like Bing, Brave, or Google search.
- Distributing your content through online channels, such as via social media and email.
- Promoting your content where it’s appropriate, including jumping on visibility opportunities and other creative ways to make people link to your content.
Blogging pays in the form of credibility. You attract qualified leads to your website by building up this element of your Trusted Advisor brand.
Now let’s talk about the downside. Maintaining a blog is a full-time job. It is something we recommend you task your team with managing, as this will eat away at your valuable time. You can also outsource some of the steps to an experienced consultant or bring in a content marketer to manage this element of your online presence.
Outsourcing to a content marketer can relieve some of the burden on you and your team. Plus, they can also help manage your content production beyond just blog posts. Content can also include seminars, webinars, e-books, and podcasts.
However, if you don’t want to put the time and effort into building it out, we would recommend you start your content marketing strategy on a smaller scale.
Build Your Social Media Presence
Social media posts are a great opportunity to strengthen your Trusted Advisor brand. There are three components that create this identity in the minds of your prospects and clients.
A Trusted Advisor is a cohesion of these three separate, but distinct identities:
- A caring individual
- The financial advisor expert, and
- A good citizen
When you demonstrate yourself in these three categories, you win the spot of Trusted Advisor in the hearts and minds of your clients and prospects.
Social media can assist you in establishing two of these three points. (We don’t recommend you give financial advice any deeper than “529 plans are cool!” as we’re certain this will ruffle some compliance feathers.)
Beyond building your Trusted Advisor brand, social media gives you an opportunity to network with potential clients, connect with seminar attendees, create a consistent touch point with your social connections, and maintain your relationships with past and current clients as well as strategic partners.
You don’t need to be everywhere. Start by picking 1-2 social media platforms and focus on being intentional with your social media strategy. You want to be consistent, and you want to provide valuable content for your audience.
Unlike blog posts, social media posts should be short and snappy. Pick images that attract attention and will stand out from an endless amount of bite-sized content. Give prospects what they’re looking for in less than a minute and engage with people who comment.
Social media isn’t a one-way conversation. You can and should engage with people whenever you can.
People want to see what you have to say based on your experience and knowledge. Post thoughtful comments on others’ posts whenever you can to drive your engagement. It can be as simple as “Love that”‘ and “This is so good!”.
Leverage Your Current Client Relationships
Building a referral network is one of the easiest and most effective ways to grow your advisory business.
Getting referrals is easy and very effective – once you have built strong, solid relationships with your current clients. If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve done a good job providing advice, and you’ve proven that you are a caring individual and a good citizen, you have fans.
But here’s the thing: asking them for a referral (even through simple word-of-mouth) is a big no-no. It’s awkward for you. It’s really awkward for them.
To build a steady stream of referrals and introductions, you must create a referral consciousness within your client base. And you do this through a series of steps that we call “promoting referrals.”
Promoting referrals is subtle. It reframes the conversation from an awkward ask to a socially acceptable reminder. After meeting with an introduction or referral, send a note about how grateful you are they thought to introduce you, and how well you think you’ll be able to help them.
Develop Strategic Partnerships
A strategic partner is another professional, who is not a competitor, that serves your target market. While most will immediately think of accountants and attorneys, notice we didn’t say just financial professionals. Any other professional who would have discussions about finances, at some level. For example, look at attorneys, accountants, retirement community directors, luxury car dealers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, P&C agents, etc.
COIs, Strategic Partners, Strategic Alliances. No matter what you call it, advisors have strived for decades to set up referral arrangements with different professionals.
Through talks with CPAs and attorneys; meeting in person with real estate agents, running CE courses for CPAs, getting together face-to-face with real estate agents or bankers; even joining networking groups. Countless brochures have been dropped off and lunches paid for, often to no avail.
So, how and why are some advisors so successful with it?
There are many ways to try and find new strategic partners. You can use campaigns, ask your clients, or even search the phone book.
Once you‘ve gathered your list, you will need to manage that list between potential partners, partners you are interviewing, and partners you are developing relationships with.
Most financial advisors meet only once or twice with their potential strategic partners before they just start sending business their way. However, without properly establishing the relationship, the ‘partnership’ quickly becomes a one-way street, and most advisors don’t get business sent back.
So, how do you solve this problem?
By going through a very specific meeting process that gives you an opportunity to assess if you even WANT to send business to a potential strategic partner, and if they really have the capacity to reciprocate and send you the kind of clients you are looking for.
Once you have met with, and evaluated, your potential strategic partners, you want to hit the ground running as quickly as possible.
You want your new strategic partners to see that this relationship will be active and profitable right away.
And you want to see the same response back to you.
Use a Lead Generation Service
This is, by far, the easiest way to do effective lead generation for your financial advisory business.
By paying someone else to do your lead gen for you, you’re freeing up time to do the tasks you enjoy most and take care of your existing clients.
When choosing a third-party service for generating leads, it’s important to select one that has experience working with businesses in the financial industry. You’ll also want to make sure that the service has the experience and packages that are aligned with your lead generation goals.
Apart from that, make sure to evaluate the different pricing options offered by the service. Depending on what you need, there might be several different options you can choose from too.
Many services offer integrations with CRM software, making it easy to track your interactions with leads and convert them into customers. Tracking your lead generation efforts and conversion rate will show you which sources are generating the most qualified leads.
Find Your Ideal Clients with Bill Good Marketing
Lead generation is rough work. Some days it feels like you’re doing more prospecting than providing financial service. That just means it’s time for you to get more help. Bill Good Marketing is a long-standing industry leader in digital marketing and we are here to help advisors just like you to organize efficiently, better manage your team, fill your sales pipeline with prospects, and show you how to find more ideal clients.
Get your hands on the growth machine that has helped thousands of financial advisory businesses double their production, or work half as much.
Call 866-353-7859 to find out how we can help you. Or fill out this form and we’ll call you!
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