You’re looking to grow your business, but you’re not sure where to start. What’s worth focusing on? What will provide the best results? You need a plan for your marketing, but where do you begin? In this article, we break down the 5 steps to establish a marketing plan to help you simplify and empower your growth strategy. By examining your audience, potential digital channels, and what makes your brand unique, you can begin to identify where to invest your efforts. So, let’s dive in with our 5 steps for building a financial advisor marketing plan.


How to Build Your Marketing Plan

1. Start with Your Marketing Roadmap

The biggest issue many companies face is not being sure what they want. Of course, every business wants to make money and continue to grow and expand, but at what rate? An even better question would be, what criteria would you consider yourself successful? Financial advisors need to know at what point they think what they’re doing to succeed. That’s why Step 1 of building a financial advisor marketing plan is to create a roadmap for your business and employees. Roadmaps give you somewhere to start and help guide your future decisions. And the first part of your roadmap always begins with your audience.

Find Your Niche

Who do you serve? And what specific problem(s) do you solve for them? The ideal goal for an advisor is to build a firm that focuses on a target audience. For some, this includes retirees; others are looking to invest for retirement. This means that finding a niche audience is the most effective way to grow your firm while lowering the cost of customer acquisition.

Niche marketing is great because it:

  • Homes in on your ideal client
  • Can create market leadership
  • Increases the potential for profit
  • Tends to create deep levels of customer loyalty

Determining your niche will require some research to determine what type of audience you attract. This will then affect what platforms you use to advertise and the tone of voice/attitude you’ll use. It can also help you decide whether to approach marketing through digital or physical media. Knowing all this is crucial to ensuring you don’t waste money or time when the time to start marketing begins.

Pro Tip: Identifying your target is important for personalizing marketing/services. Research has shown that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a brand that offers personalized interactions.

List Your Long and Short-Term Goals

Once you have clarified your audience, you will want to clarify both short—and long-term goals. What are you hoping to get out of the plan? How do you think you’ll be able to do this?

Breaking down larger goals by quarter can help. Then, determine short-term goals within these time frames. Try to be as detailed as possible. The more specific you can get, the easier it will be to identify the steps you need to take.

If you pump your goals up too high, you’ll add unnecessary stress and ruin the whole point of creating a marketing plan. When planning your goals, ask yourself some of these questions:

  • I have X clients right now. What number do I want to reach by the end of the year?
  • We communicate X amount of times with clients a week. What do we want to raise it to?
  • How can we make client communication better?
  • How do we make our service better for our clients?
Pro Tip: Not every goal has to be quantitative, setting goals is meant to push you to do and be better. If you think your communication with clients could be better, add that to your goals list.

Once you’ve built your roadmap, you can implement it. With the right plan, any financial advisor can create a great marketing plan to reach the ideal client. Along with a roadmap, try making use of timelines. Create a timeline that sets specific due dates for parts of your marketing plan. Are you trying to establish an online presence as part of your marketing plan? Set dates for when you want to get certain parts accomplished. It’ll help you stay on track and keep you focused.

2. Establish Your Digital Presence

Step two is all about establishing a digital presence for your business. This can be anything from setting yourself up on social media to creating a website and posting consistent content for potential clients to see.

Prioritize the Right Platforms

A website, social media, and email communications are the foundation of your marketing. But there are additional ways to expand your digital presence, and some will be more beneficial to your business than others. Consider your audience and goals from step one to decide which platforms will be best for you. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Which social media channels will you focus on? Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, etc., each attract a different audience.
  • What topics would be the most effective for your audience
  • How will you approach physical marketing? Will you use direct mail to engage your audience?


Use Your Brand Voice

All successful businesses have a brand, and those brands have a voice. Your brand voice showcases a unique personality to present to the world. It should align and run consistently in all your communications, no matter which team handles the channel. Brand voice establishes who you are as a financial advisor and allows your audience to identify your brand on all platforms. For example, the C.L. Sheldon & Company does a great job of establishing its brand voice across all of its marketing channels:

Have trouble finding a brand voice? Try these steps:

  • Describe your brand in three words
  • Think about what you want your business to represent
  • Ask your clients what they feel best describes your advisory
Pro-Tip: It’s important to remember that brand voices don’t change but they evolve as time goes on. Your voice’s goal should be to stand the test of time and represent what makes your business so great.

3. Set Up Your Marketing Schedule

Now that you’ve set goals and created a roadmap,  it’s time to establish a marketing schedule. This is done by taking your previous research and figuring out the best plan of action and time to post. For instance, if you find that your social media is more active at certain times, plan to share posts at that time. Other things to keep in mind when establishing a marketing schedule include:

  • Creating and posting blogs on a schedule
  • Creating an email campaign that works on a set schedule
  • Consistently posting and engaging on social media also on a set schedule

As you can see, there’s a common denominator, and that is having a set schedule for your content.

Blog Scheduling

One of the best pieces of financial advisor content is the blog. Blogs are usually pretty simple to write and allow advisors to express their expertise on a certain topic or introduce new industry updates to site visitors. Along with that, blogs are a huge performance boost to website SEO. That’s why it’s important to set a schedule for blog posts. Whether you wish to post weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly, having a set date lets readers know when a new piece of content will be released.

Pro-Tip: We recommend posting new blogs once a week when you start out to attract readers and keep interest.

Email Scheduling

There’s no doubt that email plays an important role in a financial advisor’s marketing strategy. Multiple studies show that email marketing results in a significant ROI. By sending your contacts messages on a regular basis, you stay top of mind, establish trust and credibility, show that you’re a leader in your industry, and encourage more referrals and connections. It’s important to determine your ideal email marketing frequency.

Ask yourself these questions to begin the process of finding your ideal frequency:

  • What are my goals?
  • What type of content am I sending?
  • Who are my subscribers?
  •  What are my average open, click-through, and unsubscribe rates?
Pro-Tip: Many advisors send one or two emails per month, but depending on your goals, you can choose to be more or less frequent.

Social Media Scheduling

It’s important to understand that social media is always evolving and always active. That’s why having a set posting schedule based on when your audience is active is so key. Social media also involves an important balancing act of posts to commenting.

Pro-Tip: Make use of the 80/20 rule; for every post you make, make four meaningful comments on other financial advisors' posts.

4. Track Your Performance

Your setup is all complete. Now, it’s time to put your plan into action. Don’t be worried. You’ve put in the work to ensure that the content you put out will resonate with your target audience. It might take a few days or weeks, but your marketing plan will show how useful it can be.

Now it’s time to track your performance and see what the data shows.  it’s important to keep track of all your data and statistics as you go through the campaigning process. Doing so allows you to see what your ROI is and how effective your marketing efforts were. Make sure to use both quantitative and qualitative data to accurately measure your plan’s effectiveness.

Even more important than data tracking is the review afterward.  After a marketing plan or campaign has been completed, it’s a necessary habit to review the data and see what can be taken, changed, or improved for the next marketing plan. See what worked and what didn’t. Marketing doesn’t always have to be done from scratch, so it’s good to keep data from past campaigns to improve on its successors. This will help ensure that your marketing evolves and grows to fit your needs as a financial advisor. Remember, things can always be improved, so always keep your mind open to new ideas.

5. Apply Marketing Best Practices

To further ensure that you’re successful in your financial advisor marketing plan. Here’s a checklist of things that you should be focusing on when advertising as a financial advisor, along with some of the best practices that we feel will put you above your competitors.

Website Best Practices

Make sure that your website is up to date and looking nice. There are many aspects to keep in mind when checking to see if your site is making use of all the best practices. Be sure to check that your site includes:

  • Call to Action (CTA)
  • Navigation that’s easy to use
  • A working contact page
  • Stylish design that separates you from others in your field

If you need some inspiration, here’s a list of our 10 Top Advisor Sites that stand out among their peers.

Blogging Best Practices

Not all advisor sites have a blog, but those can potentially see 97% more links to their site, along with an increase in visitors found through search. Blogs are an easy way to increase your site’s SEO ranking, but be sure that when creating a blog, you’re putting in the necessary effort. Don’t just write a couple of paragraphs filled with high-ranking SEO words. If you’re going to have a blog, do it right, and you’ll be very happy with the results you see.

Email Best Practices

Email is one of the best ways to stay connected with current clients. And though there is such a thing as “too much” communication, communicating not enough is far worse. How often you decide to communicate will be up to your business, but we do recommend reaching out to not only update your clients but also to surprise and delight them. If you’re looking to learn how you can effectively market using email, then this blog post will help.

And if you’re looking for additional assistance, we offer both timely email content – designed to show off your expertise – and birthday, holiday, and special event messaging. Click here to learn more.

Social Media Best Practices

Today’s most popular way of communicating, social media, is a pillar of marketing. Hosting over 4.6 billion users worldwide across all platforms, it’s easy to see why so many companies put so much focus into their marketing on these sites. When posting, be sure to stay consistent with your brand voice and engage with your audience. Ask them questions and create posts that get them talking. The more activity you can get going on your page, the better.

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