While the recent pandemic has shaken the economy and changed the way we connect, it has also increased the need for financial advice — and the way consumers find it. According to ThinkAdvisor:

“During the first six months of the coronavirus in the U.S., the relative frequency of user searches for the term ‘financial advisor’ increased 17 percent compared to 2019’s average. With people confined to their homes and facing uncertainty, the need for financial advice has never been greater. The only difference is how it’s delivered.”

Even if you already have a strong roster of existing clients, generating qualified leads should be at the top of your to-do list. However, we know that might be easier said than done especially for busy advisories. To get you started, we’ve compiled 11 financial advisor marketing ideas that can generate leads to grow their business and their assets under management (AUM). We’ll start with some trends that may change the way you think about how to get clients as a financial advisor

1. Adopt Technology That Supports Consumer Behavior

As algorithms and consumer needs change and evolve, so must your approach to generating leads for your advisory. Effective lead generation for financial advisors is impossible if they don’t know their audience and the communication channels they prefer. So how do you get to know your audience and adapt your strategy for finding leads?

You construct lead generation strategies founded on what your audience, and Google, tell you they want. Looking at recent trends is a good place to start. Many financial advisors have bought into the need for an online presence, but it’s safe to say that most continue to focus on local marketing to increase their AUM. 

The recent pandemic has diminished the effectiveness of seminars and other in-person local marketing, so lead generation for financial advisors will have to evolve. Now is the time for financial advisors to fully embrace the future of financial marketing: the virtual advisor. 

It’s no secret the financial services industry isn’t exactly at the forefront of technology use, but we’re getting there — and so are our clients. According to a report from 2015 featured on Mckinsey, less than 30 percent of investors were interested in a virtual advisor relationship. But the recent climate has changed all of that. Connecting virtually has become the norm, rather than merely being an alternative communication tool.

Even when things get back to normal, there’s no reason to think the demand for a virtual relationship with an advisor won’t continue to grow. Prospects who may not have been “digital savvy” before the pandemic have been forced to embrace digital communications, and those new habits are likely to continue.   

Today’s investor is more open to finding a financial advisor online, and many are primed to invest in a virtual relationship with their advisor. Keep that in mind as you dive into the rest of our lead generation strategies. 

2. Build Up a Professional Website

Your website works as your digital calling card. Wherever a prospect hears about your business — either from a referral, an advertisement, or a Google search — they are going to go to your website first. Your site should be clean, contemporary, and easy to navigate. If your website isn’t mobile responsive, user-friendly, or updated, prospects may get the impression that your practice is outdated and irrelevant.

A financial advisor website should include basic information about your firm’s services, team bios, and contact information. Make sure it lists your most updated address, phone number, and email so prospects can follow up. At the very least, a website puts you on the map as a business that is relevant and available.

 

3. Blog Regularly and Gather Readers’ Emails

 

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just have a website to get leads for your financial advisory. If you want readers to keep coming back, your site also needs to be updated consistently with new content via a customized blog. Not only does maintaining a blog help engage clients and prospects, but it also boosts SEO, as Google prefers sites that are regularly publishing new, original content.

Whatever you decide to publish (updates about your firm, answering common finance questions, employee or client spotlights, community events, or anything else), just make sure it’s a mix of both original and curated content from other sources. To learn more about the importance of a financial advisor blog, check out this article.

At the bottom of each page, through a pop-up, or on a sidebar, you should include a request that readers join your email newsletter. Many who end up on your site to read a blog or watch a video might not know you have a newsletter if you don’t ask them to sign up. By publishing interesting, helpful content, you’ll encourage readers to sign up to receive more communication from you. This single call to action can help drive new leads to your list every month.

 

4. Use Page-Gating for Important Content

 

If you have a great piece of content on your website, such as a white paper, longer video, or downloadable template, consider page gating it. When you gate your content, someone who wants to access that content needs to provide their contact information in order to unlock it. You can find more information on page gating with FMG Suite by watching this short video.

By gating a piece of content, you ensure that you receive email addresses and information from all interested parties. This turns a casual reader into a lead for your financial advisory. Once someone enters their email or phone number to read the white paper, you can send them more similar content, or call them to see if they’re interested in learning about your business. 

Be sure to add these new contacts to the list of emails that receive your newsletter, so you can build up a rapport and keep them engaged if they aren’t yet ready to become a client.

 

5. Use Facebook Advertising

 

Increasingly, Facebook is a “pay to play” platform, meaning that if you want to see significant results, you’ll need to pay for them. But luckily, Facebook offers an extremely robust paid advertising feature, which makes it easy to target your specific clients with information catered directly to them. 

You can send an ad to a specific age group, in a certain income bracket, who live within 30 miles of one zip code, and who love to golf. It’s truly amazing how targeted you can get, and you can get started with as little as $10.

If you’re already seeing traffic to your website, you can integrate that data with Facebook via what they call a “Pixel.” Once you have that setup, you can target Facebook advertising directly to people who visited your site. By using a lead generation advertisement, you can re-engage those visitors and gather their contact information. 

 

6. Encourage Online Reviews

 

When was the last time you went to a new business WITHOUT first looking them up to read reviews? Whether it’s a restaurant, hair salon, mechanic, or, yes, financial advisor, people are flocking to Yelp and Google reviews to get insights on a new business. When a prospective new client looks up your business online and sees you have a number of positive reviews, they’re more likely to visit your site or contact you.

Do you have these pages set up for your financial advisory? If not, it’s time to do it. If pages already exist, make sure they have your latest contact information. Once they’re up, you can ask your clients to log on and give you a review. Including a small note at the end of your email newsletter, with a link to your Yelp or Google pages, is a good way to encourage reviews.

A quick note on compliance: As long as you, the advisor, don’t make yourself a publisher by compensating a reviewer or authoring or posting anything including responses to reviews you will not violate the rules.

 

7. Host an Event

 

This tip both enhances your relationship with your current clients and brings in more referrals. Host a fun client appreciation event and encourage them to bring friends. The type of event could be anything; it really depends on what type of clients you serve. Consider one of the following:

  • A wine tasting event
  • Family movie night
  • Outdoor barbecue
  • Discussion of a recent financial topic
  • A night out to a community event

Come prepared with business cards, but remember, this is the time to really connect with both potential and established clients on a personal level, without feeling the need to push your business.

 

8. Build Up Your LinkedIn Network

 

LinkedIn is an incredible social media platform you can use to connect with old contacts, build up a reputation as an industry expert, grow your network, and get leads. By regularly posting helpful content, interacting with your connections, and requesting referrals via mutual friends, you can quickly build an impressive circle.

LinkedIn is also an excellent place to join industry groups, or even start your own. In these groups, advisors can foster discussion and share relevant information with their network. Consider starting a group for your community that answers common financial questions and discusses the latest financial news, and invite all your current clients and contacts.

 

9. Get Involved in the Community

 

No matter where your firm is located, there are ways you can get involved in your community and get your name out there. No matter how “virtual” your market gets, community outreach is one of those financial advisor marketing ideas that will continue to generate leads. 

This could mean any number of things, and it’s important to make a decision based on your values as an advisor and the priorities of your clients. For a few ideas, consider getting involved by:

  • Sponsoring a sports team
  • Working with a local nonprofit
  • Setting up a booth at a festival
  • Teaching a free course to the community
  • Sponsoring a 10k, fair, or another local event

No matter how you choose to get involved, it will help potential clients associate you and your financial advisory with a philanthropic act. Plus, you can feel good about the work you’re doing!

 

10. Send Direct Mail

 

With all the hype around digital marketing, this tip might surprise you. But despite the rise of email and social media, direct mail is still a valuable source. In fact, mail might be even more effective today than in the past, because of how few businesses are using it. 

Consider sending out postcards or a letter in an envelope to those in your area to get started. If you send out 1,000 direct mail pieces at a cost of $900, even if you only have a 2 percent response rate, that means 20 qualified leads at a cost of $45 per lead. Try incorporating this “old fashioned” technique in your marketing strategy this year!

 

11. Ask Existing Clients for Referrals

 

If you want something, ask. This applies to a number of situations and especially with referrals. When you remind your clients to refer new contacts to them, they’re much more likely to do so. Try adding a line at the bottom of your email newsletters that encourages clients to forward the email to a friend. Even this small request could make a big difference.

We recommend reaching out to your clients once per quarter to check in and ask for referrals. If you’re currently using the FMG Suite email platform, we have an automated campaign that does that for you.

Give these tips a try and see what works for your business! Each individual advisor must find which lead generation strategy works best for them, their firm, and their clientele. If you find a solution that works, let us know in the comments!

Want to learn more about lead generation for financial advisors? Get a demo of FMG Suite‘s lead generating, relationship building platform Attract™ today. You’ll find the technology you need to grow your business in the digital age.