Freedom comes with a price tag. As an independent advisor, you don’t have the marketing power of a broker dealer behind you. Referrals for newbies are scarce. Breakaways are contractually limited. Competition is fierce. Finding new clients is your top priority, but how do you go about doing it? Let’s take a moment and chat about prospecting.
The word “prospecting” brings up frightening images of cold-calling and door knocking. You can try those old-school techniques if you want, but both methods are time consuming and neither is all that effective. This is the 21st Century. Utilize the technology available to you. To help you get started, here are some effective financial advisor prospecting ideas.
Establish Your Brand
The first question you need to answer is, “Who are you?” There’s something that makes your business different. Find that unique identifier and articulate it. Build it into your website. Make it part of your company mission statement. Incorporate the same messaging into your marketing. If your target market is airline pilots, don’t just pitch all the pilots you know. Position yourself as the industry expert in airline pilot investment portfolios. Make them come to you.
Read our blog on Essential Financial Advisor Branding Tips for a more in-depth guide on establishing your brand.
Find the Right Software
There are two critical tasks you need your software to perform for you. The first is to keep track of everything you do (CRM). The second is to disseminate your message (Marketing). Working to establish your brand is wasted effort if you’re unable to spread the word. Systems like Salesforce and HubSpot can do CRM and marketing, but these tools are not necessarily not built for our space. You may want to consider a CRM made specifically for financial advisors, like Wealthbox or Redtail, then add an email marketing program like Constant Contact or Mailchimp. They’re equally effective. Get something you can afford that does what you need it to do.
Produce Quality Content
You don’t have to be a writer yourself, but you need to produce some content. It’s critical for every financial advisor prospecting idea we’ve provided you here. Clients will be more likely to do business with you if they view you as a trusted authority. The rest of the world doesn’t know who you are. Create a whitepaper. Write an eBook. Set up a blog. Post meaningful, non-promotional posts at least once a week. Stay consistent with this, and you’ll start to see new visitors to your website.
Utilize Social Media
If you’ve followed our advice in the previous step, you should have plenty of content to share to your audience. While posting it to your site can drive some traction, sharing it on social media can help you to draw in even more leads while simply using the same piece of content.
For starters, share your content on LinkedIn. You can build an audience by searching for groups frequented by prospects in your target market. You’ll also want to set up a Facebook business page. Facebook has a feature called “Boost,” which can be used to target geographical areas and topics of interest. You can post content and pay to have it appear on other’s pages. The cost per click (CPC) is minimal and conversion rates are higher than what Google Adwords has to offer.
Get Involved in your Community
Go to seminars and join a community organization. Financial advisors need to be seen. Attend seminars run by your local Chamber of Commerce. If you’re looking for clients outside the area, sign up for online webinars and engage in chats with potential prospects. Join the Rotary Club or local Elks Lodge. Get to know some folks and build your business through in-person social interaction. You don’t have to alter your schedule much to do either of these.
Ask for Referrals
Every new client is a lead source. The key to this is the quality of your customer service. The market rises and falls. Clients get emotionally invested and will sometimes “flip out” when they call you. Others take a more sensible approach and stay calm. Treat them all equally. Each client is precious. If you can make them feel that way, they’ll recommend you to their friends. Make sure you remind them regularly how important referrals are. Offering incentives is useful here too.
Teach a Class
Rent a hotel conference room and set up a class on personal financial planning. These tend to fill up quickly, because most people have no clue how to plan for retirement. Charge a reasonable fee. Just keep in mind that HNW clients don’t typically show up at these events. You’ll likely get mostly middle-class parents and homeowners. Even so, those are great leads for a new firm. Think of them as long-term ROI and opportunities for multi-generational wealth management.
Expectations for Financial Advisor Conferences
Your peers will encourage you to attend conferences to promote your firm. These are generally NOT prospecting opportunities. TD Ameritrade’s LINC, Schwab Impact, and XYPN Live, for example, are great places to learn more about your craft, meet other advisors, and check out new software. You won’t find any clients there. Set your expectations properly and budget these events as a travel expense. There’s no return on investment for you to track.
If you’re targeting a special niche, like pilots or teachers, find out if they run a conference. Setting up a booth in that type of environment could score some decent leads. Remember the first step: Establish your Brand. If you’re going to be the “go-to” advisor for a specific group, find out where they gather and spend time there. Let them know you’re “part of the family.” It works. You’ll see a snowball effect once you get the first few clients on board.
Good Life Companies Can Help
At Good Life, we provide lead generation programs on a full-time or short-term project basis. We focus on providing new business opportunities, incumbent client-lead mining opportunities, acquisition opportunities, and recruiting of new and seasoned advisors/agents. Get in touch today to learn more.