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The Long and Short of It – How to Prioritize Your Marketing Initiatives as Financial Advisor

by Advisor I/O

Marketing is both exciting and terrifying for many financial advisors. Why? For one, there are endless ideas that can be executed. This leads to excitement when you first start planning out your marketing.

But this is also the exact reason it can be terrifying; how can you be expected to execute on everything and create momentum in your business? What do you tackle first? How do you build on the momentum? This often leads to marketing paralysis, leaving advisors in a place of inaction.

Generally, marketing progress mimics the standard entrepreneurship S Curve (see below). Things take time to build; momentum happens; things flatten, pivot, repeat.

Marketing S Curve

Source: Innospective

This S Curve is why prioritization when it comes to your marketing is so critical. This S Curve is why you must focus on knocking down blocks one by one before building on top of your progress and stacking your learnings.

Let’s get into the phases.

Initial Focus: Your Foundation

Any good marketing strategy begins with the right building blocks. Without these building blocks, you’ll spin your wheels and your dollars. You want to check a few key items before you start creating any content, posting on social, or other activities.

  • Determine Your Goals and Objectives: This means figuring out the core goals you want to accomplish and the metrics you want to measure. Usually, we set metrics along with the three parts of the funnel. A few metrics you can track:

Marketing Metrics

Here is a recent YouTube video we did breaking this down.

On the go? Here’s a podcast episode we did with Erica Pauly, CEO of Track That Advisor, that dives into it.

  • Define Your Ideal Custom Profile: This is THE most critical step to your marketing strategy – who they are, what they like, their tendencies, and what topics they could care about. This will help you define the content you create for each process step.
  • Create Your Content Framework: Your marketing can’t work without a content framework – but it needs to be specific to you and your practice. A content framework applies across each part of the marketing funnel.
    • At the top, people are just hearing about you, or you’re trying to get people to hear about you. This could be blog posts, video series, podcasts, etc.
    • The middle, where once they’ve heard about you, you can give them something of value in exchange for their contact information. This could be a newsletter, eBook, or event.
    • The bottom is where they already know you, and you are introducing content that can push them further down the funnel to setting up a meeting or converting. You want to define what topics and assets you need to cover during each portion of these.
  • Set Your Distribution Plan: Like your content framework, you’re going to be spending time on different channels for different purposes based on your audience. Pre-retirees spend a lot of time on Facebook, younger demos, Instagram and LinkedIn. All have email. Social and Search will be your primary promotional channels for your top-of-funnel content and mid-funnel content. Email and phone will be your mid-funnel and bottom-funnel channels.
  • Get Your Digital Channels in Shape: Before we can hit the gas on marketing, we need to ensure things are set up and connected properly so your efforts will succeed. This list breaks everything down into the four essential areas that work together to build your brand, generate leads, and convert: Website, Third Party Social Channels, email.

Getting Out the Starting Gate

Once your foundation is in order, when it comes to getting started in your marketing, the basic food groups are where you start:

Publishing: Publishing content to your website, YouTube, or other main “house” outlets aka where your content is going to live. Star by publishing an item a week to 2-3 main outlets – this will help you get your process down.

Organic Distribution: Posting to social media, getting your social media post copy down, and figuring out how to recycle content (check out this video here) is an art as much as it is a science. Therefore, we also start with organic posting before layering on any paid media. Figure out what you’re posting each day/week and the process to execute it. What templates do you need in place for graphics, when are you posting, how are you diversifying your posts. These are the questions to answer.

Newsletter Sends to Current Clients: A newsletter can be one of the most effective ways to stay in front of clients, and what we call – active in the inbox. It’s also one of the best ways to have your clients share your practice with their friends and family. You don’t need an aggressive cadence, once a month can keep you top of mind.

The key? Keep them in the inbox and add value. We went into the depths of this on a recent webinar. Newsletter best practices fall at 10 minutes.

Network Building: When it comes to organic marketing, partnership marketing and networking are really the only ways you can build your lists outside of good old content marketing. Build your network on LinkedIn, and reach out to COIs to see how you can partner.

You can deploy our 10, 10, 10 strategy which we cover here on YouTube.

We’re not even thinking about measurement right now; it’s about getting your day-to-day process down because at the end of the day – good marketing is about consistency as much as it is about innovation.

Adding Fuel to the Fire and Humming Along

 Once you have your basics in place, it’s time to add some fuel to the fire. This includes adding paid media, marketing automation, and webinars/events.

Paid Media: When it comes to paid media, it’s all about defining the goal – are you trying to create more brand awareness and reach or are you trying to drive leads?

We map out a quick example ad strategy below.

 

We generally have advisors deploy lead gen ads out the gate: $35/day promoting an eBook or guide to their core audience on Facebook, tracking cost-per-lead and # of leads metrics. This allows you to build your email list effectively in an authentic way that is relatively low-cost.

In addition to ads, marketing automation can be incredibly effective and take you out of the equation. Dripping on lists of current prospects or engaging those new prospects you capture via your marketing efforts can add more value to their inbox and convert them into meetings. We cover marketing automation at the 17-minute mark of this webinar.

Finally, webinars and events added into your marketing mix can be excellent deployments for both prospects and clients. While we’re not very big on doing “cold” webinar ad runs, we think they can be some of the most effective marketing deployments for people in pipeline and referrals.

The Bottom Line

Marketing can seem overwhelming, but taking the right approach and prioritizing the different tactics can enable you to scale, stack your wins, and grow your practice.


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