New financial advisors face a formidable challenge: You must find clients willing to trust you to manage their resources without being able to clearly demonstrate a history of success. Even seasoned financial advisors may discover that clients have grown increasingly vigilant — and for good reason.
With more than a quarter-million financial advisors in the United States, it’s hard to stand out as a professional. As the industry is expected to grow over the next decade, it will be even harder to earn new business.
Wondering how to get clients as a financial advisor? First, you must work to refine your message and online presence in a robust and focused manner. Then, you can network both online and offline using a mix of traditional and modern methods:
- Nail your pitch
- Improve your website ranking
- Get listed in directories
- Request and monitor reviews
- Find networking opportunities
- Write guest blogs
- Try paid advertisements
Let’s take a closer look at the action steps needed to implement each of these methods in your next quarter:
Get the expert marketing advice and tools you need to find new financial clients and increase investment from existing ones.
Nail your pitch
Can you say exactly what sets you apart from other financial advisors in a succinct, engaging manner? Nailing your pitch is akin to refining your message, which will help you with all outreach and marketing efforts.
A common exercise is practicing your “elevator pitch.” Imagine riding an elevator with a prospective client who asks why they should work with you. There’s no time to stumble or be humble. You should be able to articulate what sets you apart from other advisors. Perhaps you want to focus on your education, experience, values, or success.
Don’t gloss over this messaging refinement because your day is already packed with meetings. Perfect your elevator pitch, and then create a proposal packet filled with collateral explaining what your clients want to know.
Folders, filled with well-designed flyers and letters answering common questions, will help you present yourself as the professional you are. Don’t forget to include your logo to strengthen your firm’s brand.
Improve your website ranking
Assuming you have a well-designed, mobile-responsive website, you can still likely improve it to increase your traffic and awareness. While a simple site is better than none, a strategic and robust site is even better.
Independent financial advisors often lose out on clients simply because their website doesn’t organically rank well in online searches. To achieve this, you must improve your site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
What is SEO? It’s an online marketing strategy that includes making your site more user-friendly with easy navigation and quick photo load times. You need to integrate keywords or phrases that people search for throughout the text on your pages. You must also add in links and social media to bring it all together.
While improving your SEO isn’t an overnight strategy, it’s the best way to connect with people who search Google for the phrase “financial advisor” and your town.
Get listed in directories
Another way to get noticed in online searches is to connect with the right directories and listings. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, Garrett Planning Network, Boomerater, Paladin Registry, and the Financial Planning Association Directory are worth investigating, along with the more common listing pages everyday Americans use.
For example, have you claimed your business on Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook business pages yet? Social media is underutilized by financial advisors, often in fear that they may divulge proprietary information or seem unprofessional. Yet this is where your client base spends time nearly every day.
When claiming your business on these listings, make sure all the information is correct and completely filled out. List your office hours and double-check that the location on Google Maps is accurate. Remember that elevator pitch? Use that same wording on your website, and your listings, to ensure consistency in your message.
Request and monitor reviews
If you’re lucky, your clients will visit your listings and add a positive review for others to consider as they research where to place their trust. When someone leaves a review, whether it’s positive or not, you should respond quickly and professionally.
Replies for positive comments can be a simple expression of thanks for their time and their business. Negative comments can be more challenging. You should acknowledge concerns and apologize without making excuses. Encourage the person to contact you directly by providing your phone number.
Of course, you don’t have to rely on luck. Don’t be shy about asking your loyal clients to write reviews on your listing sites. You can also use those testimonials on your website. The more social proof you can offer, the more comfortable people will feel with getting to know you professionally.
Find networking opportunities
Nothing beats the ability to shake hands and talk with people in the community who are looking for your services, but networking opportunities aren’t always possible. Start by seeking out the online version of chamber of commerce events. For social media, that’s LinkedIn.
If you want to focus on one social media platform for your marketing efforts, LinkedIn is a good start. This platform is specifically for professionals. Once you’ve fully updated and completed your profile page, search LinkedIn for relevant groups to join. That way, you can reach out to fellow members with something in common so it’s not such a cold email.
Also, if there aren’t networking opportunities, you can create your own. Hosting small events is a strategic way to create a captive audience. Consider offering in-person educational presentations or virtual webinars that can demonstrate your expertise and provide a platform to build relationships.
Write guest blogs
Content marketing is another powerful tool for gaining new clients. Your experience and training have gained you more insight into the financial markets than anyone else, and people want to learn from you. Don’t keep your knowledge just for your current clients. Instead, imagine anyone reading your work as future clients.
Look for relevant sites where your clients likely spend their time and submit blog ideas. You can also post your writings on your website and social media business pages. Once you position yourself as the expert you are, others will see you that way as well.
Try paid advertisements
At one time, financial advisors could just run a simple business card-like advertisement in the local newspaper to gain business. But that’s been replaced with digital paid advertising that is more effective and cost-efficient.
You know it takes money to make money, so allocate a small budget to Google Ads. By analyzing your metrics, you can determine what keywords and messaging are most effective so you can retarget your ads to hone in on exactly the clients you seek.
Even when you refine your message, improve your online presence, and use tools available to get noticed by your target audience, financial advisor prospecting can still take time. To make sure you are taking advantage of all online marketing tools, check out Constant Contact’s The Download, for professional services. This free guide outlines what you need to do to grow your business fast.