Just as this piece is written, we know that the contents that follow are not for everyone. They are for a particular someone (financial advisor), in a particular stage of their career (a few years in the business), with a particular need (streamlining marketing efforts).
If your marketing is for everyone, it’s for no one.
Here at Consolidated Planning, we understand that you want to grow your financial advising practice and that requires a personal touch, not a one size fits all approach.
If you’re hoping to provide a custom experience for your clients, or desired clients, you first need to know who those clients should be. Ok, you’ve got those, great. Now, you need to determine if marketing automation is in the cards for you and if it will help get you there quicker.
What Is Marketing Automation For Financial Advisors?
According to HubSpot, marketing automation is software that handles routine marketing tasks without the need for human action.
This can make repetitive tasks easier and your output quicker.
As a financial advisor, the bulk of your work day should revolve around revenue-generating activities – your clients and prospects, not repetitive tasks.
Marketing automation helps you do that. When implemented correctly, marketing automation within your practice proves to be a powerful tool to improve your marketing efforts, including:
- Enhanced client experience
- Nurture leads
- Push email campaigns
- Post on social media
- Promote events
What You Need To Automate Your Marketing As A Financial Advisor
To automate your marketing you need to have….marketing.
If you aren’t doing much in terms of your marketing efforts, we’re really glad you’re here.
Think of your marketing as a value add for your target market. With thousands of financial advisors for consumers to choose from, you need to position yourself with expertise in your target market. This means having full breadth and depth when it comes to this niche and what matters to them.
Speaking of target markets, you won’t be able to get started with marketing automation without one.
#1 A Clear Target Market(s)
First and foremost, regardless of marketing automation, you must correctly identify your target market.
So, how do you pinpoint your target market?
No matter where you are in your financial advising career, list out your top 20 clients or quality prospects. What do these names on your list have in common? This commonality might just be your target market.
As an advisor at Consolidated Planning, you will go through training based on Richard Weylman’s approach to target markets. The Weylman Center is a robust treasure trove of training and resources to assist them to delve into their target markets.
Here you will focus on a set of video courses called “Accelerating Your Growth in the Affluent Market.” While you can do this course on your own, most advisors prefer our study group format where they can share successes and failures with other advisors.
This course allows you to research the markets you want to venture into and helps you develop the plan for the who, how, when and where for approaching that market. Following and implementing this process and the tasks created from your research can help you find success within the chosen market(s).
So, why is a target market beneficial to your success?
By working vertically, rather than horizontally, you will build on that wealth of knowledge that is your target market. Properly aligning your messaging through content and conversations that are relevant to your market helps you drive business growth by making you the most experienced in your field, in turn making you very referable. For that to happen, you need to be answer these questions:
- What drives your market
- What is important to your market
- What your market’s lifestyle looks like
When you build your target market, you build a more manageable group of people and higher quality interactions compared to thinking everyone is your client.
Operating under the assumption that everyone is your desired client can leave you feeling like your marketing efforts are falling on deaf ears. And they are.
Once you know the ins and outs of your target market, you’re ready to tackle your marketing strategy.
#2 Marketing Strategy
According to a study by Broadridge, only 23% of financial advisors have a defined marketing strategy. Whether you’re in that statistic, or not, ask yourself some questions in relation to your marketing.
- What is your overall goal in reaching your perspectives in hopes of turning them into clients?
- What is your unique selling point?
- What do you want your practice to look like?
- Where are your clients and perspectives spending their time?
- Through what platforms will you reach your target market?
- What information is relevant to your target market?
As an advisor at Consolidated Planning, you will reap the benefits of partnering with our Marketing Administration, Practice Management, and Solutions (MAPS) team to strategize the best marketing plan for you and your practice. As marketers, this team understands the value of customization and brand recognition for the way you envision conducting business with your clients.
Together, you will build a marketing and business plan that makes the most sense for you. As you move through this plan, you’ll further evaluate what is working, what isn’t, and what can be done differently to meet your target market where they are at.
A marketing strategy requires a defined target market and a marketing strategy requires content. You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king,” and it’s still as true (maybe more true) as when Bill Gates wrote about it in 1996.
It’s not enough to just push content out to your target market. Your content needs to be a value add to them – helping to build trust and position you as one of those most experienced advisors in that field. As a financial advisor some of these pieces of content could include:
- Relevant industry news
- Educational pieces
- Client success stories
- Client events
- Personal tips
- Behind the scenes
This content will need to be hosted on landing pages, social media platforms, and email templates, in an effort to best catch your audience wherever they are.
#4 Marketing Automation Platform
Here is where it will make sense to have a clearly defined marketing strategy. The goal of an automation tool is to set up workflows and varying functions that will determine how your customers or prospects will interact with you. These workflows include:
- Email automation
- Customer journey
- Scheduling social posts
- Retargeting ads
Where will this customer information come from? Glad you asked.
Your marketing automation platform will pull data from your Customer Relationship Manager(CRM) software so it’s essential you regularly keep your CRM up to date. Remember the saying, garbage in, garbage out? Well, it will be very difficult to automate your marketing without quality and complete information on your acquaintances, prospects, and clients.
Advisors at Consolidated Planning utilize SmartOffice for their CRM. From day one, advisors are encouraged to make this tool part of their weekly workflow, following the ideal work week. Even if marketing automation isn’t for you, updating your CRM helps you provide an enhanced customer experience, in return growing your practice.
3 Benefits of Marketing Automation
Your marketing automation is only as good as the data you have. With adequate data for your contacts, marketing automation can be a game changer for your practice marketing efforts.
#1 Streamline Processes
With so many details to keep track of, marketing automation streamlines some of your repetitive tasks, such as:
- Appointment scheduling
- Follow-up and appointment reminders
- Monthly newsletters
- Sending documents
Automating some of these areas helps you focus your effort in other areas of your practice. Ideally meaning more time spent in front of your clients and prospects.
#2 Measure Your Impact
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. If you’re going to put your resources – time and money behind implementing marketing automation, measure the impact of those campaigns. Some meaningful metrics for you might be:
- Conversion rates: how many of your leads have taken the desired action?
- Customer journey: what rate are your prospects funneling through the sales funnel?
- Engagement: what content are your clients actually opening, watching, or reading?
Let these metrics help guide where your marketing strategy goes from here. If you aren’t getting the results you were hoping for with a piece of material or a campaign, why? What isn’t resonating with your clients or prospects?
The MAPS team at Consolidated Planning will work with you to figure out what isn’t working in your marketing strategy and what can be improved for the best results.
#3 Better Client Retention
This is something we’re all after. Retaining those hard earned clients. Automating some of your processes can help you stay top of mind with your clients and prospects, with a little less effort. Here are a few simple examples:
- Personalization: send communications based on their preferences, behaviors, and past interactions with your practice
- Consistency: set-up regular check-ins with your clients and prospects
- Timeliness: reach out to your clients at the right stage
Remember, just because it can be automated doesn’t mean it always should be. Marketing automation can be a huge time saver but you can still retain your clients without automation.
Can Marketing Automation Make Your Financial Advising Practice More Successful?
Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?
Implementing marketing automation can make your day-to-day life as a financial advisor a little more manageable. However, getting there takes time and resources. Before deciding if marketing automation is best for the stage your practice is in, you should start with ensuring your ducks are in a row. Ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Is your target market clearly defined?
- Is your CRM robust and accurate?
- Does your practice have defined marketing goals?
If you’re ready to get your ducks in a row, reach out to our recruiters for how the teams at Consolidated Planning can help get you there.
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