Marketing financial advisory services can be complex and frustrating. Advisors today are confused because what worked in the past often doesn’t work anymore. Additionally, many have spent thousands on marketing mistakes that didn’t pay off and are wary of new approaches. But without spending on effective marketing campaigns, your business will certainly have a difficult time growing.
Yet, many advisors become paralyzed by their marketing efforts. They aim to get a market update or newsletter out, but after several rounds of edits, the project falls by the wayside. Their old website is an embarrassment but a website overhaul seems too overwhelming. They know they need to update their marketing but aren’t sure where to start. Sound familiar? Here are the three biggest marketing mistakes advisors should avoid.
1. Being a Perfectionist
Why is it that some advisors take weeks to create a new website and some take years? Does the quality of the website reflect the struggle and time spent? Rarely. Top advisors let go of perfectionism in favor of execution. This doesn’t mean their marketing results are sub par, in fact their marketing is much more effective because they deploy more engaging content and ideas on a regular basis.
Top advisors know that their marketing is always going to be a work in progress. They update their branding, website, and content every few years, so there is less pressure to reach perfection with each iteration. They’re able to get blog posts, videos, and advertisements out quickly to meet deadlines and keep their marketing on schedule.
As a result, their communications are nimble and they can afford to be timely with their marketing. When the stock market goes down or a big news story breaks, they can quickly release a marketing campaign to take advantage of the event. They stay top of mind with their network and centers of influence because they put out solid content on a regular basis.
On the other hand, perfectionist advisors conduct painful rounds of edits to each piece of content, including too many team members in the process. They decrease their posting frequency and kill the enjoyment of the process.
What perfectionists don’t realize is that most readers don’t care about a completely polished post. Your clients and prospects read your blog because they want to hear your thoughts and opinions on a topic. Blogs are a place to share ideas, a living breathing conversation, not a scientific journal. Advisors who are growing their business stick to a schedule and get their ideas out, no matter what.
2. Not Asking for Help
The most successful advisors run various marketing campaigns simultaneously and have someone else orchestrate their marketing calendar. They employ ghostwriters and outsource creation of their marketing content and ads. While each piece is based on their insights, opinions, and philosophies, they don’t create every blog post, whitepaper, or video script from scratch.
Marketing is typically based on a different skillset than financial planning. Top advisors understand that marketing consultants offer creative and technical skills that advisors rarely possess. By outsourcing to a qualified expert, you can save time, avoid costly mistakes, and take advantage of proven ideas with your marketing efforts.
Especially when it comes to the intersection of technology and marketing, like using your email marketing software or adding technical features to your website, it pays to outsource to an expert. Once you find a marketing pro you can rely on, you’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in a hurry.
3. Not Embracing Technology
Marketing today is one part technical and one part creative. Because many marketing campaigns take place in the digital world, technology is critical to creating and tracking your efforts. From your website to email marketing to social media, it’s important to use top technologies that can make your marketing more effective and save you time.
Top advisors invest significantly in marketing technologies. Over half of elite advisors (those generating $1 million or more in revenue) use a CRM like RedTail, a financial planning software such as eMoney, and email marketing technology like Hubspot or MailChimp.
They tend to have a systematic and disciplined approach to investing in their technology and marketing. These investments result in more efficient and productive business models and make finding new clients easier. You would never attempt to run a marathon without food and water, yet trying to grow your business without fueling your technology engines yields the same painful result. Plan to invest in your marketing technology and make updates as better solutions become available.
How to Move Forward
Unfortunately, there’s no step-by-step playbook for marketing your business in today’s digital world. Your most effective marketing plan will depend on your business, the specific demographic you’re trying to reach, as well as your personality and branding. But the confusion and complexity of marketing is no excuse for inaction.
Understand that your marketing will always be a work in progress. Make a commitment to create and stick to a marketing calendar, then track what efforts work best so you can do more of them in the future. Don’t take your marketing too seriously and remember that people want to hear from you, so enjoy the process and share your unique opinions and insights.