Financial Professionals: Create a Marketing Strategy that Respects You’re Busy (and Keeps You That Way)
Marketing is the challenge of every business, but when you are selling an intangible or something where the transformation happens years down the road, it’s even harder. Whether you’re a bookkeeper or a CPA or a financial advisor, it’s hard to stand out in a crowded marketplace and craft compelling arguments around why you’re the right provider.
With marketing seeming to be so challenging, a lot of financial firms rely on the old standbys like networking events and personal relationship building, but the reality is, belly to belly relationship marketing is time consuming, it isn’t scalable, and if the recent events haven’t convinced you – it’s unreliable as a foundation for building your business.
Instead of shaking hands at the next Chamber meeting hoping that there is someone in the room who doesn’t yet have a CPA, consider building a simple and sustainable digital marketing strategy to get more leads and growth opportunities for your financial services firm.
Consider Serving a Niche Market
Figuring out your ideal client or one you especially like to work with can help set you apart in a crowded marketplace. By focusing your marketing efforts on a very specific and highly desired client type – maybe online entrepreneurs, healthcare workers, or teachers – you’ll soon discover that you enjoy the activity of marketing when you can attack it with personal passion.
Find Out Everything You Need to Know About Your Niche
Don’t be afraid to target your efforts very narrowly. But to do this successfully, you really need to understand your niche. What motivates them? What are their biggest fears?
The people who make up your niche are online and they’re talking about their financial fears and challenges. Engage by joining Facebook Groups or sharing relevant content on LinkedIn. Listen for their feedback to what you post and see what resonates and gets engagement.
When you understand your niche, you can customize packages, products, and services for them. And by meeting them where they are in their financial journey it makes it easier for you to explain exactly what you can do for them.
When it comes to successful marketing and advertising, the more specific you are the more success you’ll enjoy.
By focusing on clients you enjoy, you’ll maximize the returns on your marketing efforts.
Your Personality is a Value Proposition
At the heart of every marketing effort for a professional service provider is…a person. Too often, marketing strips away what makes people unique.
But when you are a financial professional, part of what makes up your value to a client is who you are and how you relate that to the type of clients you want to serve. Work to build on relationships by connecting with clients and prospective clients on a deeper personal level.
People do business with people. Don’t be afraid to share what you enjoy outside of work hours. What’s your big why?
Giving insight into your big why is another way to connect with potential clients on a personal level. It demonstrates that you are compassionate and that you understand what makes the members of your chosen niche unlike other people.
Commonality creates lasting bonds that are the foundation of a great customer experience and powerful marketing messages that resonate.
Use your marketing to explain your specific process for working together or at tax time. When you tie what drives you to what you do, suddenly it all comes together.
When prospects see you as a person, they can also see themselves working side by side with you.
6 Effective Ways To Connect With People and Market Your Services To Them
- A Great Website and/or Landing Page
Depending on your firm’s size and offerings, you may need a complete website and a series of landing pages featuring specific services or a hybrid of both.
However you choose to go about a web presence, these web pages are where you will drive all your traffic. It’s where potential clients will learn more about you, your firm, and the services you provide.
Web pages are the first impression clients will have of you as a professional and of your financial service offerings. The more compelling and informative your site is, the easier it is to convert visitors into clients.
Consider adding video to your website or landing pages so clients can see and hear you and determine if you have a communication style that resonates with them. Videos are a great connection and communication tool, and they increase time on page and that “dwell time” helps your ranking on search engines.
Tip: Mobile friendliness is no longer an option. Your website, landing pages, and any other content must be optimized to fit in the palm of your ideal prospect’s hand. With everyone using smart devices these days, not making mobile a top priority will tank your marketing efforts.
- Don’t Discount Social Media
Yes, there are compliance issues to consider for many in the financial services sector. But with a smart social media plan in place, every financial services provider can enjoy the brand awareness building that comes from a social media presence.
Think about your niche market or most desired clients. Where are they likely to hang out online? If you target seniors, you can probably skip TikTok, but it would be an oversight not to be on Facebook.
If you target millennials, you’ll likely find them on Instagram.
There’s no benefit to wasting time on social media so do your research to get the best return on investment (ROI) on your time invested in social networking. The more you’re seen online the more you boost your visibility everywhere.
- Publish high quality professional content on all your social media profiles and pages. Consistency is key to messaging and building a following.
- Engage with your audience and hear what they are saying.
- Stick around to engage with posts and comments.
- Consider running compliant ads to promote your products and services.
Link to your social media from your website, mention your profiles in emails or in newsletters, and encourage people to subscribe to your channel on YouTube if you’re producing video to increase engagement and visibility.
- Don’t Skimp on SEO
While social isn’t a direct ranking signal for Google, the more places you are online the easier you make it to stand out, especially in a crowded field like financial services. While social media matters, search engine optimization (SEO) should be the biggest focus for your digital marketing efforts.
A website is only helpful to you and to your potential clients if they can find it.
Thinking about your target niche or ideal client, you’ll want to develop a list of relevant keywords and use those in your marketing. Keywords are the terms and phrases that people type into search bars when making inquiries online. The more you know about your prospects and how they consume financial services, the better your keyword plan will be.
Add locally relevant words to your keyword plan to attract even more traffic to your site. But remember, you may offer services virtually and not really have a “local base”. To improve SEO when you must rely on broader search terms, be sure to keep your site fresh and updated with new content that will catch the eye of ideal clients and search engines.
- Local SEO if it is Right for Your Firm
When you are thinking about SEO, consider geographical search terms and add them to your keyword plan. Locality based terms like “small business bookkeeper in Los Angeles” might have lower search volume, but higher intent to hire.
This geographic focus is also called Local SEO.
Another way to increase your firm’s local visibility and search engine ranking is by completing your Google My Business (GMB) profile.
Claiming and optimizing your GMB page signals to Google your office is “open for business.” While it doesn’t replace your website or landing pages, a strong GMB page helps your website get found.
Potential clients see Google’s endorsement as a trust signal to select you as their accounting or financial services provider.
One simple but critical thing to get right on your listings and outside pages: your name, address, and phone number (NAP). Every time you drop a suite number or share a different phone number or firm name, you confuse Google and potentially suppress rankings.
Make sure your “NAP” is correct and consistent across the web.
In addition to your GMB, by claiming and completing your listings on reputable online review sites, you can earn powerful backlinks that signal Google your site is a trusted source of reliable information.
Even if you can’t ask for reviews due to industry regulations, people can and will review and rate your services across the internet. Having a connection to those sites helps you monitor incoming reviews.
- Use Video as Part of a Content Marketing Strategy
Would you be surprised that financial services are second only to high tech firms when it comes to using video? And why wouldn’t savvy financial service providers use video? Video is a great tool to promote your services, make explaining complicated things easier, share case studies, or to build rapport with potential clients.
Beyond tutorials and testimonials, you can use video to increase time on your website or share them on social media. You can even tap into the power of the second most powerful search engine, YouTube, and create a channel that delivers informational or informative content.
And lest you think you need high production values to be successful with video, most video content is user generated and that’s considered acceptable in most instances. If you need a few videos with a lot of editing or intros or outros, remote video editing can make your production look expensive.
Keep videos short and client focused. Address pain points and challenges. Video is being prioritized on nearly every social media platform making video a great investment as a digital asset for your business.
- Content Marketing is Essential
Content marketing doesn’t have to be an endless slog of blogs and articles, your video content also contributes to your overall content marketing plan.
However you feel most comfortable, the key is consistently creating high quality content. The right mix of content will attract new clients and help to retain your existing clients.
Content isn’t the place to pitch your services. Aim for an 80/20 blend of education and services-based solutions or promotion. Don’t be afraid to create content that helps your potential clients solve a problem “without you.” By giving clients tools to solve small issues, you have more opportunities to be called upon for complex or bread and butter services because they have gotten results from your tips and advice.
Great content feeds your SEO strategy which in turn feeds your leads and grows your business. With so many advisors and accountants out there, engaging, interesting content will be what earns you trust and new business.
Why Simple Marketing Plans for Financial Advisors Work Better Than Complicated Ones
You didn’t get into financial services to become a marketing expert. Don’t risk your professional reputation by spreading yourself too thin on too many platforms or with too many plans.
Put your focus on marketing efforts that come naturally or that you enjoy doing. If you don’t enjoy Instagram, your business will be okay so long as you do have the “non-negotiables” like a website with a solid, niche based keyword plan to increase your search engine ranking.
Find the things you can do consistently, and you’ll attract more qualified clients. If an honest assessment of your current workload makes handling your own marketing a challenge, it may be time to talk to a digital marketing agency that specializes in financial services and understands the compliance and regulatory requirements of the industry.