When Steve Lyons spoke with me about his tips for helping financial advisors market themselves, I knew that I’d like to share them with you. When I first met Steve, he was a copywriter for Fidelity Investments. Today he enjoys working with clients of all sizes, including individual advisors.
by Steve Lyons
As a professional marketer and copywriter specializing in advisor communications for print and the Web, I know firsthand the challenges independent advisors face in marketing their business to investors. Whether you’re a veteran or just beginning your practice as an independent financial advisor, these marketing tips can help you stay on track to achieve your goals.
1. You’re not just a business, you’re a brand. True, your business relies on you – as a financial advisor and person. But take the initiative to create and build your business as something that is bigger than you are – a brand with goals and values. Work with a reputable marketing consultant or firm to help you understand and tell the world how unique you are. And more, take your brand development and marketing as seriously as the big firms. They’re spending and working overtime to make sure that investors do not notice you.
2. Quit talking about yourself. Successful marketing begins with telling your audience the BENEFITS of working with you – not the details of your personal or professional life. It may be interesting that you have a master’s degree in finance, but it’s much more powerful to talk about how your degree creates opportunity for your clients. Use your one-to-one sale time to be more specific about why you as an Independent Advisor and person and why you are the advisor for them (and they’re the client for you).
3. Remember, you’re not selling only financial advice. You’re selling a lifestyle. What sets the larger and more successful firms apart from less successful independent advisory firms? They understand that money management is only the means to an end. The real goal is to help clients achieve their goals and dreams, whether it’s living in luxury, providing charitable contributions and/or leaving a legacy for family and friends. Use imagery in your marketing that helps them see their financial future as they want it to be–fun, exciting, adventuresome and secure.
4. Understand what makes you different. It’s important to know what makes you different from the advisor down the street. Is it your investment philosophy? Your investment strategy? Do you offer a fee-discount for multi-generation wealth management? Do you accept only select clients by referral only? Whatever it is, and the list can be extensive, know why you are different from your competition.
5. Create a marketing plan. And implement it. If there was ever a time for independent advisors to make a difference, the time is now. There is more cash on the sidelines than any time in modern history. How do you obtain some of the stockpile? By creating a marketing plan that includes long term and short-term goals. Regardless of your budget, there are opportunities for you to get your name out there.
6. Think out of the box. Your clients are everywhere. You have to find them and they have to find you. Sponsor community programs, leagues and events. Create a billboard. Write guest columns for local publications. Create a blog. Use social networking on the Web. Make calls. Make more calls. If this feels overwhelming, hire a reputable consultant or firm to help you think out of the box and execute marketing programs that builds and supports your brand.
Steve Lyons’s experience includes marketing, copywriting and content development for both Fortune 500 and small businesses, with clients including numerous independent advisors and wealth managers throughout the country. He is a principal in LD Marketing Communications Consultancy and SoWa Ad Group, a collaborative offering the full branding experience, including public relations, for businesses of all sizes.