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Michael Kitces’ #FASuccess Podcast: Sheri Fitts on Successful Advisor Marketing

ShoeFitts founder Sheri Fitts details why it’s important to have a staff member formally responsible for the marketing of your firm.


Welcome, everyone! Welcome to the 73rd episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!

My guest on today’s podcast is Sheri Fitts. Sheri is the founder of ShoeFitts, a marketing consulting firm for financial advisors, and is the Chief Marketing Officer for Sheridan Road, a Chicago-area advisory firm that works primarily with qualified plans and has nearly $13 billion of assets under management.

What’s unique about Sheri, though, is her particular focus on how to craft “unforgettable” marketing strategies to really differentiate yourself, right down to the fact that, as the founder of ShoeFitts marketing, she gives away colorful socks as a gift because it’s unique and that makes it hard to forget.

In this episode, we talk in depth about how to leverage and maximize marketing ideas, from the importance of trying to craft your own memorable and distinct marketing initiatives, why it’s crucial to align the marketing of the firm with the kind of business you want to grow towards in the future, the importance of systematizing your marketing processes so that you can measure and refine them, and why it’s so important to have a staff member who is formally responsible for marketing in your firm, even if that means 75 percent of your “marketing costs” are actually staffing costs, and only 25 percent of the budget actually goes to a traditional spend on marketing itself.

We also talk about Sheri’s own path as a marketing consulting, how she decided to make the leap from a traditional corporate job to going out on her own as an independent consultant because she didn’t want to be buried in managing people, the ironic challenge she faced when her independent consulting firm grew so quickly that she once again found herself in the position of managing people, and how she restructured her firm yet again to allow her to focus her time on the tasks she enjoys the most. Which I think has parallels for most of us as advisors, too.

And be certain to listen to the end, where Sheri provides her own perspective on the fundamental difference between sales and marketing, and why advisory firms need to cultivate both in order to succeed.

So whether you’re interested in learning how to craft an unforgettable marketing strategy, or what you can do to systematize your marketing process so that it can be measured and refined, or are wondering how you can best structure your firm so that you can focus on the tasks you prefer, I hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast!

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