As a successful financial professional, you’ve been involved in marketing throughout your career. Still, when it comes to newer innovations such as content or inbound marketing, you may feel like you are behind the curve.
The truth is, you can easily repurpose some of the principles on which you have based your traditional marketing into new inbound marketing strategies. You already understand the importance of the value of educating your clients and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field, and you know how crucial it is to maintain strong relationships with your clients. These are also some of the key foundations of a successful inbound marketing strategy.
Educating Clients and Prospects
Old models of marketing (now called outbound marketing) were based on begging, buying or stealing people’s attention. Flashy ads, subliminal messages and other disruptive techniques were all created to either wear down a person’s resolve or find a backdoor to their subconscious. Inbound marketing aims to reverse that paradigm. Instead of coercing prospects into buying their products, businesses are providing valuable content, often at no cost, in order to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with clients and prospects.
On average, inbound marketing delivers 54 percent more leads into the marketing funnel than traditional outbound marketing. Since you’ve been educating your clients on their investment options throughout your career, why not do it as a part of your marketing? Some ways to educate your clients through inbound marketing include:
- Having a regularly updated blog where you post about industry changes
- Sharing articles from reputable sources (not all the content you post has to be yours!)
- Engaging with your followers by answering their questions online
- Sharing engaging videos, presentations and articles about salient financial planning concerns
The first advisors that come to mind are those I know are actively involved in their community, be that online or in their neighborhood. A female advisor I know, Deb, hosts monthly events in her community geared toward women who want to become more financially savvy. She’s built her entire brand around this premise and it has served her well.
Another advisor, Bill, hosts a podcast that provides education, tips and advice on retirement planning. Neither of these advisors include sales pitches or gimmicks to persuade people to attend, listen or become a client. Through regular education in a comfortable environment, they naturally build trust and people see them as knowledgeable resources for financial help.
Education has been at the core of your business since the beginning. Today, it should be at the core of your inbound strategy.
Becoming a Thought Leader
Throughout your career, you have found your own unique ways to set yourself apart from the competition. Maybe that means competitive rates, a high level of education or a niche offering. It likely also includes being a source of information and guidance in a world of bombarding messages.
Studies show that buyers go through about 57 percent of the purchasing process before ever talking to a salesperson, as they research a product or service. Being a thought leader or a reputable resource for industry information alleviates this research process and motivates prospects to contact you.
In the marketing world, there is a term called “strategic visibility.” Strategic visibility is getting in front of people that matter and who are in a position to take action. As a thought leader, you become a go-to resource of information for your clients and prospects while increasing your strategic visibility. This means your ideas and innovations will be exposed to the right audiences at the right time.
Building Strong Online Relationships
At its heart, the advisory business is a relationship business. Much of your career satisfaction comes from the ability to help others and watch the fruits of their labor pay off throughout the years. Many advisors we work with have had the same clients for decades, and even work with them multigenerationally.
Inbound marketing is all about building these types of strong client relationships. Marketing with integrity is the best way to garner clients’ and prospects’ trust. The more people trust your content, the more they will trust your business. For this reason, 78 percent of marketing professionals surveyed think that custom content is the future of marketing.
Consider a financial advisor whose website is full of educational materials such as informative articles, clever videos and market calculators. All of this content is available to anyone who visits the site. Resources like these make visitors feel like the advisor is interested in improving their understanding of a subject. This is the first step in building a relationship of trust and ongoing communication.
At first glance, inbound marketing may seem overwhelming, but chances are, you’ve been implementing these strategies for years. Instead of shying away from new innovations in content marketing, turn the techniques you’ve used throughout your career into new and improved content ideas. And they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!