Also available as podcast (Episode #37)
How do I create a marketing plan for my new advisory firm?
One of the most exciting aspects about transitioning to the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) model is creating your marketing plan for your new firm. This is where you get to bring to life the vision you’ve always had of exactly how you want to position your firm in the marketplace. What name you want to call your firm. The logo you want to use. How your website will appear. The look, feel and message of your brand. In this video I am joined by Claire Akin of Indigo Marketing Agency, a specialty marketing firm focused exclusively on independent advisors. Together we discuss everything you need to know about the steps involved with launching a marketing plan for your new advisory firm.
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Want to learn even more by better understanding what a transition to the RIA model might look like for your own practice? I encourage you to schedule a Discovery call, and I’d be happy to begin that conversation with you.
Indigo Marketing Agency (website)
Claire’s book: The Marketing Guide For Financial Advisors (Amazon link)
Indigo’s Marketing Strategy Checklist (link)
Indigo’s Get Started Page (link)
Brad’s appearance on one of Claire’s webinars (link)
Brad: How do I set up a marketing program for my new RIA? That is today’s question on the Transition To RIA question and answer series. It is question #37.
Hi, I’m Brad Wales with Transition To RIA, where I help you understand everything there is to know about WHY and HOW to transition to the RIA model.
On today’s question, we’re talking about, if I were to start my own RIA, how do I go about setting up my marketing for that? Everything from marketing to branding, and what are the logistics and who should I work with on that? And so, I’m super excited, as you can probably tell on the screen here, to have a guest. I’d like to say hello to Claire Akin with Indigo Marketing. Claire, thanks for joining us today.
Claire: Yeah, thanks for having me. I’m Claire Akin, as Brad said, with Indigo Marketing. What we do is we help independent financial advisors with their marketing, everything from existing advisors that have been in the business for decades, to new advisors who are going independent or launching a new firm. And so, that’s what we do.
Brad: Fantastic. I would tell you…so anyone that’s seen a lot of my videos, I’ve made 30-plus videos now, this is the first one I’ve done with a guest, and so I’m super excited about that. And I think it’s very fitting, the topic, because I would tell you, if you are launching your own firm, that this marketing part of it is absolutely the most exciting, enjoyable part of it. This is where your vision will come to life. It’s what you’ve thought about the ideal practice you want to have, how you want to hold yourself out in the community.
What we’re going to be talking about today is how do you bring that to life? And that is the exciting part. There’s a lot of parts of launching your RIA that are necessary steps, but they’re just – it is what it is – they’re not exciting. This is an exciting part of it.
So, I’m super thrilled to have Claire on. I think it’s a fitting first video I do with a guest, and so super happy to go through everything we’re going to talk about here. As to why I asked Claire specifically, and like I said, Claire’s with Indigo Marketing, the reality is there’s a lot of marketing folks out there, a lot of marketing firms. Everything from industry-specific ones to, you know, that marketing person down the street or in the office down the block there. And the question is, so who should you work with?
Obviously, there’s different opinions on that, but I think you would find there’s a lot of marketing firms out there that just have very kind of cookie-cutter, off-the-shelf approaches. You can go to them and some even hold themselves out as, “Hey, we help financial advisors.” When you’re going to make this big of a move and start your own firm, you just don’t want that boilerplate package right off the shelf that it’s already done for you and the logo kind of looks similar to everyone else and the branding looks similar. You really want it unique.
I think something very special and unique to Indigo is that that is their approach is that they do look at these very individually. This is what they do, financial advisors, independent financial advisors only. Claire will give a little more background on herself and you’ll see why that’s her specialty. So, I specifically sought out Claire for this one because I truly believe in what her team does.
I would tag on to that, just to be clear, there’s absolutely no compensation arrangement or anything like that between Claire and I. If I refer people to her, there’s no kickback or anything to me. This is solely because I think it’s such a great solution and she’s done a great job with her team getting out there in the marketplace. So, just know this is who I think is best. It has nothing to do with any sort of compensation or anything like that.
So, with that, I want to step aside here because we really want to hear the good stuff, which is what Claire is here to help us with. I might jump in from time to time as we go through this with some questions or anecdotes, but mostly I’m going to let Claire drive the bus here.
With that, Claire, if you want to bring up our deck, and I know you’re going to start by kind of a little more background on yourself, and I’ll let you run with it from here.
Claire: Let me pull up the slides so we can get started with the presentation. And if you haven’t already seen the first presentation Brad and I did together, it’s actually on my site, it’s how advisors can start to think about transitioning to an RIA, why they would do it, the advantages, what the process looks like.
And so, that is a great kind of introductory step. If you’re thinking about going independent, launching your own RIA, or going with that RIA model, I talk about with Brad, all of the things that advisors need to know once they’re going down that pathway.
This is the second step of once you have launched your own RIA, or you’re getting ready to, what does it take to launch from a marketing perspective? And so, we’re going to make it really easy and really simple for you because I know this is one place that advisors get very overwhelmed is that it seems like there’s so many moving parts and there are.
Marketing today is very technical, and there’s a lot of different aspects to consider. We’re going to break it down to 10 manageable pieces so that you can know that there’s a finite amount of things that you need to do to get your marketing up and running. We’ll walk you through those today.
To give you a little bit of background on my story, I am a former investment advisor with LPL Financial. I got into this business because my dad’s a financial advisor. He’s been in the business for 39 years. I’ve done his marketing. I’ve helped grow his business as an advisor. And then I realized what I really love to do is the marketing side so I started my firm. We help independent advisors to launch their marketing and do their marketing each month for them.
We know that you guys are really, really busy. You’re taking care of your clients. You’re running your business. You’re doing compliance. You probably don’t have time to log into your social media profiles, your website, so we take that off your plate and do it for advisors, like Brad mentioned.
There’s this challenge with marketing for advisors where you need to have somebody that understands the industry, that understands compliance, but also that’s going to make you look different from other advisors out there. And so, that’s what we do. We do 100% custom, original marketing for independent advisors within the confines of compliance. We help about 165 top advisors with their marketing each month. We’ve launched dozens of new firms and new RIAs.
So, what do you need to think about when you’re marketing a new firm? Basically, with a new firm, we’re starting from the ground up. And so, you need to start with the basics and we’ll walk through it so you know what that looks like.
If you want to learn more about this topic, I have a marketing book, it’s called “The Marketing Guide For Financial Advisors.” We are thrilled to have five star unanimous reviews on Amazon. Check it out on Amazon. We’ll link to it below.
The book really covers everything that you could ever want to know. It’s a good read. I’ve gotten really good feedback on it. So, if you want to know everything about the foundations of marketing in this industry, check out the book. I think it would be helpful.
Today, we’re going to break it down into a little bit smaller bite sized pieces. We also have this Marketing Strategy Checklist. So, if you want to know what top advisors are doing in a checklist format, download this checklist. We’ll link to it below and then you can check off what have you already done, what do you need to do, what are you missing to get you to compete with the very top financial advisors out there on their marketing strategy.
I also want to help you avoid mistakes. I know a lot of advisors out there, if you have done your marketing before, you’ve probably wasted money, more importantly, you’ve wasted your time. And it can be very frustrating to do marketing schemes that take a lot of your time and resources and don’t work.
And so, we’re trying to give you the 20% of activities that can give you the 80% of results, so that you are empowered to grow your business in a way that makes you optimistic and hopeful and excited about the future. My goal for all the advisors that we work with is to give you a baseline marketing presence that you should be embarrassed not to have. I’m not telling you that you should do expensive schemes or marketing funnels. I’m telling you, this is the basics of what you absolutely should have to respect yourself as a firm. These are the very basics that are kind of non-negotiables from a marketing perspective today in 2021.
So, 10 steps to marketing your firm. First of all, you need a name and we’ll go over some of the pros and cons of different strategies for picking your name. You need a logo. You need a website, a compelling call to action that people can take to get started with you online 24/7, search engine optimization which sounds a lot more confusing than it is.
Social media, like it or not, social media is here to stay and it’s an important part of your marketing strategy for several different reasons. Email marketing, which is really the bread and butter of marketing today is sending out emails each and every month that remind people who you are, who you serve and how you help.
Content creation that really represents you well, a webinar is something that you should consider. And just like the webinar that you’re watching now, it really helps to get your message out there in a more personal way. And then checking on your marketing metrics and knowing are these activities working for you? Is your traffic increasing or decreasing each month. This is critical. You wouldn’t run an investment plan or a financial plan without checking on the metrics after the fact in each month and to correct course. And you shouldn’t do your marketing like that, either.
So, first of all, let’s talk about choosing your name. Brad, I know this is something you probably help advisors with. Do you have any kind of key points about choosing a firm name?
Brad: The beauty of it is the complete independence you have. When you’re with a captive employee type model now, they’ll sometimes let you use something like “The Wales Group of So-and-So”. The reality is though, that still limits your flexibility of how you position that out there. I think it’s really exciting to be able to choose your own name.
And obviously, as Claire might talk about, you do have some constraints. You are going to want to make sure you have a website domain available for that. There’s a lot of names already out there in use but, again, the beauty is the flexibility, that’s the excitement of it is to start throwing those names up on the wall and trying to brainstorm on what’s a good fit.
Claire: Yeah, if you’re an independent advisor, you probably already have some ideas in mind. I think it’s a little bit funny, because so many advisors have the same names out there, and it can become a problem. I just toured a new office yesterday, and one of the huge tenants in the office is Cornerstone Wealth Management Group. Well, that’s a client of ours, but it’s not the same advisor. Our Cornerstone is on the East Coast, I’m in San Diego.
I often see some of the same names, you know, Cornerstone and Life Planning. All variations of the same types of names that come up over and over. And you do once in a while see lawsuits about advisors who are already doing business with one name. And there’s confusion, there’s consumer confusion. And so, you want to really try to find a name that is unique to you that no one else is using. So, do a quick Google search. You could use a trademark attorney to research whether or not anyone has ever filed under that name.
Make sure that you’re starting fresh, and that you’re not going to have to change your name down the line. It can be confusing to your clients and it can kind of hurt your SEO to change your name midcourse. I would err on the side of picking something very unique, that you know that you own, that you know that you can keep forever.
Once you choose your name, then it’s choosing your logo. I have a lot of tips on choosing a logo. Simplicity is really key here. The more simple that you can keep your logo, the better it will be.
Here’s some examples. This is one example of a before and after, for my dad’s firm. He started out with a logo on the left in 1979, when he started his firm, and then we changed it in the early 2000s to the logo on the right. You want it to be super clear, super crisp, easy, one to two colors at most. You want it to be able to go on your website and look right but also to be able to go on a hat or a golf shirt, or a coffee mug.
And so, create a logo that’s simple, that can be reproduced in a variety of either horizontal or landscape formats and that will look good on all of your marketing materials.
Here’s some good examples of logos that we’ve done for financial advisors that are super easy to read, easy to recognize, one to two colors so that they look great, either on a black baseball cap in white or on a white golf shirt in black. You want to really keep it simple.
This is a service that we provide advisors. The way we do it is we offer you 12 different logo options. You get to choose the one you like the best, and then we iterate on that. Simplicity is really key here when choosing your logo, because you have to choose your logo first. Then your website design is going to roll out from the colors and the design and the imagery in your logo. So, once you’ve created your logo, then we get into creating your website.
Brad, you have a great website. I was really impressed when I went to your site. You can see your videos. You can book a Discovery Call. You can do a lot of different actions. And so, advisors, if you’re looking for an example of a great marketing site, go to Transition To RIA, Brad’s site, and check out how simple and personal and engaging it is. It’s very authentic, very approachable. That’s the type of website that I recommend for advisors.
A few technical things to get out of the way on building your site. First of all, you need to have a secure site. And this may seem a little confusing, but what is called an SSL security certificate is something that Google started cracking down on just in the past five years. What it does is it creates a secure connection between a visitor to your site and your website so that no hackers can intercept information. This is important especially for financial services because a lot of advisors have their clients typing in username and passwords to access their client portal. And in theory if your site is not secure, hackers could intercept those username and passwords. So you really want to make sure that you have a security certificate.
It gives a lot of trust to the visitor when your site is secure. It has that checkmark, that little lock mark, and it shows your site as secure. Having a secure site also helps you show up higher in search results. So, it’s really important. Any web developer can do this for you. Just make sure that you have that security certificate.
The next thing from a technical standpoint on your website is you want to make sure that your site is truly mobile-responsive. Back in the day, it used to be that it just needed to be mobile-friendly. What that meant is that you could see it okay on a mobile device, you could sort of navigate around. But mobile-responsive is that it displays perfectly on every mobile device. Depending on which device I’m getting to your site from, it will give me a different version of your site, so that it’s perfect on an iPad, or an iPhone, or a desktop, etc. This mobile-responsive design is important because we know that more than 50% of website traffic comes to advisor sites from mobile devices these days.
Once you’ve done those two technical things, then you want to have a website that represents you well, that has basically your story on it. We want people to understand who you serve, how you help, and the benefit that you offer your clients. And then we want them to easily be able to take action 24 hours a day.
And so, Brad, your call to action on your site is your Discovery Call. But do you have any other calls to action on your website at this point?
Brad: That’s where I try to drive most folks for a next step. I would love to talk to folks directly, so it’s that Discovery Call. But I understand that even that is still a step some people are maybe not ready to make. And so, I also believe in having content on the website, whether it’s other videos that I do, I have whitepapers, podcasts and things like that, and try to give folks options.
If they’re not ready to take that next step of making a call, I still want to keep them engaged. Some of that might be a way to, and maybe you can talk on this with your success with this, is trying to obtain an email address so you have the ability to drip on someone over time. Because obviously, especially that first time visitor to your website, we’re almost certainly…and I don’t have the stats, I need to get better at this to be able to calculate this sort of thing – I’m realistic that the chance that the first time someone comes to my website that they’re scheduling that Discovery Call would be great, in many instances, it’s just not going to happen on that very first time. I want to give them a reason to come back and keep exploring. Maybe you could talk on your experience of how to keep moving people through that funnel to get to that call to action.
Claire: Absolutely. And that’s such great insight. You want to always give people an appropriate next step no matter where they are in the buying process. My website’s similar in that the average time between somebody who gets on my email list and actually takes action to schedule a marketing strategy call, which is our kind of main call to action is – schedule your free strategy call where we’ll go over your marketing and make free recommendations for you to, you know, improve your marketing in some easy steps – that takes a year for somebody to get on my email list and then schedule their call.
So we want to give them lots of baby actions in the meantime. The calls to action on my site are watch a webinar – that is the biggest one where we get their email address, they spend a half hour with us, and then they’re on our email list getting our emails each and every month. And so, that’s a good option.
Wherever they are in the buying process, they should have a baby step to take, whether it’s see a sample financial plan, or maybe it is to learn more about the type of people you serve, or watch one of your webinars or, ask a question through a chat box. Really easy steps that people can take online 24/7.
Brad’s site is a great example of some of these different baby steps and then getting to the main call to action, which is a Discovery Call. There are a lot of advisors out there that don’t have this on their site still. When somebody finally is ready to take action, maybe they and their spouse are talking about money at 8:00 p.m. on a Tuesday night and they want to be able to take action and go to bed, they don’t want to have a to do the next day. We need to give them something to do here and now on their site, a couple of clicks, schedule a call with you for a week out. Then they can feel like it’s off of their to do list. And so, you want to make sure that you have all of these different options available on your site.
Brad: Can I add something there real quick on that scheduling thing? I’m assuming you do this on every website or at least encourage them. I’m a big fan of that because I think you want to remove every last piece of friction of that prospective client possibly from reaching out to you. Whether it is they’re looking at your site at 8:00 at night and they know as a fact no one is going to be there to take the phone call to try to schedule a meeting, or even if it is during working hours, there still is that step where if they have to call you to set up that first meeting – we could all argue, that’s, come on, what, 60 seconds of someone’s time – but there is friction there.
If that prevents even a small number of prospective clients not taking that next step with you, where instead you can put it right there on your site, I’m just a huge fan of that. I think it’s an absolute necessity nowadays to have available. Some people might still call in, and that’s fine, but I think you have to have that on your website.
Claire: Absolutely. It works so well on my own site. We do really strongly recommend, almost require it of our advisors. When we set up their websites and their marketing accounts, we add a Get Started Now page, the automatic calendar scheduler, just to make it as easy as possible for their clients, their prospects, their referrals to schedule a call with them.
The next step is search engine optimization. I mentioned that this isn’t as challenging as it maybe seems. People try to make it more complicated than it is, but search engine optimization is just telling Google and the other search engines what your business does. We want your information to be consistent, your address, your website, your hours of operation, your phone number to be consistent across the internet, so that Google knows you are, who you say you are, and they’ll give traffic to your site as a result. And so, we do SEO packages for our advisors.
The first step is to get more traffic to their site and have Google understand that their site is legitimate. The second is to get you to show up better in search results. You can see one example of no SEO work here, where you have kind of a list of websites and social media profiles for this financial advisor. And then once we’ve done your SEO, then you show up in the right hand side under Google Maps. This is your Google My Business listing. It has your photos, your website, some different logos, you can add content to that, you can add articles to that, you can really kind of customize your Google My Business page.
It’s important that you show up on Maps so that people can click to get directions, and they can click to call you. Because a lot of clients forget your phone number or say they’re referring somebody to you, they pull you up on their phone, and they want to be able to share your business with their friend by texting it to them. So you want to make sure that you have a proper listing, that you’re really optimized across all search engines to make it really easy for people to find you and to share you as well.
To kind of demystify SEO, there’s two types of SEO. One is on-site SEO, which means on your website itself. This is where you’re putting keywords into your website, onto your homepage, etc. So, retirement planning in Plano, Texas, whatever it is. We do this for the advisors that come onboard. Sounds technical, but there’s really only so many keywords that you can add to a site.
We add title tags for each page to tell Google what that page is about. Then we add metadata that reinforces those keywords. If you’re trying to come up for executive stock compensation plans, or financial planning for divorced women, these are all the places that you put your keywords on your site so that the search engines can see them.
Off-site SEO is different. This is off-site, so it means on Google, Bing, Apple, Facebook Business, your Twitter profile, making all of these listings, the Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce that are telling Google and all of the other search engines out there what you do, and they’re telling them that you are consistent across the internet. This off-site SEO is also important to get you to be verified online with the algorithms that the search engines use.
When we do this SEO package, it is really powerful and this is why I recommend that you should do this. We did this package for financial planning for Amazon employees. This is an advisor that really focuses on Amazon. The SEO project began and he was ranked 74 for that search. And once we did all the SEO work, and we launched a site, he jumped to number 19. And then he eventually jumped all the way up to number five.
I believe some of his blog posts are coming up as the top search result, even above the Amazon website for different questions about the Amazon benefits package . Some of his content comes up above Amazon, which is amazing. He gets thousands of visits each month to the pages that he’s created for Amazon employees. And so that’s free traffic. It keeps coming to your site month after month. It’s a really great option if done correctly.
Brad: Looking at that…some of these SEO things can take some time. But if I saw that slide correctly, that wasn’t a multi-year growth. That seems to have been measured in months, not years. That’s incredible.
Claire: Yeah. It takes about three months to get the results and a lot…it’s like a credit report. The amount of time that has elapsed since you did
your SEO properly gives you more and more clout with Google. And so, you really want to do this either 25 years ago or today, because you want to start gaining that credit.
This is another good example of a fee-only advisor in Austin, Texas. Advisors, if you are fee-only, which a lot of RIAs are, this is a great keyword to rank on, because there’s significant search traffic for fee-only advisor. And so, this was really, really successful for him. He’s coming up as one of the top search results. In a place like Austin, people care about that. It’s something that they’re Googling for. And it’s something that gives him a lot of new business.
The next thing, we want to change gears and talk about your social media presence, because it’s related to SEO. When somebody searches for your name, or your firm name, your social profiles come up right below your website.
We want to make sure that you look great, and that they’re cohesive with your website and with your online presence. And so, social media isn’t something that you can really opt out of anymore because having social media profiles that are active actually tells Google that your site is legitimate and contributes to your SEO.
You want to make sure that you have Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and that they’re all set up and that they’re all active on a consistent, reasonable basis to help you with that SEO strategy.
First is creating your LinkedIn professional profile. This is profile for you. You want to make sure you have a cover image, a great headshot, all of that, and that you’re listed correctly under your firm. You also want to do a LinkedIn company page. This is the page for your business where all of your employees would be associated with that business page. It will also be listed under your current work history as the business that you’re currently employed at.
This is the Facebook Business page for your firm. And so, this is kind of the employer on Facebook, and it’s the professional page. It’s important to understand that this isn’t your Facebook personal profile. A lot of advisors either don’t do Facebook, they’re not interested, or they don’t necessarily want their clients seeing all the pictures of their cats and their kids and, you know, kind of all the personal side.
It’s important to realize that your Facebook business page is not your personal profile. They’re completely separate. So, just because a client likes your Facebook Business page doesn’t mean they’re going to see your personal posts.
And then your Twitter profile, it’s important to have a Twitter profile. It gives you a lot of SEO clout, and it rounds out that business presence online. Once you set up those profiles, you want to consistently share your content.
We recommend sharing at least three times a week. I know that sounds like a lot but Facebook, and these social media channels are so busy that when somebody logs on, they’re only going to see your most recent posts. And if you haven’t posted in a week, they’re not going to see anything. So, at least three times a week you want to be posting different things that are driving traffic back to your website.
The next step is email marketing. And Brad, I know you do a pretty good job of email marketing yourself by sending out your videos to your email list. I’ll let you kind of talk about, what you see from email marketing for advisors launching their firms.
Brad: I have a friend in an entirely different industry and he was telling me about the importance of collecting emails, and this was a couple years ago. I remember thinking at the time…..no, the world’s moved on from that. It’s social media, that’s how you stay engaging people. The reality is though, and you have the stats up here on the screen, while other things have come along and maybe email has evolved in different ways, it’s absolutely still a significant way to stay in touch with people, stay top of mind with people.
Whether part of your audience is not on social media, or they’re not seeing your post. Yet if you can capture that email, and obviously, you want to do it in a responsible, reasonable way of how often you drip on them and the kind of information you give them. But ultimately, I agree with you that it is what it is, that mode of communication is here to stay, at least for now. Who knows 10 years from now, but I think you have to make it part of your strategy, absolutely.
Claire: Yes. And we know this. We’re not guessing on this. We know that over 70% of traffic to advisors’ websites comes from the email marketing we do for our advisors. We can see that the way that people are getting to their site is by clicking through the emails that we’re sending. So, we do email marketing for our advisors each and every month. And like you mentioned, the content has to be personal, authentic, relevant.
The first thing that we start with is why I became a financial advisor. And this is always our most popular post because your clients love to hear your story. They want to hear about your…you know, maybe your childhood or what motivated you to grow up to do this business or why you’re passionate about what you do. It’s such a cool, memorable story to tell, and so this is the first story we share for advisors. And it really helps to kind of solidify your relationship and your memorability in your clients’ minds.
Brad: Claire, can I ask you a quick question on the email marketing? What do you find…? Obviously, an advisor generally has the email addresses of their clients. What do you find is the most effective way…? So, if I’m an advisor and I have, you know, a couple hundred email addresses, maybe from my clients, but obviously, I’d like to build that. What do you think the most effective way is to build that email address list? Is it doing a webinar that someone signs up for? Is it a whitepaper? What do you find works best?
Claire: Yeah, absolutely. We highly recommend webinars. If you create a compelling, valuable webinar about a subject they are interested in, that can help them, it’s really easy for them to put in their email address and watch the webinar for free. And then they’re added to your email list and your email list is growing that momentum over time, getting bigger and bigger and having more people see your content, which also helps with your SEO as people are clicking through your website, but also more people sharing your content with people who may need your help.
It’s all about creating good content that is relevant and valuable, and can help people reach their goals. The days are over of getting recipes from your mortgage broker. That’s not relevant. It’s not helpful. If I want a recipe, I’ll Google it. Having a financial advisor share important planning tips that could help you save money or help you reach your goals, or sharing information about their personality or personal stories or authentic things that they’ve done recently, that goes a long way and helps people to enjoy and to share your content.
So, we want your content to be valuable, current, educational, entertaining. I send out videos to my clients just about my life, or some breakthroughs my dad has had working with his clients. Things that are both personal, but also could help them with their business. So, for yourself, think of those things that your network would enjoy hearing about, or would help them reach their goals.
We really want to answer their most pressing questions. These are some of the articles that we’ve written for advisors that really help them to reach their audience, and to get more people finding them on Google. I mentioned the advisor that is working with Amazon employees. Thousands of people are getting to his site each month searching for these topics. And so, think about what people would type into Google and create an answer for your qualified ideal prospects about that question.
Here are some examples…..should I take the HP pension buyout offer? So, right now HP is doing a pension buyout offer. Huge company, tens of thousands of employees, their first question is, “Should I take this? Is it worthwhile?” And they’re googling this and one of our advisors shows up at the top of search results and that’s who he helps.
My dad actually works with UC San Diego employees. They’re a big research institution, a hospital and a school. And so, they have a 457 and a 403B plan. One of the first things employees type is which one should they invest in first. These are really highly paid people that tend to stay at the company for years and years and years and they’re also good savers, they accumulate a lot of wealth and so they’re great clients for him. He gets through to them by answering this question.
What should you know about Intel restricted stock units? Can business owners deduct the cost of a long term care policy? This is one of the long term care specialist advisors I work with and he is really the expert on business planning using long term care. I actually use them for my own policy to deduct it from the business. It’s a genius idea for business owners out there.
Three ways physicians can catch up for retirement in 10 years. All of these ideas are just really compelling, laser-focused content for your readers.
Brad: I’m sorry. On the next slide, you’re already I think, addressing what I was going to bring up, if not, I’ll circle back here.
Claire: Perfect. Yeah. So, the goals are really to position you as the subject matter expert, so that when they need your help, they’re going to turn to you because each month they’re seeing this detailed content on a strategy that could help them, and when they’re ready to make a move, they’re going to come to you and ask their specific question. So, give away 90% of what you know, prompt specific questions and start the conversation of how this strategy could work for them.
Brad: Along with that, and I certainly have thoughts on this of how I got comfortable with it but I do agree with the concept of giving 90% away. How do you respond though, to that advisor that does say to you, “Well, if I answer everything on my website, they won’t have a need to come to me,” and so obviously I have some thoughts on that, but I’d love to hear how you position that or respond to that.
Claire: Personally, I always operate from an attitude of abundance. And also we know that financial planning is very complex and that the answer is often it depends. If you ask somebody a tax planning question or a financial planning question, it usually depends on what’s your income? What are your other strategies? What your investments look like? It’s a complex question where they do need expert advice. And so, we don’t see too often people who do it themselves based on the information you’re offering on your site although we do see that once a while.
Those do it yourselfers, advisors out there know are probably not the best fit. They’re probably going to continue to do it themselves. But maybe they’ll refer you other people they know who need your help, and who want the help and who want to outsource some of these issues.
Once you’ve kind of done the foundational basics, we really want to introduce your firm. The way that we do that through email and through social media, we have a specific cadence that we use.
First, we set up an email introduction sequence to everybody in your network. So, everyone on your email list, clients, centers of influence, your family members, your distant cousins, anybody who should be aware of what you’re doing in life, and who could refer you business.
And so, first of all, we announce your new website, your newsletter, we announce your logo, we offer people a live tour of your website and see the helpful things on your site, how they can get started, go over those calls to action, so that they’re aware that they could refer you by sending somebody to your webinar where after they watch your webinar they could schedule a call.
We do an article on what you do and how you help, and then we do another article on what’s new at your firm and how you can help benefit your clients. So, that’s the email sequence we recommend sending out.
And then, it’s a little bit different if you’re going independent. You maybe have an existing book of business, but you need to announce to them that you’ve gone independent. Here’s some ideas for that.
Announcing big changes to our practice, why you chose to go independent, how does an independent financial advisor benefit you? What is a fiduciary? Why does it matter? And of course, do you know someone who needs our help?
Depending on your specific situation, you can pick and choose these different topics. I recommend at least a four to six email series to remind people of the big changes happening at your firm or that your firm is new, and that it exists now.
In addition to all of these steps, the final step if you really want an A-plus on your marketing, and you want it to work for you in the coming months and years, I really would consider a webinar. Doing a webinar allows people to hear your voice, to see your face, to hear your story. And of course, you get their email address. You can follow up with them and start that relationship where they’re getting your content each month.
Doing a webinar is a considerable investment of your time and resources but it’s something that can be on your site for months and years in the future. The way that I do webinars for advisors is we do automated webinars. We write your presentation, we design your slides, we help you record it. Once you record it, your job is done and we run it automated on your website so people think that it’s live. They can go to your site and sign up for the next day, whether it’s this afternoon or tomorrow morning. They get reminders, they get a countdown clock when they go to the page to watch the webinar, they watch it in real time, and then they get a replay sent the next day.
It’s a way to get people to stop what they’re doing, to set aside a half hour to spend with you to learn more about your business. And then hopefully get them to take the next step of sending you a question in the chat box, which goes directly to your email, or actually scheduling a call with you.
Once you’ve done that, we also have a sequence to introduce you to the world on social media. Here’s an example, it’s basically our welcome sequence where we talk about the services you offer, what makes you different, who you serve, all of these things. Your story, this is why this advisor started his firm. And then your goals, maybe your mission statement.
Using the different pages that you’ve created of your website, you really want to do an intentional sequence to introduce your firm on social media so that people see the different aspects of your marketing materials online. And, of course, your Get Started Now page where people can schedule a call. So, these are all things that we recommend doing once you lay the foundation, announcing yourself on email, announcing on social media, considering doing that webinar.
Then the final step of the process is tracking your success. This is so important. I really urge you to make sure that you have some way to track your success and make it automatic.
If you have Google Analytics and you never log in, that doesn’t count. What we do for our advisors is we set up Databox. Each month they get an email that shows, is their traffic increasing or decreasing? How are people finding your site? What are people doing once they’re on your site? How long are people spending on each page? How many pages do people visit when they come to your site? Do they just go to one page and leave or do they click through? Are they watching videos, etc.? Are they coming from LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter?
Our Databox metrics report, it comes to your email each month so you can’t ignore it. It shows you this clean data board that shows you all these different things of who’s opening your emails, how many subscribers are on your email list, how many people are liking your Facebook posts, this is all contained in one snapshot.
I know a lot of advisors are really data-driven and so this can help to get you engaged in your marketing process and help you understand the process so it’s not so nebulous. I highly recommend setting this up or working with a company that will do this for you.
If you’re interested in getting help launching your firm from a marketing perspective, go to indigomarketingagency.com/getstarted. We have a special offer for everybody watching this webinar. This is really the package that we’ve put together, that is the lowest cost out there that includes the biggest bang for your buck, or the highest ROI for advisors.
We’ve deeply discounted this, because we want to help you launch your firm. We know we can help you be successful, and that you will retain us and be a long term client of ours. And so, our marketing launch package is only $7,999 and includes everything that we’ve talked about here.
Everything from your logo, to writing your website, doing your SEO, your social media profiles for you, creating your marketing calendar, setting up your email marketing system, doing your webinar, and sending you those monthly marketing metrics.
If you’re interested, you can get started. We do everything for you with a minimum investment of your time and customized for your firm. Whether you’re going after a specific employer, or a specific specialty, we help to create that content for you, and we guarantee that it gets done on time.
If you would like to schedule your 30-minute marketing strategy call, click the link in the show notes, lock in your space to save with this deal. This is the best prices that we’ve ever offered.
I recommend that if you are thinking about launching an RIA or going with a new firm model, lock in your low pricing so that you have it for the future and you can start the conversation with our team about getting going on your marketing.
Brad: What does that look like? So, an advisor schedules that strategy call, they call, someone on your team answers, and then literally what’s that first – so I’m a breakaway advisor, perhaps I’m a couple months out from launching, what’s the first couple innings of that conversation? Is it, okay, “Hey, how can you help me?” And then you start diving in? What kind of happens in that first call just to help people prepare for what they can expect if they set up that call?
Claire: Yes. So, what we do is first of all, you schedule a call on the calendar. You get a survey in the days preceding the call, where you tell us, what are you doing, what stage you’re at, what have you done so far, or what are you looking for help with? We research your website, your social presences.
Then during the call, we go through that checklist. Remember that checklist of how your marketing compares to top advisors? It’s an 18-point checklist. We want to get you to check off all 18 points so we go through that with you and we see which ones have you done, which ones need improvement, and which ones are missing.
Then we create some recommendations to really do the low hanging fruit and make some easy, quick wins to improve your marketing. Free for you to do on your own, or of course, you could hire us to help you, and then we’ll provide a quote for you to get to that 18-point checklist so that you’re 100% A-plus marketing. We’ll provide that quote in case you want to hire us to do your marketing for you, or you could always take our recommendations and run with them and do them yourself.
We also have a ton of educational materials on our site. If you’re struggling with things like what is my niche or what is my area of specialty I want to focus on, we can send you different webinars, different worksheets to help you figure out those things.
Brad: What about the time involved with all of that? So, someone who initially wants to do the launch package – which I appreciate the discount. I think it’s a fantastic way to put it all together. I’d assume you’d encourage this, I encourage people here that the sooner they reach out and begin the conversation the sooner they can get the kind of process started, the discovery process, how’s this going to work.
Let’s say they reach that point where they say, “Okay, yes, let’s do this. Let’s begin,” how long is that process for that launch package? I’m sure it varies because some people maybe already have social media or what not, but typically what’s the lead time someone needs to be cognizant of to get all of that done?
Claire: In a perfect world, we’d have 90 days. There’s a lot that can’t move forward until we have your name and your logo. Those are kind of the things that we need to wait for. So, to the extent that we can get you to choose the name and choose the logo, then we can do everything else. We can begin work on your SEO. We can write and build your website. We can set up your social media profiles, your email marketing system.
So, that’s the first step is maybe even before you know who you’re exactly targeting and what your messaging is, just get your name and your logo knocked out and then we can get going. Generally 90 days. We have done it quicker than that but to work comfortably and to have the time that you need to have to think through who you want to focus on and what makes you different, and articulate those in a compelling way, 90 days is a comfortable time frame.
Brad: Okay, that’s helpful.
Claire: Great. Well, thank you so much for having me on your show, Brad. And if anyone wants to get in touch, you have my website here, my email. Email me a question anytime. You can always call. I really appreciate being on your program and I look forward to helping the advisors that you serve.
Brad: Sure. Thanks, Claire. Great information. I think advisors will find this very helpful. If it wasn’t summed up best in that launch package, I kind of think of you and your team as kind of a quarterback on this. The reality is you could go out to a logo-only vendor, and you could go out to a social media-only vendor, and you could try to piece all these together or…I think a big part of your guys’ value is you charge one flat fee, all under one roof, we get all this going for you.
As a transitioning advisor, there’s so many moving parts to a transition to begin with, I think it’s great that you have…they’re all under one roof and like…well, the quarterback’s the best word, that’s how I see it. You’re pulling everything together and getting it done. So, certainly appreciate your time today.
To anyone watching this, we’ll leave it on the screen here for just a second, I’ll have it in the show notes as well, contact information, reach out to Claire and her team. They absolutely can help you begin this journey. And like I said, this is where the fun begins is this sort of thing. I’m certain you will enjoy the process with her.
With that, I appreciate everyone tuning in today and we’ll catch you on the next one.
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