No matter the size of your business, the target market you have or where you’re located, marketing is a vital part of your financial advising practice. Without marketing your company would stagnate, you would maintain or decrease the number of clients served and revenue generated. ‘Marketing’ is a broad term which can umbrella over a range of activities but fact of the matter is that you should be choosing at least two channels in order to access new prospects. Marketing can be split into two different outlets, inbound and outbound. Using these definitions and the strengths and weaknesses of both, you will be able to boost your efforts infinitely.
Outbound can be explained as anything that you send out directly to individuals in order to start a conversation about purchasing. Many experts describe this concept as ‘pushing’ your message out; trying to find people who are interested in what you are presenting to them. This can be in the form of mail, trade shows, email, cold calling and advertising. This technique is becoming outdated due to prospects’ limited patience, combined with more and more ways to block out these messages. However, some events still resonate with people, as 99% of exhibitors find unique value in trade shows, for example. Finding the balance of how frequently you use these and the types of marketing initiatives is important and can still create a level of interest from prospects.
Inbound marketing on the other hand is a very different approach that has recently arisen in the business world. The idea involves wanting to draw in consumers by producing content and not necessarily sending it directly to them. The bottom line is that you want to be ‘found’. This can be in the form of social media, blogging, search engine optimization and a powerful and efficient website. As a financial advisor, you want your website to be the central hub for all of your inbound efforts, most of the traffic you want to lead directly to your website. So if you create a social media post or a blog article, in one part of the post you want to include a link back to the home base. You want your website to be mobile friendly as this is becoming more important in the digital age; 85% of adults think that a company’s website when viewed on a mobile device should be as good or better than its desktop version.
This inbound strategy takes time, you won’t see any noticeable differences for months. The key to building up this traffic is with consistent posts that are enticing and draws in readers. Once you can achieve this, you will build up a following and subsequently, a name for yourself. Business is turning into a very ‘shareable’ world so you will be surprised how word gets around that your business is advising well, and also making relevant content online. One very attractive reason for moving towards inbound is that it is significantly cheaper than outbound. Hubspot predicts that it costs 61% less to acquire an inbound lead than an outbound lead. With much less resources and time needed, this could be the option for you.
It is important for any business owner to understand the differences in marketing strategies, but especially financial advisors as a key practice is building your client base. Identifying the target market that would best suit your efforts can spur you into new opportunities. If you can split your efforts effectively into a small amount of productive outbound marketing combined with more inbound, you can build an awesome marketing strategy.