When It Comes to Marketing, Think Like Your Prospects

When it comes to marketing, one common mistake advisers make is thinking like…well…advisers. A better approach is to think like your prospects—preferably your ideal prospects. What information are they looking for? What would they want to see? Let’s look at a few missed opportunities that affect many advisers, whether on their websites, social media channels or printed collateral.

Reconsider How You Describe Your Accolades

Some advisers, for example, will post on their websites or include in their email signatures that they have been named a Five Star Wealth Manager. That might sound great to the adviser—but how would a prospect know whether the rating scale went up to 10 stars? In that case, five stars suddenly doesn’t seem like such a good thing. If you post an award or recognition, make sure you take the time to explain the context so people understand why it’s important. (And, as an aside: if you “win” an award you didn’t apply for, didn’t need to submit any evidence or verification for and are then asked to purchase a package to publicize that award, you might want to pass.)

Explain Your Designations

There is a lot of alphabet soup in our industry, with advisers’ names often followed by sometimes confusing acronyms. Many people probably know what CFP® stands for, but after that, all bets are off. What does ChFC®, CEBS or CPWA stand for, and why would a prospect choose an adviser holding one of those designations? A prospect might know what AIF® means, given the publicity over fiduciary standards, but how does that differ from AIFA®?

From the prospects’ standpoint, if they don’t understand the acronyms, they can’t grasp how those designations can help solve the problems they might have. I know an adviser who holds the CFA—one of—if not the—hardest designations to obtain—and he simply lists it on his biography page along with his FINRA Series 7 and 24 securities registrations and his CFP® certification. He’s missing a fabulous opportunity to explain how the portfolios he constructs as a CFA leverage his advanced years of study, as well as how his institutional-type investment management benefits his clients.

Include a Call to Action on Your Website

What do you want prospects to do once they reach your website? Many advisers spend time and money on marketing and advertising to try to drive traffic to their website but fail to engage prospects once they navigate there. Do you have a case study for people to read, or perhaps a downloadable audio book or podcast? The goal is to promote your brand and knowledge so prospects realize you can help them, as well as to create an experience prospects enjoy, encouraging them to learn more.

Make Prospects Want to Contact You

If you’re like many advisers, then you have a somewhat generic “contact us” page. Make it work for you! Use welcoming language, add a photo of the team smiling or add some humor. (For example: “We’re right up the road from Krispy Kreme, so we’re easy to find.”) If nothing else, make your phone number prominent so it’s easy for people to call you. I’d be willing to bet the fax number on your contact page is just as big as your telephone number—same size, same font. You should rethink that. When was the last time a client or prospect sent you a fax? Get rid of the fax number and use the extra space to create a button with your phone number that will stand out.

With just a few of these simple tweaks, your marketing efforts could start being more impactful. Start thinking like your prospects; you’ll convert more to clients!

Please consult your member firm’s policies and obtain prior approval for any sales ideas or marketing materials you would like to use with clients.