Growing your firm doesn’t happen by accident. The most successful RIAs will tell you that it requires a concerted effort, through both prospecting and marketing. But not everyone realizes that these are two distinctly different functions with unique tactics.
Think of prospecting as the deliberate focus on finding specific new clients that fit your target market, while marketing is a more general focus on “getting the word out” about your firm to raise awareness with as many people as possible. The two functions might overlap at times, but they really require two different mindsets.
When it comes to prospecting, here are a couple of tangible ideas to consider.
First, be intentional about the role of prospecting and how you go about finding new clients. Taking too piecemeal an approach can mean you’re investing a lot of time without reaping commensurate results; you need to make prospecting a regular, strategic activity. As an Advisor, you’re already busy supporting clients and managing your team, so it can be easy for prospecting to fall by the wayside if you don’t have a framework in place.
Growing your client base requires a disciplined approach, so consider carving out a portion of time – daily, or at the least weekly – to prospecting activities. Consider setting aside 30 minutes every morning to dedicate yourself to making calls, sending emails, and otherwise focusing on new client outreach. Close your door, keep your calendar clear, and commit yourself to meaningful outreach for a portion of each day.
Consider also attending relevant investor-focused conferences and seminars when COVID restrictions lift in your area and face-to-face meetings resume. Prospecting is a marathon, not a sprint.
Word of Mouth
This sounds simple, yet many Advisors are reticent to do it. Ask your clients. That’s right, a great channel for finding new clients is through the ones you already have. Make it part of your regular client meetings to ask if they have friends or family who could use financial guidance. Chances are good that they do.
And don’t forget the power of a testimonial. If a client is willing to offer a brief statement about their positive experiences with your firm, you’ll be able to add it to your website and marketing materials as a reputation booster. Prospects want to hear from clients, so a testimonial can tell a more compelling story than any self-promotional message can. Need proof? 72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business.
Let’s turn our attention now to marketing activities and tactics. Just as with a prospecting program, the hardest part about marketing can be dedicating the time to doing it consistently.
Marketing en Masse
Different and separate from prospecting, successful marketing ensures that your messages are going to your target market, that your online presence is bolstering your prospecting efforts, and that you are successfully communicating your value. When your marketing messaging includes your key differentiators – what makes you different from your competitors – and your value proposition, you’ll be better able to convert prospects into clients.
Here are a few easy ways to get started that can generate an impact.
All Things Digital
The tools for marketing your firm have never been more plentiful or easy to use. The challenge is getting through to the people you want to reach. Digitization has made the world a much noisier place and the competition to be heard has grown dramatically.
Just like you think about structuring your prospecting program with a focus on daily outreach, you can think about marketing in timely “campaigns.” For example, you can pick a full calendar month or quarter to run a targeted campaign sharing the same messages via multiple marketing tactics. These can include:
- Creating an email campaign to generate awareness and leads. An email once or twice a month will keep you top of mind. Check out reallygoodemails.com for inspiration for email content and design.
- Creating a personal video for your website that introduces you and your firm. This is a great way to put a face to your name and project your personality. Plus, the same video you post on your website can be shared on your social media profiles.
- You can easily create a section on your website and write a few brief columns on topics you feel are important to your clients or timely to events in the news.
- Getting social to strengthen bonds. You can start by posting links to your website content and important industry stories on LinkedIn and Twitter. Sites like canva.com make it easy to design graphics for any social media platform. And don’t forget to add those platform logos to your email signature and website so you can gain followers.
- Launching a paid social media campaign. This is often a good way to reengage clients who may have gone dark, as well as prospect for new clients. LinkedIn, for example, allows you to target by job title and industry (think higher net worth targeting) as well as by geography so you can attract clients in your local area.
Every marketing message should include not only your value proposition and what makes you unique, but also a “call to action” to suggest someone contact you via email or phone for more information. You can measure the success of any marketing campaign by monitoring your website traffic using a simple online tool like Google Analytics.
These are just a few of the ways that RIAs can effectively increase their awareness among potential clients and gain new clients in the process. Partnering with a TAMP can also be a powerful way to energize your prospecting and marketing, since TAMPs like GeoWealth help free up time you can then use for these outreach endeavors.
Devoting the time and focus to prospecting and marketing is a challenge for any busy Advisor, and GeoWealth stands ready to show you the true potential for taking your firm to the next level. Contact us today for more information.