2016 Business Growth for Financial Advisors

2016 Business Growth for Financial Advisors

This post was authored by Marie Swift and originally appeared here on GuideVine.

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As Financial Advisors, we start another New Year full of possibility and hope. Most of us have probably already hit the ground running, focusing on accomplishing great things. We can increase our chances of success and growth, by setting our objectives and creating measurable goals to develop a robust plan that attracts the right clients and brings in new business.

Here are some of the objectives many top Financial Advisors have included in their 2016 marketing plan:

  • Visibility: Raise profile through sponsored events and other visibility tactics on a local (or regional) level
  • Awareness: Build share of mind with the right people through targeted communications
  • Credibility: Enhance reputation by consistently being seen in credible media outlets as a subject matter expert and financial professional
  • Thought Leadership: Build thought leadership status through publication of unique insights and forward-thinking concepts
  • Digital Presence: Improve search engine ranking and become more discoverable through social media use and a strong online presence

Goals, of course, should be specific and measurable. Look at the table below. Which set of goals do you think are easier to plan for, track progress against and achieve?

Vague Goals Specific and Measurable Goals
  • Host more events
  • Host two lunch-and-learns, six affinity dinners and two client appreciation events in 2016, generating a total of thirty new high-value prospective clients, resulting in ten new clients and $10 million in AUM
  • Grow my team
  • Attract two new people to the firm, younger professionals who have the potential to become partners over time, and start grooming them as part of the succession plan, through visibility in national industry trade publications and local business community (also work with a matching / recruiting service and explore opportunities at colleges with financial planning programs)
  • Expand social media activity
  • Establish a company Facebook page to supplement our company LinkedIn page, adding one new post per week to each while staying true to the social media guidelines suggested by our marketing consultant
  • Improve website effectiveness
  • Increase website traffic by 50%, drawing a total of 2,000 unique visitors per month to the home page, with 200 of those visitors watching our signature video and 100 per month entering their basic information before being allowed to download our special report and going into our automatic six-touch nurture campaign

 

REMEMBER THE 3 M’s

Aside from creating a tactical list of marketing activities, it can be helpful to take a step back and revisit the 3 M’s: your Market, your Message, and your Mediums. It’s always good practice to have a clear sense of these areas as it can help drive how you approach each of your marketing activities.

Your Market – Everything you do should center on your target market (and it’s okay to have 2-3 of them). Who are you targeting and why? Develop an Ideal Client Profile for each market segment and be specific – where do these people congregate, where do they get their news and information, who do they trust or distrust, what commonalities do they have, what keeps them up at night? Share your Ideal Client Profile with strategic partners and internal stakeholders. Post it where you and your team will see it on a daily basis.

Your Message – Revisit your value proposition and refine key messages. Have you added a robo advisor-component or another new service offering? How does it help people, who is it good for, why did you add this new element or option? Have you added staff or new capabilities? Why is this important? If you could only say one thing about your company’s value in a clear, concise sentence, what would it be – would it be short enough to be a 140 character tweet and memorable enough that others could repeat it without racking their brains? Once your have your primary value statement figured out, think hard about the top three benefits your clients enjoy as a result of working with you; those three benefits can form the three pillars of your positioning statement.

Your Mediums – What tactics and methodologies will you use to bring your message to your ideal target market(s)? Perhaps this is the year you step into a leadership role or begin writing that book (which can open all sorts of new doors and opportunities). Event marketing is almost always fruitful if a thoughtful approach is used to create the right mix – people, content, setting, purpose and tone. Relationship marketing could include a client survey to unearth hidden attitudes, assets and referrals. Credibility marketing might include appearing on television and radio stations then sharing those clips via your website, email and social media communications. Content marketing could hinge on writing a blog once or twice a month, which you’d publish on a company-branded site and buzz up on social media, mention in speeches, etc. Once you have generated a list of potential activities and tactics, prioritize what you will actually do based on the potential return-on-investment and swing your budget in that direction.

With robo advisors, eAdvisors, and other competitors nipping at your heels, there’s no time to waste. Hammer out a marketing plan while remembering the 3 M’s – you’ll be glad you did.

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