The resources to help you create and maintain your marketing plan.

6 Step Advisor Marketing Plan

November 09, 2017

LPL Financial

Creating or refreshing a marketing plan can help you hone and reach your business goals. LPL Financial can help by providing consulting, automation, content, and other services and tools that save you time. Expand your reach with a new marketing plan and better communicate your brand and your value to prospective clients.

The best ideas will wither without a firm commitment to action.

Build Your Brand and Communicate Your Value

You’ve likely given some thought lately to how you can adapt and take advantage of recent industry upheaval to expand and grow your practice. The opportunities are there: With demographic, product, technology, and regulatory transformations under way, you might be reconsidering your service offerings or target clients. For more detail on these opportunities, download From Prospect to Pipeline: Building Strong Relationships.

One place to start is to create—or, if you already have one, update—a marketing plan. Having a detailed, step-by-step plan to reach your ideal audience, promote your services, and attract prospects can move your practice into new territory. Follow these steps to create a measurable marketing plan that can help you put your team on the same page and reach your goals.

1. Align your plan with your future goals.

Set goals based on how and how much you’d like to grow your book. Maybe you want to start targeting millennials with an advisor-enhanced robo solution such as LPL’s Guided Wealth Portfolios, or branch out into more holistic financial planning, or focus on retaining the children and heirs of your existing clients. Identify how many new contacts you’d like to reach and how many prospective clients you want to touch base with each week or month.

2. Target and segment your market.

Decide first whether you’d like to segment your target list to better reach those who would benefit from different services. Make a list of the features that describe your ideal clients in those segments, including age, gender, occupation, and interests. Think about what they might need, which of your services may meet their needs, and how you can communicate your message in a way they’ll respond to.

For example, if you’ve begun using an advisor-enhanced robo solution and are reaching out to younger investors, you would want to target millennials who are just beginning to accumulate wealth; may be concerned about the availability of Social Security in their retirement; may be planning to buy a home; or likely want a digital interface and mobile communications.

If you’ve recently begun focusing on estate planning, you might want to reach generation Xers who may be interested in products and services that minimize inheritance taxes, provide for their spouses and children, and ensure that their wishes are carried out. The more tailored your brand and messaging are to reaching specific targets, the more effective you’ll be in reaching them.

3. Know your brand.

Clients and prospects are likely to be most responsive to an advisor they believe understands their situation and needs. Whether you’ve created a niche practice based on demographics or financial specialty, any marketing plan and accompanying message should be closely tied to your identity. Additionally, it should set your practice apart from your competitors.

Begin by studying your competitors’ offerings and messaging, and focus on the unique value you can provide for your target audience. If you already have marketing materials, including your website, consider tweaking them to refocus your message to highlight your attributes that are most likely to connect with those who would benefit from your services. The marketing campaign you build should ultimately establish you as the best and most trustworthy choice by conveying your brand, offerings, and value, so that when prospects are ready to make a decision, they think of you.

4. Determine how you will reach them.

More channels exist today than ever for reaching your desired audience. Think about which ones would do the best job of delivery your message to your target audience, and be realistic about how much time you’ll have to devote to the channels you choose. Some, such as email, can be automated to deliver things like reminders and white papers on a regular schedule.

  • Blogs: Use your website to create a blog where you can post your own analyses and those of thought leaders and industry experts, as well as timely economic news; interesting general news or tidbits; and photos, videos, and graphics. Check out blogs created by other financial advisors for ideas.
  • Emails: Send newsletters; schedule automated delivery of white papers or other content; announce events and new products, services, and employees; or provide timely seasonal tips before, for example, the holidays or the tax filing deadline. Include clients, centers of influence, and potential clients, and make sure to create highly visible avenues for people to sign up, such as on your website and at events.
  • Website: Unlike many of the other channels, your website can initiate inbound contact from prospects who stumble upon it while researching or are referred to it. Make sure your website sends the message to first-time viewers that’s consistent with your value proposition.
  • Social Media: Create content for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook that aligns with your unique brand and is tailored to reach your ideal prospects. Access pre-approved content from your financial services partner to share. Use these platforms to find and connect with additional prospects.
  • Webinars: Use your email list to invite clients and prospects to attend an online presentation focused on a subject of interest to them. The presentation can be the same as in a seminar; will save you time and money; and is likely to attract those who prefer to hear your message from the comfort of their home.
  • Events: Since some prospects may respond better to face-to-face interaction, consider hosting seminars as well.
  • News Media: Contact journalists in your area to comment on stories or trends with the goal of establishing yourself as a trusted, expert source of information.

5. Build a time frame.

The best ideas will wither without a firm commitment to action. Prepare a specific time frame for when and how often you’ll employ each strategy, and set calendar reminders to keep you on track. Some approaches may be one-off events, others a sustained and regular campaign. Set goals, for example, for the number of new contacts you want to add weekly to your email list or social platforms, and set aside time to achieve it.

6. Measure your results monthly.

Social media platforms have a variety of ways in which you can measure the effectiveness of your campaign, including traffic, views, demographics, comments and questions. Take note of these, as well as of the number of new contacts you make through the various channels. Quantify which efforts led lead generation and engagement. Correlate the data as best you can to your business objectives. Measure your return on investment regarding sales leads. Refine your plan based on the results you see.

For more on how to forge relationships with both clients and prospects, download our white paper, From Prospect to Pipeline: Building Strong Relationships.