All financial advisors want to know how to connect with their ideal clients online. There are countless strategies and technologies to help them with their marketing, some useful, and some not so much. But there is one technique that has always worked: authentic marketing. Be genuine with your ideal prospects, and they will soon be your ideal clients.
- Defining brand benefits and values.
- Demonstrating expertise.
- Authentically engaging their audience.
Define Your Brand Benefits, Express Your Values
As an investigator begins to look around for a financial solution, they will try to find an advisor that provides the services they need. They also want to find someone who aligns with their deeper values. As people scroll through articles, posts, and tweets, they continuously compare the values presented against their own. When the benefits you offer match a prospect’s needs and your values mirror theirs, the chance of engagement is very high.
Allow people to get to know you and your company, the REAL you and your company. One way to establish your values is to identify experiences where you felt your company succeeded; what were the values that made that success possible? Identifying these values can take time and is an ever-evolving process. It is, however, the first and most crucial step in achieving authenticity.
Virgin CEO Richard Branson said,
“Too many companies want their brands to reflect the idealized, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character.”
It is essential to make sure that the language you use to express your value attracts the ideal searcher. Think about what a potential client would type into a search engine. What words would they use? What topic would be most important to them? Or even better, imagine what they would ask a digital assistant like Siri or Alexa. How would they phrase their questions and concerns?
Demonstrate Your Expertise
One of the main benefits of authentic marketing is how it helps financial advisors establish relationships of trust. When you use your online engagement to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, your audience will come to see you as a thought leader in your field, and you will become an influencer to those most interested in what you have to offer.
Research company, Edelman, reported,
“53 percent of respondents say ‘whether you trust the company that owns the brand or brand that makes the product’ is the second most crucial factor when purchasing a new brand. Trust is second only to price (64 percent)”
The secret to becoming an authentic thought leader in your marketing is consistently delivering valuable insights. Giving away useful advice can sometimes be a challenging exercise for an advisor whose primary product is advice. It feels a little bit like giving away the milk for free.
In deciding what level of insight to use in your marketing, it can be tempting to hold back the good stuff. This is generally a mistake. There will always be proprietary information you only share with clients, but try and provide as much as possible.
On top of the reputation-enhancing benefits of such content, valuable insights delivered through your marketing material can also have an incredible effect on your search engine optimization or SEO. Over the last decade, Google has worked hard to hone its algorithms to reward copy that provides a rich user experience.
Authentically Engage Your Audience
Possibly the best thing about authentic marketing is it makes your job more meaningful. By capturing why you do what you do and sharing that with your audience, you reconnect with your own reasons for becoming a financial advisor in the process.
As you interact with your audience and develop deeper connections, the lines between your job and life might start to blur.
Marketing guru, Gary Vaynerchuck, said of authentic marketing,
“True success lies in telling your story. In authenticity, hustle, and patience. In caring fiercely. In valuing legacy over currency. There no longer has to be a difference between who you are and what you do.”
Your authentic marketing must extend across all aspects of your ideal prospect and client interactions. Once you have established yourself as an expert who shares significant value with your audience, it is essential that you then live up to those standards. If your advisory behavior is not consistent with your marketing, you will soon feel a backlash.
Authenticity is not a static concept. By focusing on your brand value and demonstrating your expertise, you can continue to attract your ideal clients through authentic marketing.