7 Marketing Strategies for Financial Advisors


Developing new business is a part of any financial advisor’s day, whether to keep pace as others move on from your practice or add to your bottom line. You could ask your clients for referrals, but this is, at best, uncomfortable and, at worst, could puncture your client’s image of you as a success. So, what other tactics are there? If you need to expand your marketing efforts, it’s time to consider nontraditional ways of business development. Here are seven new ways to market yourself and your business.

Key Takeaways

  • Developing new business should be worked into your schedule for each day.
  • Hosting client events shows appreciation for existing clients but also offers a relaxed setting for meeting potential clients brought as guests.
  • Identify your client “influencers” who love recommending goods and services in person or on Yelp or Google. Repurpose their positivity to net more connections.
  • Participate in small business think tanks to expand your professional network and open doors to new client referrals and partnerships.
  • Leverage local networking events to build your community presence and professional connections.

1. Host a Client Event

Instead of asking your existing clients for referrals and having to follow up with them, why not let the referrals come to you? Hosting a client event is a great way to show appreciation for your existing clients, build a relationship by letting them get to know you personally, and meet new potential clients simultaneously.

Ensure your clients know your event is welcoming and they are free to bring a guest: every plus-one could be a new account opening. It’s much easier to follow up with potential clients you’ve already met than to be just a voice over the phone during a cold call. That said, hitting up clients directly for referrals all too often backfires. As Penny Phillips, co-founder and president of Journey Strategic Wealth, writes in a recent cover story for the Journal of Financial Planning. At the same time, she thinks it’s best advisors avoid asking for referrals directly, “I do believe that clients should constantly be reminded of the fact that you are in business and dedicated to serving more people like them.”

2. Identify Your Local Client Influencers

There are ways to approach clients for referrals without turning them off. Each quarter, Phillips suggests, you should put together a shortlist of “influencers” in your book of business. These aren’t necessarily clients photographed at the entrance of major local events or know the political whose who in your region. Rather, these clients may have recommended services to you—you know the kind: the person who loves recommending someone they know, even when all you’ve said in passing is you got a ding in your car today or can’t keep up with the weeds out back. Others might be consistently posting on Yelp or Google reviews.

Phillips suggests sending them an email and writing, “We have decided only to take on new households that are connected to a select group of our very best, ideal clients. You are one of those select few.” You’ll want to personalize the note—the less it sounds like you’ve sent it to a list (even if you haven’t), the better—but this way of broaching the topic can make them feel important or among a select few.

3. Be Active on Social Media

You reach many of your connections simultaneously on social media networks, such as LinkedIn, with one single action. It’s a much more efficient way to share information and communicate with clients. While a rolling blog of tips on your website is de rigueur today, you can still break through by posting crossposting short, tip-filled videos on your YouTube channel or, to reach Zoomers, TikTok. They don’t have to be overproduced, but they shouldn’t be sloppy, either.

Take up hot topics in financial planning in your area, like a change to the tax code affecting many of your customers or how to plan the following year in light of recent Federal Reserve guidance. Share informative content and market updates, and clarify ideas with stories from your practice (without identifying details), giving viewers the upshot of engaging in your services. It would be best if you were topical but avoid the controversial—mention, say, state tax rate cuts but not your political view of them. Once you have a few together, send them in a newsletter format to your client list. Engaging content can attract followers, increase brand awareness, and generate leads.

Make sure to auto-caption your videos, share your content across your social channels, and keep a hyperlink in your business email for the series of them.

4. Join Small Business Think Tanks

If you can join a mastermind group, you should jump at the chance. These types of groups usually exist online, and they’re the practice management equivalent of a traditional book club. A group of professionals with something in common (such as financial advisors who work in the investment industry) get together to share best practices, brainstorm new ideas, discuss their business, and look for ways to collaborate. It’s a fantastic way to meet new people, mentor newbies, and learn new ways to enhance your day-to-day operations.

If you can’t find a mastermind group, why not start one? Expand your digital marketing strategy and contact other financial advisors on LinkedIn to start brainstorming. Set a time each week to meet and pick a topic to share ideas. The benefit of these online groups is that you can connect with professionals outside your local area.

5. Attend Local Networking Events

If you want to increase your centers of influence, one of the easiest ways to meet other professionals in your area is to attend local networking events. Contact the small business owners association and local chamber of commerce in your area to see if they have regular networking events for members.

If you prefer to network online, you can search the name of your town on LinkedIn to find local online groups and associations. Whenever you ask a question, answer a question, or post something in those groups, your name and title pop up in front of all the members. It’s a cost and time-efficient way to meet new people, market yourself and your skills, and grow your professional network.

6. Develop Financial Education Workshops or Webinars

You can host educational sessions on key financial topics to showcase your expertise. These can be in-person workshops or online webinars. This approach positions you as a knowledgeable figure in the field and can attract clients who seek informed guidance. Besides establishing your authority, these events allow you to connect with potential clients and build relationships based on trust and expertise. Online webinars also reach a broader audience, including those who cannot attend in-person events.

7. Offer Niche Financial Services

A recent trend in financial advising has focused on niches, such as retirement planning for small business owners, millennials, or even airline pilots. You need not make this your entire practice, but if you like working most with a certain type of client, why not expand your reach among that client’s wider market segment?

Specialization can differentiate you in a crowded market, increase your expertise in your chosen area, and be more efficient. Instead of marketing to everyone, you can now spend your marketing time and dollars on reaching a specific submarket. This can be good for newcomers, who can spark interest among clients in a niche before becoming a generalist, or for those with a clientele heavy with people soon retiring. For more, see Find Your Niche Financial Advisory Market.

How Does a Financial Advisor Make Money?

Financial advisors can make money in a few ways. Many work on a commission basis, receiving payment when they sell investments to or make trades for their clients. Fee-only financial advisors don’t earn commissions. Instead, they charge an hourly or flat fee for their services or take a percentage of the assets under their management each year. More and more advisors are embracing subscription-based models. This approach could ensure a steady revenue stream and appeal to many clients who are used to subscriptions for software, apps, and much more today.

What are the 4 Ps of Marketing?

The 4 Ps of marketing are the four essential factors you need to use to market to consumers. They are product, price, place, and promotion. In short, you must have something to sell, a price that consumers are willing to pay, a place to display and sell the product that matches the target market, and a way to promote it to customers.

Are There Any Special Rules Financial Advisors Have to Follow When Marketing?

Yes, there are Securities and Exchange Commission rules that restrict how advisors can advertise. For example, a registered investment advisor may not include hypothetical performance in their advertisements without using policies and procedures to ensure that the hypothetical performance is both relevant and likely to result. Advisors also can’t include misleading or untrue information or present performance time periods in a manner that isn’t balanced.

The Bottom Line

Effective marketing is essential, especially since you can’t expect clients to find you just because you have a local office, given the services found online. By taking up alternative yet complimentary strategies such as honing in on a niche market, leveraging digital marketing tools, engaging through educational webinars, and so on, financial planners may be able to improve their outreach and client retention. Ultimately, the most successful marketing efforts are those that not only attract clients but also build lasting relationships based on trust, expertise, and delivering consistent value.


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