How to Build Relationships through Your Marketing
Before the advent of digital marketing tactics like SEO and online advertising, advisors built their businesses by building relationships. It was a paper Rolodex and a good memory. Despite the remarkable advances in technology, the foundations are still the same – relationships are the priority. Today, we’re discussing ways you can use modern marketing technology to create and nurture authentic, profitable relationships.
When Your Marketing Becomes a “To-Do”…
Like any routine responsibility, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when you spend too much time in the day-to-day weeds. For advisors, this looks like getting too focused on tactics like:
- Weekly email blasts
- Generic SEO and blogging campaigns
- Spending on online advertising campaigns (without really knowing if they’re working)
- Occasional social media posts
The problem? You can use all the tools marketers rave about and still get little to no results. Why is that? It’s because your marketing may have become a check-the-box “to do” and not an intentional, intelligent pillar of your growth strategy. It’s time to dust off the notes from your strategy meetings, revisit your plan to build relationships, and get back to growing your practice.
Relational Marketing Principle 1: Know How You Fit Into Your Clients’ Lives
To successfully use tools to connect with your clients and prospects, you have to start with what they want from you. As much as we’d all like to think otherwise, your clients don’t wake up thinking, “I wonder what my financial planner is up to today?” It makes us start with questions like:
- Cadence: How often do they want to hear from us?
- Relevance: What do your clients really care about? (Not just the boring stuff)
- Connection: Is there any way to make something a blog post… relational?
- Significance: Which messages and moments merit special measures to get your audience’s attention?
These questions will tell you (pretty quickly) what marketing is not worth your time and effort. It helps you avoid being boring at best and intrusive at worst. They help us be realistic about how people use these platforms – personal email, social media, etc – and how our marketing efforts are received. If you take a little more time to dig into these questions, they’ll also start to highlight your priorities. What tasks help your marketing strategy fit relationally into your audience’s lives?
Relational Marketing Principle 2: Don’t Rely on “Faceless” Content
Ready for a critical truth? For a heavily relational business, the majority of client interactions are not in person. They’re digital. That means your marketing needs to make up the gap and represent you well. For many financial advisors, this looks like dependence on pre-written content. Pre-written content has taken the advisor marketing world by storm, and it’s not hard to see why! They’re topical, SEO-optimized, compliance-friendly, and best of all, they’re already done.
Like any other tool though, pre-written content has a limited purpose and a limited benefit. On the positive side, pre-written content:
- Gives your brand a more active appearance
- Provides a library of branded, on-hand materials to share
- Helps with SEO presence (not heavily, but hey, it’s something!)
But just as importantly, you need to know what pre-written content can’t do. Pre-written content can’t:
- Establish your unique value as a financial advisor or a team of advisors
- Help provide a sense of personal relationship and familiarity
- De-commoditize your services (why do they want you and not a mass market provider?)
So what’s the alternative? Your marketing strategy needs to have a healthy dose of your face, your voice, and your personality. The more your marketing is personal, the more your marketing is relational. It helps separate your value from a more commoditized view of a financial planner’s value.
Relational Marketing Principle 3: Don’t Just Broadcast, Create Moments
The primary word in “Relational Marketing” isn’t marketing – it’s relational. A one-sided marketing strategy is not exactly… relational. A two-sided marketing strategy gives your clients and prospects opportunities to meet you halfway. This is taking your marketing strategy a step beyond email blasts, blogs, and social media posts. Let’s talk about some examples:
In-person Topical Seminars
Events are nothing new, but they need to be a steady part of your marketing strategy. They provide a focal point to help focus your audience to an action point. Plus, these are great for clients to invite their friends to!
These provide a lot of similar benefits compared to in-person events, but they have two distinct benefits: accessibility and scalability. They’re calendar friendly as a digital event, and more importantly, you can re-use these webinars as an evergreen marketing campaign!
Sometimes, a casual event helps put attendees at ease knowing they’re not there to get pitched. We have advisors who have built strong client communities by rallying them around charitable causes and other common focuses. Using events like this help break the monotony of broadcast marketing and invite your audience to engage with you naturally.
Building a Relational Advisor Practice (and Marketing Strategy)
At WealthPlan Group, our community of advisors learn from each other. We share ideas on marketing, business models, and more to help every member succeed. It’s the culture of our community. If you’re looking for a community like ours to help you grow your business, let’s chat. We can help connect your with the resources to empower your next steps.