7 Ways to Grow Your Client Base as a Financial Advisor

Use These Strategies to Scale Your Business

More often than not, there’s a correlation between how many clients you have and how quickly you’re able to scale your financial advisory business. If you’re looking to grow your book of business, there are seven strategies you can start using right now to attract new clients:

  1. Build Your Brand Awareness
  2. Clarify Your Target Audience
  3. Create Free Opt-Ins for Lead Generation
  4. Consider Using Paid Ads
  5. Form Strategic Partnerships
  6. Develop a Referral Program
  7. Offer Exceptional Customer Service

We’ll discuss each strategy in detail below.

Strategy #1: Build Your Brand Awareness

 You’re probably already marketing your business, but don’t confuse marketing with building your brand. We live in a time when prospective financial advisory clients can complete a Google search and find dozens of financial advisory firms near them within seconds. Use your branding to help you stand out from the crowd. Start by making sure your messaging, logo, and images across all platforms are consistent. Studies show that this step alone can increase your revenue by more than 20%. Think about your website and all your company’s social media profiles. Choose a few keywords or values to focus on and make sure your content and images align with what you want people to believe about your brand.

If you’re not posting on social media consistently, start there. It’s also helpful to add a blog to your website that tackles common topics or questions your prospective clients may be interested in. Think about providing content that educates and inspires trust. Be authentically yourself to stand apart from your competitors.

Strategy #2: Clarify Your Target Audience

It’s not enough to want to attract more clients; you must also know who you want those future clients to be. If you can’t define your target audience, your marketing and branding efforts won’t be very effective. Work to clarify your audience as narrowly as you’re able to. The more targeted your niche is, the easier it is to message to them.

Here are a few considerations:

  • Age/Phase in Life
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Salary Range
  • Hobbies
  • Financial Goals

Once you’ve clearly defined the above, ask yourself where your target audience consumes content. Let’s say you’re targeting female professionals aged 35-55. Do your research and see which social media platforms they’re using. Then, make sure you’re producing content that works on those platforms. For example, wordy Facebook posts are easily overlooked as too long to read, but you can probably explain the same content in a one-minute Facebook Live video that would garner much more attention. 

Strategy #3: Create Free Opt-Ins for Lead Generation

If the marketing strategy isn’t your cup of tea, this can sound complicated. However, all these means is providing free educational content in exchange for a prospective client’s email address. Why is this important? Well, when you get consistent with an email strategy, you have the opportunity to build the all-important “know, like, and trust” factor that will earn you client conversions in the future. Consistently show up in your prospective clients’ inboxes and share relevant content in a relatable way. This is called nurturing your email list, and it’s a useful way to gain trust from your audience.

So, how exactly do you get email addresses? It can be as easy as adding a pop-up or highly-visibly link on your website. You might offer a fact sheet on 529 plans, a webinar on reaching your long-term financial goals, or a checklist for estate planning. The possibilities are endless, so think about what would be useful for your target audience.

Strategy #4: Consider Using Paid Ads

Most businesses today use at least some paid advertising, and it’s no wonder – paid ads return $2 for every $1 spent. This is a pretty appealing ROI! They bring fast results, too, and can be used on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Google.

Be strategic about paid advertising, thinking through who your ideal client is. You can target digital ads based on demographics, but also on things like a person’s purchase history or whether they have ever visited your website. Have a few keywords in mind that would be valuable for your target audience and use them in each ad.

If your target audience is older and not as present on digital platforms, remember that you can use paid advertising on television and radio, as well as in print newspapers.

Strategy #5: Form Strategic Partnerships

Think about opportunities to work with another brand you trust, where you can both introduce one another to your existing audiences. This is a great way to build your brand awareness while reaching more people, too. Such a partnership should be a win-win for both parties involved and can bring viable leads on both sides.

To get started, think about businesses or individuals whose services align or complement yours, but who are not your competitors. For example, maybe you can partner with a local university to teach students or staff about the basics of investing. If you don’t have a lot of time to commit to a partnership, start smaller. Ask if you can leave a stack of your business cards with a local accountant you know.

Strategy #6: Develop a Referral Program

There’s no denying it: word-of-mouth advertising remains an incredibly effective strategy. In fact, nearly 75% of consumers identify it as influential in their decision-making. So, why not create a referral program that allows your existing clients to earn a reward for telling their friends and family about your services? You might offer:

  • A discount on your services
  • A gift card to a popular local restaurant
  • A free portfolio consultation

Think about what would be valuable to your existing clients. If the reward isn’t something they would benefit from or enjoy, your referral program will be a bust.

Strategy #7: Offer Exceptional Customer Service

Marketing, branding, referral programs… it’s all wasted time and energy if you aren’t providing a high level of customer service as the foundation of everything else. Bad service is one of the easiest ways to lose clients, fail to impress prospects, and damage your brand identity.

Remember that exceptional customer service is about more than a cheerful greeting or smiling face – although these things can be quite important. Think about your clients’ goals and what they expect from you as they work toward them, then always attempt to exceed their expectations.

Here are a few customer service value-adds that you can probably accomplish fairly easily:

  • Weekly email updates on the stock market
  • Free seminars during tax season
  • Step-by-step processes for financial goal-setting

Providing exceptional customer service has a plethora of benefits, and your brand reputation will thank you for your efforts.

Get the Results You Want: Growing Your Client Base as a Financial Advisor

If the above steps strike you as overwhelming, try to think in terms of three important pillars instead: building your brand, establishing the trust factor, and providing exceptional service. Pick one to start with, identify a strategy above that serves it, and watch your consistent efforts begin to bring new clients through your door

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