How many of those prospects are finding YOU?
The last time we checked, there were 110,000 Google searches for “financial advisor”* every month. Think of the potential prospects that either need help or are looking for professional suggestions.
So, how many of those searches do you think pointed individuals to your website? As a matter of fact, how many new clients did you acquire last year solely as a result of them finding you online?
Don’t be discouraged. Unless you’re one of those rare advisors who have embraced a thing called inbound marketing (more on this later), your website and social media presence probably are not doing much for your client acquisition strategy. That can change, however, and we’ll explain why and how.
Attracting New Clients
First, it’s important to acknowledge that referrals are still the most effective method of attracting new clients. There’s nothing quite like the power of a respected friend or colleague sending a close acquaintance your direction.
It’s also important to understand that, even with referrals, the internet is playing a significant role in how referrals are evaluating you today. Yes, that’s right. They’re doing their due diligence before they’ve even spoken to you.
According to a recent research study from technology solutions provider, Advisor Engines, as many 66 percent of prospects start their searches with a referral from a friend, family member or co-workers. The study revealed that, on average, prospects get 2.6 referrals before conducting digital research. Then they begin the online search.
Advisor Engine’s research also reveals that once prospects have screened candidates online, they generally pick only one to have a conversation with. And advisors confirm that, unless there is a big red flag that comes up in the introductory meeting, they usually are successful in turning prospects into clients.
But wait. What about the other 34 percent of prospects who don’t begin their search with a referral? Well, they’re simply going online and conducting cold searches. Analytics from Google indicate some of the most popular inquiries from these searchers are, “financial advisors near me,” or “how to start a financial plan.”
With so many monthly inquiries from people seeking basic financial advice, you can begin to see just how important it is for you to present yourself in a professional and compelling manner. A properly optimized website with consistent, timely and relevant content that prospects need will be the bedrock of your success.
Most advisors struggle to hit this high standard, with many quick to cite the regulatory and compliance issues that may prohibit one from coming off as a ‘real person.’ Others, however, have tapped into the main artery of internet’s prospecting opportunity, and they’ve done so by embracing what many consider to be today’s most effective strategy, inbound marketing.
“Inbound marketing is a strategy that focuses on attracting customers, or leads, via company-created Internet content, thereby having potential customers come to the company rather than marketers vying for their attention.
This type of marketing makes it easier for customers who are already actively looking for goods or services via the Internet, to find a company that fits their needs.”
Since we have witnessed advisors having success using inbound marketing, the idea of sharing the ‘how to’ was a driving reason behind why we created The Inland Academy. Not only have we seen how advisors can grow their businesses by incorporating 1031 exchanges and DSTs into their practices, but when combined with a proper inbound marketing approach, the results can be extraordinary.
Now that you have a better understanding of the importance and impact of ‘online search’ as it relates to prospects looking for help and advice on financial matters, you’ll obviously want to know more. As you practice your craft in this new world where prospects are digitally empowered, implementing inbound marketing practices could be the difference between being lost . . . or getting found.
*Source: Keywordseverywhere google chrome extension.