Whenever we speak to Financial Advisers or Wealth Management companies, the answer we usually get is ‘we don’t do marketing, we’re busy enough as we are’ or ‘There’s no point doing any marketing due to the FCA restrictions’. Chances are that if you’re reading this blog, you are probably interested in how marketing can work for financial services providers, so below we will outline some free or low-cost marketing ideas for IFA’s
As Financial advisors work in such a regulated industry, being familiar with the rules and regulations as laid out in the financial promotions handbook by the FCA is essential. But don’t let the rules and regulations put you off – marketing is still possible! In essence, advisers need to ensure that promotions such as websites, blog posts and social media posts are fair, clear and not misleading. The full guidance can be found here.
Whilst there are restrictions on what IFA’s can talk about in their marketing in terms of product and planning advice, there are a multitude of marketing activities that Financial Advisers can take part in whilst remaining compliant.
Some of these suggested activities are free or incur a small cost
Ask for Google Reviews
Although a personal recommendation from a friend/colleague/trusted advisor will always be the best source of referral, people seem to trust online reviews. In fact, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, and 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars (source: BrightLocal.com). There are a variety of online review tools available but arguably Google Reviews is the most important one. Not only do positive and regular reviews build trust with consumers looking to use your services, but it will also help your local SEO.
You may want to pick a certain point within your working relationship with a client and politely ask them to complete a Google Review for you. These can then be used further as a testimonials on the website, social media, case studies or simply as market research.
For those who really want to embrace reviews we would recommend using a paid for service like Trust Pilot – this is a more credible and managed source of reviews (others are available)
Communicate with your clients
You are likely to have regular meetings booked in with your clients to discuss financial advice, but are you missing a trick if you don’t communicate with them in between? Send out regular communications such as newsletters and e-shots – these can be on team news, recent blog posts you’ve written, industry news, or just generally providing updates about financial products.
Write helpful blogs
You are an expert in what you do and are familiar with the questions and areas your prospects and clients require assistance with. Not only will a well-written blog help demonstrate your expertise, it will help establish you as a thought leader, drive traffic to your website and provide a genuinely useful resource to clients.
Expand your referrer network
Referrals from solicitors and accountants can make up the majority of new leads for IFA’s so it is crucial that these relationships are nurtured. Look to expand on them by being proactive in asking associates and clients for introductions and try to set up face to face meetings. Once the relationship is established, make an effort to keep in touch on a regular basis – be that through phone calls, email or by specifically organising referrer events.
This point ties in with the previous one. Start by researching local networking events who attract the type of people that you want to meet, and consistently make an effort to go along and meet new people. Be interested in what people do and introduce them to others who you think they might benefit from talking to.
Get active on social media
Many IFA’s seem to shy away from engaging in social media as the rules around financial promotion seemingly limit the type of content they can post about. As long as there is no incitement to engage in financial activity, social media use is fine. Rather than talking about individual products, IFA’s can talk about other parts of their firm, their typical client, staff spotlights of their advisers, charity engagement, or provide general commentary on economic or political developments.
We appreciate that all these activities take up time and resources so why not focus on one of the above ideas over the course of a month or so – or you can of course employ a specialist agency, such as Consortium, to do it on your behalf.