Advisors: Where Should You Start with Content Marketing?

Often advisors ask us, “How should I get started in marketing?” It’s a fair question. They just want to make sure they’re putting their time and resources in the right place.

My answer isn’t simply to buy ads, start a Facebook profile, or revamp your personas. It starts with a change in your philosophical approach. This is true of advisors, TAMPs, broker-dealers, advisor technology platform, etc.

A lot of times in the sales and marketing process, we think of things vertically through a funnel. You get people through the Awareness stage , they become familiar with your brand, they’re added to your list, you nurture them, and a certain percentage will convert into a customer.

It’s all vertical.

Recently, I was in Myrtle Beach with my family and one place we went had one of those coin funnels where you drop a coin in and it spins around and around. My kids loved watching the coin circle over and over before disappearing into the hole.

Ultimately, the coin was traveling vertically from their hands to a bucket, where it would go to a charity. But the coin made twenty-plus laps before reaching its destination.

There’s a beauty in watching the coin circle the funnel so many times, and I think it’s a much more realistic way to think of an advisor’s sales funnel.

What I believe most people miss when they think about the marketing process is how the experience should change each time around the funnel. How can you create different pieces of content around the same idea so you’re hitting people every time they circle back around your funnel?

First and foremost, your content marketing strategy is built around one thing: communication. But what should you be communicating about? The answer lies in every meeting you have with a concerned client and every question you answer for a client over email.

How would you suggest to a client that they solve a particular problem? They’re looking for guidance on innumerable matters – buying a new home, refinancing, saving on taxes next year, etc.

What insight do you provide into these areas that’s valuable? You might not think you’re answers are anything special, but let me assure you: I’m certain that you provide value in those situations.

So how do you translate that value into your marketing approach? The answer is to write down what you say. You probably do this right now via email when a client asks a question, so you’re not far off from your first step.

My recommendation is to use actual problems you’re solving for your prospects and write down your thoughts. Record yourself talking someone through your problem and send it to your assistant or marketing team to write up.

You can then take that piece of content and create resources around it. Videos often work best here, and it doesn’t have to be super fancy – you can just use your phone. Film yourself and say, “The other day I had a client ask this great question, and I thought other people might be interested in the answer.”

Now you have a blog post and a video. Then create a spreadsheet that can help someone with that specific problem. Now you have a lead magnet you can give people in exchange for their name and email. And your list just keeps growing.

You might not get any hits right away, but the beauty of the internet is it works for you over time. If you really do speak to a legitimate concern and solve a problem, people will find you. They might not all be the right people, but that’s okay.

The secret of content marketing is this: you’re giving information away without expecting something in return. Yes, you’re hoping for something in return, but at the end of the day, it’s about the long game. You want to serve people over time so you find the right people in the right situation at the right time, and many of your prospects’ timelines won’t match up with yours.

So thinking back to that quarter circling around and around the funnel. Now we’ve got a blog post, a video, a basic ad, and a downloadable resource so each time the prospect comes back around, they’re closer to the end of the funnel, and you have content that can keep them moving, because you’re hitting them at different levels.

Marketers think about things in seasons. As I’m writing this, it’s tax season in the US. During this time, advisors are fielding a lot of the questions that revolve around taxes. So now would be a great time to create a tax resource. Take one of those tax questions you’re getting every day, create a lead magnet, film yourself talking about it, and make sure everything is search engine optimized .

If you do that again and again and again, you’ll end up with a portfolio of resources you can offer people. Then you can take all those resources, bundle them into a printable resource you can slide across the table to a prospect, and present XYZ Advisor’s Guide to Tax Efficiency .

That’s really the long and short of how to do content marketing. Communicate, communicate, communicate. I guarantee you’ll gain traction eventually.