Enhancing Advisor Digital Marketing for Better Business Owner Engagement

Written by: Zach McDonald

Marketing to business owners is serious business. They’re busy, stressed, overworked and generally take their time when making big decisions. 

That being said, business owners make great clients. They typically place a high value on an advisor’s input and the relationship has a lot of potential for growth. It’s no wonder so many advisors name business owners among their ideal clients.

Today, I want to talk about how advisors can engage with business owners in the digital realm in a way that enhances and supports your real-life efforts, as well as puts you in front of the right audience for the first time.

How to Engage with Business Owners on Social Media

Using generic hashtags (#BusinessOwners) will only get you so far – which is to say not very

Most business owners are way too busy to go in search of generic advice. If they are looking for something, they want a specific answer to a specific problem.

As Andy Crestodina said, “When people are on search they’re busy, when they’re on social, they’re bored.” No one is scrolling mindlessly around social media looking for answers to the problems they should be dealing with. 

People go on social media for four reasons, in this order:

  1. Distraction
  2. Entertainment
  3. Inspiration
  4. Self-improvement

If you try to compete on those first two categories, you will lose every time to “cat videos and unboxings,” as Philip Morgan says.

So that leaves you with two categories to shoot for, and it also gives us a good guiding question to use when trying to engage with business owners on social media: How can you inspire them and how can you help them improve themselves?

For a little help with engaging business owners, we can look to people who make a living helping business owners. 

One of my favorite follows on Linkedin is Blair Enns, author of the highly recommended “Win Without Pitching Manifesto.” As a creative agency consultant, Blair’s whole business model is focused on serving business owners.

His feed is packed with conversations on how to develop an exit strategy, dealing with depression, thoughts on writing, sales role-playing and other topics that directly or indirectly benefit his core audience. And it’s also packed with business owners who are thanking him for his help and asking for help on other matters, cementing his role as a trusted partner.

While you may not cover the exact same topics, you can take inspiration from people like Blair. 

Your Digital Efforts Should Support Your Real-life Networking

If you’re only trying to engage business owners online, you won’t get very far. Digital marketing should support and enhance your real-life networking efforts, but it can never replace their impact.

Your real-world networking efforts could come in many forms, depending on your own personal strengths and what works in your community:

  • Attending and/or hosting happy hours for business owners
  • Having lunch with a different business owner each week
  • Joining your local Chamber of Commerce and attending their events
  • Drumming up referrals from existing clients
  • Hosting in-person workshops

Whatever your real-world efforts look like, your digital efforts can play a huge supporting role in a variety of ways:

Email followups

When you attend events, be sure to get people’s contact information and then send them an email followup that says something like:

Hi [name],

It was great meeting you at [event]. [insert a personal detail from your interaction to jog their memory, just in case they don’t remember you at first]. 

I have an email list where I share financial tips and inspiration for business owners. Would it be okay if I added you to it? You can unsubscribe at any time, but I hope you’ll find it valuable as you navigate the entrepreneurial life.


[your name]

If you really hit it off when you met, you could also ask them to grab lunch.

Notice how I mentioned an email list there? More on that…

Email lists

One of the best investments you can make in your business is to grow an email list filled with valuable prospects and clients. 

One of the best ways to stay front of mind with business owners is to send them valuable emails regularly. If you are truly focused on business owners, consider developing a newsletter just for business owners that can help keep you front of mind.

A newsletter doesn’t have to be anything huge. You could share a useful article you found somewhere along with a few lines about your own thoughts on the subject. 

Whatever you do, make sure your newsletter content provides value. Business owners are busy – they don’t have time for fluff and they will unsubscribe quickly if your content doesn’t serve their interests in some way.

Dedicated landing pages

If you serve business owners, then chances are you have a page on your website specifically for business owners. It could be your persona page or a particularly valuable blog post. 

Get some business cards printed with your contact info and that page’s URL on it rather than your homepage. Make the URL easy and memorable in case people lose your card (e.g., www.yoursite.com/business-owners). 

Pursue Business Owners Like You Mean It

Business owners make great clients, but you really have to prove your value upfront if they’re going to sign on with you. 

Related: 4 Steps To Help Financial Advisors Who Are Looking To Find ‘Their People’ in 2024