Why Leverage Investor Curiosity in Advisor Marketing

This weekend, my three-year-old was playing with his older brother’s watch trying to figure out how it works. He could successfully set the alarm and make it beep. He could adjust the time and switch back and forth between 24-hour and 12-hour clocks. But that wasn’t enough. He attempted to disassemble the entire watch and succeeded in breaking the watch face in the process. His curiosity might not have killed a cat, but the watch will never be the same.

Curiosity is dangerous like that.

People who are curious are often thought of as the troublemakers or the pot stirrers because becoming curious about a topic is full of potentially disruptive thoughts and actions. Curious people go looking for answers.

Curious investors do the same thing.

And that’s the exact point at which your message needs to be heard.

Something to remember about curious investors: they have to have a basic knowledge of a topic before they get curious about it. We aren’t intrigued by things we don’t know anything about. For investors, they often have very general ideas about wanting to be tax-efficient or they recognize that they don’t want to run out of money in retirement. These very basic ideas drive them to learn more, which means they’ll research these ideas on the internet.

In George Loewenstein’s article on “The Psychology of Curiosity,” he said, “To induce curiosity about a particular topic, it may be necessary to prime the pump, to use intriguing information to get folks interested so that they become more curious.”

Inbound marketing is built around this pump-priming, which takes the form of articles, ebooks, and other resources that have been properly published with both the bots who crawl your website and the humans who read that content in mind. Advisors commonly think that if they “give away their secrets” on their websites, investors won’t need them, but that isn’t how curiosity works.

Once we find out some information about a topic, we typically become hungry for more. As you provide basic information to anyone who comes to your website, you help them grow in their awareness while increasing their curiosity. That’s when you want deeper content behind a wall that requires visitors to provide their email address to receive it.

Often, people whose curiosity is building stay in the awareness phase (the first phase of the buyer’s journey) gathering data for a while. They may read a number of articles and even download a few ebooks to delve deeper into a subject. At certain points, they may begin to think they can implement your ideas themselves, and that’s when you need to go beyond just providing them with content.

Related: Are You Doing Serious Work?

This is where email marketing becomes so important.

The curious investors who have spent time downloading information from you and were interested enough to give you their email address are expecting you to write to them. When you do, make sure you follow common email decency and talk with them in ways you find respectful. I get too many condescending emails from people trying to sell me stuff. Getting the tone wrong is one of the fastest ways to get me to hit the unsubscribe button.

There are a lot of marketers out there who will tell you to be edgy or put pressure on your prospects, but we haven’t seen advisors find much success with that approach. Those tactics are built for more product-based, one-off sales industries. In an industry built on lasting trust, we’ve found that the very best results come from just being yourself. Talk with prospects online the same way you would if you met them in person. Give them information that explains why they should consider using your firm and give them a glimpse at how they become a client.

Curious investors are looking for you. You can honor their curiosity and help them make wise decisions. Keep in mind that there’s plenty of information out there that can harm them. Keep writing and publishing so they don’t wind up with a broken watch (or a dead cat).