You may believe the Internet does not impact your current marketing results, but that could be a big mistake.
This belief may be mistaken because there are two new client opportunities out there and not one.
The first opportunity is strangers – investors who do not know you or your firm. They have to be able to find you on the Internet, they have to be able to learn more about you on the Internet, and your website has to convince them to give-up their anonymity.
The second opportunity is investors who know you, but for whatever reason have not become clients. They don’t need the Internet to find you. They do need the Internet to learn more about you. Chances are they are in your drip system.
The latter is a frequently overlooked opportunity to impact the decisions of investors when they select financial advisors.
Two Primary Types of Investors
In addition to the two types of opportunities, you should also be prepared to deal with the two primary types of investors:
- Investors who are replacing current advisors
- Investors who are first-time users – for example, an investor who is rolling 401k assets into an IRA
When investors use the Internet to find financial advisors, it usually means they do not have other resources they trust (friends, family, associates, other professionals) to refer them to the best advisors.
A version of the “replacement investor” is the family that is relocating and wants an advisor who is located near them. They use the Internet because they do not have local contacts who can refer them to advisors.
Google says one of the biggest trends on the Internet is people searching for all types of professionals and information about them.
They interview advisors who make it through their vetting process.
Financial Advisor Research
Finding advisors on the Internet is easy. All it takes are a few geo-specific key words to produce hundreds of choices.
The bigger challenge for investors is finding advisors who are trustworthy financial experts. This is where the Internet can have a major impact.
Even if an investor already knows you, they may use the Internet to learn more about you. What are they going to see?
You should not under-estimate the impact of what they see on the Internet. Most of the time, what they see determines who they interview.
Sources of Public Data
Most sources of financial advisor public data are pretty obvious. What is far less obvious is the number of investors who are using the information to make decisions.
The first source of information is your firm’s website. It is a little awkward if you and your bio are not displayed on the site.
A second source is using Google to search your name and your firm’s name. Your firm’s name could be added to the search if it is not a brand name.
A third source can be third party sites, such as FINRA, SEC, state agencies, BBB, Social, and Yelp.
The Power of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing raises your visibility on the Internet, so it is easier for investors to find your firm.
The right types of Internet visibility produce “relevant” visitors to your website.
Your website has three roles. First, it creates an electronic first impression that has to be competitive with other firm’s websites. Second, it has to disseminate the right information about your firm. And third, it has to convince visitors to give-up their anonymity and submit their contact data.