How has The Information Age affected the way you purchase retail consumer items? The Internet and related technologies have dramatically changed the way we purchase and shop for things, and many advisors are also finding that to be true of the way prospects seek financial services, products, and even the advisor themselves.

On the plus side, this makes for a more educated consumer before they ever set foot into your office or a seminar venue. However, this new paradigm could also reduce your role to merely that of an order-taker attending to product-purchasers if you’re not careful to craft a truly relational business model. So how do you embrace the good without becoming relegated to the role of a clerk at a financial mall?

The answer?

The answer, as many advisors are finding out the hard way, is to attract clients — by giving them the means, education, and multiple ways to find you — rather than pursuing them via traditional advertising and media. While such ads still have their place, ensuring your name recognition within your community, it’s your “inbound marketing” that should receive the most attention.

So what does that entail? For one thing, it requires the revelation that people don’t want to be sold something; they want to be educated. After which, they’ll then embrace a set of solutions from the expert they most like, and with whom they share common values, priorities, and a good cultural fit. In the age of the Internet, many will first want to educate themselves, and merely want to be able to trust the sources to which you send them. The following are several keys to becoming the resource in your community that clients will rely upon — and tell their friends about:

  • Your website should be an educational resource, a “Learning Center” with tutorials, audio files, video excerpts, PDFs of relevant articles and links to multiple credible outside resources.
  • Hold educational seminars (90 minutes) or classes (50 minutes) in your community and the surrounding area, at which prospects can experience your brand while they learn in a no-obligation, interactive multimedia setting. Send them home with valuable information. 
  • Develop your own radio show wherein you discuss world events, market history and, yes, even the products that have treated your clients so well through two 50-percent-plus declines in the last 13 years.
  • Writing a blog on a regular basis keeps you in front of your existing clients (from whom you get half of your new clients), and “drips” value and insight on prospects while they’re confirming what you’ve told them.

If you want them to come to you, give them multiples reasons — and many ways to find you. 

For more from Thomas Brueckner, see:

What does your website say about you?

How to manage client relationships

Corporate culture trumps all