What You Need to Know
- Improving marketing means understanding the audience and embracing it with consistency.
- Jumping from one marketing idea to the next is typically ineffective.
- Word-of-mouth marketing is the best marketing.
Your advisory firm probably needs to do less marketing — or rather, you need to do fewer types of marketing better.
I rarely meet an advisory firm leader who doesn’t want to grow their business. Often, the first step leaders take is investing in marketing.
The problem is that when advisory firm leaders invest in marketing, they jump from one idea to the next: blogging, social media, podcasts, seminars, events, email campaigns, etc. You name it, most advisory firms want to do it all.
But moving rapidly from one marketing idea to the next doesn’t create success. Rather, it often leads to frustration and an inability to effectively create and follow through with a cohesive marketing plan.
While many may believe that the next big thing is finally the tactic that will yield marketing results, the truth from what we’ve observed is that marketing is not a tactical problem, it’s a behavioral problem. Here’s an example:
About four years ago, podcasting became a popular tactic. Many advisory firms tried it, but six months later, with few results, they quit doing it and missed a big opportunity. With our consulting client base, the ones that stuck with it have experienced great success with the leads the podcasts now produce.
Quitting too soon is just one of the four most common behavioral problems that advisors make with marketing. What are the others? See if you can identify any of these behaviors and move past them so you can build a successful marketing strategy.
4 Problems With Advisor Marketing
Following trends: The first problem that advisors make with marketing is that they follow a trend instead of sticking with what works. Let’s be clear: Following a trend, like podcasting was several years ago, is not a bad thing. The problem is that many advisors stop podcasting before it can yield results.
Marketing, like many investments leaders make in their businesses, often yields long-term results. The key is to give it time to work for you. In the case of podcasting, it took roughly two years for our clients who did not give up on it to see real results. This leads me to the second problem.
Wanting instant results: Effective marketing is seldom a quick hit. When you approach marketing and expect instant results, you are gambling with your business dollars. Great marketing is a building process: It requires you to implement one tactic at a time.
This method will allow the tactic to build upon itself over time; consistent marketing is the best marketing. You may work on a marketing tactic for a long time and get few results, but as you continue to build on it, the results will compound with the effort you make.
Doing more for no reason: Expanding on consistent marketing and implementing more tactics doesn’t always mean more leads. What would you rather do: a podcast that produces 100 leads per year, or a podcast and email campaigns that produce a total of 100 leads per year? If an advisory firm is not expanding lead flow after adding more marketing, what is the point?
We often see firms layer on marketing tactics that don’t produce more leads.
They will increase their marketing cost without much return on investment, splitting their attention among marketing programs for no reason. This is a quintessential behavioral problem; people often want more. More doesn’t often equal yield better results, and it frequently complicates what’s simple.
Certainly, you can have one blog or one podcast or one book that produces enough leads to reach your goals. But when you experience that success, you may decide to go on to the next thing instead of keeping your focus on what is working well. If writing a book worked for your firm, write another one. If podcasting is working, create another podcast with a different topic.
We want to add more marketing when there’s a reason to add more, not to simply diversify a strategy or to chase more leads with an unproven tactic. When it works, stick with it.