There are probably a lot more than 6, but we’re going to just focus on your online presence. Let’s start with a definition of what inbound marketing is.
Inbound Marketing is how people see you in the online world. It’s what your website looks like, how your quarterly letters are received, blog entries you write and how you interact with all your stakeholders online.
If you’re ready, let’s get started.
Start with your website
I can’t tell you how many wealth management websites I look at and have absolutely no idea what they do that provides value for their clients. The websites I see all say the same things that every other wealth management firms do.
There is no way for a potential client to understand the website they’re looking at if the site doesn’t talk about their needs from the client’s point of view. A really easy way to embarrass your firm is to try to be all things to all people. Stop doing that and really focus on the clients you add the most value for.
If you really think having a minimum of $1,000,000 in investable assets makes your firm different, think again. You might have $1,000,000 in investment minimums but I can promise you that no one uses your firm because of your investment minimums. Make sure you differentiate your firm through your expertise and what you bring to the party that is truly different.
Look at your quarterly letters
Once a quarter you communicate with your clients about their investment returns. I think most quarterly letters are too long and too technical.
We think our clients are sophisticated and in their area of expertise they are. In our world most of our clients aren’t very sophisticated.
If the Fed has ended quantitative easing it’s not the technical reason that’s important. It’s how that action will affect the lives of your clients.
You want to make sure you are reading your quarterly letters from the viewpoint of your client. Ask one or two of your astute clients who are not financially savvy to read your letter and give you feedback. You’ll probably find that their suggestions will help you simplify so the clients you most value will understand and avidly read your quarterly letters.
Wouldn’t that be a better result than you’re getting today?
Are you blogging about what your clients think is important?
I always suggest that wealth managers have a blog on their website. Too often I’m told that they don’t have time and no one reads a blog anyway.
I think firms that don’t blog are missing a giant opportunity. A blog allows you to exhibit your expertise in 600 to 700 words. If you write a blog entry of this length, it’s not going to take very long and it’ll be short enough that it can be read in less than five minutes.
If you do decide to blog, make sure your blog entries show how your firm is different. Write a case study or two. Tell your readers what it is you have a real passion for. A blog allows you to let your readers know that you’re a real person and not some bot who was produced who doesn’t understand it’s clients. After all, don’t you want to do business with real people. Let your blog show your personality.
Does your newsletter have information your clients care about?
First, do you have a newsletter? No, I’m not talking about your quarterly letter. I’m talking about an electronic newsletter you send out once a month.
A newsletter allows you to have another avenue for you to talk about what makes your firm interesting. What is your firm thinking about when it comes to client service? What problems have you helped a client with in the last month? I’m going to bet the more specific you are in writing your newsletter the more value your clients will find from it.
Your newsletter should be a conversation between you and your clients. It should be written in plain conversational English. It should just be a conversation between you and your best clients. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Do you have an online presence?
I know that most of us poo poo the idea of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Depending on who your market is one of these social networks will be important in building a reputation.
I’m already seeing that before a client makes a decision about what wealth management firm they’re going to use, they look them up on one of the social networks. If your firm doesn’t show up you could get eliminated before you even start.
Research by my friends at Hubspot shows that over 50% of a buying decision is made before a potential client ever picks up the phone to talk with you. Make sure the research that’s done makes your firm look good.
Remember it’s all about reputation
This is the key to making sure that you don’t embarrass your firm. You’re not likely going to have a potential client look at your firm without an introduction from someone they trust.
Instead most of the time a potential client who’s been introduced to your firm decides to check you out before calling. If what they find makes them feel you understand their issues, they’ll probably call. If they don’t think you understand them, they’ll never call and you’ll never know they even looked.
You just can’t afford to not pay attention to your online reputation. Those firms that ignore this part of marketing just embarrass themselves. You don’t want to do that do you?