Building Your Financial Marketing Team
Just like running a successful business, your marketing requires a variety of different talents with deep skill sets.
In business you hire:
- A bookkeeper or accountant to manage your financial reporting.
- A lawn maintenance company to keep your office frontage appealing.
- Attorneys to draft business agreements.
- Administrative people who are task masters.
- Managers who are great organizers and communicators.
- … you get the point.
When building their financial marketing team,
MOST ADVISORS HIRE:
- Website design firms.
- Copy writers (believe it or not, most website firms aren’t good at: messaging, marketing copy, or call-to-actions).
- Graphic designers who understand design concepts but not (usually) tactics or strategy or message – they often can’t write and may not understand integrated marketing.
- Email or digital marketers who know the ins and outs of email list building, email blasting and sequencing but they can’t help you get over the content hump, or they don’t know how to integrate with websites and social media.
- SEO experts who are adept at tweaking sites, mass producing content (fake content) and artificially influencing search engines – the tweaking never ends – the results rarely last – it’s hard to stay on top and search engines are changing the rules (for the better) all the time.
- Social media gurus who expect you to “socialize” at an overwhelming and often unsustainable frequency and who don’t have experience with complex financial content or adherence to compliance.
SET UP FOR FAILURE
Given the above silos in outside expertise, financial advisors and RIAs are often set up for failure in marketing and it’s really not fair. You’ve been trained to analyze, know 1000+ products, build a customer service team, hire and manage people in a sometimes-unforgiving job, and run a highly efficient and profitable practice. Now add “marketing expert” to the mix and it’s easy to understand why it’s so challenging. And unfortunately, why it sometimes never gets done at all.
A CHANGE OF COURSE
Notwithstanding the challenges, most advisors and RIAs “want” to be great at marketing. Even armed with that desire, you can’t just hire one person (vendor) to get the job done right. Imagine having a great website, call-to-actions and a nurture email sequence but your message is boring and irrelevant to the target audience you want to attract most. You hire a digital marketing firm but they aren’t good at branding /messaging. Or you hire a great story-teller who doesn’t know how to translate your “unique” and “compelling” message into a viable story and results oriented marketing campaign.
Whatever you do in business or life, if you want to be great at it, you’ll most likely need to source other talent to get where you want to go. Start thinking about building a virtual marketing team.
The Best (& Worst) Practices for Building Your Marketing Team:
1. Go virtual, no geographic limitation means access to better talent.
2. Have a strategy lead who has an approach and who knows the value of different yet integrated marketing disciplines.
3. Hire people who have worked in or who really understand the financial industry and your specific role – the upside to a running start is greater than the downside of a perceived lack of creativity.
4. Hire people who love what they do – they’ll battle for you until they get it right.
5. Find a company who’s leading and on a trajectory to being great. Hint: they’re probably prolific writers who simplify financial marketing for you
6. Don’t focus singularly on price – focus instead on value and know-how. That $1,000 website designed and developed by your neighbor’s cousin will most likely be worse than doing nothing. It’s better to do less better and build momentum every 90 days.
7. Don’t wait for strategic perfection before starting. If you wait for your plan to have every “i” dotted and every “t” crossed, you’ll likely never start. Focus on building momentum every step of the way.
8. Once you have started, don’t be obsessed with perfection. That “perfect” shade of green or that “perfect” third sentence of the fourth paragraph likely won’t make enough of a difference to warrant delaying your launch.
9. Trust your team. Pick the right team for the right reasons and have faith in their decisions and recommendations. Give them a chance to help you succeed. They don’t tell you how to build financial plans – trust them to be the marketing experts you hired them to be. Contribute ideas and ask questions then let them do their job. Don’t over-analyze every campaign report either. Good marketing, the right marketing, takes time and has many wins outside of “# of new clients” or “# of downloads”.
Hopefully you have a better perspective for building your financial marketing team, one that works best for you and gets you the results you expect.