5 Levels of Prospect Awareness for Advisers
Only 22% of affluent prospects become clients within a week. On the other hand, 38% need a month to decide on purchasing, and another 32% need up to a year or more.
If your marketing goal is to get clients right off the bat, you’re probably going to be disappointed. Your prospects go through different stages of awareness before they decide to work with you as their financial adviser—and not all of them will start at step one. Your marketing goal, therefore, should be to take your prospects on a journey that will help them come to the conclusion that they have a problem and that you are the solution—no matter how long that takes.
To make your marketing more effective, we’re going to introduce the five levels of prospect awareness, what content they want to see from you at each stage, and where you can find them.
1. Unaware Prospects
Your unaware prospects have no idea that they have a problem. They’re experiencing symptoms of a problem—money stress, high credit card debt, and more—but they don’t know the root cause of this. At the unaware stage, your prospects aren’t looking for a financial adviser because they have no idea that they need one.
At this stage, your marketing goal should be to make your prospects aware of their issues. You need to diagnose “the symptoms” or your target audience’s pain points and present them. For example, 47% of adults in the U.S. have credit card debt, one reason for that being emergency costs like medical bills and car repairs. You need to tell them that their problem isn’t credit card debt—it’s the lack of insurance to cover emergency situations.
You will find most unaware prospects on social media. They won’t be actively looking for you but will have looked up their financial situation once or twice. They probably also follow accounts related to their financial “symptoms,” which is why you can use targeted ads to reach your unaware prospects.
Unaware prospects won’t invest a lot of time in your content or deep dive into financial topics because they aren’t even aware that they have a relevant problem. You need to grab their attention with objectively fun, digestible, and relatable content. Switch out the long-form educational content for short, attention-grabbing posts to attract prospects at this stage. Some content types to use are:
- Eye-catching photos with short write-ups that clearly state a problem that your target audience is going through
- Engaging videos that make your prospects think, “Hmm, that’s me”
- Short top-of-funnel (TOFU) articles that state the symptoms that your unaware prospects are facing and then present your “diagnosis” of the real problem
At Snappy Kraken, we make sure that your campaigns “stop the scroll” and make your target audience click to learn more. For example, our Now & Future Costs campaign draws in your target audience with a relatable graphic that calls out a symptom that unaware prospects are experiencing—money stress due to price hikes. It then goes on to state the real problem—not price hikes but a lack of financial planning and preparation.
2. Problem-Aware Prospects
Your problem-aware prospects have diagnosed their exact problem based on symptoms, either on their own or with your help. Their problem is that they don’t know how to solve their problem.
At this stage, your goal is to educate your prospects and tell them what they can do to solve their issues. Problem-aware prospects have a lot of questions, so it’s your job to establish yourself as the expert and go-to resource for questions regarding their specific concerns. You will find problem-aware prospects searching for answers on forums, like Quora and Reddit, on search engines, and on YouTube.
Your content needs to directly answer your prospects’ pain points and suggest solutions. You’re done with using attention-grabbing content to establish a problem. Now, you need to create more in-depth material that explains your prospects’ problems and presents potential solutions—including your services. Some examples of content for problem-aware prospects are:
- Middle-of-funnel (MOFU) content that talks briefly about your prospects’ pain points and then lightly position your services as a viable solution
- Longer-form videos that aim to educate and directly answer questions within five minutes
- Webinars that explain your target audience’s problems and provide solutions
After reading your content, your prospects should know what the solution to their problems is—a financial adviser.
3. Solution-Aware Prospects
Solution-aware prospects know that they need a financial adviser to solve their problems, but they don’t know what specific services they need.
At this stage, your goal is to more clearly establish your services as the solution to your prospects’ problems. At stage 2, you focused on educating and presenting solutions—both your services and other solutions on the web. Now, you need to double down on telling your prospects that you have the services they need to solve their financial woes.
You will find solution-aware prospects searching on Google and hanging out on Q&A forums. They’re also probably on your mailing list and possibly following you on social media. You’ll be able to differentiate solution-aware prospects from problem-aware prospects based on their needs:
- Problem-aware prospects are usually looking for explanations or solutions to their problem, so their questions are more along the lines of “How to solve X” or “What is X.”
- Solution-aware prospects are looking for a specific product or service that will solve their problem, so their questions will be more along the lines of “Best retirement accounts for self-employed individuals.”
Your content for solution-aware prospects should be authoritative and unique, with the goal of bringing your prospects to the product-aware stage. You need to differentiate your services with bottom-of-funnel (BOFU) articles that explain the benefits of each of your services.
Some examples of content for solution-aware prospects are:
- Articles that explain your services and what makes your services unique
- Written testimonials and case studies that highlight outcomes
- Emails that nurture through relationship-building
- Client testimonials in video form
Our campaigns for solution-aware prospects reassure prospects by providing opinions on current events and recommending a course of action. For example, our Latest on Taxes campaign tells prospects what your stance as a financial adviser is on the current tax debate and reassures your prospects that, with you, they can adapt to changing laws without a hitch.
4. Product-Aware Prospects
Your product-aware prospects know that they need a financial adviser and which specific services they need from their financial adviser—but they don’t know which financial adviser to go with.
At this stage, your goal is to stand out and be memorable. When your prospects think back to the list of financial advisers that they’ve talked to, your name should be on that list. You want to tell your prospects that your services are better than your competitors’ and show them that you care about them on a personal level.
Product-aware prospects probably follow you (and similar accounts) on social media and are searching for you on Google. Referrals from your existing clients are generally product-aware prospects. Referrals come to you with a specific problem and solution in mind—they became product-aware (i.e., aware of your services) with the help of a friend or family member.
Some examples of content for product-aware prospects are:
- Written testimonials and case studies that highlight your differentiator (e.g., videos that say, “Lucy is the best financial adviser because she’s always so organized and on top of everything”)
- Longer, bottom-of-funnel (BOFU) articles that highlight your opinions and the specific reasons why you’re the better financial adviser
You should also invite your prospects to in-person meetings, assessment calls, and more to really know what your prospects need and how you can help them. For example, our Dynamic Lead Follow-Up campaign brings prospects back to their specific pain points, asks questions to build relationships, and then creates an emotional reaction that will lead your prospects to book a call.
5. Most-Aware Prospects
Your most-aware prospects know that you are the answer to their problems—they just need that final nudge to turn into clients. They’ve probably already booked some calls with you, attended your events, and believe in you as a financial adviser.
Your goal at this stage is to woo your prospects and deepen the relationship so that they officially choose you as their financial adviser. Your content should focus on starting conversations and showing your prospects that you care about them on a personal level. Your most-aware prospects are definitely on your email list and probably also follow you on social media.
Your content for most-aware prospects should be relationship-building in nature. You want to show your prospects that you understand their problems and that you are invested in their well-being.
Some examples of content for most-aware prospects are:
- Nurturing campaigns that aim to help you learn more about your prospects over a few weeks
- BOFU articles that highlight your expertise and reliability to show your prospects that they can trust you
- Content that encourages call booking
Make sure that your content humanizes you and encourages prospects to respond to your emails and start conversations.
Bring Your Prospects from Unaware to Most-Aware with Our Cold to Gold Framework
Marketing results don’t happen overnight—you need to work on creating valuable content and make sure that you build a sustainable flywheel that will keep producing results. Use our Cold to Gold Framework to get the most out of your marketing and take your prospects on a journey that leads them to you.
And if you want to learn more about how Snappy Kraken can help you move prospects along all five of these stages, head over this way.