The Great Wall of China is an architectural feat that still amazes people to this day. Each brick was molded by hand and then transported in wheelbarrows, on workers’ backs, on camels and horses, and so on. It took them 300,000 soldiers, countless townspeople, and over 20 years to build the first iteration of The Wall.
But think about all the time, money, and resources the Qin Dynasty could have saved with trucks, forklifts, and an assembly line. An infrastructure engineer hypothesized it could take as little as 15 months to build The Great Wall with modern technology.
Ancient Chinese engineers didn’t have that choice, though—because they didn’t have modern technology. But you do. Doing your marketing without automation is like voluntarily building The Great Wall without factory-made bricks. Hand molded bricks work fine, but using an assembly line leaves you time to focus on the engineering (i.e., your marketing strategy) rather than the manufacturing (i.e., posting daily, sending emails every week, etc.).
Imagine this: You receive a call from an unknown number. You pick up, just in case it’s someone important, but as soon as you answer, a telemarketer starts rattling off a sales pitch. You (and everyone in the known universe) hate it when that happens, and for good reason—this sales tactic is annoying, and you didn’t consent to receive calls from random companies.
The bad news is that you’re using the same tactic as that annoying telemarketer when you buy an email list and send cold messages. The only difference is the device used.
Luckily, you probably already have a great list—even if your list is just one warm lead.
How long do you think you need to work at your marketing to get results? A month? Three months? What if we told you it takes a lot longer than that? Probably a lot longer than you’d like. But that’s ok; you’re in this for the long haul because you want more than just leads—you want paying clients.
One of our members shared with us that he “just scheduled a meeting with a $1.2M prospect” he’s been emailing since 2018. After three years of nurturing and building the relationship, he finally got a call booked with that high-net-worth (HNW) prospect. Even though it won’t take all your HNW clients three years to convert, you need to invest in that relationship with a considerable amount of nurturing to get on their radars.
So the right answer to our question in the first paragraph is: it depends. We recommend using our holistic lead generation strategy for at least six months before giving up—but it could take up to three years (or even longer) to net the big fish. Remember, you won’t get results immediately, and expecting instant gratification will hurt your marketing success.
According to the traditional lead generation mindset, marketing is deemed successful as soon as you get a lead. But you can’t deposit leads in the bank.
To get real wins—i.e., loyal clients—you need a strategy that goes beyond traditional lead generation. Our Holistic Lead Generation strategy takes the whole client journey into consideration to help you generate more leads and convert more clients.
Traditional Lead Generation Only Gets You to the Starting Line
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.
As a financial adviser, you probably find the science behind finance super interesting—and we agree with you. But we also have to acknowledge that most people find financial matters confusing, mind-numbing, and even scary at times. Sending your clients weekly emails on investment tips or retirement planning is useful, but it also gets repetitive—kind of like someone who won’t stop showing you pictures of their kids.
Educational emails are great for establishing expertise and providing value, but all of that value is dead in the water if your clients never open your emails—which you risk if you flood them with too much nothing-but-finance content.
Break the monotony and increase engagement by adding a financial spin to topics your clients already care about. It’s also an opportunity to add some personality and fun to your brand and your relationships. Talk about celebrities. Talk about travel. Talk about financial scandals or how personal finances might work in your favorite sci-fi universe. We love putting this into practice— one of our favorite (and top-performing) campaigns was about celebrity money mistakes.
Let’s break down why this works so well.
Financial-Adjacent Themes Create More Engagement
In our 2020 and 2021 State of Digital Reports, we gathered data from 52,906 campaigns and 16,214,916 emails that our members sent to their clients and found that more than half of the top-performing engagement campaigns contained financial-adjacent content.
Clients opened emails that they could relate to or were interested in. For example, we found that many clients see themselves as “News Readers,” meaning they are interested in current events. It only follows that one of our top-performing campaigns in 2020 was “25 of the Most Interesting Things That Happened in 2019.”
Marketing on autopilot is every financial adviser’s dream. Everyone (not just financial advisers) wants a magical marketing hack that continuously generates qualified leads, referrals and new clients without them having to lift a finger.
We’ve got good news—the “magical marketing hack” exists; it’s called a viral loop or referral flywheel. A viral loop is a marketing tactic that relies on delighting clients enough that they share your service or product with friends, family, colleagues, and other people in their networks. These set-and-forget viral loops are all about the prep work. After investing some time and effort into your system’s initial momentum, your marketing will start to run itself.
We used data that we collected from millions of campaigns and hundreds of thousands of emails to create a viral marketing loop specifically for financial advisers: The Cold to Gold Framework. We’re here to help you get the ball rolling so that, eventually, you can spend way less time every month on your marketing and focus on growing your business.
Before reading this guide, take our quick 5-minute quiz to get your Marketing Opportunity Score and specific marketing tips that will boost your revenue.
Most advisers think that to get results out of their marketing, they need to do it all. Organizing events, setting up lead generation campaigns, emailing all of their clients and leads every day, spending countless hours on social media, creating videos, setting up ads—the list goes on.