The #1 Marketing Myth
Every day our team spends hours on the phone with independent financial advisors going deep down their marketing rabbit hole. We talk through what they’ve tried in the past, what has worked, and what was a waste of money.
Through these conversations, we’ve come across a common myth that 99% of all advisors share: Marketing should be easy.
Don’t get us wrong. Marketing can be easy…depending on what you’re selling. It’s easy to get people to order a cheap new gadget on Amazon. It’s easy to get people to sign up for a free webinar. It’s even easy to get people to come to a free steak dinner to learn about annuities.
But let me tell you the truth about marketing for financial advisors: Finding qualified prospects who are in a position to hire you now is not that easy.
How Many Qualified Prospects Are There, Really?
Let’s say that as an independent financial advisor, you’re looking for clients in their 50s or 60s who have $500,000 or more in investable assets. While you probably hear all the time that there are 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day, that doesn’t mean they’re all qualified prospects.
Many of them have no savings and plenty of debt. According to the Federal Reserve’s 2019 Survey of Finances, nearly half of Americans have nothing saved for retirement. That’s in spite of the fact they estimate they’ll need $1.2 million at retirement.
Even still, a separate 2021 survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies estimated that the median retirement savings for Baby Boomers is $202,000. Almost a quarter of a million isn’t a terrible number—but when you consider that people in their 60s start drawing from their savings to cover everyday expenses, that amount quickly vanishes after just a few years.
The Once-in-a-Lifetime Advisor
The fact is, choosing someone to manage your money is different than purchasing a handbag or even a car. Most people only make the decision to hire a trusted financial advisor once in their lifetimes. Look at it this way: many people will move more often than they’ll hire a financial advisor.
What’s more, while you probably hear all the time that there are 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day or that Generation X and Millennials are primed to inherit half the wealth, that doesn’t mean they’re all qualified prospects.
A 2022 Natixis study noted that 46% of high-net-worth Millennials ($1 million+) already work with an advisor, with Boomers at 48% and Gen X at 56%. Of those, nearly 25% hired an advisor only after a major life event (according to MagifyMoney.)
So, for the remaining percentage without a financial advisor, let’s think about their buying process. The obvious option is that they continue to run their finances on their own. Another option is to hire a financial advisor.
How Do People Choose a Financial Advisor?
There are an estimated 330,000 financial advisors in the United States. We know that most people choose a financial advisor who is close to home.
They could choose a robo-advisor or hire someone at the Edward Jones office down the street. So for the fraction of Baby Boomers with money to invest who are looking for a financial advisor in your area, how do you stand out?
That’s the reality of finding new clients as an independent financial advisor. There’s a small number of qualified prospects who will likely only make the choice to buy once in their lives. And how do they choose an advisor? The most common way is by asking for a referral. Who do they ask? Friends, family, and coworkers whom they perceive to be successful.
Transform Your Marketing From Exhausting…to Easy
So, the next time a marketer tells you it’s easy to get 17 new leads a week using Facebook ads, ask yourself if there are hundreds of qualified prospects in your area choosing to work with a financial advisor because they see an ad in their Facebook feed. Unfortunately, that’s just not realistic.
There’s a lot more strategy and work involved, so give yourself a break if you feel like you’re the only advisor out there not getting new clients banging down your door after finding you on Google.
Even top advisors have to think long and hard about how to find qualified prospects and spend time and money to create marketing strategies that work.
Which is where we come in.
Marketing can be easy when you’ve got the weight of an entire team of experts working hard behind the scenes—so you don’t have to!
If you’re looking to simplify your marketing—or want help to create a strategy that actually attracts qualified leads—book your free strategy call today.