6 New Marketing Tips for Growing Financial Advisors

Illustration of a social network

Since launching in 2021, the financial advisor marketing and business development platform Intention.ly has grown its team to include more than 20 employees across seven states, and it now serves clients across the financial services ecosystem under the leadership of Kelly Waltrich, CEO and co-founder.

Waltrich is known for her prior roles at eMoney Advisor and Orion, where she helped those firms craft and deliver their marketing messages in a rapidly evolving segment of the financial industry. Last year, Waltrich played a key role in Intention.ly’s acquisition of C-Suite Social Media and the onboarding of its CEO Tina Powell.

Waltrich recently appeared on the Retire With Style podcast to share her latest insights for financial advisory practice leaders who want to improve their marketing game in 2023. In conversation with podcast hosts and retirement experts Wade Pfau and Alex Murguia, Waltrich emphasized the paramount importance of sending the right message to the right set of clients at the right time.

According to Waltrich, marketing challenges have piled up for advisors because of the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside rapid changes in regulations, social media, technology and other factors. Increasingly, the expectation among clients that advisors provide “holistic” services is proving to be a particular challenge when it comes to the ability for a firm to effectively tell its story, Waltrich warns.

Here is Waltrich’s latest list of marketing do’s and don’ts for financial advisors, updated for the emerging opportunities and challenges advisors face in 2023.

1. Devote the appropriate resources to marketing.

Given that Waltrich runs a firm dedicated to supporting the marketing work of financial advisors, she acknowledges that this suggestion may seem self-serving. Nonetheless, Waltrich says, advisors fall far short of other industries when it comes to effective marketing practices.

“For our part, we are trying to be really smart about working with those firms that we believe have the right recipe for success,” Waltrich says. “We only want to work with firms who have the understanding of the importance of doing marketing right.”

As Waltrich points out, there are a lot of complex and evolving stories to tell in the financial services space. Whether an advisor is breaking away from their longtime home office or they are looking to capitalize on new partner platform distribution opportunities, these are not simple stories to tell.

In many cases, professional support may be appropriate, and it may not be as costly or complex as a practice leader assumes.

2. Have a clear point of view.

In Waltrich’s experience, if there is one single thing that makes a firm stand out from its competition in today’s marketplace, it is having a true point of view and a true passion about a specific aspect of the advisory and wealth creation process.

“If a client can’t look at your website and get a good point of view about what you believe financial planning actually means, that’s a red flag,” Waltrich warns. “Far too often, firms take pains to outline their process in marketing materials, but they do nothing to communicate their unique passion or goals.”

According to Waltrich, consumers today are very wary of cookie-cutter messaging, whether it is coming from a financial advisor or any other professional service provider. Furthermore, many consumers of financial services care less about the details of the process and more about what the process is meant to deliver — at least as an introductory matter.

Whether a firm believes in wealth maximization, the protection of retirement assets or any other goal, this should be made clear on the website and in marketing materials.

3. Targeted outreach always outperforms.

Waltrich says advisory firm leaders with little marketing experience often assume that casting the broadest net possible will result in the best outcomes. In reality, that approach is at best going to be inefficient, and at worst its going to be entirely ineffective.