9 Marketing Tips for Fee-Only Advisors from the XYPN Marketing Team

6 min read
July 18, 2022

Although seemingly obvious, it’s worth saying—a firm isn’t a firm without clients. It can be tempting to think of your marketing activities as aside from your actual firm and what it is you do day to day. The truth is, as a firm owner, your success depends just as much on your ability to effectively communicate your value proposition with your ideal client as it does on you delivering that value. Although both play a part in different ways, you won’t have the opportunity to use all of your expertise if prospective clients aren’t impressed with your brand and the story your marketing tells about how you can help them with the unique challenges they face.

To help you further develop your marketing mindset, the XYPN Marketing Team came together to bring you some straightforward advice. Here are nine marketing tips for you to keep in mind as you tell the world about what it is you offer through all of your marketing.

First, get to know your ideal clients by creating buyer personas.

If you don’t have buyer personas created, there’s no better time than now! Personas allow you to create a detailed, lifelike description of someone who embodies the characteristics of your niche and ideal client. They are extremely valuable to have as part of your marketing strategy because you’ll have a better understanding of who your ideal clients are, allowing you to write better copy, spend time on relevant social media platforms, and know where to spend your marketing dollars to have a better ROI.

So, how do you create them? There are a lot of free online tools to help you create your ideal persona, but one of our personal favorites is Hubspot’s free tool, Make My Persona.

Once you know your audience like the back of your hand, meet them where they are.

You can spend time creating the most beautifully designed, compelling content, but it will be time wasted if you don’t have an understanding of how/where to place that content to actually get it in front of your target audience(s). As you spend time creating content and marketing assets, focus on quality and accessibility/promotion over quantity.

It might be interesting to think about it this way, but you should spend more time promoting a piece of content than you should spend creating it. Make sure you know where it is your ideal clients are spending their time and what they are searching for online. That way, you can create the perfect content and message to meet them where they are.

Marketing is nothing without measurement—collect the data you need.

Before you employ any marketing tactics or launch any campaigns, be sure you’ve defined what success looks like and you have the systems and structures in place to capture your metrics of success. Failure is an inevitable part of marketing, and you won’t always get a positive ROI for every effort—what matters most is having the data to understand where your time and money will be best spent moving forward.

Even if you don’t run any kind of paid advertising, you should still understand where as many of your website visitors are coming from as possible. Make sure you understand your analytics systems and that you have everything set up appropriately in order to know what exactly is and isn’t working for you.

Mapping your marketing funnel is the first step towards developing an effective  marketing strategy and a valuable tool for evaluating the health of an existing  strategy. Download our template to get started!

Keep your data clean and useful.

Once you have that data, ensuring ongoing data hygiene is an extremely important part of your overall marketing strategy. Be sure to make time throughout the year to look at your CRM and ensure the data within it is accurate and up to date. This will allow you to better personalize your communications and outreach, creating a better client journey.

Write for humans, not for search engines.

As much as you do want to optimize your website and content for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), don’t lose touch with who you are marketing to. It's easy to get wrapped up in optimizing content for search engines, and, to be clear, being found online is imperative, but you also need to write humanized content that speaks to your target audience and hits on their pain points and motivators. If you want to learn more about SEO as a firm owner, check out our blog, A Realistic Approach to SEO for Independent Financial Advisors.

Client retention matters—dedicate marketing resources to clients, too.

Although marketing to attract new customers is vital, it is equally imperative to focus marketing efforts on keeping existing customers. It is all around better to maintain happy clients who stay on with you than it is to consistently bring in enough new clients to combat a high turnover rate. Additionally, positive word of mouth and referrals from happy clients are essentially free (and incredibly effective), so it is crucial to capitalize on the opportunity that’s there as much as possible. How can you think about customer retention when it comes to your messaging, branding, and marketing efforts aimed at clients?

When you’re crafting your message and beautifying your marketing, make sure that the client experience you’re providing tells a matching story—don’t promise anything in your marketing that you aren’t already delivering on. Similarly, don’t allocate resources to outsource graphic design work for your prospect marketing materials and then skimp on the branding and experience factor when it comes to the materials you give to clients.

Know when to outsource and when to DIY

“Work smarter, not harder” is an incredibly relevant motto to live by when it comes to your relationship with outsourcing as an entrepreneur. You can’t be great at everything, and the sooner you embrace that, the sooner you will be able to give yourself permission to ask for help.

Always keep in mind the value of your time when it comes to deciding whether to outsource and when possible, try not to skimp out where it counts. XYPN Marketing Coach Carolyn Dalle-Molle would readily encourage you to hire out your website rather than settle for a sub-par one or spend an unreasonable amount of time trying to teach yourself. Know that the resources you put towards highly-visible aspects of your marketing strategy will pay off—but it’s all about balance.

Know where you have the budget to outsource and make sure to maximize the impact of your marketing dollars. Knowing what your budget is is a good start—here’s a blog from Carolyn all about calculating your marketing budget. Remember that it’s up to you what you choose to DIY, and what you decide to outsource, and it depends on your capacity and personal interest in doing certain tasks.

Don’t wait until everything is perfect to try new things

When it comes to marketing, it’s easy to let the idea of creating new kinds of content and trying new things to overwhelm you. You can’t wait until your website is just right, your logo perfect, or your imposter syndrome gone until you start talking to people about your firm and what you’re up to! And when it comes to trying new ideas, don’t wait until you have a 4k camera and a studio lighting setup before you start making videos to share on social platforms, for example.

Your marketing strategy is a very important and visible part of your firm—but remember it’s progress over perfection. Publishing that lead magnet when it is good enough versus “perfect” could be the difference between weeks and months where it could be out in the world gaining traction with your ideal clients. This brings us to the last tip…

In all you do, speak to your ideal clients. (Put those personas to use!)

In all your marketing efforts, you need to try to earn your ideal clients’ attention by speaking to what they care about. You need a message; you need to know what to say about your firm and your services and how to say it—it all becomes clear when you keep in mind who it is that’s on the other side of the screen.

Your buyer personas (find a free resource to create them linked in the first tip) should be how you decide what your message is and what kind of content you spend time creating a promoting. The goal is that when an ideal client lands on your website, they should immediately understand what you offer and what the results will be in their lives if they do business with you. To make this happen, you start with your personas. If your target audience consists of multiple personas, make sure to be creating content for each of them. For more in-depth advice on refining your message across your entire marketing strategy, check out our blog, How To Clarify Your Marketing So Your Ideal Clients Will Listen.

P.S. Make sure to download our free marketing funnel template in order to map your own marketing funnel and understand what kind of marketing tactics you should be employing when in a prospect’s journey.

Map your marketing strategy and get traction with clients

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About Emily Campbell

Emily Campbell is Senior Associate Editor on XYPN's Marketing Team. She is passionate about language and writing, swoons over an illustrative alliteration, and she can't believe she gets the opportunity to communicate with the world about the XYPN movement. When she's not looking for her next chance to use an em dash, she spends her time with her rescued pit bull named Dog, coexists with spiders as an extension of her vegan values, and engages with the (mostly dead) philosophers that live in her head.

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