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Five Winning Advisor Marketing Funnels

In today's digital-first world, a marketing funnel is how financial advisors attract ideal prospects, engage clients and COIs, and stimulate referrals.

What are the essential marketing funnels every advisor needs?

What works in funnel marketing and where are advisors wasting their time and money?

I examine marketing funnels for financial advisors in more detail here.

Why marketing funnels are critical for advisors

A marketing funnel is a web-centric, mini-marketing system used in the client-value ladder – to attract and convert prospects to clients and for clients to buy and refer more.

The good news is marketing funnels for each objective can be automated.

They can be built once and used for years.

The downside for many advisors is a marketing funnel is most successful when it is designed for a specific purpose and its content is uniquely tailored for that objective.

Advisors don’t need to know all the details of how to build an effective marketing funnel, but they do need to recognize which funnels should be built for their marketing plan and why they are successful.

Which advisor marketing funnels are essential?

Here are the top five marketing funnels that advisors can leverage to drive prospect appointments, create cross-sell opportunities, and multiply quality referrals.

1. Lead magnet funnel

Your lead magnet, which is also known as a white paper or free report funnel, is typically the first step in the prospect journey. It is designed to convert website traffic into leads and marketing opt-ins.

If you are already driving traffic to a website or putting time into podcasting, you could gain an additional lead a day as I did for one Cincinnati-based RIA by adding this funnel.

Many advisors toil many months over a laptop or spend tens of thousands of dollars hiring a ghostwriter to write a book. But a short white paper can be your “free book chapter” and be equally effective in the marketing process.

(Here’s my sample free report, 7 Secrets to Winning Advisor Marketing Funnels.)

While you will get some appointments from the lead magnet downloads, you will multiply the quantity and improve the quality of prospect appointments when used in combination with the next two funnels.

2. Webinar funnel

Advisors can join the Netflix economy with this funnel.

Your educational webinar is a practice’s core presentation and serves as an introduction to prospects.

This “TED talk” for your practice can be given live, served-up on demand as a video, and/or broadcast periodically and automatically as “virtual-live.”

Your talk is typically 15 to 45 minutes and can be repurposed in marketing seminars, presentations sponsored by COIs, and in intimate workshops in your offices.

Here’s an example that I created which offers a 29-minute overview of webinars, which you can use as a model for your practice.

3. Consultation request funnel

Most advisory practices make the mistake of thinking the all-purpose “contact us” form on the website will suffice.

But a consultation request funnel is what is needed to convert interest to appointments.

I have seen advisors double the flow of new, ideal prospects simply by adding this funnel to their existing marketing and website.

4. Client cross-sell

This funnel is designed for existing relationships and helps move clients up the value ladder, so the marketing system largely replaces manual, time-consuming communications or a hit-or-miss sales process.

For example, I have created systems for advisors to seamlessly transition their clients from the commission model to assets under management, investment-focused to planning-led, and financial planning to comprehensive wealth management.

5. Referral marketing

Where is the primary leak in your referral bucket?

Clients and COIs are telling the very prospects you want about you and your practice… but there is no place on your website for them to go to get started. They give up and you lose them forever.

Your referral marketing funnel is where they can get started!

Next steps for marketing funnels that drive new clients and assets

Because most marketing funnels are evergreen – they can be created once and used for years – they will save you a ton of time and money over the long run.

As small business guru Michael Gerber said, “The system works so you don’t have to.”

Most advisors will not want to put the time into trying to learn and master these systems but would be better served to stick to financial planning and relationship management.

Check out the models I have provided and consider delegating funnel creation to an associate or hiring an outside expert. Start with one high-gain funnel to experience the results and discover what works best for your practice.

As one of my marketing mentors, Russell Brunson says, “You are one funnel away from taking your business and income to the next level.”

Bob Hanson is author of Marketing Power for Financial Advisors. Get his new, Free Report, 7 Secrets to Winning Advisor Marketing Funnels, here.