Do you see things from your ideal client’s perspective? To succeed in using search engine optimization to market your firm, that mindset is required.
After last week’s Advisor Products webinar about marketing, I spoke with one of the attendees about his search engine optimization and content marketing strategy.
While this advisor is a licensed professional, he’s not an SEO expert, and he was having trouble with the notion that using social media to engage a very specific type of investor could be more rewarding than marketing to the broad masses.
So I explained that writing a blog about financial problems of doctors in LA would indeed bring him a smaller readership than writing a blog for anyone in LA, but that the doctors who found his blog about their specific financial problems would be more likely to appreciate his specialized knowledge. He got it.
But what would be his best niches? Is it plastic surgeons in LA, Amgen senior managers, beauty salon owners? He would give that more thought, he said. But the exercise we went through helped him.
By definition, until you understand that marketing to a specific group is more effective than marketing to everyone, you won’t be able see things from your ideal clients’ perspective, and, therefore, you won’t be able to identify the key words your ideal clients will use to search for you on the Web. You will fail at SEO.
However, once you commit to specializing in a specific client-type — lobstermen in Maine, chiropractors in Kansas City, or airplane pilots in Atlanta — you can speak to them directly over the Web.
I do it. That’s why you’re reading this! I’ve defined my niche and I am speaking to you because you are a professional financial advisor.
You are probably credentialed and hungry for growth. I provide information you value. So you follow my tweets, read my blog posts, and follow me on social networks.
You can do this, too.
You can host webinars for dentists in Denver, and share financial ideas addressing their issues, and they will find you via search engines. You can post tweets for professors in Pittsburgh, Slidecasts for senior executives at a local tech company, and videos for owners of diners in Long Island. If you post content that diner owners in Long Island need to know, they will find and follow you.
For instance, say you tweet, blog, or make videos targeted to owners of owners of McDonald’s franchises about the new 3.8% federal surtax. A year from now, when an owner sells his franchise, he’ll want to shield his children’s passive gain on the sale, and he’ll think of you because you’ve been sending him ideas on this very topic to him.
Once you define your niches, you must think like those ideal clients, and imagine how they will find you. What wealth management problem might cause an Amgen employee to go on the Web and search for help? If you know senior managers at GM have a deadline to decide on what to do about their pensions, what search terms will they use to find help with making the decision? If you use those search terms in your blogs, tweets, and other content on your website, those people will find you and follow you. Over a year or two, when these people searching the Web for a needle in a haystack -- for an answer to their specific financial problem -- they will call you and become clients because you specialize in solving their problems.
Content marketing is utilized successfully on the Internet by many businesses, but few financial advisors implement an SEO program because it costs money or time. Doing it right requires knowledge of SEO and wealth management as well as the ability to write words people will want to read. It’s not easy and success depends on doing it right. But if you do it right, it works. The fact that you’re reading this proves it.