The Yin and Yang of Marketing and Referrals for Advisor Growth Strategies

Let’s talk about growing your firm. What’s your number one priority when trying to reach your NNA? If you think like most advisors, a good, old-fashioned referral is the first tool you reach for. And you’ve got good reason to! A solid referral strategy is a tried and true tactic for growth (just ask Bill Cates, the referral coach himself, or watch our interview with him here). But what if asking for referrals isn’t enough? As Michael Kitces points out, despite the fact that 49% of advisors prioritize referrals as part of their growth strategy, passive referrals are actually their primary source of client acquisition. So if the referrals you’re seeking out are doing less for your bottom line than random walk-ins are, we have to conclude that your referral strategy is missing an ingredient that can help it be more effective. 


A Dynamic Duo


The Lone Ranger without Tonto is almost as sad as a referral strategy that leaves marketing out of the mix. Neglecting a marketing strategy is like inviting prospects to dive into your company, and giving them a diving board without a pool– they’ve got no place to land, so why would they bother making the jump? A well-defined marketing plan encourages more clients to refer in the first place and creates a welcoming environment for those referrals. Let’s look at how a few different marketing tactics can make sure the water is warm for newcomers.


Look Referral-Worthy


If wealth management is built on client-advisor relationships, you can think of a referral as a blind date set up by your client. You know your friend Chuck who believes dental hygiene is a conspiracy and thinks doing laundry is optional? You’re not setting any of your friends up with him (sorry, Chuck). The bad news is if your website hasn’t been updated in 15 years and your social media profile looks like a ghost town, you’re probably giving off “Chuck” vibes. And if that’s the case, your clients are much less likely to recommend you to their friends and family. Moral of the story: investing in your online presence is one of the best ways to make yourself look professional, trustworthy, approachable, and ultra-referable. You’ve built an amazing firm. Don’t let an outdated website or mediocre social media presence sabotage your shot at gaining referrals.


Show, Don’t Tell


If there’s one thing just about everyone hates about asking for referrals, it’s that it can be plain old awkward. We get it, and getting over the jitters is an important part of getting more, better, leads. But what if you could get more clients talking about you without having to ask? Enter testimonials. Thanks to updated SEC regulations, advisors can let their clients do the talking and generate excitement by sharing reviews. If you can get your biggest fans to do the heavy lifting for you, why wouldn’t you? Once you’ve got a testimonial process in place to capture reviews and get those reviews in front of your target demographic, you can make it difficult for your audience not to talk about you. Sounds like a supercharged referral strategy, if you ask us!


Fill the Kiddie Pool


Is it possible to benefit from a referral who isn’t ready to pull the trigger yet? You bet. Instead of letting them walk, give them a place to dip their toes in to stay top of mind while they mull things over. Think of low-stakes ways a lead can see what you’re all about before they take the plunge, like joining an email list or engaging in free resources, like a podcast, blog, educational videos, or community events. If you provide valuable information that accurately represents your firm, you’re already laying the groundwork for close-knit relationships with future clients. 


Don’t Go It Alone


Is your referral strategy missing its other half? If marketing has been an afterthought as you plan to grow your firm, you’re leaving valuable leads on the table. After all, just “The Lone Ranger” sounds pretty lonely. If you’re ready to fill out your strategy and get referrals more effectively, subscribe to our weekly newsletter for top tips, tricks, and marketing trade secrets. We’ve got your back, partner!

👋 Hi there, as an FYI, we use cookies to optimize your experience with our brand online. See our privacy policy here.

Don't wait! promotion ends in:

Uh-oh. You missed out. This promotion has ended.