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Building a Local Brand Without Advertising: Unlocking the Right Marketing Doors

by The Seven Team

In most of our conversations with financial advisors, building a brand in the local community is a top priority. And while this may change as advisors are connecting with more people remotely, the data is clear: the majority of most advisors’ clients are coming from local sources.

Many advisors want to generate leads locally, but don’t have the time or budget to invest in heavy social media or paid advertising. Generating leads through organic traffic is possible – but there are five key areas you’ll need to focus on.

Optimize Your Website for Local Searches

  • Leverage Google My Business

If you haven’t set up a Google My Business account yet, it’s super easy to do. Head over to Google My Business and follow the directions to setup a new account. Fill out each section completely (leave no section blank unless it’s not applicable), add 4-6 images, and update “From the Business” section. Make sure to use all 750 characters for the description, hitting on the key information in the first 250 characters. Lastly, make sure to choose additional categories and services.

  • Optimize Your Website for Local Search

Optimizing your site for search is extremely important for local reach – and making sure all optimizations are specific to your local area is even more important. This means updating meta descriptions, page titles, page headlines, and content within each core page to include location-oriented keywords. For example, if you are an advisor based out of Austin, Texas, your home page meta should include “financial advisor based in Austin, Texas that provides retirement planning, tax planning, and 401(k) rollovers.” Not every page needs to have variations of this, but some of the bigger ones should – like the home page, about us page, services page, etc.

Build Content for Local Searches

Even if you don’t have time to go all in on social media, a content creation strategy is still a must have for anyone digital marketing in 2020. There are a few steps you can take to make this process more efficient and effective.

  • Leverage a Keyword Tool

Use a free tool online (we love KWFinder) to conduct keyword research around terms that could be specific to you to understand volume of searches. This could be core search terms like:

    1. Financial Advisor in Austin, Texas
    2. Property Tax Texas
    3. Best Places to Retire in Texas
  • Create a Content Backlog Centered Around These Keyword Sets

Build out a backlog of topic ideas based off of your keyword research. Remember, not all content needs to be solely about financial planning like the “best places” search noted above. As long as you can build a voice around topics that have higher search volume and lower competition, specific to your area, this means more local brand awareness for you. When it comes to creating these pieces, make sure you’re creating compelling content that’s longer vs. shorter – at minimum 600 words.

Highlight experts in this local content (more on this below) –if you’re building a piece on the best places to retire in Austin, Texas reach out to the top folks in the area to highlight them in your content (think real estate agents). They share it, more brand awareness for you

Partner With Centers of Influence in the Area

Yes, you should go to CPAs and Law Firms, but also expand that list. Think about how you can partner with real estate agents, business owners, etc. For example, with a real estate agent, you could offer anyone who closes with them a free financial consultation, etc. This means a stronger service offering for them, and a potential lead for you.

The key here is to partner up with them from a value-add standpoint – joint events, webinars, content, etc. – not just asking them to send you people who may be interested.

Social Outreach on LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for financial advisors when used the right way. We recommend Sales Navigator to every advisor we work with. For $79.99/month, you can curate a list of prospects on LinkedIn specific to your location and niche.

The first step is to create 1-3 saved searches around your local persona and save them as lists. Then you begin building your network via these saved searches. So, say you have doctors, dentists, and small business owners who work in the area. Build your network by connecting with folks on your lists. The key here is to make sure you don’t ask for a meeting right off the bat. You should think about LinkedIn networking in a 30, 60, 90 approach.

For the first 30 days, you’re connecting with your target audience, sharing content, and engaging on their content. Once you’ve built up 200-400 more 1st degree connections in your target audience, you can transition into a more direct communication with those new connections – spend the next 60-90 days inviting them to value-add webinars, sharing surveys, highlighting them in your content, setting up coffee chats, etc. Build up the relationship over time so if they’re interested in the service you offer, you’ll be top-of-mind.

Local PR

Everyone thinks of PR as the Bloomberg’s but the reality is, local publications still get read by Gen X and Baby Boomers. Building a local PR strategy can be extremely useful for growing your practice’s reach. To build a PR strategy, there are a few steps you should take:

  1. Identify 10-15 local publications
  2. Look for related articles where you can offer a point of view
  3. Search for the author and their contact information
  4. Build a PR backlog that guides your outreach
  5. Reach out to the writer, engage with them on social, and nurture the relationship. Make it about them – ask them questions, tell them what you’re seeing in your practice and ask them how it relates to their research.

Optimize Website With CTA’s/Lead Magnets

An increase in traffic is pointless if that traffic is not spending time on your site and eventually converting into a lead. If navigating your website isn’t a seamless experience, or there aren’t natural points of conversion for the users, they are much less likely to convert into a lead. A few ways you can position CTA’s on your site:

  1. Contact us button on nav bar
  2. E-book at the footer of a page
  3. Newsletter sign-up fly-out
  4. Learn more button on a pricing page

There are many ways to expand reach organically, it’s about putting the effort in the right places and getting your systems in place. If you have any questions you can always reach us here.

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