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Marketing is About Removing Friction: 5 Tactical Ways to Remove It

by The Seven Team

In our early marketing discussions with financial advisors, the idea of lead generation usually comes up in the first two meetings. And rightfully so, the entire goal of marketing is to create more buzz around your business, leading to new business.

These conversations often end up being centered around “gated content,” which means you’re putting some asset behind email and name to capture information, leading to dripping on prospects via email.

And while we believe gated content is an excellent way to provide deeper value to people, capture leads, and can be effective within the marketing ecosystem – it’s used too heavily in our industry.

This is partly because there has not been a lot of marketing education done around the time it takes for marketing success and the tactics that can provide long-term ROI for a brand that results in fans, clients, and followers.

The reality is that one of the most significant parts of marketing is about removing friction. Removing the steps, whether they be physical or mental, one must take to get smarter on a topic or act as a client or prospect. In this piece, we’re going to dive into ways you as a financial advisor can remove friction for your audience.

Don’t want to read? Watch this video.

1. Your Messaging

Within financial services, we’re notorious for inside-baseball jargon – words, terms, or phrases that no one understands, nor do they care about. It’s an industry-wide issue that doesn’t just plague advisors. When developing messaging for your practice, think about your consumer, their level of investment-market knowledge, their backgrounds, and what they’re consuming outside of your relationship.

When writing, remove the jargon, break concepts down as if you’re having a conversation with a relative, address people directly on your website. No one will think of themselves as a “pre-retiree” or “HENRY” and likely not align with more technical terms, so it’s important to remember that as you’re building content regularly.

A few other tips:

  • Use the first-person (i.e., we, I, us) when talking about your firm and directly speak to your audience using the second-person (i.e., you, yourselves) rather than the third-person.
  • Keep messaging/copy scannable; use lists, sections, and graphics to break content up.
  • Make your messaging actionable, always asking yourself the question: What do I want my audience to take away or do after reading this?

2. Your Website

Your website is your home; it’s where most of your content should lead to, it’s where your prospects will research you, it’s where you’re able to answer any client questions. But very often we see confusing advisor websites that don’t enable easy conversion or the ability for prospects to reach out.

Steps you can take:

  • You should only have 6-7 primary navigation items (i.e., About Our Team, Our Process, Blog, Contact, etc.). Everything else should fall under primary navigation as a sub-navigation item or be left out of the navigation. For example, if you have “Our Services” as a primary navigation item, then Tax Planning, Investment Management, Financial Planning could act as sub-navigation items.
  • Integrate a contact button in the top-right of your navigation menu. This should remain sticky, and someone should always be able to find a place to reach out no matter where they are within the site. A good example here.
  • Enable passive-conversion points throughout the site. You have two types of conversion points within your site – active and passive. Active is your Schedule a Call, Contact Us, Book a Free Review points; places prospects can go to get on your calendar. Passive is when someone isn’t ready to have a conversation but may take the next step. Items such as Download an eBook, Sign Up for a Newsletter, and more.

3. Your Content

 As we mentioned at the beginning of the piece, we’re all about having strategic “gates” on content to capture contact information, however for 90% of your content – stop gating it!

Marketing is about getting in front of the right people with the right information to condition them to think of you when they’re ready to reach out. Gating too much content can cause friction with your prospect and deter them from downloading or consuming a piece.

For any blog, video, guide (unless in a paid campaign) – aim to give the content away for free. Show your expertise consistently and regularly. The only time you should be gating content is if there’s a strategic reason.

4. Your Onboarding

One of the easiest ways to differentiate yourself as a business is to focus on ease-of-onboarding when it comes to new clients. The goal? Make it as easy to onboard someone as possible, removing the friction from collecting documents, communicating with you, and taking action.

A few questions to ask yourself:

  • How are you collecting documents? You may need to onboard new tech or simplify the process.
  • How are you having clients sign documents? It may make sense to onboard an e-signature platform such as DocuSign.
  • How are you communicating with clients? Is it email only, email and phone, or do they prefer text message? Depending on your compliance direction, it may make sense looking into a system to communicate more effectively.
  • What do you create for a plan, and what do action items look like following each meeting? Consider simplifying your plans to one page and make them actionable.

5. Your Email Communications

 Email communication has changed in a major way over the past 5-years. It used to be that your newsletter would be a bunch of links out to content on your website, but newsletters like Morning Brew and The Hustle have made it clear that people like to consume content within the context of the email. Since you already have their contact information, you want to keep them in the email consuming content.

When creating any newsletter, keep the main content in the context of the email itself. Keep it short, to the point, and actionable. You can still include some external links out from the email, but the main content should be able to be consumed within the email.

The Bottom Line

Marketing is as much as an art as it is a science, but when it comes to taking actions, removing friction should be your goal. Keep things simple, keep your content scannable, and remove barriers to action. Ultimately, you and your prospects will be happier.

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