Marketing Strategies for the Introverted Financial Advisor
Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.
Introverted financial advisors can stand out from the competition. Here are three marketing strategies to help you play to your strengths as an introvert.
The stereotypical advisor portrayed on TV and in the movies is a fast-talking, extroverted salesperson. But in my experience consulting with RIAs, many financial advisors are the opposite. They are quite introverted and prefer the work of financial advising over the selling and self-promoting aspects of the business.
But these more reserved advisors often struggle with marketing.
Introverted advisors don’t always see themselves as marketers because so many of the people held up as “good marketer” role models are extroverts. You know them. They constantly self-promote on social media and can be seen at every event, and you feel like they are literally everywhere.
If you are an introverted advisor, this type of marketing can be exhausting. You would rather spend your energy meeting with clients one-on-one or analyzing different financial strategies. You prefer to attract prospects because of your reputation for the good work you do for clients, not because of your sales and marketing skills. The last thing you want to do is to publicly and frequently put yourself out in the world.
But a problem arises if you use your introversion as an excuse not to market your business. You not only hurt yourself but also the people who never get the benefit of working with you because they don’t know you exist.
As an introvert myself, I understand that the marketing approaches used by extroverts are not a good fit for those like me. But being an introvert doesn’t mean your marketing has to be less effective. I have consulted with plenty of introverted advisors who are successful marketers. The key is to use marketing strategies that play off your strengths as an introvert.
To become a good, introverted marketer, the first thing you need to do is to change your mindset about marketing. The goal of marketing is to connect the person who has a problem with the person who can solve their problem. It’s not about tricking or manipulating people. It’s not about being entertaining or controversial. While these tactics work for some, you don’t have to follow their lead. Your job is to find the people who have the problem you want to solve and let them know you can solve it.
Here are three strategies introverted advisors should follow to be successful marketers:
Strategy 1: Focus on a niche
The first strategy is to focus your marketing efforts on one niche. When you focus on a narrow set of clients who share the same problem, finding the people who need your service becomes easier. In other words, you take a rifle, not a shotgun, approach. You conserve your energy by focusing on only the most promising opportunities instead of spreading yourself thin by chasing every opportunity. For example, it is much less effort to find the people in your area who are blue-collar workers in the oil and gas industry and want to retire in the next 10 years than to locate everyone in your area needing retirement planning.
By focusing on a niche, you narrow the size of your potential client pool. This may sound like a negative, but it is a positive, especially for introverts. The smaller community means it is easier for you to become known. Word of mouth about your expertise spreads more quickly. As you get to know people in your niche community, it is easier to meet more members of the niche through warm introductions. You’ll find that your efforts spent interacting with people in the niche community will multiply much faster than if you targeted a broader market.
Strategy 2: Take advantage of content marketing
Introverts tend to be more comfortable listening and thinking than talking. You can turn this tendency to your advantage by using content marketing – such as blogs, videos, podcasts, and presentations – to showcase your expertise. Remember, the goal of marketing is to connect the person who has a problem with the person who can solve their problem. Listen to what your niche says is their problem and create content educating them on the solutions to their problem.
Many forms of content marketing allow you to think through what you want to stay instead of feeling forced to do it off-the-cuff. Content marketing enables you to refine and iterate your work before you present it to the public. For example, most introverts are well suited to written content. It gives you the time to think through your topic and have an editor perfect your work before the world sees it. Scripted videos can be another good medium because you can plan what you want to say, record multiple takes, and have an editor cut out any blunders. I’ve also seen many introverts who are great public speakers because they can practice their material dozens of times before giving it.
Content marketing allows your expertise and knowledge to shine, helping you overcome the extroverted characteristics usually associated with good sales and marketing people. You’ll also find that prospects who follow your content will reach out to you “pre-sold” on what you do, making the sales process easier.
Strategy 3: Utilize digital channels
Digital channels such as social media or online forums can be great places for introverted advisors to find their niche and connect. These channels allow you to network from the comfort of your home or office without having to attend networking events, often dreaded by introverts. Interacting on digital channels also gives you the opportunity to think before you “speak” and delete anything you regret posting.
Most introverts prefer one-on-one or small-group interaction, so the strategy for digital channels is the same. Find online groups of people representing your niche and join the individual conversations that are taking place. Comment on posts of people you know or want to get to know. And respond to comments on the content you post.
Being an introverted advisor doesn’t mean you are at a disadvantage. It just means you need to take an approach suited to your strengths. When you use marketing that plays to those strengths, prospects will come to you “pre-sold,” making the sales process much easier for you.
Kristen Luke is the president of Kaleido Creative Studio, a marketing consulting firm that positions registered investment advisors and their employees as experts in a niche, making them “uncomparable” to other advisors. Over the past 16 years, Kristen has consulted with hundreds of financial advisory firms and shared her marketing expertise via industry conferences and publications nationwide.