Ask any advisor and they’ll tell you that almost all of their new business comes from a referral from an existing client, family member or a professional such as a local CPA or Attorney.
Financial advising, after all, is a relationship business.
But what do you do as an advisor when there is now more competition than ever, from more places and venues, including the new emerging “robo advisors” that have taken the online client experience to a new level?
Throw in the fact that what were once friendly referral sources - the aforementioned CPAs and attorneys - are now also rapidly embracing wealth management models of their own, and many advisors are wondering about the future of their new business pipelines.
The good news is that with technology innovation and new communication channels, advisors can turn themselves into powerful online marketers, nurturing their own referrals to continue to drive their own organic growth.
One such entrepreneur that is making this change happen for advisors is Justin Wisz, CEO of Vestorly.
Vestorly is a digital content marketing platform advisors can use to automatically curate and share content, articles, videos and more through their own websites and online newsletters, as well as the big three social networks, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – all designed to keep clients engaged and generate new leads.
Add in mobile-ready display and powerful algorithms that provide business intelligence to advisors as to how their network is sharing and interacting with that content, and you have a recipe for a breakthrough in advisor marketing.
“The average person consumes 83 pages of online content per day, sharing that content with roughly 4-6 people in their own personal network,” says Wisz. “This is the new opportunity for advisors to influence how that content is nurtured and shared so that they can extend their brand reach and generate lead flow.”
While online is now the new battlefield for investor mindshare, Wisz perfected his marketing approach working for one of the greatest marketers in the industry, Ken Fisher. At Fisher Investments Wisz learned first hand the power of generating leads from prospects requesting content.
From there, Wisz leveraged that knowledge to consult with some large RIAs on how they can use content marketing to build their businesses. This experience led Wisz and his co-founder Ralph Pahlmeyer to develop Vestorly as an automated platform, leveraging new technology and the explosive growth of social media, to be the efficient marketing engine for advisors.
The appeal of Vestorly is easy to see. Advisors by their nature, are time-starved and do not have the resources or expertise to publish content and then actually follow through to support an ongoing marketing campaign. Vestorly, with its intuitive and easy to use interface, automates the process, scouring the entire web to find, customize and publish relevant content for advisors’ target audiences. Dashboards and email updates provide real-time information and updates, enabling advisors to quickly follow up on opportunities to develop new relationships.
In addition to RIA practices, Vestorly is being embraced by large enterprises, such as United Capital, RCS Capital and other broker-dealers and custodians. As an example, United Capital’s newsletters experienced a dramatic increase in open rates through the Vestorly platform.
Going forward, Wisz is investing aggressively in new capabilities, such as creating a “network effect” that vastly increases advisors’ reach. Vestorly’s early success is getting attention from the VC community and recently won a yearlong residency at the mid-town New York City incubator, Grand Central Tech.
Marketing and business development have never been a key skill set for the independent advisor community. Doing a great job for clients, putting their interests first and a slow and steady approach to investing have served them well in the first couple of decades of the industry.
But, as they say, ‘the times th ey are a changing.’
Now more than ever in today’s much more crowded and competitive marketplace, advisors need to find new ways to communicate their value add and get their message out to clients and prospects to ensure they have a sustainable business.
Fortunately there are innovative entrepreneurs with solutions at hand: Case in point, Justin Wisz of Vestorly.