How to create a marketing plan in 4 steps


Let’s face it, business growth doesn’t happen overnight, and there is no one-size-fits-all formula for marketing success for financial advisors. You need a well-thought-out strategy that takes into account your unique business goals, specialties, interests, and target market. Testing, learning, and adaptation will improve your results over time.

Follow these four steps to generate an effective marketing plan for your practice.

Step 1: Identify an ideal customer or target market

Having too large an audience tends to result in generic marketing content designed for the masses, making it difficult to stand out from the crowd. By focusing on a well-defined audience, like your investors, you’re in a better position to deliver relevant, high-quality content and identify the right marketing channels to reach them.

So, before you jump into your marketing plan, take the time to create customer personalities that define your ideal customer, articulating their unique lifestyle and financial needs.

Pro tip: Follow these five steps to create a customer persona to define the people you want to work with.

Step 2: Choose the right tools and tactics

With your personas in mind, the next step is to choose the tactics you will implement to reach your investors. You should also consider your business goals and your own strengths and interests to make the best choice. Let’s take a look at an example scenario:

Your ideal customer personality is “Recently Retired Rita”. Your business goal is to gain more clients like Rita through referrals, and you really enjoy networking and public speaking.

Since Rita is retired, a tactic such as paid advertising on LinkedIn would not be recommended. In that case, you may want to consider hosting customer appreciation events and seminars instead. This offers a chance to mingle with Rita and a guest, show off your expertise by speaking in public, and it keeps you ahead when referral opportunities arise.

Step 3: Develop a tactical plan

Now is the time to grab a pen and write a tactical plan that you can follow. Set a budget (7-10% of gross income is recommended) and figure out the right frequency to ensure you are constantly active without overwhelming yourself or overwhelming your staff. If it fits your budget, you may want to consider hiring a marketing assistant or outsourcing your efforts.

Define measurable results, or key performance indicators (KPIs), for each of your tactics during this step in preparation for step 4.

Step 4: Track results and make adjustments

Executing your plan requires an investment of time and money. So, set aside time to review your activities throughout the year and analyze the results against your predetermined KPIs. If you don’t see a return on your investment, make adjustments to test and learn, or consider alternative tactics.

Marketing plan worksheet

LPL Financial advisors and teams can download the Marketing Plan Worksheet from the ClientWorks Resource Center. It will take you step by step in even more detail to help you build a thoughtful and effective marketing plan.

Questions and consultations

If you have any questions or want to schedule an one-on-one consultation, or if you want to sign up and receive email alerts when new articles become available, contact LPL Marketing Consulting at (800) 877-7210 Option 9> Option 5> Option 1 or by email Marketing Consulting.

If you want LPL to execute your digital marketing plan for you, find out about our Marketing Solutions Program.

Consult with your compliance department for information on rules and use of social media and review of all advisor marketing materials.

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