Winning new business, particularly during a global pandemic is key to any business’ survival – whether that is a financial advice or a financial planning firm – attracting clients and retaining clients is key. So how should financial advisers or financial planners go about this?

Adviser Points of View asks Philip Hanley director and IFA at Philip James Financial Services his thoughts about marketing, PR campaigns and website redesigns.  Hanley says: “I suspect most (small) IFAs would tell you they don’t need marketing. ‘All of my business comes from referrals and that keeps me busy enough’, would be a typical response.

“What is the first thing you do, however, if someone recommends a restaurant, shop, builder or any sort of business? Google them, of course. If you have to search around to find them, if they have a rubbish website and bad or no online reviews, you are likely to think again.

“Our marketing budget, both monetary and time-wise, is, and has been for ten years, all about online presence. Firstly, a decent website which stands out from the crowd. Not that hard, if you take the time to look at those of most other advisers, local or otherwise. Ours has been upgraded a couple of times, for both image and functionality. £5,000 will get you noticed, £200 per month will keep it fresh and safe.

“Then you have to get it seen. Marketing agencies will try to flog you SEO packages. I decided I’d never be able to compete on this with the big boys on this so went for the ‘activity’ option. The more stuff you do online, the more Google notices you. I signed up for LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and have posted on all three several times a week for years. I went, within a few months, from the 65th to the 1st Philip Hanley in any search, and Philip James Financial Services rose with me.

“The stuff I write everyday goes into a weekly blog, which is emailed to around 1,500 clients (takes care of TCF, too), prospects and others, and is posted in as many places as possible. Then I asked for reviews.

“First on LinkedIn and my own website, until VouchedFor arrived. VouchedFor has been brilliant, both for profile-raising and lead generation. Would guess we spend a few hundred a month on this and Unbiased. But we now get an average of 10-12 enquiries a month from those Google-ers, VouchedFor and Unbiased, in addition to client referrals. Which is enough to keep four of us pretty busy.”

Further Reading

Are more advisers consolidating or merging their business?

Should advisers be carrying out virtual annual client reviews during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Lee Robertson: Become comfortable with the uncomfortable