What’s working right now in financial advisor marketing? Based on my conversation with marketing pro Abby Salameh, you’ll be very surprised.

While attending the 2018 In|Vest Conference in New York, I had a chance to sit down with Abby Salameh for an in-depth conversation about the state of advisor marketing. We talked about numerous marketing topics including: which marketing strategies are working the best, branding, the client experience, referrals, making a good first impression with prospects, the proper role of technology in marketing, and much more.

Abby Salameh is the Chief Marketing Officer at Private Advisor Group, a RIA with 620 advisors overseeing $27 billion in AUM (See my earlier podcast with John Hyland, the co-founder of Private Advisor Group). Her sterling career as a RIA marketing expert has included stops at Sanford Bernstein, TD Waterhouse, and the Fusion Advisor Network. She was also a founding member of the team that launched Investment News.

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One consistent thread among the most successful advisory firms is they know how to market. And they know how to strike the right balance between using technology to scale their marketing efforts and using the human touch to engage potential new clients. So if you’re looking to improve your marketing efforts, generate more qualified leads, and position your firm for accelerated growth, you’ll want to listen to today’s conversation with Abby Salameh.

Key Insights on RIA Marketing from Abby Salameh

1. “I think advisor marketing is in a fluctuating position right now. I think there are many advisors still holding tight to the old tactics, that still do work for them. And, not really adopting some of the newer technology that can enable them to grow their business faster, and more efficiently.”

2. “In terms of legacy marketing, radio is still killing it. It still surprised me when I heard advisors that do radio shows talk about how many leads they’re generating. They are still attracting high net worth clients, they are bringing them in by the droves. Most of them are spots that they’re doing in a studio beforehand, scripted, because that’s easier from a compliance standpoint. Then they’re just broadcast, with a call to action to call the advisor’s office, or visit the website. Those are the ones that I’ve seen be extremely successful in all different areas of the country.”

3. “Seminars are another old-school marketing strategy making a resurrection. Advisors are outsourcing some of their seminar functions to firms that produce all the seminars for them, and they’re delivering these presentations to groups of folks that are interested in hearing about the topic. Mostly it’s on retirement planning, and largely it’s for an audience of boomers that’s not really being targeted, typically those with about 500 to a million dollars in investible assets. But, for advisors, if they get 30 people in a room and they get 10 of those to join them, that’s a significant number in new assets.”

4. “Guess how many seconds it takes for a high net worth prospect to determine if they’re even going to reach out to you or not? 11 seconds. They go online, they Google you. Your website needs to be up to date. You really need to have it be dynamic, it needs to be responsive, it needs to be able to be viewed on any type of device. You really need to spend the time and the investment in making sure that your website is fresh, because that’s your store front, and that’s the first place people are going to go when they’re looking at you. You need to have a Facebook page, you need to have a LinkedIn presence, and Twitter as well.”

5. “Content is king. You really need to be able to capture your audience, and continue to refresh those social media sites. There’s many places you can outsource your content to, so you don’t have to be thinking that you’re writing your content on a regular basis, but it’s important to be sharing things with your constituents on a regular basis. And if there’s a way to just plop in a couple of flavors into the third-party content that represent the advisor’s personality, I think that’s clearly great.”

6. “Referrals are definitely still the number one way advisors are growing their practice. I don’t think that’s ever going to really change. Money is a very personal thing that you’re talking about. While there’s a lot of digital platforms that exist for people to invest on their own, I think that clients are going to want investing to be a personal relationship. I think that the best way to get new clients is to really penetrate your clients’ social circles. If you really put effort into it, it can be tremendous for your growth effort.”

7. “If you have strong ambitions to grow your firm to be a larger firm, you’re going to want to have a team-based approach. If you have your name on the door, people aren’t going to want to talk to somebody without your name, they’re going to want to talk to you. I think there’s a challenge when thinking about bandwidth for the advisor, being able to service more than a certain number of clients before they run out of capacity. So be intentional about your branding, and put some thought into it.”


– Private Advisor Group Visit Abby and her team online.

– Connect with Abby on LinkedIn

– “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coelho Abby’s all-time favorite book teaches valuable lessons about trusting your instincts and the decisions you’re making.

– The ROL Index A tool Mitch Anthony and I developed to help advisors measure their clients’ well-being in 10 aspects of life.

– Values Clarification Toolkit Click here to download this FREE tool and start living your values.

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