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5 Key Takeaways from “Building A Scalable Advisor Marketing Engine That Eliminates Reliance on Rainmakers or Referrals”

The #1 Podcast by John Wernz and Michael Kitces

In the highly competitive world of financial advice, it’s easy to understand why many who achieve success are also eager to guard their trade secrets.

But with the emergence and growing success of industry groups like XY Adviser, and podcasts like that of Michael Kitces, it’s great to see the notion of ‘paying it forward’ is alive and well – particularly given the collective challenges advice principals are facing today.

One recent example is a November 2020 podcast episode featuring John Wernz, the former Chief Marketing Officer of wildly successful US-based financial advice group Wealth Enhancement Group; a group who clearly know a thing or two about how to grow organically – having achieved 20x growth in ten short years, and now boasting a client portfolio of roughly 20,000 affluent clients plus approximately $20 billion USD in funds under management.

In the long-form interview, hosted by financial planner and advocate for industry betterment Michael Kitces, guest John Wernz well and truly ‘peels back the curtains, sharing the marketing secrets fundamental to Wealth Enhancement Group’s rapid growth and sustained success.

In the event you don’t have 1 hour and 30 mins spare to listen to the entire interview, I’ve put together the following five key takeaways aka insights which can help you when using digital marketing to generate new financial planning leads.

1. How to target the right clients for you

The first step, before you start absolutely anything to do with marketing, is to know who your ideal client is.

For most business owners, clients who pay the highest fees typically fall into this category. But another way to look at this is to think of your easiest clients, the ones who value your services, are happy to pay your fees, and that you enjoy working with!

And whoever it is, find out as much as you can about them. John shares how they used big data to do this at Wealth Enhancement Group:

“I like to think of it as the good side of big data. I know sometimes big data is used for evil or used without permission. And that’s obviously the highly concerning side of big data. But big data is used by almost every major marketer to figure out: who am I targeting?”

Wealth Enhancement Group went as far as conducting a full review of all their best clients to find out what they do, their preferences, their hobbies and even what car they drive. And what did they find? Their favourite clients were all birdwatchers! Who would’ve known?!

Knowledge of this one hobby can help you target your new clients. If you know most birdwatchers make good clients, use it!

This data can be cross-referenced to provide you with a contact list of people who fit the profile you need, i.e. people you are going to enjoy working with in the future, and people you can directly target.

2. The direct approach still works… when the content is relevant to the target audience

So, you already know how to identify your ideal clients. What’s next?

In the podcast, John talks about how Wealth Enhancement Group applied tried and tested direct marketing strategies to get their ideal clients to engage with their brand.

One of which involves giving away relevant insights and information. There’s no doubting it: people love free stuff. Especially when the information they receive includes high-quality ‘guides’ or ‘how-to’s’.

Another effective approach, for clients who need a little more face-to-face time is webinars. Webinars can be a really great way to not only deliver relevant, valuable information, but also to begin building a more personalised relationship with your ideal clients!

Want to know how to successfully generate new financial planning leads using webinars? Click here.

3. From Excel to Marketing Cloud – there may not be one perfect approach to a Client Relationship Management (CRM) – but it is essential have one

John’s approach to managing client contacts, conversation and communication started all the way back in the days of manual Excel spreadsheets. He then transitioned to a homegrown database, to Microsoft CRM. Then to automated CRM software like HubSpot and later Salesforce.

CRM software can be a dream marketing resource. One which will help you:

      • Track and monitor early stage client engagement,
      • Automate prospect follow-up,
      • Boost new client conversion,
      • Schedule ongoing communication, and
      • Systemise all client correspondence.

Ultimately, determining which CRM works best for you will depend on the size and position of your business. Personally, after starting out with Mailchimp, and then HubSpot, the author is now using ActiveCampaign with great success!

4. Digital Marketing Channels are where you NEED to be

The landscape is changing, and digital marketing is a tool all growth-focused businesses are leveraging. That doesn’t mean traditional channels are dead. Wealth Enhancement Group still uses radio and seminar marketing strategies. John is a strong believer that if a channel is working, don’t throw it out the window.

In saying that, John agrees digital marketing just brings with it so many more options: SEO, paid search, direct mail, social media marketing, retargeting, the list goes on. These are but some of the digital marketing strategies Wealth Enhancement Group are leveraging with success.

“As advanced as digital is…it should be at the top of everyone’s list…”

5. Don’t put all your eggs in one marketing basket

It’s such a positive reflection on the industry to see so many financial services businesses looking to grow and invest in marketing strategies.

But in the same way you would never rely on one single referral partner to grow your business, John suggest there needs to be specialisation and investment in several strategies to get the best results.

And the only way you can be confident you’ll achieve the success you desire, is to have all the channels working together.

Looking to scale your business?

Interested in utilising digital marketing to generate new leads, grow your client portfolio, and boost your profitability – but not sure where to start?

If you’re ready to take your advice business to the next level, click here to schedule a free strategy call with our team today. We’ll show you exactly how you can use tried and tested ‘marketing secrets’ to achieve the growth and success you deserve.



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