Marketing your financial advice business doesn’t have to be a big budget affair.

By Warren Gibson

Marketing your financial advice business doesn’t have to be a big budget affair. But it does have to be consistent.

Many years ago, in the early days of the www and the digital age, and certainly pre social media I ran a program that promoted 45 FP practices in Melbourne. It involved presenting advisers through print media on a regular basis to reach those people who had an immediate or pending need for advice.

We referred to those as major life events where a large amount of money which had or was coming into their hands. Retirement, redundancy, inheritance, the sale of an asset or indeed a lotto win, events that rarely occur in anyone’s life. So rare were they that you needed to stay top of mind among the people in your community.

At the time there was no better way than to stay in print. Of course, there were other methods of marketing, none more productive than quality referrals, but they too need to be actively farmed and there are several strategies and activities to achieve a good result.

Let me reminisce for a minute. Back in the day, as a 30 year old with a fresh Corporate Affairs Commission license in my pocket, with not one client to my name I started letter box dropping my flyers, 180,000 over 18 months went out.

I then moved into television making a 60 second commercial each week that aired between midnight and dawn. Two things, recipients of my flyers popped up in my office for the next 3 years and you have no idea how many people watched midnight to dawn movies. From a standing start in 2 years I was taking home $100k pa, good money in1984.

Back to the program. My favourite story from this period is an adviser who signed up. A week later he called me. “No calls” he said. I responded that there are 2 reasons for this.

The first reason is that is takes time and I related the 5 ways people (at that time) saw a need for advice; retirement, redundancy, inheritance etc.

The second reason, I said, is that your page comes out next week, so no-one has seen it yet. Ergo, be patient and stay the course.

Twelve weeks went by and we persisted, then it started, first one call that resulted in a substantial new client, then another and so on. I advised that if he then added a referral strategy he could continue to add to his FUM and add value to his business and grow a substantial client base.

I likened this to a hot air balloon. It takes a lot of hot air to raise a balloon but not a lot to keep it aloft. Take your finger of the button and it will slowly descend.

Working on your business is just as important as working in it – old saying I know, but true. There are many examples of innovative strategies that advisers have employed to build trust and relationships, but consistency is the key.

Another is to stay abreast of the market with new and emerging asset classes in areas where most advisers don’t go, like renewable energy agriculture or categories of housing. At the very least it shows you are not a dinosaur, and it may broaden your market appeal too.

Perhaps our industry media can do more to showcase investment options and strategies than just regulations and paid commentary.

Warren Gibson is a marketing expert who has spent 40 years helping businesses involved in the “sale of advice” to tell their story to a range of audiences, cultural and socio-economic groups. He can be contacted on 0412 171 606 or