Rich, a financial advisor, wants to generate more leads online. So he starts blogging, his page views increase, and quite a few web visitors are even downloading his free guide on Social Security. And yet, Rich’s phone isn’t ringing off the hook. It has been five months since he started blogging, and although he has added some leads and followers to his list, it hasn’t turned into any new business. What happened?
What happened is that Rich’s intentions were great, but his expectations were all wrong. Think about the mindset of your average client: When you first meet, do they tend to be very cautious about entrusting their life savings to you? Or do they take one look at the brochure on your desk and pull out their checkbook?
Most clients aren’t going to turn over control of their entire retirement funds to some guy who has a nice brochure. So why would internet leads be any different? Yes, you might create a terrific website and write informative, helpful blogs, but few internet leads are going to trust you that deeply right away!
Here is why internet leads can be tough – especially for financial advisors: They may not want to talk to you right away. You can’t assume that someone will want to talk to you or set up an appointment just because someone opts-in on your website to receive a free download. In fact, it’s often just the opposite! They want to be left alone and gather information on their own and then they’ll call you when they are ready.
The problem then, is in expectations. Digital marketing is a fantastic tool for getting the ball rolling, but it usually won’t create instant slam dunks!
So what should you expect from digital marketing, if not instant lead-to-client turnover?
Digital marketing is a powerful tool for:
- creating brand recognition
- developing credibility with your audience – gradually
- nurturing prospects who already know you, and converting “fence sitters” into eventual clients
- deepening relationships with current clients, improving client retention, and sparking more referrals from them
- getting your name out there in front of hundreds or thousands of new prospects
Now, that isn’t to say that digital marketing doesn’t result in leads that eventually convert into clients. But often, you won’t see that type of results right away. We recently signed a client who had been following our blogs on digital marketing for months. When he called for more information, he was already pretty much sold on our services. Within thirty minutes, we had picked up a new client! But it wasn’t a matter of writing one or two blogs, and then receiving phone calls right away. We distributed our blogs, got them in front of thousands of people, and slowly gained followers. That particular client wasn’t an instant lead, but over time he did develop faith in our services and decided to take action.
When it comes to internet leads, expectations are everything. Remember that the goal of digital marketing is to increase your exposure, gradually nurture trusting relationships, and allow those relationships to blossom over time.
If your hopes are in the right place, your digital marketing strategy won’t disappoint you. Just make sure you have clearly defined your expectations before you get started!