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Take your next step for digital marketing

Every financial professional does things a little differently: from how they conduct their first meeting to how they generate leads. If it weren’t for these little differences, there would be no reason for prospects to pick YOU over “John Smith” down the street for their long-term financial needs.

Still, marketing solutions often ignore these nuances in how you do business, and too often you’re left with templated language and one-size-fits-all steps to success. On top of all that, if you were to mimic the marketing of every financial professional out there, you’d only end up with confused prospects and no time left to talk to talk to them.

While we’re all for sharing best practices and replicating what’s working (hence this monthly newsletter!), the role of the marketing department is to help financial professionals grow and market within their individuality.

When it comes to digital marketing, this means selecting the disciplines that make the most sense to you and coordinating them to drive leads, build loyalty, and generate referrals.

There are as many paths to success as there are people, and this article is all about taking YOUR next meaningful step down your path. We’ll do that with five questions:

1. Where are you on the journey?

steps in the digital marketing journey for financial advisors


First, get a general idea of where you are in your digital marketing journey. Use the statements on page one of the Digital Marketing Roadmap to help you identify this, or just list out what you’re currently doing for marketing and lead generation.

Are there some areas where you are doing better than others? Maybe you’ve mastered the monthly newsletter, but you never get around to posting on social media. Or you’re hosting effective webinars that convert, but your website doesn’t reflect your personality whatsoever.

You just want a clear idea of where you are today so that you can set realistic expectations moving forward. We’re resisting overwhelm in order to keep moving forward.

2. What’s one small step forward?

Now that you know where you’re at, you can decide where you want to move forward. You can take two approaches here:


Maybe you’re passionate about one discipline and you want to conquer that this year. Using the Digital Marketing Roadmap, you can look at that area specifically and choose one to two items within that discipline that will progress you to the final stage.


If you want to make sure all your basics are taken care of, you could tackle one to three items points you’re missing at the beginning of the journey to ensure you have a strong foundation all around.

The one thing we don’t recommend is jumping around too much in one discipline. You won’t get the results you’re looking for if start running ads on social media without making sure your Facebook page is set up correctly.

Whatever you do, choose something small enough that you really can attain it, and you won’t be paralyzed by all that it will take to be successful.

3. Who’s responsible?

Now it’s time to choose where you can automate, delegate to your support team, outsource to a freelancer or agency, or tackle tasks yourself.

Don’t default to doing everything yourself! First and foremost, you’re a financial ally to your clients, and if you are neglecting their needs to spend all your time marketing, your practice will suffer—even with those shiny new leads.

The flip side of this is to recognize when something will need a personal touch. Consider asking a friend, family member, or colleague what they see as your strengths in marketing and focus on doing those things yourself. You may also think about what you enjoy about marketing, so you can keep those items in your personal routine.

Finally, but possibly most important, consider your resources—time and money—to discover what’s attainable. If don’t have much of either, remember to look to your firm’s marketing team. At North Star, we are always happy to hear about what a financial professional is trying to do because we likely have a customizable template option or automation process that may help.

4. What counts as success?

One of the biggest mistakes financial professionals make in marketing is not defining success.

When you get serious about your digital marketing, you may spend months working on a discipline—investing time and money into it—only to reflect on your efforts in a year’s time and wonder, “Was it worth it?”

When you define a metric of success, you can answer that question accurately and make a better decision for your future marketing.

When you sit down to make your goal, spend some time to figure out what results would actually make you happy.

If you’re just getting started in a specific discipline, you may want to ignore the instinct to make a goal based on revenue or leads. Instead, the goal may be to do the work—four prospecting messages on LinkedIn a week, one newsletter a month, or quarterly videos explaining financial concepts on your website—and then you can set baseline numbers to improve in future goals.

Some goals that define success could be:

  • Send quarterly emails so my transactional clients know I’m here if something comes up.
  • Write an article for an external publication.
  • Schedule 10 meetings off LinkedIn.
  • Gain one long-term client who found you through web search alone.

2021 digital marketing plan for financial advisors5. What’s the timeline?

Once you know what success looks like, don’t forget to define a timeline for that step in the process and set a date to evaluate your results.

Try to set a time that is far enough into the future that you will be able to see real results—one week into posting on social media isn’t enough time to see whether it’s an effective strategy for lead generation.

You may consider how often you will complete the activity in setting your review timeline. If your goal is to post daily on LinkedIn, you may want to evaluate in a few weeks. On the other hand, if your goal is to create monthly videos, you’ll need six months to a year to have enough activity to measure.

At this step of the process, you may also want to consider building out any smaller steps that are needed to reach your goal.

For example, if you’re going to send targeted emails, split that into smaller steps of:

  1. Determine how you want to segment.
  2. Decide what content you could potentially send to each segment.
  3. Export those details from your CRM.
  4. Add the segments to your email platform.
  5. Start sending targeted content.

Bonus: Stay accountable

Set a weekly (15 minutes), monthly (30 minutes), and quarterly (1 hour) check-ins for your digital marketing goals.

Our Digital Marketing Roadmap concludes with a worksheet for you to fill out the answers to all the questions in this article, so you can fill this out, print it out, and hang it in your office and keep it top of mind.

And if you’re looking for a team to help you stay accountable to your marketing goals—or any goal related to your professional and practice development!—our team is happy to be a resource to you.

Meet the team