Practice Guide :

The client buying journey

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What is it and how can it boost your business?

When marketing yourself as an advisor, it is essential to understand that there is a beginning, middle, and future to your client’s experience with you. To find the clients that you want and turn them into advocates for your business, you need to understand the client journey and align your marketing strategy to it.

What is the client buying journey and what is the importance of it? 

According to the Digital Marketing Institute[1], the client (or buyer’s) journey can be defined as, “The process a consumer goes through before purchasing a product or service.” This process usually consists of five stages and understanding those five stages can help you spend your marketing efforts in the most efficient and effective way possible. One email, one blog article, one event, one phone call typically isn’t all it’s going to take to secure a loyal client. The client’s place in the buying process should indicate how you communicate to them. This takes intention, thought, and strategy. But that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated.

Let’s break it down.

Stages of the Client Buying Journey

Once you have a clear architype of your ideal client, you can start looking at your advisory business through their eyes. There are five stages of each client’s journey:

  • Awareness – In the awareness stage, a potential client becomes aware that they have a problem (e.g. retirement savings shortfall) that needs to be solved or a financial goal they want to achieve and that you may potentially have a product or service that offers a solution.
  • Interest – In the interest stage, a potential client begins to look for options (e.g. financial advisors or robo-advisors) to solve their problem. During this stage, the potential client is researching, reading articles, getting recommendations from friends and family, and generally gathering information.
  • Consideration – In the consideration stage, a potential client has found your business and thinks that your product or service could help them reach their financial goals or be a solution to their problem.
  • Conversion – In the conversion stage, the potential client has decided that your product or service is the best for them. They are ready to take action and start working with you.
  • Retention & Advocacy – In the retention and advocacy stage, a client finds themselves satisfied with your product or service they may be looking for continued added value or offers. They will be looking for further evidence that they should stay loyal to using your product or service. They may also want to advocate for your product or service and share with friends and family.

Applying the Client Buying Journey to Your Marketing Strategy

Now that you can see things through your clients’ eyes, it’s time to strategize how you’ll communicate with them in each stage.

  • Awareness – In this stage, you need to communicate a benefit and get your product or service out there in the mix of google searches, and advertisements. Ensure that your website and social media include keywords that your potential clients use to search for solutions to their problems or needs.
  • Interest – In this stage, it’s important to provide the materials your potential client will need to find your product or service while searching for solutions. Ensure that you have blog articles, FAQs, and social media posts ready for when your potential client goes searching.
  • Consideration – In this stage, you need to focus on bringing your company to the top of your potential client’s choices. This is where you’ll need to follow up with inquiries and explain why you believe you’re best suited to be their financial advisor.
  • Conversion – In this stage, it’s time to convert a potential client from a researcher into a client. Provide a smooth process for converting the client’s intent into action and giving them a sense of urgency. Make sure to communicate frequently and reassure the client they can have confidence in their choice.
  • Retention/Advocacy – In this stage, continue to provide value, make the client feel special, and add a personal touch in all forms of communication. Ask them questions about family or hobbies that are important to them. Engage with the client on social media and encourage social sharing. Encourage the client to refer family and friends to you.

Your marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. Begin considering and incorporating intent around the client journey in your marketing one stage at a time. Knowing and understanding your client’s beginning, middle, and future with your business will arm you with the tools you need to provide the best possible experience and get satisfying results.

Once you’ve created a clear journey for clients to find their way to you, you can start planning your content and marketing efforts. Check out more on creating marketing and communication plans here:

5 Tips for Creating an Advisor’s Annual Marketing Plan

5 Tips to an Effective Client Communication Strategy

Financial Advisor Checklist: Ways to Support Your Clients Needs

[1] Digital Marketing Institute

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