You’ve probably heard about that “inbound marketing thing,” but you might not understand what it’s all about. Maybe you think it means optimizing your website, or email marketing, or creating a blog for your business.

Well, it does mean all those things, among others—but in reality, it’s less about the marketing processes you employ than the emotional connection you make with prospective customers. Inbound represents a paradigm shift in the nature of that connection.

Whereas traditional marketing focuses on pushing the benefits of products and services, inbound seeks to persuade increasingly skeptical consumers that a business cares about its customers, their needs, and their problems. Said differently, inbound marketing succeeds better than traditional marketing because it establishes trust before talking sales.

It’s a Miracle

Every December, people watch old holiday movies. One of the most popular is “Miracle on 34th Street,” that family favorite in which an old man tries to convince the New York City Courts that he’s the real Santa Claus. In his job playing Santa for Macy’s, he begins sending customers to other stores when Macy’s doesn’t have what they want. Customers are astounded that Macy’s is putting the holiday spirit above profits. As a result, the store’s profits go through the roof—that’s the essence of inbound, and the power of building trust to grow your business.

Money Talk and Trust—An Uneasy Partnership

Establishing trust is especially challenging for people whose job it is to help people manage their money, like financial advisors. That makes sense. For one thing, financial advisors are trying to persuade prospective clients that they can make money by giving them their money.

For another, clients must share sensitive personal information with them. It’s one of the reasons, according to Market Wired, most people are hesitant to work with a financial advisor:

Nearly three quarters (71 percent) of Americans say some aspect of talking to a financial advisor scares them according to an online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of McAdam, the Philadelphia-headquartered independent financial planning firm.

So, How Do You Build Trust?

Financial Advisor Brand

If you want people to trust you, ask yourself first, whom you trust, and why. You probably trust people who know you, constantly tell you the truth, help you when you need help and care as much about your welfare as their own. That said, here are 4 strategies to establish trust in your financial advisor brand:

  1. Be transparent: because consumers are more skeptical than they used to be, they are especially wary of hyperbolic promises. To build trust, always explain, clearly and concisely, the pros and cons of a given financial strategy. Make sure prospective clients understand any inherent risks. People trust doctors and lawyers who are willing to give them the bad news along with the good—as a financial advisor, striving for honesty and not making promises you can’t keep go a long way to building trust.
  2. Be there for them: because you’re working with people’s money, they want to know they can get a hold of you whenever they have a question or concern. If they leave a message, get back to them as quickly as possible. If they ask a question you can’t immediately answer, tell them you’ll find the answer for them (and do so). Provide multiple contact options (such as phone, email, texting and online chat), and post a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions on your website.
  3. Be helpful: people trust people who help them solve their problems and get answers to their most pressing questions. One of the best ways to demonstrate your willingness to help is by providing useful, relevant content. This is important at every stage of the buyer’s journey, but especially near the top of the sales funnel when prospective clients are comparing you to your competitors. Before you try to sell your services, give your leads content they can use to make more informed decisions—for example, you might create an article which helps them find the best financial advisor for their needs.
  4. Be personal: according to Business 2 Community, 81% of consumers want brands to know who they are, and 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that know their names and make recommendations based on their histories. Your customers are not monolithic—they have different incomes, different concerns, and different goals.  The more you can show clients and prospective clients you understand their individual needs, the more trust you’ll build, and the more successful your business will be.

Learn More: Inbound Marketing Strategies

In Conclusion

Trust is never an easy thing to come by—that challenge is even greater when you’re providing financial advice. There are, however, proven inbound marketing strategies which can help you meet that challenge. To learn more about the ways our inbound marketing, website design, lead nurturing and demand generation services can help you build trust to grow your business, request a free consultation today.

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

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