Your Ideal Client Journey: Attract, Romance and Convert New Clients – & Do It With Automation 🤖

What do the world’s top marketers all have in common? 

They have well honed and optimised sales funnels. 

If your sales funnel strategy is on point, you’re: 

  • Attracting and engaging with qualified prospects that are likely to be your Ideal Clients
  • Generating subscribers and building your email list
  • Nurturing these prospects to build a trusting relationship (so when the time comes, they evaluate your firm to do business with)
  • When the sales process starts, you seamlessly move them through a well defined sales pathway
  • And once you’ve signed them up as clients you proceed to onboard them, delight them with your service, and retain them long-term

Best of all, with today’s low cost marketing automation technology, it’s possible to have all of these stages highly automated

In this blog post, you’ll learn exactly what an optimised financial advice sales funnel looks like, and how to implement it. 

We’ll cover:

7 stages of an optimised financial advice sales funnel

This is a simple structure you can use to map out your sales funnel. 

I also call it the Ideal Client Journey when I’m working with clients to map out their content marketing strategy. 

It gives us a simple framework to understand how we’re going to “grease the slide”, and make it super easy for a new prospect…

To go from “not even knowing who you are”… all the way to becoming a “delighted client”.

This is all about planning the right pathway, removing friction, and ensuring you have the content, technology and processes in place to have this happen as fast as possible!

Let’s review each stage: 

Unaware:

  • Your Ideal Clients don’t know you or what you do
  • They may find you through a piece of content (blog post, social post, social ad, video, etc.)

Engage: 

  • They’re beginning to engage with your content (usually focussed on their problem or goal
  • They may search Google for a solution, read a blog post, a social post, social ad, or click a remarketing ad

Subscribe: 

  • Now prospects want to know more about you, or solutions to their problems / goal
  • They may download a lead magnet, join your email newsletter, follows on socials, read your email nurture series, consume more content

Evaluate: 

  • Here they’re actively considering you and how you can help solve their problems / achieve their goals
  • They may book an initial consultation, complete your need analysis, or book a goals setting appointment

Purchase:

  • Now they’re actively considering your solution or strategy
  • They may be reviewing your proposal or strategy, and making a decision to work with you

Onboard: 

  • Here they have decided to become your client
  • They make a financial commitment to engage your firm, and begin implementing your advice strategies

Retain: 

  • At this point they decide to stay your client
  • They make a financial commitment to continue engaging your firm, they may recommend and advocate your firm, and refer their family and friends

Now you can probably tell from reading through these stages, that the context of your relationship changes at each stage.

That means that the content, the messaging and topics, the types and formats of content all need to align with where the prospect is in stage of the journey. 

You might remember this breakdown from my article, How measure Financial Advice Content Marketing Success, the Ideal Client Journey maps perfectly onto the traditional sales funnel model: 

This is helpful, because it gives us 3 clear KPIs to measure at each of the main stages of the sales funnel: 

  • Top of the Funnel: number of visitors we get to the content
  • Middle of the Funnel: how many visitors we convert into leads
  • Bottom of the Funnel: how many leads we convert into clients

Attracting ideal clients at the top of the funnel

Goal: attract more visits to your content

 

Both the Unaware and the Engage stages are about getting prospects (who are likely to be your Ideal Clients), to discover you and start engaging with you. 

Now remember, people aren’t necessarily waking up in the morning and thinking, “damn, I need a better risk index on my portfolio”, or “I wonder who’s the best financial adviser is in my city?”.

They can definitely have these thoughts, but they probably happen in a different stage (for example, when they’re actively evaluating you and your strategy in the Evaluate stage). 

So to capture attention in this stage, its best to focus on topics, problems and goals that are already in the minds of your Ideal Clients. 

Having a deep understanding of your Ideal Clients is critical to do this. 

Note: this is why I devote a whole module to defining your niche and Ideal Clients in my course, Content Marketing for Financial Advice). 

But for the sake of an example, you could use content based on any common financial goal that your Ideal Client has: 

  • Streamlining finances
  • Managng money better
  • Becoming debt free
  • Buying a home
  • Planning for the future
  • Building wealth
  • Upgrading their home
  • Upgrading car(s)
  • Etc.

Or a challenge:

  • Lack of knowledge
  • New relationship
  • Too much debt
  • New children
  • Unclear on goals
  • Limited income
  • Etc. 

(In the course, your Ideal Client Profile template comes loaded with 22 common goals, 17 challenges, and 17 common objections – to help speed up your planning).

Creating content with this type of focus effectively ‘meets the prospect where they are in their mind’ – a technique proven to attract more attention.

Think about it: 

When most financial advisers are going to market with “Here’s my awards”, or “This is why my team is so great”…

And your prospects are probably thinking – “So what?”

In contrast, you’ll be focusing on topics that are near and dear to their heart and actually important to them. 

In the top of the funnel activity, the following content types will typically be used: 

  • Blogs and articles
  • Videos 
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Social posts

Don’t have a huge following already?

Don’t worry, I’ve ran many successful campaigns promoting great content to a cold audience (using Facebook or LinkedIn advertising).

It’s a fantastic way to increase your reach and attract new people.

Converting more leads in the middle of the funnel

Goal: convert more leads

 

At this point, you have visitors coming to your website or social platforms (for example, LinkedIn Pulse). 

Now it’s all about how well your website is structured to convert visitors into subscribers. 

This is why you’ll hear the words ‘conversion design’, ‘lead magnets’, ’conversion rate optimisation’ said often by savvy marketers – because if you can’t convert a visitor into a subscriber, you can’t move them down your funnel. 

Remember, at the Engage and Subscribe point, they may not actually have an interest in your firm. 

They may simply be exploring their problem at hand, and starting to think about potential solutions and strategies. 

They may not be actively thinking about how well YOU can deliver the solution.

That’s why it’s often not great to go to market with content that’s very focused on YOUR firm. 

Rather you continue to focus on the Ideal Client’s life, and how you can help them get what they want. 

In the middle of the funnel activity, the following content types are most important: 

  • Lead magnets

And once you have someone subscribed: 

  • Email newsletters
  • Marketing automation email series

What is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is a premium piece of content that you offer in exchange for your reader’s name and email address.

Think of it as an “ethical bribe” to win the permission to begin marketing to them in a more personal way (email or social).

For example, this is the lead magnet I use on my homepage:

Once you have someone subscribed onto your email list, the goal is to move them into the ‘Evaluate’ stage. 

You do that by nurturing the client and providing value over time to build a trusted relationship. 

My favourite way to do that is by sharing my top insights and thinking via my best content (actually, you’re most likely experiencing this strategy now). So when it comes time to produce content and you want help, I hope I’ll be the first person you call! 😄

The lead nurturing strategy is executed via a marketing automation platform or CRM. For example, Active Campaign, Mail Chimp, Salesforce, etc. 

So for example, after someone subscribes to your newsletter, makes an enquiry, or downloads any of your lead magnets, I would add them to a very long (as long as you can make it) lead nurture automated email series. 

The goal is to stay top of mind, nurture the relationship and build trust.

But remember, the content and insights you share need to be high quality, or you’ll have prospects simply ignore or unsubscribe you!

In terms of ad campaigns for this stage, it’s all about re-engagement and conversion. 

Here are my favourite strategies: 

  • Remarket to website visitors with boosted ads sharing your top content
  • Remarket to website visitors with ads offering your lead magnet (send this traffic to a dedicated landing page that’s designed for conversion)

Driving client acquisition at the bottom of the funnel

Goal: convert more clients

 

So how do you know when someone on your list is ready for a sales conversation? 

You know by publishing the right content and making the right Call to Actions (CTAs) to ask prospects to move ahead. 

To find out what content I recommend at this stage, and the right Calls to Actions (CTAs) to use, you’ll need to subscribe to my online course

 

Only kidding, I wouldn’t leave you hanging like that! 😉

These are the types of content topics I recommend for moving prospects into the sales stages of your Client Journey (notice how they are naturally more salesy in nature):

  • Case studies
  • Before and after client stories
  • Video testimonials
  • Detailed content on your services
  • What makes your firm different
  • Etc.

And in these pieces of content, you want to be making the right Calls to Action to move prospects onto the next stage of your sales funnel. 

I like to make the first sales conversation as low risk and low friction as possible, to make it easy for clients to say yes.

Some sales CTAs which work well for financial advice firms are: 

  • A free discovery call
  • A 15 minute Q&A call
  • A free phone consultation
  • An online introductory meeting
  • Etc.

You can also look at testing a low cost introductory offer that provides clients a quick win, for example: 

  • A goals planning session
  • Mapping the client’s net financial position
  • Setting up a digital platform (for example, a cash flow monitoring app)
  • Strategy on a specific topic (for example, guidance on the right EFTs to invest in)
  • Etc. 

The idea of the intro offer is to deliver exceptional value, at a low cost, and quickly develop a paying relationship. 

If you want to get sophisticated with your marketing automation you can look at triggering automated and personalised campaigns (setup via your CRM) at each stage of your sales pathway:

(Checkout my course for more in-depth training on these automated campaigns). 

Finally, once you have a paying client, you’ll want to leverage the relationship with automated campaigns:

  • Onboarding campaigns to make sure they have everything they need
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) campaigns to gauge client happiness
  • Review request campaigns to drive positive word of mouth
  • Referral campaigns to reward introducing their family and friends

Ok so I hope this article has given you a few insights into setting up your Ideal Client Journey. 

If you’d like even more detailed training, along with the tools and templates to build this strategy for yourself, pickup access to my online course today. 

And if you could use a talented team to do all the work for you, please feel free to book a discovery call with me:

Want expert help with your content marketing?

Would you like a team of content marketing experts to work with you to create digital content that gets you noticed?

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To your content marketing success,

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