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How Your RIA can Embrace the New SEC Marketing Rule

If scaling and attracting new clients is a priority for your firm, have you thought about how, exactly, you’re working to achieve this goal?

RIAs face an ever changing set out challenges to growth, yet many aren’t adjusting their marketing efforts accordingly to engage prospects. One area to consider is making the most out of the SEC marketing rule. Cold calling and waiting for referrals to walk through the door may still work for some, but these marketing tactics have long been losing traction due to the robust capabilities of digital marketing and changing attitudes of today’s investors. Having top-notch financial advisor branding and website content is the key to staying competitive.

Sometimes, it might feel like marketing for financial advisors hasn’t undergone much change since the 1940 Investment Act.

In reality, advisor marketing is undergoing an exciting evolution. The SEC has passed new rules regarding testimonials, firms are opting to go virtual, and advice is being pushed out to younger generations from B2C startups across the globe.

With all these changes happening, the question you’re likely asking is, “How do I make my RIA stand out from other advisors and financial influencers?”

Here are five fresh ideas you can use today to jumpstart your marketing efforts, support your growth goals, and stand out as an RIA firm.

5 Ways to Generate Leads with Marketing

Way #1: Embrace the SEC’s New Marketing Rule

As a part of the SEC’s Marketing Rule of 2020, advisors may now include testimonials and endorsements in their marketing efforts — as long as they meet a few key criteria. Primarily, it must be disclosed if the person is a client and whether they were compensated for their testimonial.

Most advisors are approaching testimonials with caution due to the SEC advertising rule – and it is smart to treat the update with a moderately high Risk Number® right now as we wait to see how the SEC will enforce the changes. However, there could be an advantage to becoming an earlier adopter of this ruling.

Testimonials are incredibly powerful marketing tools. Think of the last purchase you made online. Did you look at the reviews before buying? If you’re like most consumers, the answer is probably “yes.” People want to know how others perceive you, and having testimonials available can help fulfill that desire for social proof and establish credibility.

If this is something you think you’d like to embrace, work closely with your compliance team to make sure you’re doing so in a compliant manner.

Way #2: Invest in Your RIA Firm’s Branding and Design

The value of good branding can’t be understated. Nike, Apple, Google, and Coca-Cola — some of the largest companies in the world can attribute much of their success to building legendary branding.

If you haven’t thought about your RIA firm’s branding and design in some time, consider this your sign to look at it with fresh eyes and a new perspective. If growth is the goal, invest in design and build a brand that makes your firm stand out.

Try to avoid some common advisor cliches in your firm’s redesign. Lighthouses, trees, and boats have been popular motifs for advisors in recent years, but these trends are already on their way out. Instead, look at the modern ways other advisors are already branding themselves. Many are opting for more personal photos or videos, striking color combinations, and sleek, minimal logos that help appeal to the next generation of wealth builders.

Don’t shy away from looking at how companies outside of the industry are branding themselves as well. You may find fresh ideas while also staying true to your own visual identity.

Way #3: Don’t Be Afraid to Test Your Fee Structures

If you thought your fee structure was set in stone — it might be time to revisit that thought. Not every client wants or needs an AUM structure, especially if they’re more interested in financial planning services than portfolio management.

You may want to consider testing out other options, such as flat fees, subscription pricing, or project-based financial planning fees. A new fee structure might just be what you need to connect with a new audience of clients who may be intimidated or discouraged by AUM-based fees

Way #4: Explore New Forms of Content

Blogging is still a viable way to build an audience and capture organic search traffic, but there’s so much more to digital marketing than the old tried and true.

Think about what you enjoy doing or what forms of content you prefer to consume. Maybe it’s a podcast or short videos. Social platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube are still underutilized by most advisors, but there’s an opportunity to connect with potential clients almost anywhere online now.

The most important thing is that you create content that resonates with your ideal clients. You want to build a connection with them on a deeper level and use your content to create trust before you ever reach that first phone call.

Way #5: Use Technology as a Differentiator

Your tech stack can do more than simply make your advisors more efficient. It can also be your secret weapon for growing and scaling your firm.

Whether you implement powerful systems to improve your client experience or free up advisors to spend more time with clients, you must think of technology as a growth enabler.

Assess your tech stack, especially if you haven’t fully taken the time to learn its capabilities and implement new systems across the firm.

Improving and embracing technology will help your firm better reach its growth goals this year. To learn more about how Nitrogen can boost your marketing efforts, schedule a free demo today.

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