Should I advertise my business?

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In our experience, traditional advertisements such as print ads, radio commercials or TV commercials rarely yield the results that financial advisory firms are looking for. You should consider ads only in the following situations:

  • They are part of a long-term, consistent advertising strategy in which your goal is to gain greater awareness and not generate leads within a small audience (e.g., a specific niche market, a small town).
  • You are advertising a special event where the goal is to get people to register for your event.
  • The advertisement will produce a tool that you can use for credibility marketing purposes (e.g., San Diego Magazine's Best Financial Advisors profile where you purchase a plaque of the profile to put in your lobby or you hand out reprints to prospects).
  • You are advertising in order to support a charity, association or organization that you are trying to build or deepen a relationship with (e.g., advertising in a program for a local charity's gala).

Even in these situations, our experience has been that results have been mixed at best.
You should never advertise in the following situations:

  • A one-time advertisement that does not provide you with a credibility marketing piece
  • If you plan on advertising for less than one year
  • If you are relying on the ad to generate leads
  • If your call to action for the ad is to schedule an appointment
  • When the advertisement is a significant percentage of your marketing budget

A general rule of thumb is if someone is reaching out to you to do an advertisement, it is probably not a good idea. Instead, you should look at how advertising plays into your overall marketing plan and then reach out to media outlets that make sense with your strategy.