Brett Bernstein: Elevating your financial advisory practice with digital marketing strategies

Brett Bernstein: Elevating your financial advisory practice with digital marketing strategies

Financial advisors seeking to stay competitive and relevant should consider leveraging digital marketing. As client behaviors continue to shift towards online channels, establishing a strong digital presence has become necessary for advisory firms looking to attract and retain clients effectively. Integrating digital marketing strategies is a crucial component for financial advisors looking to thrive. One such firm adopting digital first marketing is XML Financial Group. XML’s CEO Brett Bernstein was featured in a recent Action! article on the subject. I caught up with Bernstein to talk to him about financial advisors can prioritize digital marketing and explore actionable strategies to harness the power of digital platforms for driving growth and success. Click on the video to watch the entire interview. Transcript: Suleman Din: Could you talk a little bit about the importance of digital marketing and why firms should think more about it and invest in it in the way that your firm has? Brett Bernstein: Yeah, I think you can’t afford not to do digital marketing because everyone else out there is doing the form of digital marketing. So you need to incorporate it into your practice, whether that’s bringing on new clients or for client retention. I believe that we need to be in front of our clients as much as other people are out there being in front of them. Din: And you found that digital marketing is a way to extend your reach beyond the traditional referral network, beyond the traditional ways of advertising and reaching prospects. Bernstein: We use digital marketing in a multitude of ways. For lead generation, we use AI technology and learn more in-depth about those leads to make it more meaningful conversations or meetings when we have them. We use them for seminars. We use them for our outreach of webinars and different events that we’re hosting. We’ve really just found it’s a great way to get in front of people using different digital formats to try to find what is the way that they will receive it the best. Din: And what do you think has been the biggest strength of using digital marketing from a firm perspective? Bernstein: I think the biggest strength of using digital marketing from the firm perspective is our presence out there. We have a deeper footprint. So when people are Googling or validating who we are or a particular advisor is, they are finding more and more things about us, whether it’s an article, a quote, or an event that we hosted. It is really deepening the amount of information in the library of what’s out there. And I think people are looking for that validation when deciding to pick a wealth manager. Din: You, on the other end, can see that metric, so you get a real-time understanding of how people are engaging with you. Bernstein: We do. We do get a lot of metrics on the data. You have to take all data with a grain of salt, obviously. But when you put it together in totality, I find that it’s very beneficial. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be spending the amount of money we do on it. Din: What’s one tip for anybody who picks up this article on digital marketing and they read it and they’re like, this sounds like a really good thing. I want to get started. What would you offer as advice to them? Bernstein: Yeah, I think a tip is we’ve all tried different things and we’ve probably all failed at them. What made the difference for me, and I think the pandemic forced it, was to have a coordinated effort, whether that’s internal with the team or external consultants you may be working with, and you have to commit real time and resources to it. I think once I put that coordinated effort and real resources – I’m talking three to five percent of your top-line revenue – into marketing as a whole, and a big subset of that is digital marketing, did we finally start to see consistency and results. The one-off things, we all fail, we get frustrated, why do we waste our money? But when you really commit to it, I find that the benefit is there.

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