You’ve Opened the Doors – Now What?
So, you’ve filed all the right forms, you’ve informed your previous employer, and now it's time to build the brand that will be known as your registered investment advisory firm. Starting your own business can be daunting – even with an existing client base, growth doesn’t just happen. Advisors must define their target segment and get their name into the market to reach the right audience. But how? Here are five steps to consider when launching an RIA in your effort to set the firm up for success and get noticed:
- Launch Your Website
Let’s face it, first impressions matter. A Stanford study shows that 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on the company’s web design.1 We believe it’s essential that you have a website at launch so your existing and prospective clients know where to look for information on your team. In the beginning, make sure to include information on your brand, the types of clients you serve, and how people can get in touch to learn more. The website can start small and build up over time to include thought leadership content and company updates. This baseline should serve you well as you launch and should act as a good foundation for the years to come.
- Announce the News
Standing out from the crowd is never easy. If you were to Google the term “financial advisor” today, more than 1 billion results are returned. When launching, we consider it to be a best practice to share the news via a press release. This release is an opportunity to tell your story – your history and why you chose to launch an RIA. It’s a great way to spread your new name and brand story. It will also boost your search engine optimization (SEO), increasing the likelihood that prospects surveying for advisors will find you in their online searches. You can share this release on your website or for a fee through a third-party provider like PRNewswire, GlobeNewswire, or Business Wire. One of the benefits of leveraging a third-party provider to distribute is that they syndicate the release across dozens of online news outlets, further boosting the SEO for your brand.
- Establish Social Media Accounts
While potentially daunting, establishing and maintaining social media accounts has become an increasingly viable method of attracting clients. Additionally, these accounts provide a window into your firm's culture and values that clients and prospects may not see when simply looking at your team’s website. When evaluating social platforms – where do your current clients spend their time? Where do your prospects spend their time? For some, LinkedIn may be best. For others, Facebook or Twitter. These accounts are a great way to share company updates and maintain contact with your community.
- Establish a Google Brand Account
Setting up a Google Brand account is easy and enables you to ensure that information presented on Google regarding your firm is accurate and up to date. This account, separate from a personal Google account, helps to build SEO and ensure important information and updates on your business are easily accessible in Google. To make a Google Brand Account, it’s as simple as establishing a new profile on Google My Business or YouTube – the process is explained through Google’s online support pages here2.
- Claim Your Business on Google
Claiming your business through Google My Business helps your firm build credibility and increase exposure as your clients and prospects are looking into your offering. Claiming your business adds information on your company to Google search, Google Maps, and other Google sites. The whole process takes just a few steps. Sign in to the Google My Business app using the personal Google account that you’d like associated with the business, click to add your first business, enter your business name and information, and agree to the Terms of Service. Once you have claimed this business account, you can add it to Google Maps by searching your firm name in Google Maps and tapping “Claim this Business.” You can find the full process here3.
Letting the world know that you started your own RIA can be a crucial step in launching your firm, but doing so compliantly needs to be a priority. The SEC recently announced changes to how investment advisors can market their practices – check out their recent press release4 for more information. Leveraging this release and other compliance resources to understand the evolving ways in which you can share information on your firm can be critical for the long-term success of your practice.
Starting your own RIA is a big move for the future of your team, your clients and your business. By following these steps, and taking the time to do so compliantly, you can help to ensure that your story reaches the right people and sets your RIA on the path to success.
Download these tips as an RIA Marketing Checklist to help you and your team get started on building your brand
Thinking about launching your own RIA? Set up a meeting with TradePMR to see if we could be the right fit to be your custodial service provider.
1 Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility. Retrieved April 13, 2021
2 Manage your brand account. Retrieved April 06, 2021
3 Add or claim your business on Google My Business. Retrieved April 06, 2021
4 SEC Adopts Modernized Marketing Rule for Investment Advisers. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Published Dec. 22, 2020
TradePMR is not an affiliate of First Clearing, Google, YouTube, PRNewswire, GlobeNewswire, or Business Wire. Securities offered through Trade-PMR, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC.
Custodial services offered through First Clearing. First Clearing is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. TradePMR does not offer investment, legal or tax advice.