There is no doubt – prospective clients are going to do research before hiring an organization.  The ease of doing research makes it painless for prospects to conduct due diligence to help make the best decisions.  Even if organizations have the right content to win the business, most do not have a system in place to capture the contact information of those that are highly interested but have yet to take their own action to move forward.

HubSpot – An Outside Resource
Many organizations have “a Web site guy,” but many of those firms focus just on the design, are not great at integrating routine content and are terrible at seeing the big picture of how to convert business online.

One of the firms that works in this area is called HubSpot. It is an organization that focuses on inbound marketing.

“HubSpot engineers and sells software that helps attract strangers to visit a Web site, convert them to leads in the database and nurture those leads into customers,” said Nick Salvatoriello, inbound marketing professor at HubSpot.

David Armstrong, managing director and co-founder of Monument Wealth Management, uses HubSpot’s services and likes what they offer. He said they consolidate all the digital marketing efforts in one portal and then give valuable reporting. It creates some efficiencies so things do not have to be cobbled all together.

“HubSpot is being used as a tool to really understand and engage with prospective clients on our websites,” said Lauren Stakutis, marketing director at U.S. Wealth Management.

She added, “Industry statistics show that 90 percent of visitors leave sites without taking any action. We want to buck that trend by using the HubSpot platform, which will allow us to track prospects, monitor how they interact on our sites and use targeted calls to action to make prospects reach out to us.”

A Four-Step Process
1. Attract
Salvatoriello recommends developing an inbound marketing strategy by creating really helpful content on a Web site that is non-self-promotional nor non-salesy.  

To create content of interest, he suggested asking one’s self, ‘What do people ask? ‘How was the content of the last sale exchanged?’ Figure out what information is needed and answer those questions in a web-based version.

He recommended creating one piece of content called, "How to pick a good financial advisor."

To establish a successful inbound marketing strategy using blogging, social media and e-mail, Salvatoriello advised creating helpful useful content and making it easy for prospective clients.

By creating this content, keyword usage can help organizations come up in searches and draw in potential new business. Plus, it should be promoted via social media and in other traditional marketing tactics to bring in more Web site traffic.

2. Convert
Armstrong provides free information, like guides to what is taking place in the market.

"Currency in the digital marketing space is your contact information,” said Armstrong. “People exchange their information for something they believe is worth reading.”

The request for personal information does not have to be just name, email and number. “You can ask a little about the topic. Make it a conversation form, not just a contact form. Find out if they are real people with real problems,” said Salvatoriello.

Then when they have their information, Armstrong’s firm tracks everything and it all ties back into their CRM (Salesforce) and feeds into their activity history. For example, if someone clicks on a blog article, that action is tracked.

If prospects and clients are not taking action, that can mean three different things. Armstrong explained, “If I have been emailing them for three years and they are not opening a single thing I have sent them, they might not be interested, the email might not be getting through spam filters or maybe I should try hard copy [mailings.]”

On the positive side, Armstrong sets up a digital engagement alert screen that shows him if there is enough activity to take action.  For example, if prospects download a file off the website and read multiple articles online, they might deserve a call or personal email.

3.  Close
The secret is to share enough information that the prospects will want to learn more.  A virtual relationship can be built in a multi-step process that at every step creates a deeper level of engagement.

Once prospects share their contact information on a landing page, there is a much better potential of bringing them on as new clients.

Is it ok to contact prospects after they have downloaded something? “They are opting in.  That is enough. If they are not expecting the follow-up contact, then we did something wrong,” said Salvatoriello.  

He suggested a "Thank you" page appear when contact information is submitted that let the prospect know what they can expect as next steps.

If Armstrong sees enough positive signs someone is interested, he picks up the phone to make a call.

4.  Delight
Content shared is not just for prospects. Clients might love getting different topics of information too.  

For example, think of an ebook that would interest them and share it using this process above and see if it is also valuable with those that already have been closed.

A Strong Warning
“Advisors that are not embracing the social media space are going to lose out in the due diligence process. It is like your house is filling up on carbon monoxide and you don’t know it.  Then one day your dead,” said Armstrong. He truly believes that businesses not establishing content and using tools like these are going to lose.

Many advisors are still not establishing their subject matter expertise online and most are not capturing online leads. Hopefully this article helps explain how business can be more successful by taking a few online steps to make it happen.

Mike Byrnes is a national speaker and owner of Byrnes Consulting LLC. His firm provides consulting services to help advisors become even more successful. Need help with business planning, marketing strategy, business development, client service and management effectiveness? Read more at and follow @ByrnesConsultin.