Financial Advisor Case Study:

The Art and Science of Gaining AUM and Annuity with Trust-Based Facebook Ads, Funnel, and Email Newsletters.

The following case study explains how a financial advisor grew his practice using Facebook ads, funnels, and email newsletters.

You'll learn:

  • The summary of the strategy
  • The steps to implement
  • The results of the strategy




The Art and Science of Gaining AUM and Annuity with Trust-Based Facebook Ads, Advisor Funnels & Email Autmation



At the start of 2017, I started working with a financial advisory firm. They offered wealth management, estate planning, and financial advice and services to couples with a net worth of $700K or single/widowed with a net worth of $350K+.

They inquired about setting up an online promotion to build an email list that they could then use to invite people to a seminar.

The problem

During the initial consultation, 3 problems revealed themselves:

  • They had limited success with past marketing efforts: They tried Facebook ads and Google Adwords in the past with limited success.
  • They didn't have enough leads: They had long-term clients but gaining new clients was frustrating. 

  • They had no strategy to nurture existing leads: as a 3-person firm, they spent most of their time with their clients. So the trickle of existing leads they were getting were left uncared for. Simply put, nurturing leads to convert them into clients was not a priority.

Approaching the problem

Whenever I'm figuring out how to best solve a client's marketing problem, I always break down their business into 3 core areas:

STAGE 1: Attract is how we turn strangers into leads

STAGE 2: Connect is how we build trust with leads

STAGE 3: Convert is how we convert leads into consults and clients.

Then under each pillar are 3 steps:


    Step 1: Get clear on who you want to be in conversation with

    Step 2: Select a marketing channel to reach them

    Step 3: Create landing pages to get strangers to raise their hand and "opt-in". 


    Step 4: Warm up leads with videos

    Step 5: Send emails that build know, like and trust

    Step 6: Educate with webinars


    Step 7: Package, position, present your "Free Consultation" offer

    Step 8: Get your appointment "show up rate" to 75%+

    Step 9: Streamline your sales process so 1 out of 3 say "Yes" to hiring you

Deciding what to work on first

Every client comes with a different situation and the goals they want to achieve.

Sometimes we'll do Attract first and fix lead generation.

If they already have leads but not enough consultations, we'll focus on Connect.

If they're connecting with leads and doing lots of consultations, but aren't closing, we'll begin with Convert.

In this client's case, we started with Attract. 

The logic behind this was the client wanted more clients. And to get more clients, they needed to connect with more prospects. But to connect with more prospects, they needed to actually have leads to connect with.

So lead generation was their biggest bottleneck. 

Stage One: Attract
Turning strangers into leads

Step #1: We created a lead magnet for the people they wanted to be in conversation with (magnet)

I wanted to know who they wanted to be in conversation with, so we could create a lead magnet that attracted those people into their online sales funnel.

The client helped many different groups of people. But the people they most wanted were pre-retirees, between 55-63, because they could them put an insurance, investment, and financial plan in place to meet their clients goals.

So we created a guide that talked about the concerns most pre-retirees are facing today (fear of running out of money, missing out on investment opportunities, and market crashes) and the solution my client offered to help them address and solve those concerns.

Step #2: We selected Facebook as the marketing (channel) to promote the lead magnet.

Once we knew who we wanted to be in conversation with, it was easy to pick a marketing channel to distribute the lead magnet and reach their target clients.

In this client's case, we choose Facebook's advertising platform as the marketing channel for a few reasons:

Reason #1: Precise targeting: 

  • Custom audiences: We created two groups of people: A Client List and a Prospect List.
    • The Client list included all the people who have paid and are still paying my client for their services.
      • This list allowed us to create "Lookalike Audiences" (see below) that we ran ads to.
      • And it also allowed us to exclude existing/past clients from seeing our lead magnet ads.
    • The Prospect list were everyone else, including anyone who had engaged with their brand over the last 90 days.
      • This list include those who visited their Facebook page, their website, read specific articles around investing, retirement, financial planning, as well as those who requested their free income planning guide and those on their email list).

  • Lookalike audiences: From there, we went to Facebook and said "Find and build me a list of people with similar characteristics as our Client List... and do the same thing with our Prospect List."
    • The output was two Lookalike Audiences (a Lookalike Client List AND a Lookalike Prospect List) that we can promote our lead magnet to.
    • REMEMBER: Lookalike audiences are like referrals. And instead of you asking your client to refer someone to you, just like them.... you're asking Facebook to refer someone to you, just like your client.

  • Specific interests audiences:  Next, we looked at their ideal client profile to identify their interests, what they purchased, and who they follow/read/listen to (so we could create a list of people with those interests to promote our lead magnet to).

Reason #2 — Quick feedback loop:

  • The key to improving results is getting feedback on what you’re doing and what you put out there.
  • With Facebook ads, we didn’t need to wait weeks to know if our target audience wanted our lead magnet. We launched the ads and by day 7, we had data to tell us how many lead magnet "opt-ins" the ad generated and for what price.

Reason #3 — Controllable & Scalable:

  • If a campaign wasn’t hitting our target opt-in cost by day 7, we pause the ad and test a new one. This gave us 100% control in how much money we wanted to spend.

  • When a Ad campaign is generating opt-ins, we were able to scale it and increase the volume. For example, once we were generating 20 opt-ins/week at $10 each and we wanted increase the lead flow to 400 leads/week, we could do that.

Step #3: We created a landing page to get strangers to raise their hand and "opt-in" (lander)

We put the lead magnet on a landing page (lander) and made it as simple for people to opt-in for it.

REMEMBER: Every page in your marketing funnel has a job. In our case, the job of our lead magnet landing page was to compel a stranger (who clicked on our ads) to request the lead magnet.

Once we had one lead generation ad and landing page in place, we moved on to the Connect stage of the funnel.

Here's what we implemented in the Connect stage.

Chung Tang | Author

 I help financial advisors, CFPs and RIAs work less and make more by handling the marketing and lead generation side of their business so they can gain more clients, help more people, and have more time doing what they love. When I'm not helping clients, I'm either writing, working out, reading, hanging with my wife (Jenn), or playing hockey and going for walks with our three kids (Immarah, Emeryson, and Ilyanna).

Chung Tang

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