create a marketing plan in 4 steps

How to Create a Marketing Plan in 4 Steps

Advisors need a well-thought-out strategy that takes into account their unique business & target market. LPL provides that strategy to get started. Read more.

[…] before you jump into your marketing plan, take time to create client personas that define your ideal client, articulating their unique lifestyle and financial needs.

Let’s face it—business growth does not happen overnight, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula for marketing success for financial advisors. You need a well-thought-out strategy that takes into account your unique business objectives, specialties, interests, and target market. Testing, learning, and adapting will improve your results over time.

Follow these four steps to generate an effective marketing plan for your practice.

Step 1: Identify an ideal client or target market

Having too broad of an audience tends to result in generic marketing content designed for the masses, making it difficult to stand out from the crowd. By narrowing your focus to a well-defined audience, like your investors, you’re better positioned to provide high-quality, relevant content and identify the right marketing channels in which to reach them.

So, before you jump into your marketing plan, take time to create client personas that define your ideal client, articulating their unique lifestyle and financial needs.

Pro Tip: Follow these five steps to creating a client persona to define the individuals you want to work with.

Step 2: Choose appropriate tools and tactics

With your personas in mind, the next step is to choose the tactics you’ll implement to reach your investors. You must also consider your business goals and your own strengths and interests to make the best selection. Let’s take a look at an example scenario:

Your ideal client persona is “Recently Retired Rita.” Your business goal is to gain more clients like Rita through referrals, and you really enjoy networking and public speaking.

Since Rita is retired, a tactic such as LinkedIn paid advertising would not be recommended. In this case, you might consider hosting client appreciation events and seminars instead. This provides a chance to mingle with Rita and an invited guest, display your expertise though public speaking, and it keeps you top-of-mind when referral opportunities arise.

Step 3: Develop a tactical plan

It’s now time to put pen to paper and write out a tactical plan you can follow. Set a budget (7-10% of gross revenue is recommended), and determine the right frequency to ensure you’re consistently active without overwhelming yourself or your staff. If it fits your budget, you might want to consider hiring a marketing assistant, or outsourcing your efforts.

Set measurable outcomes, or key performance indicators (KPIs), for each of your tactics during this stage in preparation for Step 4.

Step 4: Track results and make adjustments

Executing your plan requires an investment of time and money. So, set time aside to review your activities throughout the year and analyze results against your predetermined KPIs. If you’re not seeing a return on your investment, then make adjustments to test and learn, or consider alternative tactics.

Marketing Plan Worksheet

LPL Financial advisors and teams can download the Marketing Plan Worksheet from the ClientWorks Resource Center. It will guide you through this step-by-step process in even more detail to help you craft a thoughtful and effective marketing plan.

Questions and Consultations

If you have questions or would like to schedule a one-on-one consultation, or if you’d like to subscribe and receive email alerts when new articles become available, contact LPL Marketing Consulting at (800) 877-7210 Option 9 > Option 5 > Option 1 or email Marketing Consulting.

If you’re interested in LPL running your digital marketing plan for you, ask us about our Marketing Solutions program.

Consult your compliance department for information about the rules and use of social media and the review of all advisor marketing materials.


Sarah provides custom marketing and social media consultations for LPL Finanical advisors and investment programs. In this role, she consults with and supports clients in effectively marketing their business in today's increasingly competitive environment. View full bio.