LPL gives us the ability to create digital content with speed and at scale.

- Anthony Ruffalo, Ruffalo Wealth Management

Strategic digital marketing can build your financial practice

Ruffalo Wealth Management was established in 2011, and founder Anthony Ruffalo has seen exponential growth by using digital media to create customized content for current and prospective clients. In the span of four-and-a-half years, Ruffalo’s practice value has gone from around $30 million to just under the $100 million mark.

Ruffalo went into growth mode after three aspects of his life were in place: “It was opening an office, planting roots in a community, and going all in on social media,” he shared.

Ruffalo believes staying active on social media channels enables his firm to be a top-of-mind resource for clients. “If I'm putting out content specifically tailored to equity-compensated executives, they're going to see, 'Oh, that's a way to de-risk.' And then when something comes up, they think, 'I know a guy who does equity compensation.' That's when you get the call.”

In a recently published study by LPL Business Solutions, research measured the difference in performance among the top 10% of LPL Financial advisors* compared to other independent LPL advisors. Top advisors spend an average of $50,000 on marketing and business development annually compared to $23,000 by other advisors. Top financial advisors also consistently pursue and invest in multiple marketing channels, maintain their website, and execute email, social media, and digital advertising campaigns.

“Communication is so key to the client relationship,” said Ruffalo. “We cannot control markets, but we can control how often and how we communicate to people, which is what the relationship is all about.” 

By creating customized videos and emails, posting regularly on social media platforms, and taking advantage of LPL’s free, compliant texting tool, MyRepChat, Ruffalo’s clients feel more connected with him and his practice. “I’ve had many clients tell me the timely things we produce and put out has made them feel like we're communicating more frequently.” His marketing strategy has also increased his efficiency by decreasing inbound communications and telephone calls.

“As an advisor, you build credibility and trust with people through the digital platforms because they see your authentic self coming through,” said Ruffalo.

In this video, Ruffalo shares his tactics for using social media to stay connected with current clients and in front of prospective ones, and the importance of having a digital communications plan in place for growth.

Anthony Ruffalo:

Communication is so key to the client relationship, and it is the thing that we can control. We cannot control markets. We cannot control bad events. But we can control how often and how we communicate to people, which is what the relationship is all about.

I envisioned a practice or a firm that was relationship-based. So after working with people that have done it for a couple years, I said, "You know what? I'm going to do it myself." I think it's just the entrepreneurial nature of who I am.

My name is Anthony Ruffalo. I'm a Certified Financial Planner. I've been a financial advisor for 18 years. I've been on LPL's platform for 15 years.

So what prompted growth mode? I met a bunch of people in the mortgage industry, in the insurance industry, and their testimonials about the growth of their business that had happened from—just in the past year by using social—the numbers were astounding.

I was always, just kind of chipping away, you know, doing what I needed to do. But, something just clicked in my head. I wanted to grow by video as a medium. So, I just decided to go all in on social, and I started making some content and putting it out on the different platforms.

I was about a $30 million practice, and then right now, we're almost about to cross the line at a hundred million.

The number one reason why people lose clients is because they haven't heard from their advisor. They feel like the advisor is non-responsive.

I've got it broken down and we've got it dialed in pretty tight. So we've broken the practice into two different categories—we've got accumulators and we've got decumulators.

So I communicate differently with accumulators than I do with decumulators, simply because of the topics that are relevant and important to them in their lives.

So our accumulators, we focus on three core components, which is retirement, education, and survivorship. Then the second part of the practice is the decumulator part of the practice. Those are my people that are in their sixties, and they're at retirement and they're actively drawing down their retirement income portfolios.

I break it apart that way so I can segment the content of the communication.

The tools that we use to communicate are really nothing special. It's just email, MyRepChat, and social media platforms. What changes is how we pair the content with the platform.

One of the other things that we do, which I think works really well and we've had a lot of success with, is we create custom, client-only videos, and we do that on YouTube. We have a custom link we can email, or we can send via MyRepChat, directly to our clients for them to view whenever they have the ability to consume that content.

I've had nothing but great feedback from clients because they feel like they're having a conversation with you at least once a month.

If you're not creating content, you're just scraping by and you're going to be playing catch-up in a couple of years—you're not going to be growing at all.

So if I had a peer that was considering digital marketing, or putting content out, or putting themselves out there, just, just get on. You have to start doing something.

For folks newer to the financial advisor role, you couldn't be better positioned. The ability to build a financial services practice is all about networking, and contacts, and finding people. We can do that the fastest that history has ever, it's ever been possible, right now, because of digital and social. It's all literally at your fingertips.

LPL has absolutely been a strategic partner in the digital and the marketing space with the resources that they provide, the encouragement that they give. That's the big differentiator. LPL gives us the ability to create digital content with speed and at scale.

They're a leader in the space. It is very apparent—LPL is positioned to win.

Know your audience for more effective communications

Ruffalo segments his clients into two categories: “accumulators” and “decumulators”. He said, “When we’re creating content, we always start with the end in mind. Who am I speaking to? We communicate differently to each segment because of their interests and what we work on during the financial planning process.”

He considers his accumulator segment to be clients who are still in the workforce, while his decumulator segment are clients who are actively drawing from their retirement income portfolios. Accumulators are actively participating in 401ks, contributing to IRAs, and taking tax deductions. As for decumulators, Ruffalo said, “I'm not communicating to them about raising their retirement contribution rates, increasing their life insurance coverage because of the birth of a baby, or a recent tax law change that affects 401k plans.”

The digital future is now

“With new client acquisitions, it's a little bit different today than it was 15 or 20 years ago when you would have a prospect list and a cold-call list,” Ruffalo said. “The new way to do it is carve out a niche and create content that speaks specifically to that audience.”

Ruffalo believes that financial services are all about networking, contacts, and finding people. He said, “It’s possible right now because of digital and social. It's all at your fingertips.”

“LPL has absolutely helped me grow my business by having technology in place that allows me to create content at scale and with speed. That's the big differentiator,” said Ruffalo. “Also with the resources they provide, the encouragement they give, and the fact they're digitally on the leading edge.”

Featured in the video

Anthony Ruffalo, Founder, CFP®

*The top 10% of LPL advisors was determined from 2022 Gross Dealer Concession (GDC) data.

Supporting Your Clients

LPL offers a wide range of non-proprietary resources that can help you offer the right services to address your clients’ goals.

Solutions for Success

Plan, create, and execute a customized digital marketing strategy for your practice with Marketing Solutions from LPL.

Write Your Next Chapter

To learn more about helpful resources and support, talk with an LPL representative.

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC).

The views and opinions expressed by the financial advisor(s) may not be representative of the views of other financial advisors and are not indicative of future performance or success. Neither LPL Financial nor the financial advisor can be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss incurred by applying any of the information offered.

Ruffalo Wealth Management is a separate entity from LPL Financial.

Securities and insurance offered through LPL, or its affiliates are:

Not Insured by FDIC/NCUA or Any Other Government Agency Not Bank/Credit Union Guaranteed Not Bank/Credit Union Deposits or Obligations May Lose Value

For financial professional use only.

Tracking # 474519