I truly believe in outsourcing certain things in business.

- Julie Sharnowski, AIF, Notre Dame Federal Credit Union

Build your brand, build your business

Today’s online world is crowded with information, and setting your business apart from competitors can be difficult. However, strategically defining your practice’s brand, tone, and business objectives can help you cut through the digital noise to create a powerful digital presence.

Julie Sharnowski has spent the last 25 years of her career in the financial industry. First as an advisor, she then moved into consulting, providing financial institutions and independent advisors with services to help grow their businesses.

Now, as program director for Notre Dame Federal Credit Union, part of her role is dedicated to managing the partnership between the credit union’s internal marketing department and LPL Financial’s Marketing Solutions team. Sharnowski understands the importance of putting a comprehensive marketing plan in place to impact growth, and recommends taking advantage of Marketing Solutions in order to focus on other business needs.

“If you're looking to grow your business, recruit advisors, and expand your client base, you have to have some kind of marketing component,” said Sharnowski. “By leveraging LPL’s expertise in this area, we've been able to do it at a fraction of the cost and with very little risk. The strategic partnership has been very valuable.” 

In this video, Sharnowski shares how she leverages Marketing Solutions to run a more impactful program.

Julie Sharnowski:

I think clients really, at the end of the day, want peace of mind. They want to be able to sleep at night. They want to know that we're helping them with financial guidance.

When we came on board four years ago, I was with an enterprise that associated with LPL and we moved 75 advisors and eight different financial institutions. And I was responsible for the financial institutions. Notre Dame Federal Credit Union was one of our clients. So, about a year ago, I took the position as program director at Notre Dame.

The first thing I did with the program is just evaluate where we were with everything. So, I looked at all aspects of the program—the advisors, the training, everything—because I really wanted to integrate as much as possible into the financial institution and be that go-to department for them. And at the same time, how do we grow the program?

When we think about growth, it's how many members can we help with their financial advice? We also look at some metrics like growing our assets under management, growing our revenue, things like that. If we can help more clients, the assets and the revenue tend to follow that. So, I focus on how many more clients can we help?

For Marketing Solutions, we had, I started with the program about a year ago, and one of my initiatives was to evaluate the different aspects of the program and one thing that stood out to me was we did a very good job of marketing to our existing clients. Our advisors, our clients knew our advisors, but we didn't do as good a job building the brand outside of our existing clients.

So, one of the things that I really wanted to do was build that brand recognition. At the same time, our Credit Union decided we're going to rebrand our investment program to better align with their wealth management offering. So, we were going to go from Private Member Group to Mission Investment Services. So, there were two things that happened right there that really led us to Marketing Solutions.

Number one, we wanted to build visibility. Number two, we needed to build a new brand. Another benefit we got out of that though was—my job is to bring on new advisors who want to join our team—and it showed our new advisors how serious we were, and made the commitment to the investment program by working with Marketing Solutions. So, we had a professional-looking website. We had social media pages. So, they knew that we were investing into our investment program. So, from a recruiting standpoint, that's really valuable.

It saves us a lot of time, you know, because there's resources that we didn't have the ability to tap into that Marketing Solutions does have the ability to tap into. Plus, they were able to create this plan with us, in conjunction with us, that kind of matched our brand, and execute on that plan. So, the cost really wasn't a factor when we considered all the things that we were getting for that. So, by putting together that plan and us outsourcing the execution of that plan, our advisors could focus really on their clients and working with those relationships, which was valuable.

I would say any financial institution that's looking to grow their investment program, recruit new advisors, would be a good candidate. Now, whether you have an internal marketing team that's doing it now or not, I think you should consider it because the Marketing Solutions team is an extension of our internal department. So, they're providing a different level. They're working in conjunction with us. So, any financial institution that's looking to grow, you're looking to recruit, you're looking to be visible, should look at this program.

Our marketing consultant does do a lot of the legwork. She helps build the calendar. She helps us with execution, with content strategy. So before, we didn't really track really the results of our marketing efforts. Now we're able to see if we do an email campaign, what are the results? If we do a social media campaign, are we getting more followers? You know, so we're able to take that knowledge and build from there.

Benefits by the numbers

Through Marketing Solutions, LPL delivers data-driven insights, tracks progress, and measures the return on investment of your campaigns. This ensures the dollars you spend are being used efficiently and effectively toward achieving your goals – such as improving user engagement or increasing client retention – allowing you to make informed decisions on how to best invest your time and money, and tailor future digital strategies.

Financial professionals using Marketing Solutions have seen benefits to their businesses:

  • Up to 90% increase in web traffic
  • 45% average annual increase in social media connections
  • Email open rates more than double the industry average*

Marketing Solutions provides the expertise and resources needed to help strategize and execute a marketing plan that’s right for you. From developing your brand identity to targeting the right audiences in the right ways, Marketing Solutions can help you gain prospects, deepen existing client relationships, and increase your success.

Featured in the video

Julie Sharnowski, Program Director, AIF®

Solutions for Success

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

Empowering Financial Institutions

LPL Financial provides bank and credit union programs the support, tools, and resources needed to sustain and grow investment programs and services.

Level-Up Your Business

Discover how LPL’s Business Solutions can help you run an extraordinary practice.

*Based on a sample of subscribed advisors with open rates more than double the industry average of 22%.

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

Notre Dame Federal Credit Union, Mission Investment Services, and LPL Financial are separate entities.

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 #: 1-05366752