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In this workbook, we’ll discuss the basics of “Paid Marketing.” It can help you reach more prospects with your digital presence.

For many, the goal of having a digital presence is to attract and engage website visitors with useful, relevant content and then convert those visitors into prospects and clients. However, to attract and engage visitors, they must see your content. We could have great web content and post it consistently on social media and yet very few of the people we’re trying to reach will ever see it.


Because of the way social media algorithms work, advertised social media posts are prioritized over non-advertised posts. Advertised posts are more likely to appear prominently in users’ news feeds, which increases visibility.

The average view percentage of a non-advertised post is only 5.2%. That means roughly one in every 19 of your social media followers sees your non-advertised post. Plus, advertising a post can boost its visibility beyond your existing followers.

“Reach” is the number of views something gets on digital networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google. The higher the reach, the more people see it, and the greater your chances of reaching prospects and turning them into clients. This workbook will teach you ways to get more reach.


In this workbook, we’ll discuss the basics of “Paid Marketing.” It can help you reach more prospects with your digital presence.

How Advertising Can Affect the Number of People Who See Your Posts

Let’s say you post something on LinkedIn for free about the importance of financial planning. Getting 100 views is good, but what if you got 10,000? You’d certainly have higher odds of it being seen by someone who’s in the market for a financial professional. This is made possible through paid marketing.


First, How to Decide Which Platform to Use

The first decision, after deciding you want to advertise, is which network to select. Of all the options out there, three main options tend to work best for financial professionals. Here’s what they have to offer:

  • LinkedIn
    Great for targeting specific companies and occupations. It can be more expensive than Facebook, but its precision for career-related targeting is unmatched.
  • Facebook
    The world’s largest, most active social network. Its advertising is relatively inexpensive, and the interest-based and demographic targeting is powerful.
  • Google
    Your advertising is shown alongside search results. Google advertising is more expensive than LinkedIn or Facebook, but it can be more effective because Google “searchers” are actively in the market for a financial professional.

Let’s go another layer deeper into each of these ad platforms, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and determine which network could be ideal for your business.


Targeting Capabilities of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google

The difference between LinkedIn and Facebook becomes more clear when you look at the targeting capabilities.

Facebook: Granular Targeting

Facebook provides granular targeting options that allow you to target audiences based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and more. You can even drill down to age, gender, location, interests, behaviors, job title, and education level.


Facebook Targeting Example:

LinkedIn: Target by Job, Company, or Industry

LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that has a wealth of data about people’s careers and backgrounds. This makes it easier to target specific audiences based on job title, company size, industry, education, and more.


LinkedIn Targeting Example:

Google: Reach People Who Are Looking for a Financial Professional

Those running this search are actively in the market for a financial professional—and there are lots of them. For some, this isn’t surprising since many consumers search Google for many things they need. For others, it begs the question, “Who would search for a financial professional online?”

Statistically, most people still ask around. They rely on recommendations from friends, family, and trusted professionals. But not everybody takes that approach. Consider these types of consumers who turn to Google first when searching for a financial professional:

  • Freshman – They are either new in town or new to having money and don’t know who to ask
  • Privacy Seekers – They don’t want other people to know they have money, so they don’t ask
  • Researchers – They want to do their analysis and don’t trust the opinions of others
  • Digital Natives – They research everything online and financial professionals are no exception
  • Niche Needs – They’re seeking specific expertise, not necessarily someone who’s local
  • Time Savers – They like the convenience of online search and research

You don’t have a shot at reaching these types of consumers if you’re on page two (or beyond) in a Google search. Most people never make it past the first few listings, let alone page two.

Fortunately, placing yourself on page one is simple—as long as you’re willing to advertise. You could reach page one organically through Search Engine Optimization (and you should work toward this), but Google Search Ads are a quick and surefire way to accomplish this objective.

Action Steps

  1. Decide if you want to advertise
  2. If you do, evaluate your in-house expertise to handle paid marketing. If your team lacks the expertise, it may be wise to hire help from a digital marketing firm.
  3. Based on the capabilities outlined in this section, consider whether advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google makes the most sense for your practice


Second, Ad Creation Tips

LinkedIn and Facebook Ad Tips


There are many different types of ads that you could run to raise awareness of your firm, showcase your thought leadership, or promote your services. If you’d like to start with some time-tested concepts, you could:

  • Offer free consultations or portfolio reviews
  • Promote an upcoming webinar
  • Feature videos
  • Offer white papers or books in exchange for an email address
  • Highlight awards

Ad Design

Facebook and LinkedIn ads have very similar components. By optimizing them, you can create ads that capture the audience’s attention and drive action.

Facebook Ad Components Example:


  1. Visual: The image used in the ad is the most important component. The image should be high-quality and eye-catching.
  2. Post Text: The text accompanying the image should be clear, concise, and compelling. It should explain what the ad is about and why the audience should care.
  3. Headline: This is the text that appears below the image in bold. It should be short and attention-grabbing.
  4. Description: This is the text that appears below the headline and should complement the other text in the ad.
  5. Call-to-action (CTA): This is the action you want the audience to take, such as "Download" or "Sign Up." The CTA should be clear and prominent.


Google Ad Tips

Advertising on Google is much different than advertising on Facebook or LinkedIn. Instead of placing ads in newsfeeds, you pay Google to appear when someone searches for terms such as “financial professional,” “financial professional Charlotte,” “fee-based professional,” or a similar phrase. You select the keywords based on Google’s keyword planner, which helps you understand each term’s search volume and level of competition. Ultimately, your ad would appear as shown below.

As a quick primer, Google Ads work like this:

  1. A user initiates a search for keywords such as “financial professional near me,” “financial planner (city name),” or “fee-only financial planner.”
  2. Google uses a variety of factors to determine which ads are most relevant to this search query. You help determine when and how often your ad will appear by your budget, the keywords you target, and other parameters you set.
  3. From there, the user can choose to click on any of the ads to learn more about the financial professionals who have placed the ads. This is where a quality website comes into play, showcasing you as a professional who’s uniquely suited to help them.

The process of running Google Ads is straightforward, but not something you can learn overnight. If you don’t have the staff internally to do this, look for an external vendor to help.

Action Steps

  1. If you’re considering Facebook or LinkedIn advertising, evaluate the concepts outlined at the beginning of this section. Choose one or two to begin with.
  2. If you plan to advertise on Google, make sure your Google My Business profile is complete
  3. Use the Google Keyword Planner tool to find the right keywords, estimate their search volumes, and figure out expenses to target them

This is what you find if you ran a search for a “financial professional near me” in the Greensboro, NC. The first financial professional shown paid to show up first.


Third, Budgeting

When it comes to budgeting, it’s smart to start small, then scale up as you see the desired results. Through experimentation, you determine which platforms and ads give you the best bang for your buck. It would be great if we could definitively state that $500 is the ideal spend per month for all firms, but that doesn’t account for digital sophistication and firm size. We work with some clients who have $100 per month to spend, while some firms spend tens of thousands.

What’s a realistic starting budget for you? Let’s start with this example. If you’re just getting started with digital marketing and are at a firm that does $400,000 in revenue, consider $100–200 per month, then scale up as your firm grows. By contrast, if you’re at a firm that’s doing $10 million in revenue, think more in terms of $2,000–3,000 per month.

Once your ads are live, monitor their performance closely and track key metrics such as click-through rates and conversions (when someone takes a desired action such as signing up for a newsletter or filling out a form). If you see positive results, consider increasing your budget to reach a wider audience or expand your ad campaigns. However, if you’re not getting the desired results, don’t be afraid to adjust your strategy or tweak your ad content before investing more money.

Action Steps

  1. Consider a starting budget amount
  2. Monitor ad performance by tracking key metrics
  3. If you see positive results, consider increasing your budget

With Paid Marketing, Increasing the Budget Increases Results

Let’s look at two examples: 

  • Let’s say you begin a Google Search campaign and set an initial budget of $10 per day. If your cost per click is $5, you’ll be getting two website visitors per day. If $5 per visitor seems like a good deal to you, it would make sense for you to raise the budget and attract more visitors. 
  • Let’s say you’re running a Facebook campaign with a monthly budget of $200. If it’s costing you $.50 per landing page view and that seems like a good deal to you, raise the budget from $200 to $300 and you’ll get 600 landing page views instead of 400.


“I Don’t Have Paid Marketing Experts on My Team”

Implementing paid marketing and other aspects of building a digital presence requires specialized expertise. If you don’t have that expertise on your team, consider finding an external partner to help. There are likely some aspects of digital presence that you should outsource, but not everything. You want your face to be seen and your voice to be heard, but you don’t need to be the one who edits your videos or comes up with creative ad concepts. Find a digital marketing firm to help. Look for one that’s:

  • Experienced and reputable
  • Focused on financial professionals
  • Seems to have reasonable terms and pricing
  • Happy to share examples and case studies


To Summarize

First, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google provide optimal opportunities to reach prospects and clieants with paid marketing. Second, concepts, ad design, and targeting are key components of Facebook and LinkedIn paid marketing. With Google, it’s more about choosing and paying for phrases such as “financial professional.” Third, with budgeting, start small, then scale up as you see the desired results.


Scale Your Prospecting Efforts

Growing your digital presence through advertising on social media and Google can dramatically increase your reach. By choosing the right network, creating eye-catching ads with a clear call-to-action, and utilizing the strengths of each platform’s targeting capabilities, you can effectively reach ideal prospects, increase brand awareness, showcase your expertise, and generate leads.


Next Steps

  1. Determine if you want to increase the number of prospects you’re reaching through digital marketing
  2. If you do, decide whether you have the expertise in-house to implement paid marketing
  3. If you don’t, find an external partner to help



Check out our other digital presence resources:
Evaluating, Building, and Growing Your Digital Presence



  • Financial professionals should comply with their own firm’s policy and industry rules
  • Financial professionals should always consult their compliance department and individual firm policies before accessing any social media or using online communication tools for a business purpose
  • All communications with the public should be compliance-approved and aligned with your firm’s guidelines 

Hartford Funds partnered with Oechsli to bring you Growing Your Digital Presence. Oechsli, founded in 1978, conducts semi-annual research on two critical groups: elite financial professionals and affluent investors. The purpose behind each research project is to help financial professionals, from individual professionals to executives, make better decisions about attracting, servicing, and developing loyal affluent clients. Oechsli’s reputation for innovative, trendsetting research has landed them in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Hartford Mutual Funds may or may not be invested in the companies referenced herein; however, no particular endorsement of any product or service is being made.

Oechsli is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford Funds 




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