Adviser's Consultant: Crafting prospects via radio won't work forever

Different demographics demand their own approach to business development

Oct 3, 2016 @ 1:07 pm

By Liz Skinner

Ryan Payne
+ Zoom
Ryan Payne

Ryan Payne does things a little bit differently, so it's no surprise that he has some pioneering marketing and business development plans.

Mr. Payne started his advisory firm Payne Capital Management in 2008 after spending eight years with Merrill Lynch. His father, an adviser and industry trainer, soon decided to join his business, in contrast to most firms that begin with the older generation.

He's also hired mostly young, female financial advisers, another stark difference in an industry where the bulk of professionals are male and over 50 years old.

And instead of dark wood-paneled walls and paintings of sailboats or hunting scenes, Payne Capital Management's New York offices have a sophisticated warehouse feel. The only walls or doors in the mostly open floor plan are glass from top to bottom.

“We're pointing out that we're not your parents' firm,” Mr. Payne said. “We're going to go for the jugular there.”

One of the firm's most successful efforts to drum up business to date has been its weekly radio show, “No Payne, No Gain,” on Saturday mornings. It's directed at baby boomers and brings in about a third of the $100 million in new assets the firm has been attracting organically each year.

The firm's typical clients are boomers or the “growing affluent” generation X client with $1 million to $10 million in assets, Mr. Payne said. The firm manages about $600 million in assets, and its chief is aiming for $1 billion in assets under management with some new marketing efforts.

It's recently started producing weekly three-minute videos called “Money in Minutes,” offering financial advice.

Down the road, Mr. Payne envisions each of the firm's advisers having their own weekly video blog. Adviser Michelle McKinnon already produces regular $mart Women podcasts to deliver financial education to professional women, a natural target market for the firm.

“I think video is the future, the way radio has worked with baby boomers who listen on Saturday mornings and get to know who we are,” Mr. Payne said. “People walk in like they already know you because you've been talking to them on the radio for so long.”

(More: Adviser's Consultant: Building diversity at firms makes business sense)

The firm also recently hired a public relations firm to boost its traditional media exposure and a separate social media firm.

“We're getting heavy into social media,” he said. “We're willing to spend the money to get there first.”

That strategy is aimed at generating more clients who are in their thirties, the so-called Millennial demographic.

“Working with them and connecting through social media is a big deal,” he said. “They are very active and want to see that you are, too.”

(More: SEC steps up scrutiny of adviser use of social media)

He envisions promoting the firm through its Facebook page and other such channels, though he admits it's much more experimental, an area of marketing where the results are more ambiguous.

Tip Sheet:

- Be willing to take a chance on new marketing efforts. Take the chance.

- Think about how the prospects the firm is targeting want to receive new information and deliver it that way. Radio has worked well with baby boomers, but it won't have the same impact with younger generations.

- Successful advisers share their personality, and video is an effective way of showing that off and beginning to make a connection before a prospect even reaches the office.

- Focus technology efforts on client interfacing tools that will help sell prospects on the experience they'll get with your firm.

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