Online marketing can help automate sales activities and make prospects into clients, Kristin Harad, the founder of Next10Clients, said at NAPFA’s National conference.

During a panel, titled “Relationship Marketing in the New World,” she detailed a six step approach to get new business online. Harad said that when prospects come to a website, very few are ready to buy anything and most advisors have a major hole in their marketing plans because they are not capturing these website visitors.

“People are more cautious now.  They want to feel comfortable with you,” Harad said.

In order to capture online leads, advisors need visitors to leave their name and email address, and click submit.  To make this work, Harad said advisors need to embrace a “freemium’ concept, in which they give things away for free.  Harad recommended free reports, e-books and even recorded speeches, which can be completed on

In her own practice, Harad uses video trainings as the giveaway to entice people to submit their contact information.  The free report is titled “10 Steps to Eliminate Financial Anxiety.”

Harad said this practice prevents “someone from floating away.  They might become a client in 2 years or 2 weeks.”

Next, Harad said advisors need to make the initial contact exciting and compelling. She suggested setting up an automated email acknowledging the request for the giveaway.  In Harad’s email, she uses a video to deliver a ‘thank you” message for signing up. She then provides a series of videos in waves via email auto-response message. Just by sharing what she does and whom she does it for in the content of the videos, Harad said that it helps screen out clients that would not be a good fit, saving both parties from wasting time.

Harad said that this gets clients “from the email to schedule the consult, without you even being involved.”

At some point, the interested website visitor reaches out to start the process to become a new client.  If not, the contact information can be added to the prospect list and removed over time.

Harad has found this overall process for online leads works very well for her business.  Even while at the conference, she saw that a new lead had signed up for her information and was being taken care of with her automated communications without her being in the office. 

Mike Byrnes founded Byrnes Consulting to provide consulting services to help advisors become even more successful. His expertise is in business planning, marketing strategy, business development, client service and management effectiveness, along with several other areas. Read more at