This post is skinned for finance but in essence applies to any industry.

If you’re not in finserv just skip to the 7 Whys Exercise at the bottom. It’s simple but effective.

If your marketing isn’t working it’s probably due to ineffective messaging. Below I’ll show you that despite a very real need for financial advice, most people don’t hire an advisor. Better marketing could solve this.

Why is it challeging for financial advisors to acquire new clients?

It’s odd because people’s growing interest in financial literacy is clear and the national pain is VERY real and quality-of-life threatening (as I’ll show below).

1) Most people stagnate
2) Unqualified influencers drown out experts

Why more people don’t hire financial advisors based on advisors’ marketing:

  1. Gaps in messaging and efficacy (you’re not speaking to their deepest pain, only the surface)
  2. Algorithm and attention span
  3. Nature of the beast which is that media rewards the flashing, adrenalizing, or titillating


People need a lot of help.

Americans (if that term is still okay to use?) sorely need financial advice and literacy. This area may be worse than average U.S. 🌎 map skills. Sad stats below.

But: there’s still a huge delta between the pain and the solution.


Solutions include:

  • Educate self / DIY
  • Hire an advisor
man financial stress

They’re curious about financial literacy.

More people are taking baby steps. You can see it in content they’re consuming.

1) Ramit Sethi’s new Netflix show “How to Get Rich” is being billed as a Marie Kondo-style advice series for your checking and savings and retirement and investment accounts.

2) “Among millennials and Generation Z, 79% have gotten financial advice from social media, according to a survey by Forbes Advisor. They seek out advice on a broad range of financial topics.”

Content creators and showrunners choose topics based on relevancy to current social trends because both are motivated by the attention economy (i.e. they want views).

3) Tweets about personal finance were up 78% in 2022.

How to Get Rich - Netflix

Clearly, personal finance is in the zeitgeist. 1-minute video:

Stats highlight the importance of improving U.S. financial literacy & health:

1. Lack of emergency savings:

58% of Americans don’t have enough to cover a $1,000 emergency expense. (Bankrate survey)

Unexpected costs WILL happen between having a body, car, pet, or job.

2. High levels of debt:

The average American has $52,940 in debt, including credit card debt, student loans, and mortgages. (2021 study by Experian)

High levels of debt can make it difficult to save for the future and achieve financial goals.

vacuuming dollar bills (debt)

3. No retirement savings:

A 2021 survey by Northwestern Mutual found that one in three Americans have less than $5,000 saved for retirement.
With the cost of living increasing and Social Security benefits uncertain, it’s important to start saving for retirement early.

4. Financial stress:

Money worries can have a negative impact on mental health and overall well-being.

2021 survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education found that 9 in 10 Americans experienced financial stress in past year.

Top causes:

  1. unexpected expenses
  2. lack of savings
  3. job loss

5. Relationship Money Stress

Poor financial health can ruin your love life too.

💔 Divorce: Money fights are the second leading cause of divorce in the U.S., behind only infidelity.

  • 70% of couples argue about money.
  • 30% of those couples admit to hiding purchases from partner to avoid conflict.
"Until debt tear us apart" written on brick wall
Financial stress reduces relationship satisfaction
  • 36% of Americans say financial stress has affected their relationships negatively
  • 44% avoided discussing finances with their partner to avoid conflict
  • 21% have broken up over financial disagreements

(via 2022 CreditKarma study)

Love and money problems are entertainment because they’re relatable.

“The Watcher” was the #1 show on Netflix for weeks in Fall 2022.

Did you realize that the most interesting and relatable fear in this show was not about a creepy guy watching the family’s house, but about the terrifying financial state they were in?

Overextended. Living beyond their means. Aspiration. Lack of communication and transparency between spouses.

Listen to my 5-minute podcast about why Nora let Dean cash out their 401k for a house they could not afford:

If you know how to help people with all these problems, why haven’t they hired you yet? Here’s how to get clients by marketing to pain points.

The 7 Whys Exercise to Find the Real Pain Point (Marketing based on UX Design)

woman on beach in pain or sadness

💡 Start here: in one sentence, tell me the pain point you solve.

That’s probably not the true pain point. Question your statement with “why?”

Repeat 6 times, see where you land. Like this:

Example: “People are worried they won’t have enough money in retirement.”


“They want to live comfortably and provide for their families.”


“They feel responsible, and want to enjoy fruits of their labor.”


“The rat race. Working too hard now, missing life’s joy.”


See how it gets more real? Keep going. Whiteboard it. Dig deeper.

You may realize your target’s pain point is actually these emotions / fears:

  • time slipping away
  • burnout
  • nostalgia
  • mortality
  • responsibility
  • legacy

    Those are the base of the iceberg – the ocean floor of their pain.

      The tip is RMDs and estate planning.

        The ocean floor is the truth.


        Branding and marketing are how you reach them using that truth. They’re the delta between:

        all that pain
        people buying the solution you hold

        This is what I help my clients identify: what problem are you solving?

        It’s the foundation you need before you lay any other bricks in your business.

        Emily Binder headshot

        Find your target's real pain point...

        …so that your marketing actually works. Book a consultation with me. The button below shows my clients and testimonials: 100% satisfaction since 2017.

        Mini-podcast (about 5 minutes each)

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