I know I don’t have to tell you that social media is big. Really big.

Since its beginning in 2006 Facebook has grown from nothing to over two billion monthly active users.

Six out of every ten people in the U.S. use Facebook.

 And that’s just one social media platform.

When you add Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and others the growth trend is unmatched by anything else in the history of the planet.

And don’t think that people are only using these platforms every now and then. Many use them every day. In fact, they use them several times each day.

That is a lot of eyeballs and a lot of potential prospects that could become your clients.

As a way to generate leads there is nothing that gives you more reach and better targeting at a lower cost than social media.

You can spend close to $1 to print and mail a seminar invitation in front of a single prospect. But with social media that same $1 will put your message in front of dozens of prospects who are more highly targeted to match the people you most want to work with.

Find leads in your own backyard

Even more important for financial advisors is that social media allows you to identify and target prospects in your own backyard.

With Facebook you can target prospects down to their city, gender, age, and occupation as well as their hobbies and habits.

No wonder major brands are abandoning traditional advertising and spending more of their marketing dollars on social media.

And here is the great thing about both social media and the internet. An individual advisor with a small marketing budget can be just as effective as a large company when it comes to marketing on the local level.

Recently we have seen the emergence of vendors catering to financial advisors who want more attendance at their seminars. Instead of using traditional direct mail, these vendors have discovered that social media advertising drives more attendance at a much lower cost.

Many financial advisors are turning to these vendors because they have found they can reduce their seminar promotional expense by one-third, compared to what they once spent on direct mail.

But what these vendors do, you can easily do yourself and cut your cost down to one-sixth of what you used to spend on marketing.

Spend far less to get the same number of people at your seminar. Or spend the same on marketing as you use to spend but now get six-times as many people to your event.

I know this works, because I have done it myself. And you can to.

Perhaps like you, I initially imagined that using social media to generate leads would be complex and time consuming. Fortunately for me, my son Blake has used Google paid ads, Facebook and other social media to market consumer products.

What I learned from him was that, once you understand the basics, running a sophisticated marketing campaign is really pretty simple and actually a lot of fun.

But, you don’t have to do it all yourself

Websites life Fiverr.com are loaded with freelancers who have experience  with all facets of online marketing.

Building a solid relationship with a marketer that can get you results could become your most valuable business asset.

Immediate results

The reason I find that running my own Facebook ads is fun is because I see the results immediately. Well, at least I see them the same day.

With direct mail you write a big check and you usually have to wait weeks to know if you have a winner or you just blew your marketing budget.

What Blake taught me was that he rarely lets more than 12 hours pass before pulling down an ad that isn’t getting results.

He would tell me how crazy I was to spend even a hundred dollars running an ad that was only getting me a few responses.

At first I fought him on this because I was use to spending $500 or more to get one prospect to attend my seminar.

Gradually it dawned on me that the true power of online advertising was that I could inexpensively and quickly (within a single day) test dozens of advertisements until I found the one that got results. Only after you have found the winner does it make sense to spend big bucks to do your marketing.

Stop wasting marketing dollars

I no longer had to send some direct mail vendor thousands of dollars whenever I wanted to see if what they were offering would actually work.

If you have been in this business for any length of time, I am sure you have heard from dozens of vendors promoting services and marketing campaigns that swear will solve your marketing problems forever. How many of them actually lived up to the hype?

Have you ever told one of these vendors that you would gladly spend a few hundred dollars to test what they were promoting and if it worked spend thousands more? If you have, my guess is they quickly moved on to see if they could find a more naive customer.

There are few guarantees in life. Using social media to generate leads might not work for you. But it won’t cost you a fortune to find out. In fact, by spending just a few hours learning the basics and as little as $100 to $200, you can find out.

Consider how it will change your life if it does work. You’ll no longer have to buy leads or pay $500 to get a seminar attendee but more important… exchange the dead time on your calendar for more face to face meetings.

The time has come for new marketing methods, and there may be no better time than right now to get started.