Posted November 19, 2019 by Gabriel Lewit, Chief Executive Officer
Marketing… a single word that can make or break the success of your business. Is there anything that’s more important to your business than marketing?
The answer is a resounding “no!”
Marketing is the single most important aspect of your financial practice. It doesn’t matter how good of a product you have to offer. It doesn’t matter how sharp your office looks. It doesn’t matter how great of a salesperson you might be. If you don’t get in front of new people to talk to, you simply won’t have any opportunities to grow your business.
It’s like having a restaurant with the absolute best food in town, but nobody ever sits down at your tables. First things first… you’ve got to get in front of new people to talk to. And that’s what marketing is all about.
As an advisor, there are many opportunities and approaches to take when it comes to marketing. In fact, there are so many options that you can immediately feel overwhelmed. This is compounded by the fact that most advisors, at their core being financial experts, are not typically marketing experts.
Where do you spend your hard-earned money? What marketing approaches make the most sense and provide the highest ROI? Today we’ll take a look at 7 of the best ways advisors can market their services.
A World of Marketing Opportunities Await
When it comes to choosing the top 7 marketing activities for advisors, whittling down the list was a real challenge. As I mentioned above, there are literally dozens upon dozens of different marketing activities that can be implemented. Here’s a long laundry list, in no particular order. We’ll give you the winners below:
- Dinner seminars
- Academic courses
- Video development
- Email marketing
- Direct mail
- Postcard drip marketing
- Client physical newsletters
- Personal notecards
- Social media posting
- Google adwords
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Purchasing leads
- Client educational workshops
- Client appreciation events
- Linked In “Connection” Automation
- Radio advertisements
- Radio shows
- COI referral partnerships
- Traditional networking
- Business reply-mail cards
- EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail)
- Personal cards or notes
- Social Media advertising
- Yelp advertising
- Magazine article publishing
- PR opportunities
- Newspaper ads
- Newspaper inserts
- Charitable sponsorships
- Booth marketing
- Community event marketing
- And many more…
Feeling overwhelmed? That’s quite a sizeable list, and there are many more that aren’t even listed. Well rest assured we’re going to provide some closer analysis on the best marketing approaches, so you don’t have to worry about most of the items above for now.
The Top 7 Ways Advisors Can Market Their Services
When it comes to marketing, not all activities are created equal. In my unique position as the Chief Marketing Officer of my own advisory practice, as well as having coached hundreds of advisors on their marketing plans, I’ve seen firsthand what activities have performed best for financial advisors.
Here’s the short list and a quick review of each:
- Dinner Seminars
Dinner seminars are one of the only marketing activities where you can, in the span of about 2 hours, give a personal presentation to a captive, engaged audience of about 25 – 35 people. Few other marketing activities can provide the sheer appointment generating volume of seminars. The downside? They are quite expensive, very competitive and prone to hot and cold streaks, so you must run them very consistently throughout the year. Do NOT just run “one or two.”
- Your Website
Let’s face it, we’re officially in a digital world. The average age of your consumers and clients are getting younger, and everyone is plastered to an iPhone these days. That means, the first thing someone does when they hear of your company is Google you or visit your site. A great website will be setup correctly to capture leads, provide appointments, and initiate prospect nurturing sequences. Unfortunately, most advisors cheap out their sites or never implement them effectively, so they really provide little to no advantage in helping to boost their business.
- Educational Workshops
Educational workshops involve hosting, for all of your clients, prospects and/or leads in your CRM, a low-cost educational event on a financial topic. Whether it’s a market-update, a detailed dive into investment planning, a joint-venture presentation with a CPA or an attorney, or anything else you can think up. The key is, it’s not held at an expensive restaurant and thus any sales or appointments you generate will typically have a big ROI. The challenge is, of course, ensuring you get enough attendance to make it worth your while.
- Postcard Drip Marketing
We’re a big fan of postcard drip marketing for two reasons. First, most clients never check their emails, or check them very rarely. That means, you’re lucky if you get even 20 – 25% of your email list to see your messaging. With postcards, your brand and your headline is almost always read and received, even if not immediately acted on. That’s what you want! With drip marketing (of any kind), the goal is staying in touch until it’s the right time for your potential client. Secondly, it’s very cost effective compared to other forms of drip-marketing, with a huge ROI. The biggest challenge? Staying patient while you wait for drip-marketing to work it’s magic over time!
- Email Marketing
Email marketing can be such a powerful marketing tool… if done correctly. Unfortunately, it’s almost never done correctly. Most advisors send out boring, template-y, generic content that is about as fun to read as your tax return. But, the fact that it’s nearly FREE is a massive advantage. It’s one of the most cost-effective tools to employ in your marketing arsenal and to drive traffic to your website. The challenge? Continuously looking to improve your open rate, click rate and response rates. You also need to coordinate your email marketing to work cohesively with your website and your blog, which is hard to implement for many advisors!
Referrals, referrals, referrals. We all love them, and we always want more! But how do you get them? What’s the secret sauce? Here’s the answer… a client-centric planning approach, five-star client service and continually staying in touch with clients via email and direct mail. The cherry on top? A small but mighty incentive program to get clients to really take action. But, the incentive won’t work if they didn’t like working with you, you don’t provide great service, and you never stay in touch. The magic is in doing all three, which is also the biggest challenge.
- Academic Courses
This last one is a hard one to choose from with all the remaining options. However, from our vantage point, academic courses (1-night educational sessions, held at libraries, community centers, or colleges), are next on the list. While slightly harder to fill due to the lack of food that incentive dinner seminar attendees, academic courses—and especially 2 night versions where attendees pay for the course—will really position you as the authoritative instructor and expert. That can be a huge advantage when it comes to showcasing your skills as an advisor.
What About The Rest?
Just because a marketing activity didn’t make the top 7 list above doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. In fact, we employ about 15 regular marketing activities at my advisory firm, each and every month. However, this can take a long time to build up to this level of marketing implementation.
Instead, you’ve got to take things step by step. If you attempt to do all of these at once, you’ll simply get overwhelmed and easily burn out. To get started the right way, you’ve got to pick two or three of these that you want to focus on first, master them, and then move on to adding the next two or three items. By taking this approach, you’ll ensure you are focusing on proper implementation, marketing mastery and generating an efficient return on investment (ROI), not only financially, but time-wise too.
I hope this list has helped to generate some food for thought and some direction when it comes to implementing your financial practice marketing plan. There’s a lot to digest here, but our team is here to help!
If you’d like to talk to Vision Financial Marketing about how our platform can help you implement many of these marketing activities in just minutes, just click here to schedule a 15 – 20 minute demo and Q&A session.
We’ve helped hundreds of advisors successfully boost their marketing and direct mail results, and would love to help you too!
Until next time,