You’ve likely heard it before – either from your manager or if you’re the boss after looking hard in the mirror: “you need a plan”.
When the tire hits the pavement, the excuse most bring up regarding a financial advisor-marketing plan is that it’s time consuming, requires consistency and can often be frustrating. We think of cold calling, uncomfortable networking events, or dreaded public speaking. It doesn’t have to be that way.
The key really is to follow some simple steps and try hard not to go too far out of your comfort zone. What do I mean? In reality we all have unique talents and your business should be built around the areas you feel most comfortable with and bring out your best. A colleague once told me after decade of trying to wake with the birds… “I’ve come to realize I’m just not a morning person, simple as that”, so he runs meetings starting later in the day.
How does this relate to marketing your financial services practice? There exists means of marketing today that was never thought of prior to just a few years ago. However, does that mean all of them are going to work for you? Should you run out there and tap into all means of marketing and expect instant success?
The answer in short is NO. Some of us like to sit behind a desk and write rather than talk to anyone. Should this individual be out there creating videos or conducting financial seminars? A better solution likely for this personality type may be to write blogs, spend time with online social networking sites or even [gasp!] make the dreaded cold calls. The individual that loves to get up in front of crowds, see himself on you-tube…it builds confidence and makes him or her feel like everyone sees a celebrity in the field of finance. Without a doubt this person should feel comfortable conducting financial seminars or putting together video blogs or pod casts.
First things first
The steps needed in a solid marketing plan is to begin by avoiding the destructive path of making too many mistakes, such as mentioned in the aforementioned comments regarding your strengths. A successful plan begins by identifying a target market. Who is your defined audience? If you think you can just market to anyone that will talk, you’ve just made your first big mistake. Does the dentist that sells dentures market to teenagers? Define who you wish to become your “A” client first. The financial services engagesmart practice can be honed down to a narrow market. Could your background be more accustomed to dealing with the blue collar type worker because your family owned a plumbing business? If you want to achieve the maximum results possible, market to who or what you know best.
If you were starting a business from scratch, needed capital in order to get things off the ground, one of the very first items of interest to a lending institution would be a business plan. Should the recipe for success be any different for financial advisor? A marketing plan is also imperative for the advisor to be successful. Saying you’re going to do two seminars in the spring and one in the fall is not a marketing plan. What is the granddaddy of all marketing that attracts more viewers in one day than many sitcoms in a year? The super bowl without a doubt gathers more views and more advertising dollars than most. Do you think they sit on their hands until the playoffs are over? They start likely the day after the previous super bowl game is in the books. A solid marketing plan, one that is consistent, should plan things out at least a year in advance. Get a large wall calendar and begin planning right away. What will make up your best marketing plan?
How will you market?
The avenues of marketing today as mentioned previously are beyond ones imagination and the likely continuation of ideas via the internet remain endless. Don’t forget your personality when choosing these methods and be careful not to fall victim to organizations that promote the “one shoe fits all” -“best thing since power steering” methods. If you choose one of the methods listed below, try to partner it with one or two additional for testing and diversity. Remember, all marketing takes time so don’t give up in just a week or two, give it time to work and you’ll likely be happy with the results…
While they’ve been around for many decades – an aging population and high commission products seemed to be the two ingredients necessary to blow up the seminar circuit in the 90’s. Senior lunch or dinner seminars began to emerge as a way to sell these products and generate large commissions, which virtually every annuity marketing organization has exploited to this day. About the only frontier that hasn’t been completely saturated from a seminar standpoint – is seminars from fee only advisors.
Seminars are a great way to market and build a financial services practice if done correctly and with no hidden agenda. To gather assets under management for instance, it would be unproductive to discuss insurance type products. When conducting seminars for you financial services practice, have specific topics in mind to benefit the audience as if you were instructing them with no potential monetary benefit in mind. If you plan on doing a seminar for the first time, keep in mind that you don’t want to throw it together last minute. There are many details involved in conducting seminars for the optimum result. Important items of interest include the location, the list of who to invite, the topic and just how to convert the attendees to potential clients.