If you choose to do any form of paid advertising such as Google AdWords or social media advertising to boost your profile, your buyers must first have a need for your service.
For example, they must have felt the pain of not being able to get on top of their debt, or retirement is fast approaching and they don't know how they're going to fund it. That pain – or fear – is the best driver of action.
Putting yourself in the right place (i.e. identifying your buyer as specifically as possible) will have a huge impact on the success, or otherwise, of your efforts.
One of the key steps in your marketing plan is choosing the correct marketing tool to reach your target audience. The question we are often asked is, "What is the best way to communicate with my clients and also promote my advice service?" Here is how we usually respond on three of these tools:
Content marketing – we call this 'giving the gift of knowledge'. The internet is a minefield of information, some accurate; some not so. In fact, there is now so much at our fingertips that it's hard to imagine why you would want to send more information to your clients. (Yes, we get that question a lot too.)
Is this a familiar scenario?
We're sure you have subscribed to receive a newsletter from a service that you've been interested in. Each week, or month, you receive that newsletter with information that helps you in your business or personal life and, if the content is dependable, you start to rely on that service to keep you up to date on that topic. Receiving the newsletter straight to your inbox saves you the time of having to go searching to find the latest news on your selected topic each time. Soon that reliance builds your trust in that provider, and if they sell a service, you're more likely to buy from them when the time is right.
That's how content marketing works, and it works brilliantly for advice services that must build a high level of trust before the reader makes a decision.
The Golden Rule of content marketing is to keep your content educational, interesting and relevant - and always remember that you are not selling; you are giving.
Paid advertising – we are not big fans of this marketing tool because we've never seen a decent return on investment for a financial planner. From our experience, it only works if you have a bottomless budget and a strong brand. If you have had a different experience, please share it with us.
Editorial – but we are big fans of newspaper editorial. Noel Whittaker has become one of Australia's most well-known financial experts, mainly due to his newspaper columns. When done consistently, writing a column for your local newspaper or magazine will help make you the local financial expert. Many people don't grasp this opportunity because editors require a solid commitment to providing relevant, interesting and well-written content for every edition – be that weekly, fortnightly or monthly. We agree that can be difficult for those planners who don't use the Financial Content Library (sorry for the obvious plug! ). But seriously if you can find the time to write a series of articles and then stick to a regular commitment to meet your local editor's deadlines, this could be one of the best tools to build your local profile.