In 2012 I was listening to Alan Jones on the car radio while driving to a meeting. As usual he was passionate about his topic and as I listened I could understand why. I was amazed by what I heard.
I’ve had the great pleasure of talking with advisers recently and asking them about their marketing activities, in particular what they’ve tried, what each has cost and what worked best for them. I really appreciate the openness I’ve experienced and I’ve been extremely surprised, shocked even, by what I’m hearing.
The common theme of every conversation has been that the adviser is trying to stay in contact with their client base and reach their target markets but what has surprised me is the amount of money being spent on this for the little or no return.
It is also evident that most are using a smattering of communication tools with all believing that social media is the best way to reach their markets - but the majority have no idea of how to make social media really work for them – and provide a suitable ROI on both money and time.
Over the next few posts I’m going to address some of the questions and comments I’ve received about marketing and provide answers and guidance.
Quite a few years ago I wrote an article about the role of social media in the financial services marketing space. This was in response to advisers asking us whether they should start using Twitter and/or Facebook to communicate with clients and reach out to their marketplace.
Rolling on five or so years to a time when we are immersed in a world seemingly governed by what every person thinks, says and photographs, I thought it timely to review the answer to “Does social media work for financial planners?”
After years of answering similar questions about the best ways to use content in marketing campaigns, I finally got smart and wrote a book containing the answers!
Available as an e-book, "3 Highly Effective Marketing Strategies for Financial Planners" explains in simple steps how to use educational content to build a financial planning practice... and achieve a better return on your marketing spend.
Ever turned on your heel and walked away from a shop-counter, money in hand? I'm sure you have, and that action is not restricted to physical shopping. In an online world, under-served prospects do exactly the same, and on most occasions you'll never know why.
Please read on to see how healthy email habits can convert the potential clients you have enticed into your digital shopfront - and keep them.
What if you could track each visitor through your website, knowing exactly what they’re reading, downloading or clicking on? Then, after they have progressed through a series of stages, you are presented with their contact details so you or your staff can give them a call – with the confidence that they will take it.
Would that help to grow your financial planning business?
Marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead.
Have you ever thought of employing a full-time marketing person? If your first response is, “that’s a dream, I could never afford one,” you might just be wrong. Or perhaps you are the marketing person and there is not enough hours in your days to develop, implement and measure ongoing marketing campaigns.
There is a slightly different solution available for both of these challenges and it’s now more affordable than ever.
“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” W Edwards Deming
When this highly honoured statistical consultant uttered those words many decades ago, he probably didn’t intend to sound sarcastic. After all, not everyone wants to change ... and not everyone wants to survive.
If you use this analogy in the context of business, there are so many people whom you would swear aren’t interested in surviving either ... but if you’re reading this, thank goodness you’re not one of them. You don’t just want to survive, you want to THRIVE!
If there’s one thing the majority of adult Australians don’t want to hear more of it's politics! You are probably over it all too, so I’ll leave the speculation to the mass media.
There is something far more important your clients and potential clients need to hear from you now…
A wise mentor once lamented to me, "You are ahead of your time, Julianne. Perhaps just slow down and let the world catch up”.
It finally has.
With all of the current share market activity you would probably be reminding your clients that investing is about time IN the market, not TIMING the market - and it's the same with marketing. Are you practising what you're preaching?
Here's how it works...
If I had a dollar for every time I see the phrase “added value” used in our industry alone, I would be very rich! But adding value is not about being better than your competitors; it’s actually convincing your clients and potential clients that you can give them what they really want.
Therein lies the golden question – what do your clients and potential clients really want from you?
Here are two fine examples of what the term “value” really means.
I had a somewhat solemn conversation with an experienced and well-established financial planner recently. He believed that there was so much information available “out there” that there was little point in adding to it by way of sending news to his clients and prospective clients.
I agreed wholeheartedly with the first part of his comment. With blogs and social media now playing the role of 24-hour media outlets, we all get overwhelmed with the constant flow of information.
But I offered him a point which I asked him to take time to seriously ponder: “if you are not one of the sources your clients and potential clients rely on for their financial education, they’re going to get it elsewhere - and they will forget about you”.
Dr Hook says it best...
Every week or month when it’s time to write your next blog post, do you feel like the blinking cursor on the blank screen is teasing you? “C’mon” it blinks, “start writing! I’m ready!” But your fingers remain as still as your imagination? Don’t worry, I write for a living and we all suffer from writer’s block at some stage. You’re definitely not alone. So I thought I’d share some ideas that might help you get the creative juices flowing.
Here are my five tips to make blogging effortless!
Anyone who is serious about business knows that a website is a crucial tool for telling the world they exist and wooing potential clients to their “door”. But all too often, what starts out as a simple exercise in creating an online presence quickly becomes an all-encompassing, budget-blowing exercise in exasperation, triggering many business owners to opt for what looks like a “quick and easy solution”.
Website developers have multiplied like rabbits over the past decade and many now not only offer to create and build websites, but also to populate them with content. The majority are good at this and have their clients’ best interests at heart, but others go down the easy road (for them) and provide “live” content feeds on websites with the promise that this service will boost search engine rankings thereby increasing traffic to the adviser’s website.
This is how it works - or maybe doesn’t…
Everyone knows that the best way to build your business is via word-of-mouth... clients and contacts referring their colleagues, family and friends to you. It's simple, cost-effective and because these people have already seen your work, they have personal experience of the value you offer.
So how do you get more referrals? Here are three simple techniques...
Since Twitter, Facebook and other modes of social media entered the world’s consciousness we have been watching how these forms of instant communication would benefit our clients. We did the same when electronic newsletters (e-news) became hot in the early 2000s. Having started by offering only printed versions of newsletters 17 years ago we also took the time to determine whether and how electronic delivery would best work for our clients.
Over the years clients have asked “what’s best for me” when it comes to choosing the right medium. This is our response...
The premise of good financial planning is "know thy client", but what about "know thy planner?". I am amazed to see how many financial planning websites have little or nothing personal about the people offering this important personal service.
When was the last time you had a look at your "About Us" page? What did it say about the human beings behind your business? If it contains just a few feel good lines about how your practice is different but mentions no names or photographs, what type of message are you sending out to the world?
I wasn't meaning to write an article about websites but I have just looked up the website of a financial planner I'd heard about. I wanted to learn more about this particular planner, not just his business, so I obviously clicked on the "About Us" tab on his website. And this is what I found out about "Us"...