Step 1: Target Market Definition
Step 2: Message Development
Step 3: Marketing Methods
Step 4: Time And Money Budget
Step 5: Timetable And Steps
Now take 20-30 minutes and flesh out each section of the five steps.
- Who is your ideal client and why? What unique needs and mindsets do they have that no other group has? Where to they congregate, what to they read, whom do they trust? What are their pain points?
- To what key words and benefit statements will this group of people best respond? Why should they do business with you right now? Why should they trust you? What are your proof points?
- How will you reach this group or groups? There are really only three marketing methods that work for advisors today. Pop quiz: what are the three main marketing methods that I’ve been hammering home on the past few years? If you don’t know what they are, go back and read this article “Keeping in Front of Clients, Prospects”
- Now budget your time. And your money. How much time will you spend on “free” activities such as serving on boards, networking in the community, or writing articles for your blog and/or the local newspaper? How much money will you spend on “paid” activities such as advertising, seminars, directory listings, radio shows, and the like?
- Get out a calendar and pencil in key dates and events. Think about the seasons and recurring mindsets that are likely to occur in 2013—you know, new year’s resolutions in January, last-minute tax strategies in March, graduations and weddings in May and June, summer vacations and back-to-school in July and August, year-end tax planning in October and November. Work backwards to ensure that key promotional dates and in place.
Bottom line, a marketing plan can help you:
- Understand the types of clients you are best suited to serve
- Define the unique value you bring to serving these clients relative to your competitors
- Identify specific barriers you may be facing
- Identify the most appropriate tactics for your firm
- Line up the right resources and execute effectively
- Stop wasting valuable resources via uncoordinated marketing effort
Shaping Up Your Practice for 2013
Chris Kirby, Financial-Planning.com’s “productivity pro” shared some additional good thoughts on “Shaping Up Your Practice” for 2013. “Have you thought about what you can do in your practice to improve how you operate your business, making sure that this year is a better year than last year? Do you think your practice needs improved focus in order to be more profitable?” Take a look at Kirby’s 5 suggestions that could streamline your business to a “leaner and meaner” more profitable machine.
Building a Strong Online Presence for 2013
In preparation for my presentation at the Barron’s Top 100 Women Advisors conference in West Palm Beach at the end of November, I’ve created an interactive diagnostic tool to help independent financial advisors determine where the gaps are in their online strategy. Are you putting the cart before the horse? Find out now: http://ow.ly/fbmxB
If you’ll be attending any of the conferences below, tackle me and let’s chat. Otherwise, you can post your comments on the discussion thread below or interact with me on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
Nov. 13-16: Schwab Impact in Chicago
Nov. 28-30: Barron’s Top Women Advisors Summit in West Palm Beach
Feb. 11-13: T3 Technology Tools for Today conference in Miami (use code T32013IC to save $50)
Marie Swift is a communications consultant in the financial services industry. Learn more at www.ImpactCommunications.org. Follow @marieswift on Twitter, “like” ImpactCommunicationsInc on Facebook, or search for Marie Swift on LinkedIn.