Last week, I wrote about using vacations and “vacation substitutes” as a way to become more creative and articulate. I am happy to report that I returned home from my vacation to the Florida Keys with a new sense of vigor and focus. Happily, the daffodils, crocus and an array of flowering trees were in full bloom when we arrived home, with 75-degree weather here in Kansas City.
Sitting on my deck this afternoon felt like “paradise found” – right in my own backyard. Could have just been me, but it seemed that there were more birds chirping than ever before. And that Starbucks dark Verona roast, homebrewed and consumed on the deck, was a delightful treat. Since I always try to “walk my talk,” I thought you’d like to know that I’ve been practicing the art of being mindful as a way to stay more creative, intuitive and articulate.
Of course we can’t constantly be on vacation or vacation-substitute. When it’s time to buckle down and get things done, each of us must rise to the challenge. Back-to-business is my motto as we start a new week, as I am sure it is yours.
THE DRY-SPELL DILEMNA
A week before I left on my vacation, I was talking with a group of Garrett Planning Network members. One of the members was going through a dry spell, businesswise.
She’d been so busy she could hardly see straight for several months in a row. Prospective clients were calling. New clients were signing on. She had plenty of meetings and phone calls with strategic allies. She’d purchased a mailing list and had sent out a series of introductory postcards and was expecting some calls from that effort – but, sadly, no calls came from the mailing and things were a little quieter than she’d like.
We started brainstorming some things she – and you – can do when that inevitable dry spell hits.
TIP #1: FILL YOUR CALENDAR WITH PURPOSE-DRIVEN EVENTS AND TAKE A LEADERSHIP ROLE
There’s an old saying in marketing circles that’s just as true today as ever: The best time to be marketing and prospecting is when you don’t need the business. So, tip #1 is to create a marketing plan that will serve as an annual blueprint, with dates for events and promotional activities that will keep your pipeline full.
While I always recommend that financial advisors have a good mix of marketing tactics going for them and to focus on serving and prospecting in 2-4 niches over time, it is important to realize that there are really just three main ways that financial professionals generate new business:
1. Event Marketing
2. Referral Marketing
3. Credibility Marketing
Events are a great way to create partnerships with strategic allies, to build buzz in the community and to share news with journalists. The trick is to keep a steady stream of events on your calendar and to give yourself lots of lead-time for promotions related to the event.
Just promoting the event can be as important as holding the event. It is also important that you fill your calendar with purpose-filled events – the more near-and-dear to your heart, the better.
THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN ADVISOR
Here’s a great example of an advisor who “gets” purpose-driven prospecting using an event marketing strategy at the core.
Todd Rhine, an advisor based in Hilton Head, South Carolina, has been planning for and promoting this year’s Heritage Planning Month since, well, since the last one ended on May 31, 2011. This year’s month-long public awareness campaign will be bigger and better than the first year’s campaign. He’s been lining up venues for events; talking with journalists, strategic partners and clients; and creating presentations and materials that tie into this year’s theme. As a result, he has a full calendar, stretching out over 10-12 months, filled with purpose-driven events.
Rhine volunteered to be a part of the steering committee for The Heritage Institute so that he could take on an even larger role, and became a charter member of The GenUs Collaborative as a way to demonstrate leadership in the industry and commitment to a process he feels strongly about. This puts him in a different category than “just another participant” – it positions him as a more vibrant and caring professional.
The Christian Science Monitor liked what Rhine and co-author Ryan Zeeb had to say about Heritage Planning, so much so that they published an article they penned together and more media connections are in the works. Rhine and his Heritage Planning Team will be putting out several news releases and contacting journalists to talk about all of the May events taking place across the country, as well as What Matters, a new book (actually a novel) that will serve as the central text for their presentations, which will hinge on Transformational Philanthropy and Helping Families Preserve What Matters Most to Them.
You can see from the example above how Rhine’s focus on purpose-driven events has not only filled his Event Marketing funnel but also his Referral Marketing and Credibility Marketing funnels.
In the coming weeks, I’ll provide examples of advisors who are doing a good job with Referral Marketing and Credibility Marketing tactics.
ADDITIONAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
-- Register to attend my BrightTalk Thought Leadership webinar. It’s free to attend but you do need to register. Date is March 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm ET. Topic is: Marketing that Works for Financial Advisors Today.
-- Join me March 30th at Ohio State University in Columbus, for daylong conversation on all-things-marketing. There is a small fee to attend but it’s very reasonable thanks to NAPFA’s generous sponsorship. Watch a short video message from me about the marketing workshop day.