Year-end is the perfect time to review everything in your marketing toolkit. Last week, I listed the essential elements needed if you are to stand out in today’s competitive marketplace. I went into detail on how you can create one of your most compelling marketing pieces: an Ideal Client Profile.

This week: The Power Bio and The Core Issues Article.

If you develop an array of essential marketing tools, you'll have built the foundation you need to launch an effective drip marketing campaign.

The Power Bio

Even if you've developed a company or personal brochure, you will want to craft a one-page Executive Summary, which summarizes your credentials, education and experience in one page. It should be branded with your logo and include your professional headshot (captioned to show your full name and credentials). This is your professional biography.

The purpose of your Executive Summary is to showcase your expertise. Write your profile in the third person, as if a professional had interviewed you. Warm up the narrative by quoting yourself. Make a few statements about your client service or investment philosophy, why you got into the business and how your business model is unique. Place the quotes in logical places to break up what may otherwise become dull content. Personal statements and assertions--anything that is better said in first person--can carry greater weight if they are inserted as quotes.

Add a bit of personality at the end by giving the reader a glimpse into your personal life--if you volunteer at the Girls Club, serve on a foundation board, enjoy sailing or invest in sports memorabilia. You want to stimulate a sense of trust and affinity. Include a call-to-action -- even if it is a simple visit to www.SmithFinancialPlanning.com to learn more about how we can help you reach your financial goals" -- and place your contact information at the bottom. This multipurpose document can serve as a handout at seminars and networking functions, a follow-up to an in-person meeting or a page on your Web site.

An Oklahoma City advisor with 12 years experience had never developed a one-sheet Executive Summary. He had a statement of qualifications, which talked about his firm and its services, but the credibility builders such as his experience, background and education -- all the items that made him worthy of a client's trust -- were buried in the middle of the company overview. Now he uses his one-sheet Executive Summary as well as a revamped company statement of qualifications to build rapport and trust before and after meetings, seminars and promotions.

With an Executive Summary ready to go, you will be better equipped to sell yourself and your firm. Include the printed version in the introductory packets, press kits and mailings. The Executive Summary will give you great positioning with the media, prospective clients and other influential people within your market. Annually update the profile and include it in a newsletter mailing. Every few years, update your photo and your team's photo for your Web site and brochure. This creates a positive impression and reminds recipients of the firm's driving force, the advisor behind the wheel.

People want to do business with people they like and trust. Why not help them understand your background, qualifications and values with an easy-to-read one-sheet about you?

CORE ISSUE ARTICLE OR SPECIAL REPORT

You should also produce a core issue article that demonstrates your know-how. It should be an informational piece that shows that you are competent to help your clients. Good formats are "The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make with Their Money" or "What You Absolutely Must Do to Enjoy a Secure Retirement."

You will find numerous ways to use your special report / core issue article:

-- In email campaigns and mailed solicitations (goal: drive traffic to your website)

-- Parceled out and published in smaller bites on your blog

-- As the foundation for a news release and/or pitches to journalists who might cover that topic and use your core content as a basis for their article’s formation (also be sure to publish your news release using a SEO news release service such as www.PRWeb.com or www.24/7.com)

-- In a pocket folder filled with “get acquainted materials”

-- As a handout or premium at a seminar / webinar

-- As the basis for a corresponding Power Point presentation

FPA TWITTER LIVE – NEW VIDEO CLIP UP NOW

I’ve just posted a new two-minute video clip on the FPA Twitter Live blog. This week: Darryl Celkupa, VP of Business Development with Tamarac, Inc. and one of FPA’s Task Force Members for the San Diego 2011 “Experience” conference, talks about pressures facing advisory firms and why they need to institutionalize their businesses now. View it at www.FPATwitterLive.blogspot.com.