Just as clients have financial goals, advisors have business goals, such as expanding their practices, securing more clients, integrating new planning technology, acquiring new designations, improving marketing … the list goes on.
Achieving several of these goals involves some marketing elbow grease. If a firm’s marketing efforts in the past haven’t been paying the expected dividends, it is time to explore some new strategies.
Here are three strategies that are intimidating, yet incredibly effective for increasing referrals, finding prospects and building stronger relationships with existing clients.
QuoteIt is possible to use video in marketing without eating away at time and marketing dollars.
1. Create video. People are visual learners, which is why video has become the dominant resource for information online. Studies show that online video will make up nearly 70% of consumer Internet traffic by next year.
Advisors can’t afford not to be experimenting with video. Video makes it possible for to connect with clients and prospects in an engaging way.
In just a minute or two, advisors can educate and inform clients on financial topics, their professional background or the firm’s mission, encouraging them to sign on for financial guidance.
Take Jerry Strayve, an advisor at Westpac Wealth Partners in San Diego, for example.
His video sharing his personal story on becoming an advisor has been a big hit with clients and prospects. In less than three minutes, he shares his journey and his commitment to clients.
It serves as a powerful value proposition without feeling like a sales pitch.
Yes, video takes time and money to create, and no one expect the release of weekly videos. However, it is possible to use video in marketing without eating away at time and marketing dollars.
Those who are camera-shy and have no interest in creating videos themselves should use a service that provides them with videos that can be used on the firm’s website, sent via email and shared on social media.
2. Host a client event. Holding client events takes time and effort, but when properly planned, it can increase referrals, build stronger relationships with clients and position an advisor as a valuable resource within the community. Start simple with a low-key event.
When planning an event, first determine who to attract. Does the advisor want to build up the client base within the community, or is the goal to get referrals from A-list clients?
If the focus is the former, consider hosting an educational seminar at the local library that is open to the community. Advertise on social media and submit an event listing to the local newspaper.
Deb Sims, a wealth advisor at Deferred Sales Trusts in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., holds regular seminars at a nearby country club to educate women about becoming financially savvy. She lists her events on her website and advertises in the newspaper.
Those who prefer to build relationships with clients’ friends and family, can host an intimate lunch or dinner with top-tier clients and ask them to bring a friend. Keep it casual with a backyard BBQ, or take a more formal route and book a private room at a restaurant.
Advisors can also host retirement parties for clients. This provides the opportunity to show how much an advisor cares about a client, while also providing the opportunity to connect with that client’s friends who may also be concerned about retirement.
Regardless, the events should accurately reflect the advisor’s personality and the firm’s culture. If an advisor dresses casually around clients, keep the event casual and vice versa, as these events are designed to allow prospects and clients to get to know the advisor a little better and what they can expect when working together.
3. Start blogging. For many advisors, the idea of blogging may be as intimidating as the idea of choosing the best investment mix for clients. However, in the simplest of terms, blogging is an opportunity to share insights and remind prospects and clients that the advisor is a source for trusted and informative advice.
Sure, there are endless guidelines on what makes a good blog, how long a post should be and what SEO-friendly terms should be incorporated. Forget the rules for now and just start writing.
The easiest place to start? The advisor’s story, such as why you chose this profession, what you enjoy most about it and what keeps you coming back every day.
Advisors should emphasize their passion and commitment. This is the opportunity to remind clients why they work with the firm and encourage prospects to see additional value in the firm’s services.
One advisor who did a great job sharing his story on his blog is Philip Board, chief executive of 1 on 1 Financial in Upland, Calif. He tied together his passion for the industry with the benefits his independence provides clients.
As advisors start to cut their blogging teeth, they should commit to writing one blog post each month and make it their mission to write bi-weekly or weekly by the end of the year. Set aside a couple of hours and just write.
Those who write more start writing faster, and the ideas begin to flow naturally. Those at a loss for topics, should check out the Blog Topic Generator, which allows users to list three nouns that they would like to write about, and the generator will create a week’s worth of relevant blog post titles.
Marketing requires some risk taking. Advisors shouldn’t be afraid to dip their toes into more adventurous strategies.
Those who don’t see the results they want can adjust or change course. That is the beauty of marketing; there are endless opportunities of which to take advantage that fit specific needs.
This story is part of a 30-30 series on ways to upgrade your practice. It was originally published on Feb. 19, 2016.
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