- Are you leveraging time?
Your greatest asset is your TIME, definitely not your money – and it’s not even close.
So, you want marketing that requires very little time input from you while STILL being personal and custom. (That can be done with video, scaling via email, etc.)
And you 100% need to leverage other people’s time and energy to grow your business. If you’re making about $400-$500 at your highest and best use (which you should be as a financial professional), then you should be leveraging someone’s time for $25-$50 per hour.
- Are you actively contacting prospects and asking for business?
Financial professionals sometimes do everything BUT ask for business directly and individually. We inform, we educate, we propose, we hint, we offer, but we don’t come out and just ASK!
So, I recommend a strategy of directly (but appropriately) ASKING for business, as well as referrals from current clients. Look at a strategy where you call each and every person in your entire database and ask them for business (or referrals) twice a year.
(If that sounds like a LOT of time and effort, it is. But don’t worry, we can handle that whole calling and prospecting campaign for you.)
- Are you custom and consistent?
Stop putting out generic, out-of-the-box articles and content that your company provides and call it marketing.
Your audience is sophisticated these days, and they know exactly what generic “fluff” or “filler” content is. They also may be receiving it – or lots like it – from other financial planners and professionals!
So, take pride in your business and build your personal brand. (Sorry to tell you, but no one cares about your company!)
Just as importantly, be CONSISTENT. I can’t stress this enough. Too many people start their marketing efforts like gangbusters in January, only to put it all aside in February. Or they stop and start as their business slows or gets too busy. Their marketing materials may even look totally different from one month to the next (talk about confusing!).
And while consistency doesn’t seem too sexy, it’s really the key to breaking through and reaching a point where your marketing is paying off!
- Does your voice echo?
Simply put, that means when you say something, are you just heard once? Or many times over a long period of time, like an echo?
For instance, if you have a particular investment tip, piece of knowledge, or common question that you answer, are you just repeating it once?
Or are you making sure it echoes by putting it down in a blog, an email, or a social media graphic and making a short video explaining it? How about sharing it with referral partners and putting it in a PowerPoint deck for future presentations?
There are many ways you can make your thoughts, ideas, and knowledge echo. That way, your thoughts and words will live a long and useful life where they reach many ears without you having to put further time and effort into it.
(By the way, video is one of the best ways to make sure your voice echoes!)
- Are there holes in your plan? (Or you don’t have a plan?)
Writing blogs and articles? Check. Email marketing? Check. Creating tons of graphics and visual content? Check check. Calling clients and prospects regularly with something of high value? Check. Video? You better believe that’s a check.
Make sure you have a marketing strategy that leads prospects from point A to point Z – establishing trust, credibility, providing perceived value, engaging them, scheduling a consultation, and asking for their business. (A client acquisition funnel.)
And if you’re missing one of these elements or DON’T have a marketing strategy at all (gulp), then let’s talk immediately!
- Do you have a calendar?
This is one of the biggest keys to having a successful marketing plan – taking out the calendar and adding all of the key dates to initiate, complete/review, and share marketing content.
This can include a calendar for social media, a schedule for when to write blogs, record videos, networking events, as well as client touchpoints like scheduling semi-annual reviews, wishing them happy birthday, etc.
Sounds like a lot of time and work? Yes, but just once in the beginning (and I can do the work part for you), but it will save you a ton of time through the rest of the year.
Just like you carefully schedule all aspects of your work and even your personal life, everything will flow much easier and more efficiently with a calendar.
- Are you proactive or reactive?
Do you have a well-defined strategy with action steps, priorities, and milestones? Or are you just “winging it” and scrambling all the time to react to what’s happening in your industry, in the world, and your clients’ needs?
Trust me when I tell you that the latter is not sustainable, and you’ll burn out quickly. (That’s why you need an actual marketing plan and system.)
- Are you looking at marketing like math?
How many people did you reach last year?
I mean, how many positive, strategic touchpoints did you initiate with each member of your database or audience?
Between calls, emails, email marketing, social media, videos, advertisements, seminars, etc., how many people did you touch?
Whatever that number is, if you doubled it this year, what do you think the result would be?
One more client? 10% more business? 25% more new clients or even more?
I’m not sure, but I know it would be a whole hell of a lot more. And in that way, marketing is just math.
- Are you just paying for services? Or do you truly have a marketing assistant?
The huge challenge for most business owners/professionals is how to put a rock-solid marketing team in place. Instead, they usually just keep paying for independent services, which don’t mesh with other aspects of their marketing. That ends up costing you a whole lot of time and money and is only moderately effective.
For instance, maybe you hire a service to handle your social media, but they don’t build websites, write blogs or emails, or handle video editing. Or maybe you hire someone to manage email campaigns for you, but they don’t create graphics or visual content, and they don’t run Facebook or Google ads, etc. You end up hiring 3-4 services, but none of them are talking to each other correctly, and you’re way overpaying for blah results.
Instead, I suggest you hire a marketing assistant who has a whole team behind them that can handle everything from soup to nuts. You can basically have a whole marketing department with skilled professionals backing you up – all at an economical rate and no HR hassles.
Of course, that’s extremely hard to find. And that’s also why I built my services as a marketing assistant and my whole team the way that I have, but this isn’t a sales pitch – use someone else great if not me, just get marketing help!
- Are you doing the things that others aren’t?
Don’t forget that you’re fighting for your audience’s attention. That’s the precursor to any conversation, meeting, or bringing someone aboard as a client. You need to gain their attention in a very crowded, noisy world of messaging (emails, social posts, videos, etc.).
With financial planners, I see a lot just using some very basic tools that their company provides and calling it marketing. That’s a starting point and the bare minimum.
But there are about 300,000 financial planners and wealth advisors across the U.S., so what are you doing to stand out? What are you doing differently/better, and how will you separate yourself from the pack in the public perception?
So, do the things others don’t. That means investing just a little bit more time, money, and thought into your whole system of attracting, engaging, and winning new clients. Of course, you have compliance hurdles.
For instance, the vast majority of financial planners don’t utilize video for marketing and client communications, but compliance usually has no issue with you creating videos (while following their rules). So, by taking that extra step and doing the things your competitors aren’t or won’t, you’ll take a giant leap forward in your presence, earning a massive competitive advantage.
- Are you communicating regularly (and of substance)?
If you’re not talking to your audience, prospects, and clients, someone else is! You can never have too many touchpoints where you offer value, great information, and help.
Just make sure there are personalized touchpoints, too. That can be filming three quick happy birthday or happy anniversary videos every morning that your team sends out or giving a personal financial summary every year.
I also highly recommend you create a forum to LISTEN to your clients. Ask for their feedback. Ask them how you can help them most. Ask what is it they need and want.
Give them the microphone and sit back and listen, as their perception is what matters – and not always the reality you see and know behind the scenes.
Above all else, communicate to keep healthy relationships with your current clients and win far more!
- Do you have a system that creates synergy?
A collection of marketing services does not a system make. That’s like having a whole team around you, but you’re still missing the quarterback. You’ll end up being reactive (not proactive) and spend WAY too much of your most valuable asset – your time – on marketing efforts that don’t sustain and don’t really hit.
What you need is to get systematized. With that, your results will be sustainable after you set them up once, you’ll recapture time, your marketing will be on point, and everything will be organized and built upon itself. That means your marketing strategy will have synergy and your business will REALLY grow!
As always, you can email me any time if you need help or just would like to talk.
7th Wave Media