In Part 2 of this series, I will answer common questions about which marketing tools to use.
However, before I go any further, I would like to make it clear that marketing is not used merely to attract new business. You might think that’s obvious, but in my conversations with planners and clients, this point has come up a few times. One planner told me last year that he had so much new business that he wanted to stop sending his newsletter “for a while” because he had all the new clients he needed. When I explained that his newsletter is crucial to staying in regular contact with these new clients easily and affordably (compared to regular personal contact), he still couldn’t be swayed. He recently contacted me asking if he could re-join the library to resume his monthly newsletter admitting that he had made an error in judgment.
I could share many anecdotes but let’s give you some answers to common questions about marketing tools.
One of the key steps in your marketing plan is choosing the correct marketing tool to reach your target audience. The question I am often asked is, “what is the best way to communicate with my clients and also promote my advice service?” Here is how I usually respond on three of these tools:
Content marketing – I call this 'giving the gift of knowledge'. The internet is a minefield of information, some accurate; some not so. In fact, there is now so much at our fingertips that it’s hard to imagine why you would want to send more information to your clients. (Yes, I get that question a lot.)
Is this a familiar scenario?
I’ m sure you have subscribed to receive a newsletter from a service that you’ve been interested in. Each week or month you receive that newsletter with information that helps you in your business or personal life and, if the content is dependable, you start to rely on that service to keep you up to date on that topic. Receiving the newsletter straight to your inbox saves you the time of having to go searching to find the latest news on your selected topic each time. Soon that reliance builds your trust in that provider and if they sell a service, you’re more likely to buy from them when the time is right.
That’s how content marketing works and it works brilliantly for advice services that must build a high level of trust before the reader makes a decision.
The Golden Rule of content marketing is to keep your content educational, interesting and relevant - and always remember that you are not selling, you are giving.
Paid advertising – even with a background in media advertising, I’m not a big fan of this marketing tool because I’ve never seen a decent return on investment for a financial planner. From my experience, it only works if you have a bottomless budget and a strong brand. If you have had a different experience, please share it with me.
Editorial – but I am a big fan of newspaper editorial. Noel Whittaker is one of the most well-known financial planners in Australia mainly due to his newspaper columns. When done consistently, writing a column for your local newspaper or magazine will help to make you the local financial expert. Many people don’t grasp this opportunity because editors require a strong commitment to providing relevant, interesting and well-written content for every edition – be that weekly, fortnightly or monthly. I agree that can be difficult for those planners who don’t use the Financial Content Library (sorry for the obvious plug! ). But seriously, if you can find the time to write a series of articles and then stick to a regular commitment to meet your local editor’s deadlines, this could be one of the best tools to build your local profile.
Complimentary Guide – Preparing an editorial campaign
I have produced a short guide outlining the key steps to help prepare an editorial campaign to assist in approaching publication editors. If you would like a copy of this guide, please ask me for it using our form here.
In the next post I’ll address social media and lead generation.