With all of the current share market activity you would probably be reminding your clients that investing is about time IN the market, not TIMING the market - and it's the same with marketing. Are you practising what you're preaching?
Here's how it works...
Advisers or their marketing staff often contact us after they’d “tried everything” hoping that a newsletter, newspaper editorial or social media campaign will be the next solution to their marketing woes. When we asked what they’d done in the past, we'd see a regular pattern.
Martin, an experienced financial planner of 18 years, attended a conference late last year where he was inspired by a panel of successful advisers talking about their “outstanding marketing results”.
Returning to his office with a mind buzzing with great ideas, he proceeded to overwhelm his staff by wanting to implement as many activities as they could before Christmas. After all, they were all “proven methods to grow your financial planning practice” and the past few years had been a struggle keeping clients and attracting new ones. Martin was keen to try anything – or everything.
They launched three marketing ideas at great expense in time and money (and stress) and were shocked that by Christmas they could not attribute one new client to their new campaigns (their Centres of Influence hadn’t even responded). Martin’s Return on Investment was, at that point, a Loss on Investment. As he and his team reached the end of the year their enthusiasm had faltered, their energy for marketing was minimal, and they were all hoping next year would be “better”.
They decided to keep going for one more month but Martin felt worse with every additional dollar he put into each project. By the end of January they had signed up only one new client so they ceased all projects and planned to try something else when they had more time, money and energy. That was their biggest mistake!
I spent a couple of years living in the South Pacific (that’s my hat!) and as everyone knows, islanders do things in their own time. There’s no point trying to rush or cut corners. When working on island time, there’s a simple rule – “you get ready and you wait...”. It’s quite amazing because regardless of how “late” everything seems to be running, it all ends up working in “perfect time”.
It’s exactly the same with marketing your business. Get everything ready (create a plan and implement it) then as you continue your marketing activity, you wait. If you have planned well, the marketing tool you have chosen should fit neatly into your business operations and it becomes “the norm”. You test and measure over a set period of time but without placing extra pressure on your team.
You know that personal relationships are at the core of financial planning, and you can’t build solid relationships overnight, so patience is crucial. Very few people make snap decisions – particularly about money – so to make your marketing work you have to stick with your chosen activity for at least nine months (a familiar gestation period?).
Some of the most successful advisers in Australia have used our services over many years. As with anything new they were wondering if their newsletters were “working” for the first few editions, but they stuck with it. Soon they started to enjoy the fruits of their persistence. Our clients discovered that this one marketing tool was helping them to build credibility and reliability. Their clients knew their adviser was there for the long term - and giving them the gift of knowledge at the same time.
They stayed with a proven tool, saved thousands of dollars by not running up dead alleys chasing quick results, and they’ve reaped the benefits. (Having access to the Financial Articles Library made sending regular newsletters a breeze!)
Just like trying to time the share market, don’t chop and change your marketing as you will never know whether you pulled out just at the crucial moment.
Sorry to finish with another cliché but the saying “it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen” applies to all types of marketing, so plan well and hang in there. It will be worth it.
If you know of anyone who keeps mis-timing their marketing, please forward this article to them. It’s nice to share the knowledge.