Helping advisors grow their business is why we’re in business. That’s why we provide practice management and marketing resources. Creating a marketing strategy is a key component for the success of your business. In this changing era of constant communication and instant notification, marketing is more important than ever before. But, where do you start?
Can your firm grow right now?
Marketing strategy and business strategy go hand-in-hand, and if you have goals to grow your financial planning practice, the effectiveness of your marketing will be impacted by how much time, talent and money you invest into it. Whether you decide to do-it-yourself or outsource your marketing efforts, these tips will save you time and get you moving in the right direction. Let's get started.
Step 1: Talk to Your Favorite Customers
You can get started right away by simply asking your customers what services they like most about your firm and what they would like to see that you are not offering. Finding a way to deliver new and innovative options remotely can help you add value during these uncertain times.
Here are some examples of things you can offer to your clients with the help of Covisum software:
- Knowing the best time to claim Social Security
- Understanding tax-saving opportunities in retirement
- Understanding the current state of their investments
- Evaluating portfolio risk and optimizing strategies
- Deciding if they should change their income distribution strategy
Step 2: Be Strategic, Narrow Your Target, Amplify Messages
Outline the following components of your marketing strategy:
- Target Audience
- Key Messages
The best way to achieve a goal is to start by clearly defining it. The best way to write marketing goals is to base them off of business goals. Want examples of goals that will help you grow? Download our eBook and check out page 6.
Objectives are measurable steps you take to achieve your goal. For example, you may have an objective to transition your in-person, educational seminars to webinars or on-demand videos.
A tactic is a tool you use to achieve your objectives. Each tactic is an action carefully planned to achieve a specific outcome. An example of a tactic could be to email all of the contacts who have visited your website to let them know about the new webinar series you are providing.
Identifying and understanding your target audience is crucial to your marketing success. You've heard of a niched financial planning practice. Advisors who choose a niche are more successful than advisors who try to be all things to all people. Outline a buyer persona, or semi-fictional representation of your ideal client. Need some help? Download The Financial Planner’s Guide to Client Persona Development for free.
Now that you know who you are talking to, what do you say? Key messages communicate the points you consistently want to make to your audience. Well-crafted key messages will highlight your unique benefits, target your audience, support your goal, and often include a call to action. With repeated use, key messages serve as the foundation of your branding and marketing efforts, and they should be reflected in all written and spoken communications.
Covisum provides client-facing marketing material with any software subscription. You can use our messages out of the box and jump start your growth efforts.
Step 3: Utilize Inbound and Outbound Marketing Tactics
Now that you've outlined your marketing strategy, it's time to start deploying messaging. Financial advisors and firms should leverage inbound marketing strategies to stay relevant during this time of economic uncertainty. In this guide from SmartBug Media, you get seven actionable strategies to implement now and in the future. Here are some tips inspired by their article:
- Make sure your website content is based on your buyer personas and their most pressing pain points and challenges (market decline and risk tolerance, retiring with confidence during uncertain times, action steps to maximize retirement income).
- Explicitly state who you work with (there's a good example in this article) and how you help them – spell out the exact benefits to your clients.
- Write content in the PAS format, or problem-agitation-solve format. Here's a great article that outlines how to write in the PAS format and provides some examples.
- Create blog content on current topics (such as considering converting to a Roth IRA, carrying over losses, harvesting losses, or waiting out the market volatility) as well as long-term, or evergreen, content (retirement considerations, stress testing short- and long-term strategies, sustainable and impact investing, Social Security optimization and so on).
- List your fees — consumers do their research online before they make a decision. Fees are part of their decision-making process. Be transparent and make it easy for prospective clients to know what to expect when they work with you.
- Set up an online calendar booking program (Joe, our founder, uses Calendly in his financial planning practice). Have a link to your calendar on every page of your website to maximize client bookings.
- Include calls to action in your website content. For example, create a form for prospects to fill out to view your on-demand webinar, then when the webinar is over, have a call to action to book a consultation/introductory meeting. Keep forms to the least amount of fields possible (first name, last name, email address). Here’s a great article about maximizing website conversions from Twenty Over Ten.
- Follow up with inbound leads — people who fill out forms on your website. HubSpot provides free marketing tools — email marketing, live chat, forms, ads, reports, and more — all built in a robust free CRM (works with any website).
- Update your contact pages so clients and prospects can find any changes to your business hours or how you're operating, especially considering that local ordinances and CDC guidelines are changing rapidly. For example, are you wearing masks and using sanitizer for in-person meetings or transitioning to virtual meetings and presentations? All of that information needs to be easy to find on your website.
- Keep communication lines open and modify delivery to meet new needs. For example, send regular emails explaining market volatility. Create video recordings where you walkthrough your clients' income distribution strategies and outline your recommendations. Send clients a secure link to view the video.
If you haven't already, get started on social media. Social media can positively impact your growth in many ways. Beyond simply providing search visibility for your business, offering educational content through your social media accounts can enhance your digital presence and help you reach more prospective clients. Here's how you get started:
- Update your LinkedIn and/or Twitter profiles. Use some of the key messages you created in your profile summary. For example, you can say something like, “Helping clients make informed, tax-based retirement decisions” in your profile summary on LinkedIn and/or Twitter.
- Share content from industry publications, and use your key messages to provide commentary on the content.
- Publish original content positioning why your services benefit your clients.
- Invite people to your webinars and online workshops (we include a PowerPoint presentation, an on-demand video series, and a guide to help you create Facebook ads to view your webinars/workshops with a subscription to Tax Clarity).
Additionally, look into paid email deployment through your local newspaper or other community resource. Make sure to direct leads to your form. In order to measure success and decide if you want to use the paid email distribution list again, you need to know how many qualified leads you generated (how many people filled out your form). Make sure you narrow your target market to people you actually want in your practice (for example, people over the age of 60. It's a waste of time, money and energy to market about taxes in retirement to people who are not in or near retirement). Send a series of emails to any new prospects.
Ready to refine your marketing strategy?
Covisum now offers a tax-efficient retirement on-demand webinar kit for advisors. The marketing kit includes everything you need to reach current customers and new prospects:
- Marketing Starter Kit
- On-Demand Taxes in Retirement Video Series
- Event Marketing 101: Facebook Event Marketing Guide
- Taxes in Retirement Talking Points
- Taxes in Retirement PowerPoint Presentation
- The SECURE Act & CARES Act Supplemental Presentation Slides
- Consumer Brochure
- Post Event Email Template
- Post-Event Follow-Up Email Sequence Template
- Client Initial Consultation Letter
- First Meeting Document Checklist
- Sample Report