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4 Ways to Increase Prospect Quality Over Quantity

Not many advisors complain about having too many prospects.

But here’s the thing.

You have too many prospects if:

  • You don’t know how to tailor your advice to them (because you honestly don’t know what’s important to each person)
  • You can’t increase your value or competitive advantage because you’re too scattered
  • Your team is frazzled by trying to keep up with the volume of prospects (who they also don’t know!)

The solution?

Stop being so hung up on the quantity of your prospects.

Aim for quality instead.

In our webinar, 4 Ways to Increase Prospect Quality Over Quantity, Top Advisor Marketing CEO Matt Halloran will teach you steps that you can use immediately to attract high-quality leads.

Use our formula to give personalized value to every prospect AND turn them into fans who will tell other high-quality prospects about your firm!

Click play below to get started!

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Good VS. Bad Advisor Marketing: Tactics to Stop and Start Doing Immediately

Do your marketing tactics strengthen your credibility and amplify your expertise? Or is it possible that your tactics are actually damaging your reputation and costing you time, money, and opportunities?

Financial advisors don’t deliberately use bad marketing tactics. That’s why I’m about to show you the differences between good and bad marketing. 

Let’s begin…

 

What does BAD MARKETING look like?

  • No clear audience
  • No clear benefits
  • No empathy for what ideal audience is going through
  • No clear story 
  • Inconsistent messaging
  • Inconsistent execution
  • No clear marketing mindset or an undefined strategy
  • Tactics that change without a clear why
  • Focuses on selling versus educating and building credibility
  • Focuses on converting leads versus building relationships
  • No one owns its execution and outcomes
  • Annoys more people than it attracts and engages
  • Creates a “sea-of-sameness” name for yourself in your industry
  • Constantly searching for the next big idea because most of what you touch loses effectiveness quickly or never really worked, or you didn’t stick with it long enough to experience the benefits
  • Focuses on short-term gains
  • Focuses on short-term ROI: direct measurable results that don’t account for long-term marketing benefits

Good marketing is good for your business. Good marketing takes time and requires effort and planning. There are no shortcuts. It builds your credibility, most importantly –– the basis for trust. 

 

What does GOOD MARKETING look like?

  • Clear audience
  • Clear benefits
  • Clear story 
  • Empathy for what ideal audience is going through because you researched and know your niche
  • Consistent messaging
  • Consistent execution
  • Clear marketing mindset and a defined strategy
  • Tactics that evolve in alignment with a clear purpose/outcome/strategy
  • Focuses on educating and building credibility
  • Focuses on building relationships
  • One person/team owns its execution and outcomes
  • Attracts, engages, and endears people to you
  • Creates a reputable name for yourself in your industry as a person who brings real value to the relationship
  • Focuses on building momentum over time and understanding the direct and indirect benefits of good marketing
  • Understands that keeping a client or inspiring them to refer is often more effective than just focusing on attracting new opportunities
  • You are bought into a long-term strategy and you stick with it
  • You create more value within your niche than other advisors because you are focused; they aren’t

 

You might be wondering how to jump from good marketing to great marketing. Great marketing can only truly be measured over many years. Great marketing is measured by the momentum it builds year after year. Good marketing done consistently over time keeps getting better and produces more and more results. 

Ready to learn more? Tune into our Top Advisor Marketing Podcast for strategies that you can use right away to shift your marketing into the good category!

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Advisors’ Best Practices for Creating a Clear Message and Building an Audience

The two consistent elements to successful marketing have always been, and always will be, a clear message and a clearly-targeted niche audience. Eventually, you hope your message will become your brand with the people you ideally want to attract. 

WHAT COMES FIRST:
THE MESSAGE OR THE AUDIENCE? 

Your message and audience are interlinked and, therefore, should be considered and developed together. 

For example, if you are great at estate planning but prefer working with 45-55-year-olds, your approach to messaging for estate planning would be significantly different than if you were targeting a 65+ audience. For people 65+, your message might revolve around getting it right, saving taxes, protecting your spouse, and leaving what you can for the next generations. For 45-55-year-olds, you might focus on purpose, living a legacy, and using the ideas and planning strategies to achieve something now.  

CREATING YOUR MESSAGE

Your message should focus on what you want to be known for and what you deliver to your ideal clients: outcomes, experiences, and feelings. 

If you offer “holistic planning,” you need to not only ask deeper questions, you also need checklists and a story that proves your holistic approach doesn’t end after the first meeting. When your clients hear your message, experience a process, and enjoy the outcomes that reflect your holistic approach — that’s a brand. But it has to start with a better message because that’s how you capture your audience’s attention long enough to prove your credibility and engage them in your expertise. And that’s how you start relationships — with marketing. 

Your message moves into brand status when what your audience knows becomes their new expectation, and, ultimately, it’s when they talk about your product or service with others while using that same language as you. 

Nurturing a brand and message is a long-term commitment but when done properly, it will produce momentum and opportunities — outcomes that make it all worthwhile.  

If you need help defining your message, and ultimately your brand, I highly recommend this free branding guide

And here are podcast episodes that provide further insight into the creation and implementation of your brand:

 

 

IDENTIFYING & BUILDING YOUR AUDIENCE

The only way to build the right audience is to share your expertise and attract people to your thought leadership. This takes years, not months. Some of the most successful financial advisors and influencers have spent 10+ years building their audience and brand. Do not expect to compete with their influence in a significantly less amount of time — unless of course, you hire Top Advisor Marketing (shameless plug). 

Ideally, the audience you want to replicate most should be a vertical or identifiable group you can access and communicate with. If you don’t know how to identify your ideal client/audience, I recommend using this Ideal Client Profile worksheet. If you don’t know the value of having a niche or how to start creating one, start with these podcast episodes:

 

 

There are many tactics and tools to define and search for ideal prospects including targeting AI apps, social media advanced searches, or simply finding an in-person niche network such as a chamber of commerce with local businesses, a specific trade conference, or a center of influence.

 

TARGETING OPPORTUNITIES TARGETING TOOLS
Networking Groups

  • chamber of commerce
  • Hobby groups (runners, yachting, etc)
  • Trade associations or conferences
LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Sales Navigator allows you to create search profiles to find, message, and connect with your ideal audience. 

Centers of Influence

These are typically people you want in your network because they know your ideal audience and add value to their lives. 

LeadCrunch

LeadCrunch finds and engages ideal client/prospect lookalikes, making it easy for you to find new prospects just like the ones you’re already working with. 

Online Influencers

Getting your expertise (i.e. thought leadership) mentioned, published, and shared can have a huge impact on your exposure and credibility.

CrystalKnows

Crystal enables you to know more about a prospect’s personality, interests, and values so you can connect better with them. 

Trade Media 

Getting your expertise (thought leadership) mentioned, published, and shared by an outlet that focuses on your niche audience can have a huge impact on your exposure and credibility. 

AdvisorStream

This content aggregation and distribution tool uses AI to adjust content deployment and recommendations. AdvisorStream offers unique content from paywall providers without the paywall.  

  Seamless

Seamless helps you find everyone you need to sell to and it gives you emails and phone numbers. You can use hundreds of insights to build profitable relationships at scale and import directly into your favorite CRM.

 

Read these articles to learn about more AI tools:

 

Build your audience, share your message, and #BeYourOwnLoud:  

  • Discover and define your key strengths and your audience’s needs. 
  • Define your ideal audience by personality, age, interests, dreams, careers, family, education, fears, concerns, not just basic demographics and AUM.
  • Create keywords and phrases that introduce key concepts and points that are important to understanding your brand. Leverage those phrases and words in your marketing, processes, papers, articles, podcasts, etc. 
  • Develop a marketing strategy that starts relationships instead of only attracting leads.  Relationships are built on sharing expertise, leads are based on trying to sell. 

Leverage the tools and resources above to help you build relationships effectively. And if you don’t have time to do it right, find help.

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How Good Advisor-Marketing Happens in the Expertise Economy

A visual representation of how and why good marketing happens.

 

Have you considered that you’re competing in the expertise economy?

All financial advisors are. 

You have the expertise to solve the challenges that your ideal client needs help with. You fill that gap, as illustrated below, by offering financial planning services of your design: investment planning, retirement planning, estate planning, business succession planning, and combinations herein. 

In simple terms, this should mean that prudent advisors would employ “expertise marketing,” also known as Micro-Influence. But in my 20+ years in financial marketing, expertise marketing has not been the accepted mindset nor has it been well executed when it is. 

Over the years, many forms of “expertise marketing” have succeeded, failed, and evolved. 

As you can see below, marketing has evolved. Most of you have used many, if not all, of these tactics in your careers. Alone, these tactics have probably had vastly different degrees of success for each of you, which is largely a product of consistency of implementation (or lack thereof), efficacy of tactics employed, synergistic tactics, momentum created, your ability to close, and the revenue generated. 

Two very important terms above are “synergy” and “momentum.” 

What’s critically important to the success of your marketing comes down to the coordination and consistent implementation of your marketing. Simply put, synergy plays an important, if not critical, role. 

Can you make 1 + 1 = 3? You can. There are many variations. These are a few. 

Momentum is equally important, especially for advisors or firms who want high efficacy from their efforts. Momentum marketing has two sides: sunk or lasting. Does each marketing input and output result in a sunk cost or lasting momentum? And, how long will each marketing output last and produce?

Sunk marketing is a singular marketing tactic that, once completed, generates ongoing value that declines significantly or becomes nil. That doesn’t mean it’s a worthless tactic. Some forms of sunk marketing are the most powerful strategies that advisors have ever employed, such as seminar marketing.

Sunk marketing examples include:

  • Seminar marketing (highly effective but its value typically dies once completed)
  • Digital ads
  • Email blasts
  • Postcard or letter mailers
  • Public relations (if it’s not done frequently or consistently)
  • Brand or value proposition (if it’s created but not executed)
  • Referral marketing (when you need to ask for referrals)


(FYI, I  don’t count “brand awareness” as a worthwhile outcome because effective brand awareness rarely happens in advisor marketing.) 

Sunk marketing is the most common form of marketing execution among financial advisors and RIAs. Most advisors have good ideas. Many employ sunk marketing tactics that are individually executed. Few advisors have coordinated strategies that create synergy.

 

Momentum marketing is when each marketing output creates lasting value and, when combined, compounds over time. 

Momentum marketing tactics create more value when they multiply. For example, 50 podcast episodes on your podcast channel are worth more than 10 episodes. You could say they’re worth at least five times the credibility, which has an important impact on your audience. The more expertise marketing you do, the greater each episode’s (i.e. piece of content’s) value. 

Momentum marketing examples include:

  • Authentic content creation
    • Vlogs
    • Blogs
    • Podcasts
    • Books
    • White papers
  • Social media (when done consistently)
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Website
  • Inspiring referrals (when you don’t need to ask for referrals)

 

The macro-strategy that I use for my Top Advisor Marketing clients is centered around synergy and momentum. There are many combinations that financial advisors can use, but don’t overlook the synergy and momentum your strategy generates. Synergy and momentum are two defining characteristics that drive great marketing for sustainable results over long periods of time. 

What’s really important to note is that the best sunk marketing tactics and the best momentum marketing tactics can make for an incredibly synergistic macro-strategy. For example, consider one of the most powerful tactics advisors have known — seminar marketing. Combine the influence-nurturing power of podcasting along with social media and you have one of the most powerful short- and long-term strategies this industry will know for decades. 

My firm has recently partnered with White Glove (seminars) to do just that — employ a synergy-rich, kick-ass marketing strategy that builds incredible momentum year after year by using seminars, podcasting, and content multiplication (i.e. snippets of long-form content) on social media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expertise marketing, or Micro-Influence, as introduced and described above, are really just how we define “marketing” these days. 

If you own a successful practice, you likely have a number of tactics in place but no real strategy. Consider adjusting your tactics by looking first for effective synergies and then cost-efficient synergies. 

Ask yourself:

  • What tactics best complement each other?
    • Which tactics (existing or new) will feed one another? For example:
      • Podcasting feeds social 
      • Podcasting becomes a nurturing tactic for seminar attendees 
      • Seminar attendees attract warm-hot prospects in the short term
  • What tactics best fit my ideal client’s (MIC) needs and style?
  • What tactics can I be consistent with for 24+ months? 
  • What tactics best fit my business model? 
    • Do I need more staff/talent or should I outsource?
    • What can my compliance handle?
  • What tactics offer the best value for effectiveness?
  • What suits your marketing style? What should you leverage or avoid?

 

By answering these questions, you’re on your way to launching a synergistic, powerful marketing strategy that builds momentum and, most importantly, positions you as the indispensable expert to your ideal client. 

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4 Recommendations to Make Your Next Presentation a Hit

For the past few months, I have been lucky enough to travel to different conferences to do something I love: speak. 

One of the things about being a speaker is that you get to watch other speakers either kill it or struggle in front of an audience who knows they are not delivering their best presentation. It can be brutal to watch. 

With that in mind, I thought I would share tips to help you become part of the group that excels in front of your audience.

 

Practice  

And I mean practice a lot! Melissa Finnegan, the AVP of training and development for Lincoln Financial Distributors, was one of the best speakers I have seen in a long time. It was obvious that she had spent time polishing her presentation by practicing and tweaking it beforehand. Every move she made had meaning, every slide had value, and because of her confidence and preparation, Melissa delivered an outstanding presentation that made her look like the expert she is. 

 

Don’t Rely on Slides 

Have slides, but make it look like you don’t need them at all. There is nothing worse than delivering a presentation by reading off of slides. This approach takes away from the authenticity of your presentation and makes your audience question your expertise. Anyone can read from slides, but only a few people are able to speak from their expert point of view.

With all that said, you can still use slides but they shouldn’t be the main focus of your presentation. And going back to the practice component, know your presentation so well that you don’t need to look at your slides while speaking. Be able to do the presentation even if the computer breaks down. Use slides only to complement and support your presentation.

 After all, you are what your audience wants to see and hear, not some PowerPoint presentation. 

 

Be Personable and Engaging

Engage everyone. Björn Borg was another speaker at a recent event I attended. No, not the tennis player! But he used that sentence to warm up the group and engage them. He used humor, pauses, and poked fun at himself at the beginning of the presentation to engage and help the audience connect with him. Björn conducted himself well on stage, made eye contact, and smiled at everyone who made eye contact with him. 

Other types of icebreakers work too. For example, if you use a chart, make it a fun one or use it in an unexpected way to make a point. So many people think that showing charts and graphs supports their thought leadership, but sometimes they don’t. Charts and graphs can sometimes come across as boring or predictable, so why not try something different that comes across as playful and engaging?

 

Make Your Audience Want to Know More About You

Deirdre Van Nest is one of the best speaking coaches out there. I watched her present at a conference and I realized there was so much I could be doing better. Among other things, she teaches that you need to make your audience care about you as a person before they listen to what you want them to learn.  

Inspire your audience with stories and accomplishments, fun anecdotes, or impress them with your know-how. But this works both ways. In order to get your audience interested in you, you need to know your audience and understand their pain points and how they are similar to you. These elements will help you deliver a more powerful presentation that genuinely helps your audience and shows that you understand them.

As a bonus recommendation, if you think you could be a better speaker, hire a speaking coach. This may seem frivolous but the cost does not matter. If you speak for a living, you have to be the best speaker you can be. In the long term, it can make you more money, build better and deeper relationships, and allow you to get that one thing all speakers love: applause. 

 

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5 Easy-To-Use Tools For Advisors To Become Their Own Marketing Team

You’ve heard it countless times: advisor marketing is evolving. That means you need to constantly look for new and engaging ways to share content that differentiates you from other advisors. But what if you don’t have a full marketing team at your disposition? Could you do it yourself?

With so many variables to keep in mind like different formatting requirements for each social media platform, printing needs, and cue dramatic music   what the algorithm favors, your best option for efficient content creation is to find tools that will allow you to create a variety of designs in formats that you can publish everywhere and don’t take too much time to make. 

Thankfully, you don’t need a design degree to be able to create engaging and professional-looking graphics and content. Start by exploring the platforms on this list and see how you can go from boring to brandtastic in under 15 minutes.

 

  1. Canva

Once a well-kept secret, Canva has become the go-to for many entrepreneurs and small business owners. This online platform allows you to create stunning graphics that are engaging, creative, and customizable. 

To start creating personalized designs, upload your company’s logo, photos, and graphics to your Canva account. Once you upload an image, you can choose to keep it on the platform to use in your future designs. You can also create and store your company’s color palette for you to use at any time without having to check your brand standards or color codes again.

The best part about Canva is that you never have to start from scratch. Canva offers hundreds of pre-designed templates that you can use. You can choose from a wide range of templates —  from presentations and social media posts to posters and business cards. 

Another time-saving feature is Canva’s ability to size your social media posts according to different formatting requirements. Using Canva’s main menu, you can choose which type of social media post you are creating and it will automatically create the right size for you. The added bonus is that you can create copies of your social media posts that are sized for sharing on different social media platforms, like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

The cherry-on-top feature of this design platform is that it has its own stock photo and video library. Meaning you don’t need to leave the site to find the perfect image for your designs.

Once you’ve finished your design, and depending on your plan (e.g. free, pro, enterprise), you can export your designs as PDFs, JPGs, transparent PNGs, and PowerPoint presentations to name just a few options.

 

2. Lumen5

Lumen5 allows you the freedom to create videos without all the time and effort it would normally take. If you already have a piece of content you want to promote, such as a blog or a podcast, are launching a new service, or simply want to share some news on social media, Lumen5 can boost your chances of getting this content noticed.

You simply start by pressing the “create video” option and choosing to create your video from a link, text, or by starting off with one of their many templates. You also have the option to use your own content and upload your own images. 

If you choose to start with a link or text, Lumen5 will automatically create a video that includes video clips from their library that best fit the keywords used in this content. For example, if you’ve used the word “business,” the platform will probably use a clip of an office; if the link includes an article that talks about retirement, your video will likely show a clip of an older person.

Regardless of whether you use your own images, text, a link, or a pre-made template to generate your video, you will be able to modify the images that the platform has selected, adjust the length of clips, change the layout, and modify the text. And if you want your video to have sound, you can add your own recording or music clips or use the music that is available on the platform.

 

3. Prezi

Prezi is the ultimate tool for creating persuasive presentations that will help you stand out. One of its best features is the option to refresh your existing PowerPoint presentations to give them a new image without having to start from scratch. 

As with previous tools I’ve mentioned, Prezi has a library with millions of templates and presentations to choose from. This will considerably reduce the time you could spend creating the perfect presentation and allow you to focus on the content and delivery of your seminars, sales pitches, or day-to-day business communications.

If webinars are part of your marketing tactics, take note of Prezi’s new feature that allows you to create videos, called Prezi Video. This feature allows you to stay on camera and show your content right beside you for extra engagement points.

 

4. Grammarly 

Even if you are a strong writer or are confident enough to write your own content without help, it’s always a good idea to have an extra set of “eyes” looking at your document. Grammarly can help you achieve a better level of writing instantaneously. 

Grammarly not only corrects common grammar mistakes or misspelled words, but it also helps you with conciseness, clarity, vocabulary, and confidence.

You can upload documents into Grammarly’s app to be assessed not only on your grammar but also on your delivery, clarity, engagement, and correctness. Grammarly makes these assessments based on your goals for domain, tone, intent, which it will ask you to select once you’ve uploaded your document. For instance, you may be writing for a business domain and aiming for a respectful tone with the intent to inform.

If you prefer to work outside of an app, try the Grammarly extension for Chrome. Serving as an ever-present writing assistant, Grammarly will help you eliminate writing errors and find the right words to express yourself as you write on Gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn, and nearly everywhere else you find yourself writing.

 

5. Hootsuite

There is a reason why this platform keeps appearing on lists like these, year after year. Hootsuite is the quintessential social media management tool.

Since advisors are now expected to be present on social media platforms, interact with their networks, and post original content all while running a successful practice, it is practically essential to use an automation tool like Hootsuite.

Using a free account, you can connect up to three of your social media accounts to Hootsuite and even more with a premium account. Hootsuite’s dashboard gives you a one-stop spot to monitor your mentions, comments, inbox messages, and like and reply to comments on different social media platforms.

What really saves more of your time is Hootsuite’s scheduler. You can schedule social media content to automatically post for the day, the whole week, two weeks and on…depending on your plan. You can also get analytics, curate content from the platform, and promote your high-performing posts.

Whether you don’t have the capacity to hire a full-time marketing person or company to assist you, or you simply want to try something new on your own terms, these tools are designed to make your life — or your marketing — easier without compromising quality. Take a step into more engaging content by trying one of these five easy tools.

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3 Stages To Creating New Offerings That Your Clients Will Value

In every industry, decision-makers are constantly challenged to improve their offerings, to find new products to better meet client expectations and needs, and, just overall, to continue improving. 

But you cannot make changes without a reason or a plan, just for the sake of offering something new or refreshing your product. Most likely, if you decide to change without a structure or goal in mind, this will drive your team crazy and confuse your clients and prospects. 

Change has to provide real value for your clients.

Stage one of the change-making process is to find out what your clients really value. To accomplish this, you have to do a few things that you might find intimidating as a business owner: 

 

  • Read everything about what you do: This comes without saying, but you should know (or want to know) everything about the services you provide. This includes reading books and guides from reputable sources but also using social media. Join industry groups on social media and read comments from professionals who serve the same niche as you. Join the conversation and you’re bound to find valuable insight and different points of view that can help you keep things in perspective.

 

  • Ask your team: Empower your team to feel comfortable with providing you feedback. Challenge them to ask themselves: what is working, what seems to go smoothly, and what could use some improvement. You have to train your team to pay attention to these areas by having regular meetings that offer opportunities for open conversations. Your team is a valuable resource when trying to evaluate your services and offerings. Plus, they will have an idea of what your clients need or seem happy with.

 

  • Do market research: When is the last time you took an in-depth look at your competition? What are other industries doing for clients like yours? Make a list of websites to visit and explore your competitions’ services and products: What features do they offer? How are they making clients’ lives easier? What do they do to offer extra value? Use these guiding questions to consider whether another company is offering something that your clients would love.

 

  • Ask your clients what they want! This is the one tactic that seems to scare all business owners, but it’s the one that will make you more successful. Listen to what your clients are saying. Understand their needs and anticipate a solution for their most pressing challenges.  

 

Now, that was just stage one of this process. 

Once you have done your research, considered the input of key players, and thought about what your new offering can be, it’s time for stage two: Put your ideas to work.

I like to start by picturing how the end result looks and then create systems from there. Reverse engineer your process. This will require you to have some knowledge of how your processes and your team works. 

You need to consider three fundamental questions to ensure your offering will be of great value to your clients and will remain an effective and profitable process for your company. 

 

    1. How much time will it take your team to change what they do in order to execute this new product/service?
    2. How do you want your clients to feel once they’ve experienced the service/product?  
    3. What are the steps to creating the system/service and who do you need to involve?

 

Finally, part three is where you will separate yourself from every other business out there. 

Training. 

There is not much value in creating a service or new offering that you believe works splendidly and can make your client’s life easier if you do not provide adequate training on it to both your team and clients.

Training is also not a one-and-done act. One of the most important parts of staying relevant in business is to always find ways to improve what you have created. You have to train, get feedback, evaluate, make adjustments, and then train your team some more. 

So many advisors and business owners will come up with a new idea, communicate expectations, miss some items on stage one, skip all of stage two, and do just enough of stage three. That is why a lot of brilliant ideas remain ideas instead of turning into profitable, actionable ways to advance a business.

You, as the innovator, need to be involved in every stage described here to truly provide constant, ongoing improvements for your clients and market.

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4 Ways to Boost Your Online Marketing Strategy

For years, advisors have been able to grow their businesses by using referrals and seminars. In our podcast, we often talk about why those strategies have been successful for advisors so far. 

While those two ways of prospecting show decent results for advisors, having a good digital communication strategy in place is proving more and more important today than anything else when it comes to prospecting. 

Here is why:

  • The boomer generation has become social media savvy. Having a social media presence is not a luxury for your company anymore, it is a necessity. Boomers will Google and search online for your social media profiles if they are referred to you by a friend. 
  • Generation X and Y do not have time for seminars but really need your help, and, let’s face it, if you want your business to be there for the long run, you need to start focusing on prospecting these generations as well.

 

How can you make sure that you have a good digital strategy in place? 

 

Follow my 4 recommendations:

 

You need to have a great website

Let’s start with the content. Don’t put everything on your site. You want your website to give people enough information for them to be interested in working with you, but you have to add a level of intrigue that will MAKE them ask you more. 

Keep your website design simple and offer your audience clear directions (i.e. calls to action) of what they should do while they’re on your site. 

Do you want your users to:  

 

    • Log in to their account?
    • Watch a video?
    • Schedule time on your calendar?
    • Sign up for your newsletter?
    • Download a paper?

 

Remember to make sure your website is responsive. Your audience should find your website to be user-friendly and high-quality whether they access it on their laptop, phone, or tablet. After all, over 51% of all website views are done on a mobile device. 

You have to be on social media  

This is now a crucial part of your client communication efforts. Everyone is on social media, and there is a massive pool of possible clients waiting to hear more about you and the help you can offer them.

Most advisors refrain from exploring social media tactics because of the time commitment. But if you don’t have time to maintain a personal or company social media account, you can get professional help with running your accounts. 

In addition to overseeing your accounts and helping you create content, a social media person will help you look polished across all of your social media platforms. Because even if you have no shortage of content it is not as easy as just clicking a button and sharing across platforms. 

 

    • Twitter has different requirements than other platforms, such as a character limit
    • LinkedIn and Facebook require different sized images, so you would have to create two different versions of your graphics
    • The tone you use on one social media platform is not the same one you would use on another 

 

Do consider that social media is not a “set it and forget it” tactic. Don’t hire someone expecting them to handle and create everything that is being published on your behalf. To be unique, you have to share your unique expertise. Add your personal touch to your messages and interact with your audience. 

There are also compliance regulations you need to follow in social media, so whoever you hire should help you stand out from competitors while making sure you stay compliant.

Prioritize content over ads

Don’t place too much weight on strategies like advertising on Facebook. While that can be useful for some, the truth is that, as a small firm or independent advisor, you will not be able to outspend the huge financial services firms. For one, you would have to let an ad run for what can seem like a very long time before seeing any results. 

Instead, create interesting posts that offer valuable and engaging content and boost those posts. That’s not the same as advertising. Producing authentic content is a better idea than to spend time, money and effort in less than effective fill-in-the-blank advertisements. 

Create content that you enjoy and can maintain

If you are a person who doesn’t enjoy writing, it wouldn’t be a good idea to start a blog or base your entire content-strategy focus on blogging.

Most advisors I know talk for a living. And they are good at it. You should use that skill to create content. Of course, if you know who we are and what we do, you know we think you should have your own podcast

Podcasting adds an extra layer of service and value for your clients because it allows them to access your knowledge 24/7. Your podcast also gives prospects a preview of what it will be like to work with you.

On top of that, you can use the content from your podcast to create blogs, social media posts, and videos. This is the kind of strategy that you could maintain and do consistently. If you record one or two podcast episodes a month, think about how many quotes and audio clips you could share on social media.

It’s time for advisors to look at their online presence and consider it is the cost of doing business. These strategies do not always equal obvious and instant lead generation.

Digital strategies are a long play that call advisors to look at ROI differently. And they’re worth every bit of time it takes because, at the end of the day, you’re building your influence, reputation, and making yourself more referable and more available to the people who need your expertise.

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10 Social Media Tools to Elevate Your Team’s Skills

Communication has fundamentally changed. 

As an advisor, you must communicate with your clients and prospects in the medium they prefer, while they are there. This is the truth we live with today. 

I’m talking about getting your firm active on social media.

There are many companies out there who will take care of this for you. They will post for you, engage with your audience, run ads — well, they will pretty much be you online. You can pay anywhere from a small monthly fee to a large retainer for that level of service. 

But consider these two questions before you pay for a social media service. 

Do you really want to outsource? Or would you rather have things handled in-house where you can have more control over who you and your company are online?

If you’ve answered “yes,” to the latter, I totally understand. But where do you find people best suited for the job?

The best thing you can do is hire someone locally who knows your business model, your industry’s rules and regulations, and the best social media platform for communicating to your ideal clients. 

You can find these people but it is hard; they are highly sought after and, most of the time, they come at a premium. If you want to go down this path, post your job on ziprecruiter.com and LinkedIn.  

Once you’ve hired your social media specialist, pay them well, show them a lot of appreciation, let them do what they do, and understand that they don’t need to be sitting at a desk for eight hours every day to do their job. Give them flexibility. 

Sometimes you get lucky and you already have this person in-house. You might even be looking at them over your computer monitor right now. You know this person, you like this person, and, the best thing is, you trust this person. 

So how can you get them trained to do this new social media job? 

Here are some great places to start with social media training:

 

Free

  1. Google SEO and Analytics  
  2. Facebook Advertising 
  3. Instagram for Business
  4. Twitter for Business
  5. How to Use Hootsuite 
  6. Advisor-Centric Social Media Resources  

 

Paid

  1. Basic–Advanced Hootsuite Certifications ($99-$999)
  2. Digital Marketer NanodegreeDigital Marketing NanoDegree ($999)
  3. Boot Camp Digital Social Media Certification ($997)
  4. Advisor-Specific Digital MarketerTraining ($799 with an optional monthly office-hours option for $79/ month)

 

I hope these resources help your social media specialist embark on their role with enthusiasm, creativity, and confidence. Happy learning!

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The Truth About Marketing ROI for Advisors

Marketing is often critiqued or questioned about its ROI. But to be honest, it can be very difficult to measure the TRUE effect of marketing. 

In the past, advisors got consistent results with marketing initiatives like seminars, running ads, or launching referral campaigns. But as marketing evolves, advisors are faced with the reality that one marketing tactic does not make for an effective marketing strategy. Advisors need to look at more metrics and the wider impact of marketing. 

advisors spend too much time chasing the next best marketing tactic because they didn’t allow time for the other tactics and strategy to work.Measurable marketing initiatives like seminars have been successful in the financial industry for a number of reasons. However, as marketing shifts into a more personalized, relationship-focused experience for consumers, more advisors are adopting digital and content marketing initiatives to reach their audiences and bring value to their clients 24/7. 

But because new marketing initiatives do not always equate to provide immediate measurable results, advisors often abandon them before they can see the results they were expecting. In other words, advisors spend too much time chasing the next best marketing tactic because they didn’t allow time for the other tactics and strategy to work. 

The absence of marketing results backed by hard numbers is why many advisors flock to tactics that they think are most measurable. Even if the ROI isn’t remarkable, they know (or think they know) what they can expect. 

 

Try synergistic tactics

 

In many cases, advisors need to consider synergistic tactics that together create more momentum in their businesses: some which create obvious ROI and some which create better businesses. For instance, just doing seminars when you need to fill the pipeline doesn’t generate long-term momentum. Why not pace the seminars, build better credibility by having attendees listen to a specific podcast episode before the event, ask them for topics on a form during a break at the seminar, connect with them on LinkedIn before they leave (or the next day by invitation),and then update them through social media and email every time you publish a new podcast. 

There are tremendous synergies from combining successful traditional marketing tactics with content marketing, social marketing, and email marketing. They complement and build off each other. 

In all my years of doing financial marketing, I’ve seen that the biggest indicator of success is a well-executed idea that is consistently deployed. Even good ideas won’t succeed if there’s no commitment to keeping it going long enough to yield the ROI you need. 

 

This is the truth about marketing ROI: 

 

There are different approaches to marketing for today’s advisor, and you should not expect the same kind of results from all marketing strategies. Some strategies will create short-term results, but if you take the time to see your marketing through the long term, the outcomes will be much more significant.

What can advisors do to get into the right mindset and generate more successful outcomes for their relationship-oriented marketing initiatives? 

 

    • Think beyond the numbers.

When you implement certain digital marketing initiatives like websites and blogs, you might not gain significant revenue from those mediums, but you’re getting a different kind of ROI. You are portraying yourself as a professional, building your credibility, and telling people who you are, what you do, and who you work with. You are enhancing the client experience just as you would by having a nice office reception.

    • Be consistent and patient. 

It takes time to build a recognizable brand. If you are consistently creating content that is unique and resolves your clients’ biggest challenges, it’s only a matter of time before you start seeing results. Even when you think you are not getting results, there is someone who is listening to your podcast or reading your blogs. They are getting to know you and your expertise, and they’re likely to tell their contacts about you.  Consider the long-term results that will come from your consistency.

    • Be proactive and involved. 

Don’t shy away from promoting your work. If you have a great blog, a podcast that you’re proud of, or a resource-filled for your clients, let them know. Take every opportunity you have to promote yourself and your brand. If you meet someone new, add them as a contact to your social networks. If you’ve decided to start a blog, a podcast, or host webinars, find ways to interact with your audience and make them feel like they’re part of the process. For instance, you can ask new contacts about what topics they would like to learn about in your blog and podcast. 

Of course, not all marketing strategies will work for everyone. But before you decide to quit, ask yourself these questions: 

  1. Is your strategy helping prospects experience what it would be like to work with you?
  2. Is your strategy helping you stay top of mind with your contacts? 
  3. Are you providing something that’s useful to your audience? 

If the answer is yes to any of the above, then you should probably keep doing what you’re doing.