When you attract more high-quality leads into your financial planning practice you can increase your revenue and spring from your plateau. However, scattered efforts to implement this straightforward notion often soak up an independent financial advisor’s resources. You fail to show up regularly, and you exhaust yourself trying. To create momentum and maintain order in client attraction you must follow a marketing system.
Developing a system that you or your team can follow day after day, week after week, to know exactly where and when to direct your energy you must first prioritize your efforts. This means establishing rings of focus where you build from your core, expanding systematically as you have resources to support you.
Let’s take a closer look at how this nesting concept applies to your marketing:
- Home Base: At the heart of your system lies your branded content sharing platform – your Home Base. This is a blog, video channel, podcast, or other regularly published content that appeals to your high-value hyper target that you or a team member create and post. Set a schedule for frequency (whether it is semi-weekly, weekly, biweekly or other) and a decide on the messages you want to share. This is the non-negotiable, must-do marketing effort that you will complete no matter how busy you are. As the top priority in your client attraction marketing plan the Home Base establishes the rhythm you need to stay in front of you audience consistently.
- Social Sharing: While it may seem obvious to share your content through social media channels that appeal to your audience (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube) be sure to delineate this step in your system. Distribute the link to your home base content (with context, please!) to your network of followers on all of your chosen social outlets. Don’t forget to email it out to your prospect and client list as part of your cultivation initiative, too. Note: Share more than once! You can share this one piece multiple times a day until you’re ready to share the next post. Then, mix this content into your on-going rotation using a social media queueing system such as Buffer or MeetEdgar.
- Social Media Campaigns: Rip a page from the advertising agency playbook and use your content in a subject-themed campaign over the course of 4-8 weeks. Select and schedule 3-4 posts per week by breaking down your content into smaller bites. Proactively post, but schedule in advance for the most efficiency [Click to learn how to create your own campaign].
- Content Partners: Who else has a loyal following similar to the audience you want to attract? Are they using a content platform regularly? Identify these content partners and offer to showcase their work on your blog, interview them on your podcast, or host them for a webinar. You get the dual benefit of exposing yourself to a whole new list of people and expanding the value you provide to your existing followers. You take make this exponentially valuable by hosting an online summit with multiple partners that present complementary content. (example: Implement Now).
- Referral Partners: If you focus too early on Centers of Influence you waste ways too much time sipping coffee with people who will probably never send a lead your way. Once you have a solid content strategy operational, then determine who the most valuable types of Tier 1 partners are. Focus here to develop relationships for easy referrals. You’ll likely find these people from a subset of your content partners.
- Media/Journalists: After you create and share content regularly you may find that journalists reach out to you for your expertise. You’ll be well-positioned to seize relevant opportunities; but you will also want a proactive strategy. To layer in public relations and media exposure you can take a few different approaches, including following and engaging influential journalists on Twitter, commenting on a journalist’s blog with regularity, proactively pitching a story, or leveraging a PR consultant to help you with outreach.
- Paid Ads: Most independent financial advisors do not feel that they have the budget to run paid ads. Often times, however, highly targeted direct response ads on audience-specific sites can be inexpensive and effective. Facebook advertising, when you’re ready to commit to an on-going test-and-learn strategy, is extraordinarily powerful and can be effective at a low daily investment. This is not an area to dabble; you want to have your relationship marketing system in place to make the spend worthwhile.
Once you establish and contribute regularly to your home base channel you can work you way toward the perimeter. As you achieve success you may add more team members to help you take on the effort.
This order is not set in stone. Decide where your interests, talents, and strengths are to build the outer rings. One layer at a time, you will create a client attraction system to expand your practice without overwhelming you or your team.
Kristin is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. Managing her own firm, she grew it from zero to six figures in less than three years, completely from scratch. In 2014 Kristin transitioned full time into training and coaching, where she now helps independent financial advisors to grow their firms.