Creating a marketing plan is often a daunting task for financial advisers, but it does not have to be. Here are a few ways you can get started.
The world of marketing is an interesting place to be.
There are so many ways to communicate to people and it doesn't have to cost a fortune.
While I think this is exciting, for many financial advisers it is overwhelming and daunting. What works? What doesn't? Who does it? Where do we start?
If you are like most financial advisers, you probably suffer from lack of time, lack of budget, lack of marketing knowledge and even think it is way too hard.
Similar to when you create a financial plan for a client, you need to do some fact finding before you write your marketing plan. The more you can understand who it is you want to work with, what their problems are and how you can solve them, the easier it will be.
Word of warning – a marketing plan without an implementation plan doesn't cut it in today's busy work environments.
So, what should you consider in a modern day marketing plan?
First of all, there needs to be some information about who your ideal client is, specifically their characteristics and you should be able to articulate the value that they will gain from working with you.
Below are seven key fundamentals that should be completed before you delve into the marketing plan:
1. Create a profile of the ideal client
2. Explain what your clients’ financial concerns are.
3. Demonstrate how you can solve their problems.
4. Determine the benefits – what's in it for them?
5. Explain your value in the eyes of your client.
6. Develop your key marketing messages – typically five to six, depending on the size of your financial advice business.
7. Determine your brand voice – how and why will you communicate.
Once those seven points are completed, you are then ready to work out where the ideal client is and how you can reach them.
In this article, I would also like to suggest five marketing ideas that I believe should be in every financial adviser’s marketing plan.
1. Word of mouth marketing
You may have heard me say, “It’s not your client’s job to get you clients, it’s yours.” Many financial advisers agree, but when I ask advisers, “How do you gain new clients?” They typically respond with: “Through word of mouth.”
The scary thing about that is, while it’s their number one client attraction strategy, there’s actually no strategy written to support it. Rather, it’s what we call a “hope-based strategy” – hoping and praying that one of their clients will remember them and refer a friend.
We are in extraordinary times, where we are regularly sharing information online, recommending accommodation, restaurants and service providers to others easily and readily.
Word of mouth is everywhere, so you need to make sure that your business installs the right strategies to leverage this and that people have the right information readily available to share with people all the time.
2. Digital reputation
A modern marketing strategy needs to have a plan to ensure the digital footprint is created, implemented and managed effectively. We all know how important your reputation is. Nine times out of 10, it’s how you get your work.
Once you have created your brand, it will be far easier for you to develop your digital reputation. The interesting shift that we’re now seeing in Australia is what we call “blurred lines.”
Years ago, Facebook was very much your own personal page, and LinkedIn was very much a professional world. The two never really impacted the other. That is no longer. We enjoy interacting with many different platforms and devices. How you look online can equate to how your reputation is perceived.
3. Educational-based marketing
Educating people about the value of what it is that you do is an ongoing process in the world of financial advice.
An effective marketing plan should have a content marketing strategy that communicates the value through case studies, client reviews and information that will educate the client about the various options available to people.
4. Client segmentation
It doesn’t matter what size your business is. Your marketing plan should address the opportunity of client segmentation. Segmenting client bases is becoming a much easier task for advisers now because of the improved technology platforms being used.
Segmenting your client base on a regular basis leads to excellent results. First of all, you can identify new services that can improve your ability to retain clients.
You can create space for innovative thinking so you can stand out from all the others. You can create targeted educational-based marketing messages leading to potential new revenue opportunities, and you can understand your client’s persona far better, which means you’re going to build a better business.
5. Social business
Some have mastered the art of social media, and they are now transforming into social businesses. Every marketing plan should have some element of social marketing in it.
Social marketing enables you to promote your value, your benefits and your reputation. Identify which social platforms your ideal clients are using and build your strategy to educate them about the value of advice.
Rachel Staggs, director, SRS Coaching & Consulting
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