We are approaching the last quarter of the year. You know, the “holiday” quarter. It seems like the last month of the year is spent in a flurry of activity that is not focused on business growth. And that’s O.K. The last quarter of the year can still be very effective in growing your practice. I’m here to tell you, there’s still time to make the most out of this year!
Here are 4 steps to an effective end of year Marketing Plan.
1. Review your current Marketing Plan
What did you set out to accomplish this year? What strategies and tactics did you put into place? Have you kept current with your tactics or are you still stuck in the old days? Take a look at your plan and establish what you did well and what you failed to do.
Use these questions to gauge how effective your plan has been this year:
- Did you target a specific audience in your marketing? (Targeting everyone is in effect targeting no one.)
- Did you target affluent prospects by sprucing up your brand? (To attract affluent clients you’ll need to invest in your brand.)
- Did you create a downloadable brochure designed to encourage affluent prospects to take action? (The affluent are on the internet with their ipads looking for information to download. Take advantage of this.)
- Did you use your website as a prospecting tool? (Hint – this is a big opportunity to take advantage of in this economy.)
- Is your target market depleting their assets? (Hint – you may need to update your target market/s if your answer is yes.)
- Have you articulated how you’re different from the competition in your Value Proposition? (If not, you MUST do this. There are too many advisors who look the same. Position your firm and claim your expertise.)
- Did you conduct a SWOT analysis of your firm? (If no, take the time this quarter to analyze this data.)
- Did you follow your annual marketing calendar? (If you don’t have a calendar, you should put one in place by the end of this year.)
2. Focus on three tactics
Based on your answers to the above questions, create a plan to leverage the remainder of the year and get working on opportunities for the New Year. There’s no better time than the present to take an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. In order for your firm to be the best it can be, changes need to be made. Identify what those changes are.
From your existing Marketing Plan, what were the best three strategies that brought you new clients this year? How can you build on this? Since it’s impossible to do everything you want to do right now, direct your focus to three marketing tactics for the remainder of the year.
Have you held a client appreciation event this year? If not, consider planning one. The cornerstone of a successful practice is showing your existing clients how much you appreciate them. My clients are well aware of the importance of creating a Client Service Matrix that makes them shine and be worthy of referrals. So, why not schedule a wine tasting event or holiday party?
3. Decide your budget
How much do want to spend in the last quarter to grow your practice? Not sure how much to spend, review the New Rules of Marketing to learn more. You should be willing to budget the amount necessary to attract the right kind of clients. This is one of the industries where if your budget is too low, it really shows.
4. Plan your calendar
Take your three tactics from above and put them into an excel spreadsheet. Plan the dates for each tactic. Create a list of action items for each tactic. Think about what comes first in the chain of events that must occur for your tactics to be successful.
Take action! All the information in the world is not helpful unless it is acted upon. Make the commitment to a successful end of year and you could be looking at a practice that is the best it can be!