Are you making mistakes with your marketing? How would you know if you were? You don’t know what you don’t know unless you educate yourself by analyzing your strategic direction, reading marketing blogs and books, and course correcting to avoid problems.
Working with advisors for the last ten years, I’ve seen a lot of mistakes, errors in judgment, and miscalculations. The most common error I’ve seen is advisors who don’t think they need to spend time marketing.
In my talks and presentations I like to say that even if you have been in business six plus years, you should still spend 25% of your time marketing your practice.
Many inquiries I receive on my website are framed in questions advisors have about the effectiveness of their marketing. Answering these questions is difficult without a significant time investment.
Imagine if you will, that a prospective client came to you with questions about their investment allocations. Would you be able to give them a quick and easy answer without a complete picture of their financial situation? No, of course not. You’d need to know how much they have saved, what their goals are, and where their money is invested before you could give a complete answer.
Since I’m not able to give an in-depth appraisal or recommendations for all the marketing questions I receive, I’ve decided to write a seven-week blog series about financial advisor marketing mistakes.
Shiny object syndrome
How are you handling your marketing? Do you maintain a consistent plan all year long or do you jump from tactic to tactic constantly shaking things up until dizziness sets in? Running a successful practice requires juggling tasks and duties, but marketing is one thing that shouldn’t be constantly changing.
I feel there is a real need for advisors to candidly appraise their competitive advantage, assess where they are making errors, and make a plan to overcome their challenges. Sometimes this entails a complete re-branding of their firm and other times it requires delegation of their marketing to an outside firm.
Whatever the case for your business, I’m going to outline what I feel are the seven biggest marketing and sales mistakes that advisors make. Believe me, there are many more than seven, but I’m going to stick with seven for brevity’s sake.
Each week I will post a new mistake and update the list here on this page. Check back Tuesday each week to make sure you are not making any of these mistakes in your firm.
Here are the mistakes:
Are you marketing to everyone and anyone? If so, you are really marketing to no one! Advisors would make their lives far simpler if they could narrow down their target market and specialize in the needs of one to three niche markets.
Be strategic and focus your practice on a group of ideal clients that you would enjoy working with.
Template websites have many issues that prevent advisors from taking full advantage of inbound marketing. Not only that, a custom website allows utilization of marketing tactics that help a firm grow smarter and be more productive. With a custom website, advisors can attract their ideal clients effortlessly using branding as the basis of creating engagement.
Getting to the heart of an advisor’s competitive advantage helps to shine a light on the true value provided to ideal clients. It’s not the standard “Who we are, who we serve, and how we do it.” Even more important, once you decide upon the secret sauce, calling attention to it on your website is where you’ll have success.
Cultivating referrals and getting in front of prospective clients are both real benefits of implementing a business networking strategy. Do you do any networking? Are you getting out of the office? Do you have a good network of professionals to refer to your clients when they need professional expertise?
Clients are attracted to your services because they want and need your expertise to help them achieve their goals. But don’t make the mistake of failing to “sell the dream” of the emotional benefits of working with you. We are all driven by emotions. Some of us want to get away from “pain” while others want to experience “pleasure.” Connect with prospective clients in conversations by discussing the dream of achieving financial freedom.
Creating a professional brand for your firm will help you attract ideal clients from day one. There are many factors that make up a “brand” from your firm name to the way your office is decorated. If you plan your brand based on who you want to be in five years, you’ll be on the way to branding success.
What is your value to clients? What mistakes have you helped them avoid? How has this made a difference in their lives? Learning to sell your value means having the right conversations with your clients and prospective clients and getting comfortable with talking about value.
Well that’s it for the 7 Financial Advisor Marketing Mistakes. How many were applicable to your practice? What did you learn? More importantly, what will you do now? Success often means implementing new tactics and behaviors but it also means giving up old beliefs and habits. I hope you found value in this series. Please leave me a comment below if you have questions.