4 Proven & Easy-to-Execute Tactics to Attract Ideal Prospects
It’s easy to get lost in the service, administrative, and compliance side your business while pushing aside the work needed to attract the ideal prospects.
There are simple strategies and tactics that often get started and stopped over and over. It’s a cycle of marketing misfortune. Marketing is often the weak link in an advisors practice and it’s almost always the first “expense’ that gets cut or the first “task” that falls off the plate.
Ready to learn FOUR proven and easy-to-execute tactics, plus ONE critical strategy to help you attract more ideal prospects?
1. Invite People to Your Social Channels
Every time I speak with advisors, it amazes me how poorly they execute this simple initiative. Whether it’s a lack of belief in social media or online marketing, it doesn’t really matter. Digital networking is here to stay and if you’re not connected to everyone you should or could be connected to, you’re not properly maximizing this opportunity.
How many people do you know who you aren’t connected to? It’s a massive opportunity for your practice. Being connected socially helps you:
- Stay in touch with your network.
- Stay top of mind with your audience.
- Build your influence.
- Grow your brand.
- Expand your COI base and reach their audiences (referrals)
- Expand your Ideal Prospect base.
- Encourage and inspire Clients to refer more often and more easily.
- Ultimately, significantly increase referrals.
- Understand your audience segments and be in social networks they use.
- Use personal message when inviting.
- Value of your social network and treat it accordingly.
2. ‘Recommended List’ Social Inviting
Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook all make recommendations for new connections for you. They do this to keep you inspired to continue to use their social network and to help you find new opportunities to expand your business. Respect these “connection recommendations” otherwise you may lose your ability to invite. If you play along and obey the network’s etiquette, you can grow your network by 10-50 new connections every month. It’s a quick and easy way to grow your digital network – just don’t abuse it.
While most social networks have abuse protocols in place they still want you to succeed. Do what they allow you to do and take advantage of their recommendations.
- I recommend only inviting 50-100 per week via LinkedIn.
- Twitter has no limits, follow as many as you wish and hope for reciprocal follows. ‘Unfollow’ when your ‘Following’ list gets too high. Twitter has a ratio of Follow-to-Being-Followed – stay within it.
- On Facebook, add friends of ideal friends.
3. Social Stalking
‘Social stalking’ is by no means new but it’s not often leveraged by the average advisor in their marketing arsenal. I’d recommend implementing a simple ‘social stalking’ tactics in your social media strategy.
‘Social stalking’ starts with finding regional and/or local influencers. Once you’ve connected with them, you monitor their online behavior. When you find a relevant social post you ‘like’, thoughtfully comment and share it with your network. Make sure to tag them or a subject in your comment, it helps you get noticed by their network and people interested in that subject. It’s a fantastic way to expand your reach and get noticed by your audience’s networks. You’ll ignite connection requests, perhaps slowly but, if done well, surely. I get 5-10 connection requests per month on LinkedIn. Social stalking may appear selfish but you’re also helping your target get noticed in your network. It’s a win-win-win situation; peer/you/prospect.
- Help Others To Help Yourself
- Add Value with Your Comments, Don’t Challenge or Embarrass
- Identify 10-20 You Can Monitor
- Share Comments @ 5-10 Per Week
4. Invite Guests To Your Podcast/Blog
Business is about relationships. The relationships you benefit most from are often with people who have influence with your ideal audience. In some cases they can add valuable expertise to your audience’s needs and other times they may be in completely unrelated industries. Obviously, the related industry experts and centers of influence are the real opportunity for you and your business.
When you’ve identified experts to follow and monitor, after having built up some credibility and rapport online, it’s a good idea to consider inviting the most engaged peers as guests on your podcast or blog. You can accomplish several key benefits from this: 1) extract expertise that educates your audience and promotes their business, 2) one posted, gives them a link to promote your podcast/blog to their audience, and 3) shows your audience how committed you are to adding value to your relationship with them.
- Use a thoughtful letter or email to invite local peers.
- Be aware of local influencers in case you meet them out and about.
- Help peers identify topics that will appeal to your audience.
- Package your podcast/blog professionally and make it easy to share
ONE PROVEN MUST-HAVE STRATEGY
A Compelling Brand
Who’d have thought a ‘branding’ guy would suggest the need for a compelling brand in attracting ideal prospects online? I preach this daily. It’s the single most important marketing strategy there is for this profession. Be seen as different, better or at least relevant (valuable to a specific audience).
A good advisor brand creates intrigue and establishes credibility quickly. Imagine the waste of money and time in creating and implementing marketing tactics without an appealing brand when they finally get to “meet” you. Advisors I talk with experience a lot of pain when they consider the wasted marketing efforts and dollars they’ve spent without a better story and image.
Cyborgs Are the Future for Advisors
Becoming cyborgs is the way to go for financial advisers…blending robotics and humans into one organism.
You see, I am convinced that robo-advice models will succeed and prosper.
I am also convinced that human advisers will succeed and prosper.
I am further convinced that some of each will fail entirely and die, but in Darwinian fashion the most adaptable will survive and prosper. Smart financial advisers will work out how to become cyborgs and build an offering which is a blend of human and machine – or at least their practice will.
Despite the fear-mongering when it comes to robo’s the reality is that there are many great arguments for automated transaction systems, or robotic product delivery. Cost reduction for the consumer, cost reduction for the practitioner….efficiency, speed, convenience for all….elimination of the frustrating and time consuming service model supplied by the industry to low value transactional customers….and let’s be bluntly honest: some people DO just need a product solution at some stages of their life, and DO NOT need holistic advice at some points.
Robo-advice makes sense commercially, and it can meet a need in life stages planning for many consumers. It also happens to appeal to a segment of society who are happy to make their own decisions and transact from the comfort of their pyjamas during the ads in their evening television program, and who are unlikely to engage in full advice. It is worth remembering that this last type of consumer segment is growing at the expense of the traditional intermediated product delivery systems of distribution.
However, machines do not “manage” relationships and behaviour – humans manage humans. Humans tend to rebel against the concept (or slightest inference actually) that they are being manipulated or are at the mercy of computers and machines. Machines and automated systems exist for our convenience, don’t they? Nobody wants a “SkyNet”.
……So the human adviser remains in the equation……
When we strip out all the industry jargon and hyperbole the primary function of a financial adviser is to manage clients behaviour. We don’t really manage their money – other people do the actual money management. We don’t supply products….we source them from a supplier. What we do is manage their behaviour and expectations. We coach them. Machines don’t do that yet….and when they are able to (and they will be), most consumers will shy away from being managed by a machine.
But we cannot escape those arguments supporting robo-offerings as they make too much sense for clients and for us. In fact I suspect robo-advice will be a very good thing for smart adviser practices.
Believe it or not, I believe robo-offerings can help us get clients.
For most consumers there is a period early in life when their financial advice needs are fairly basic, and also there is a period later in life where all the planning has been done and consumers are moving into “drawdown” territory. In between those times, life gets somewhat busier and complexity increases substantially.
Advice delivered by humans should be focussed upon the complexity phase. Apart from the fact that this is the period of a consumers life when there are the most variables to consider in their planning needs, it is also the phase where behaviour management is a distinct help to the achievement of the consumers goals and objectives. Generally people will only do uncomfortable or new things if they have a high degree of trust and confidence in the person guiding them to do so, and establishing that level of trust – or the bond between two people – is where robo-offerings will struggle to compete.
However, when it comes to identifying a fairly simple need which has a product solution then robo’s will certainly be able to deliver a solution more cost effectively and faster than the human adviser can, who is bound by increasing complexity of their own called “compliance” every time they have to interact with another human being.
The smart adviser will identify those areas of their clients lives and those product solutions which work well for those times and find a transactional solution for their clients to access. They will build that transactional, no-advice, solution into the service offering that their practice puts into the market. In other words they will embrace and incorporate robo-offerings into their business model.
Not just because consumers want them or need them, and not just because it is cost effective to do so. Not even because we’d like to have a commercial revenue stream which sidesteps the more time-consuming (and therefore labour intensive and expensive) compliance requirements.
The reason smart advisers will do it is because it will help gather the next generation of clients for the firm before the complexity triggers drive them to seek advice elsewhere.
The robo-advice solution caters to those who have an identifiable need for financial services of one sort or another, but who do not yet need holistic bespoke planning. It is an entry point for consumers to become customers of the firm, and for the firm to then work upon converting those transactional customers into advised clients for the future.
Robotics are a part of our world and our future. We need to figure out how to make them a part of our business too, but in such a way that our business uses the robo’s, rather than being used by them. Humans and robo’s integrated into the same service business in order to deliver they type of solutions and assistance that consumers and customers and clients want at different stages of their life.
The future for the financial advisory practice is cyborgs.
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