Kick Goals Fatigue to the Curb With 5 Simple Tips
January is a popular time to set big goals. “This year I want to… This year will finally be the year I… This is my year…
The year you what?
Write a book?
Start your business?
No matter what your personal goal is, and no matter how much enthusiasm you have for it on January 1st, fatigue ultimately sets in. Only a short time into the new year, I’ll bet your goal that had you jumping out of bed a few weeks ago, now feels like a lot of work. Combined with slow progress, it’s tempting to give up or adjust your trajectory. Do not give up just because it feels too hard before you read on.
Why Many Goals Fail and What You Can Do to Avoid It
For most people, the issue isn’t that the goal is too big, it’s that the path forward is cloudy. They set the goal, often verbally or sometimes in a journal and then go for it. The problem is that the “going for it” isn’t a plan and ends up looking a lot like sitting on the stationary bike at the gym. You clock up miles but don’t move and inch.
A Map is Key to Beat Goals Fatigue and Create Success
A Goals Map is essentially your stairway from street level to the top of the building. It puts on paper not only your BIG goal but also creates a tangible path forward. Moreover, it gives you interim milestones and successes to celebrate along the way. The celebration is essential to keep up your momentum and motivation – after all, the top of that building is a long climb.
What is a Goals Map?
A Goals Map is a lot like any other map. It takes you from point A to point Z and helps you to plot your stops along the way. On a long road trip, there are often detours that open up new pathways and sustain the adventure. With a Goals Map, you can incorporate those turn offs and visualize how they will help you get to your final destination too.
At the simplest level, when building your Goals Map, you start with a goal in mind and fill in the boxes from your starting point to the end goal. Think of it not as a stone tablet or work plan but more like a treasure map. Once you reach each spot on the map, it makes the step to the very next box clear.
The Y-Axis, (Vertical) is your path to your primary goal.
The X-Axis (Horizontal) is where you can further flesh out steps from your primary goal (Y) and set additional goals that are related your original path.
Here’s a sample for someone who wants to turn their side hustle into a full-time business. You’ll notice that not every single step is represented at a granular level, but the map outlines a clear path forward.
5 Hot Tips for Using Your Goals Map to Kick Goals Fatigue to the Curb
1. Write It Down
Do not create the goals map in your head. Grab a notebook or your favorite online app and sketch it out. When you write down your goals, studies have shown that you increase your chance of reaching them.
2. Focus on Your Next Step
It can be tough to know all the steps between where you are now and your goal. When you are building your goals map, in each box ask yourself, “What’s my next logical step?” and don’t worry about four steps from here.
3. Build It From the Top Down or the Bottom Up
A trick you may want to use is to build your map from the top down. Ask yourself, “What needs to happen right before this is possible?” Decide what works for you – top down or bottom up and don’t worry about the way most people do it.
4. Post It
Now that you have your Goals Map put it somewhere you can see it and refer to it. There’s no point in writing it out if you never look at it again. Post it somewhere that you can refer to it and be reminded of where you are in the process.
5. Color It in and Check It Off
It’s powerful to see your progress and easy to feel like you aren’t making any. Use your map to help visualize progress. When you’ve completed a step, color it, check it off or put a pin in it. Equally important, don’t forget to celebrate.
Goals fatigue can stop you from creating the life and work that you most want. Instead of giving up and getting in bed or waiting for December for talk of “next year,” try a Goals Map. It works.
Capturing the Attention of Millennials: Be Relevant and Digital
I know Gen Y are stereotyped as being transient, digital natives who are impossible to capture, but that is just the world we live in today. Technology has caused a proliferation of advancements and the financial services industry is (or should be) feeling the pressure. We have seen the rise of the robos, fee compression, virtual advisors, and various regulatory changes, all culminating to challenge financial advisors to find ways to cut through the noise to demonstrate their value.
Developing an effective marketing and lead generation process that’s tailored to millennials is vital for two key reasons:
- It’s the only way you’re ever going to capture their attention
- It’s the only way your business can remain profitable serving this demographic
Let’s be honest; there is a bit of an over-hype and obsession with millennials right now (don’t get me wrong, I’m obviously a fan). Nearly every business is starting to ask itself, “How do we capture this next generation?” And they’re spending tons of time and resources devoted to this one demographic. So think about all the different emails, social media and digital advertising you’re competing with, even beyond just the financial services industry. Whatever you put out there will have to be niche to their needs in order to capture their attention – and will have to feel authentic if you want to build enough trust to get them to engage.
As you begin to assess your ability (or desire) to serve younger investors, the question about profitability will inevitably come up. The traditional marketing advisors do today for their HNW investors is just not an effective or profitable way to target millennials. No COIs, business networking, client events, newsletters – that takes up way too much of your time. Instead, you should take a more scalable approach using digital marketing and messaging that actually resonates with your intended target market. Serving millennials should not be a loss leader; that’s exactly why segmenting and tailoring your marketing will be vital with this demographic.
Bringing it back to our friends Marg, Chip and Drew
In order to assess what type of marketing will effectively capture the attention of our three millennial personas, we need to answer these questions:
- What are their aspirations?
- What are their problems?
- When is the best time (in their lives) to capture their attention?
Marg seems to be more reactive and short-sighted, only seeking advice when there’s a triggering event causing her stress. Chip and Drew tend to have relatively similar characteristics, which you’ll notice quite a bit throughout our research. Aside from income, assets and debt levels, Chip and Drew tend to have the same needs and preferences. This means that you can take a relatively similar marketing approach in terms of messaging, but you’ll need a slightly different approach for each party later on, when we get into fees and service models.
Chip and Drew tend to be a little more financially mature than Marg; they look at longer-term goals and aspirations. The only exception would be that, when it comes to how these three define financial success, they all answered, “Having enough savings to retire when I want” as their top choice.
With the goal of tailoring your marketing messaging and approach to effectively engage these different segments, here are our recommended approaches.
Marketing to Marg
Topical blog posts and social media are the way to go. Even though Marg might not be ready for or in need of your professional advice quite yet, you can still find scalable, automated ways to prospect her (with the long-term goal of eventually capturing her once she becomes more like Chip and Drew). The key is to identify those triggers that cause Marg to seek help and find a way to insert yourself into the picture through digital marketing.
Writing a blog with topical posts that address key questions or issues that Marg might Google or research in her time of need is a great starting point. Think of blog titles like: A 5-Step Guide to Building a Budget, What to Do When You Have Credit Card Debt, and How to Improve Your Credit Score. Even though blogging might feel like it takes a lot of initial effort putting together the content, once it’s written, it can be leveraged in so many ways that you can actually realize a return on that investment of your time.
One blog post can be broken down into 10-20 different social media posts, posted on many different social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.), and can be used for months after the blog goes live. And, over time, that content will accumulate and improve your website’s visibility in search engines (that’s search engine optimization) to increase visitors and visits from people like Marg.
Marketing to Chip and Drew
Build a targeted marketing campaign focused on life event planning. Retirement is still a very important issue when it comes to emerging wealth prospects like Chip and Drew. Not only do they define financial success as the ability to retire when they want, they also cite retirement planning as the top financial issue they want more help with. However, big life events are the key trigger for Chip and Drew to take action on their finances. And so the key to capturing these millennials is by striking at the peak of their interest – when these life events happen.
But before you can market messaging and content specifically focused on life events like marriage, first-home purchase, first child, and change of career, you have to first address any potential branding issues. If you’re serious about wanting to engage this group, your brand and website cannot be hyper-focused on traditional financial advisor themes like retirement, investing and wealth management. Expand your current brand or create a separate brand geared to this demographic that focuses on financial planning for life events (which can still include retirement as one key component). Then build topical messaging and content that plays to each life event, like “3 Financial Musts After Having Your First Child.”
If you’re fully committed, you could even take it a step further by implementing marketing that specifically targets millennials going through specific life events. For example, you could pay to promote social media posts or ads that only target millennials between the ages of 28-30, the average age most millennials are getting married . Maybe you purchase ads on blogs or other websites like The Knot for newlyweds or The Bump for new parents. You could also identify social influencers who blog or speak about life events and other topics affecting your target market and look for cross-promotional opportunities. The more targeted your marketing and content, the more likely you are to cut through the noise and capture millennial attention.
This brings me to a key point
Marg, Chip and Drew are not niches; they are merely personas representing 3 key segments within the millennial cohort. However, niche marketing is a very powerful tool that should not be overlooked when discussing effective ways to market to Gen Y. The more niche your content and targeted your advertising approach, the more effective your marketing will become in grabbing their attention. Case in point: A 33-year-old dentist is much more likely to click on something titled “Dos and Don’ts of Tackling Debt from Dentistry School” than a generic title like “Dos and Don’ts of Tackling Student Loans.” You want millennials to feel your content to is talking specifically to them – and that you’re a resource who understands the needs and issues of people just like them.
To those advisors who still aren’t really interested in serving millennials, but are using this series as an opportunity to review industry trends – this niche thing is not just for millennials; it can be an effective marketing tactic to use with all generations of all ages. There are so many changes going on right now in financial services that can confusion among investors and muddle your value proposition as a financial advisor. Recent technical innovation has caused a proliferation of many different business models in our industry. You’ve always competed with DIY platforms, but now (whether you like it or not), you’re being compared to robo and virtual advisors who likely spend a lot more on digital marketing and targeting than your traditional advisor. That’s why niche marketing can play a key role in helping you to cut through this noise and grab the attention of potential prospects (no matter what age they might be).
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