Home

Attract Ideal Clients with Authenticity

All financial advisors want to know how to connect with their ideal clients online. There are countless strategies and technologies to help them with their marketing, some useful, and some not so much. But there is one technique that has always worked: authentic marketing. Be genuine with your ideal prospects, and they will soon be your ideal clients.

Financial advisors can authentically market themselves by:

  1. Defining brand benefits and values.
  2. Demonstrating expertise.
  3. Authentically engaging their audience.

Define Your Brand Benefits, Express Your Values

As an investigator begins to look around for a financial solution, they will try to find an advisor that provides the services they need. They also want to find someone who aligns with their deeper values. As people scroll through articles, posts, and tweets, they continuously compare the values presented against their own. When the benefits you offer match a prospect’s needs and your values mirror theirs, the chance of engagement is very high.

Allow people to get to know you and your company, the REAL you and your company. One way to establish your values is to identify experiences where you felt your company succeeded; what were the values that made that success possible? Identifying these values can take time and is an ever-evolving process. It is, however, the first and most crucial step in achieving authenticity.

Virgin CEO Richard Branson said,

“Too many companies want their brands to reflect the idealized, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character.”

It is essential to make sure that the language you use to express your value attracts the ideal searcher. Think about what a potential client would type into a search engine. What words would they use? What topic would be most important to them? Or even better, imagine what they would ask a digital assistant like Siri or Alexa. How would they phrase their questions and concerns?

Demonstrate Your Expertise

One of the main benefits of authentic marketing is how it helps financial advisors establish relationships of trust. When you use your online engagement to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise, your audience will come to see you as a thought leader in your field, and you will become an influencer to those most interested in what you have to offer.

Research company, Edelman, reported,

“53 percent of respondents say ‘whether you trust the company that owns the brand or brand that makes the product’ is the second most crucial factor when purchasing a new brand. Trust is second only to price (64 percent)

The secret to becoming an authentic thought leader in your marketing is consistently delivering valuable insights. Giving away useful advice can sometimes be a challenging exercise for an advisor whose primary product is advice. It feels a little bit like giving away the milk for free.

In deciding what level of insight to use in your marketing, it can be tempting to hold back the good stuff. This is generally a mistake. There will always be proprietary information you only share with clients, but try and provide as much as possible.

On top of the reputation-enhancing benefits of such content, valuable insights delivered through your marketing material can also have an incredible effect on your search engine optimization or SEO. Over the last decade, Google has worked hard to hone its algorithms to reward copy that provides a rich user experience.

Authentically Engage Your Audience

Possibly the best thing about authentic marketing is it makes your job more meaningful. By capturing why you do what you do and sharing that with your audience, you reconnect with your own reasons for becoming a financial advisor in the process.

As you interact with your audience and develop deeper connections, the lines between your job and life might start to blur.

Marketing guru, Gary Vaynerchuck, said of authentic marketing,

“True success lies in telling your story. In authenticity, hustle, and patience. In caring fiercely. In valuing legacy over currency. There no longer has to be a difference between who you are and what you do.”

Your authentic marketing must extend across all aspects of your ideal prospect and client interactions. Once you have established yourself as an expert who shares significant value with your audience, it is essential that you then live up to those standards. If your advisory behavior is not consistent with your marketing, you will soon feel a backlash.

Authenticity is not a static concept. By focusing on your brand value and demonstrating your expertise, you can continue to attract your ideal clients through authentic marketing.

How Financial Advisors Should Maintain Their Business During COVID-19

This is an unprecedented time, and financial advisors are under unique stress trying to maintain their business during the quarantine. Though some aspects of your day-to-day business will change, you still have opportunities to delight your existing clients and attract new ones. Ultimately, if you proceed strategically, you can place your business in a better position than it was even before the crisis.

Maintain Client Relationships

Though you are likely working remotely, you should still stay in contact with your entire book of business. Talk with every one of your clients and offer them guidance through this changing financial market, as well as asking after their family’s health and wellness. This is where you can have the biggest impact by sharing your perspective on the unfolding situation.  These actions ultimately encourage client loyalty and future referrals.

Given the unpredictability of the market, any clients who were thinking about changing advisors are more likely to do so now. The bottom line is:  if you can’t be present for your clients during a challenging time, then you need to reevaluate your service model.

It’s also worth noting that younger investors haven’t seen this volatility before.  This is an opportunity to establish yourself as a trusted partner in these matters and to deepen your relationships with your younger clients, which will reinforce the added value you bring to the table.

Don’t Disregard Opportunities for Growth

Though it may not seem like it, this is perfect timing to be focused on growing your business.  When you are doing a great job of servicing your clients, you will naturally have the opportunity to grow your business with money in motion from your existing clients, as well as referrals.  Given that everyone is experiencing the volatility of the market, many are looking for financial perspective during this unprecedented time. When clients feel taken care of, they will frequently express gratitude for your time and reassurance.  This is the perfect timing to let them know that you are available to speak with their friends and family members who might have questions or concerns about their financial situation.

How to Conduct Referrals While Maintaining Social Distancing

Though social distancing has changed the way you conduct referrals, you can use technology to make a seamless introduction. Invite both parties (your existing client and their referral) to a zoom conference, and then your existing client can step off the call when appropriate. Alternatively, you can use conference calling, but don’t discount the personal touch of a video call.

After the referral signs up for your services, take the time to write a personal thank you card to your existing client. To encourage future referrals, I recommend including a gift card for Postmates or a similar food delivery service. This will encourage future referrals!

Conclusion

Though this is an unexpected situation, it provides the opportunity to truly enhance relationships with your clients. By adjusting your business model, you can continue to deepen your client relationships and establish yourself as a trusted resource in this challenging time.

 

The Power of Discipline in Driving Results!

When I work with clients to help ramp up their business, I often see the same trend: They start out being extremely excited and involved for the first few weeks, and then something else comes up, and they begin losing focus. Being able to focus on the end result for months at a time is a product of more than just motivation or aspiration: It’s discipline. Read on for tips on how to build this discipline and make it work for you!

Set Incremental Goals

One of the biggest problems in setting a long-term goal is that it can take a long time to earn that feeling of accomplishment. By setting smaller goals along the way—and celebrating those wins—you can hold onto that motivation as you sprint to the finish line. In the business world, some good examples of small goals include a target number of leads, new clients, smaller content projects, and increasing overall traffic to your website. By creating these goals and working towards them, you can grow your business while still finding joy in your day-to-day work.

Celebrate the Unexpected

When working towards long-term goals, while an unexpected obstacle can suddenly come from nowhere and hijack your plans, it’s essential to keep on track and not let anything derail them altogether. And If your plans fail altogether, keep in mind the upside of your focus on your plans, you’ve tried something new and learned from the experience—both worth their weight in gold in the business world!

Don’t Get Discouraged

One of the biggest problems with lofty goals is that it can take too long to see results. Anyone who has started working out can attest to the fact that improvements at the gym can take months to attain, even if you’re going constantly. The same is true when it comes to the discipline of building your business, and it’s essential to adhere to the same schedules even if results aren’t immediate.

Change Your Perceptions

Ultimately, building discipline is about changing your frame of mind. Don’t think of your long-term goals as something to reach for, but rather as something that needs to be completed to give you and your family the lives they deserve. By making these goals one of your central focuses in life, you’ll be able to maintain your motivation regardless of what obstacles appear as if they are standing in your way.

As you work towards your business goals, it’s essential to bolster your motivation so you don’t lose sight of what’s important. By building attainable goals, changing your perception, and celebrating smaller wins, you’ll be able to create long-term discipline that will serve you throughout your career.

Perfecting Your Client Attraction Message

Have you ever had a moment when you were asked what you do for a living, and you stumble over your answer or aren’t sure how to respond? It’s extremely common for people in self-driven industries to struggle to answer these questions, and it makes it all the more important to create an “elevator pitch” about your business. As you seek out new clients, it’s essential to perfect your client attraction message and be able to quickly identify who you help and what your skillset is.

What Is a Client Attraction Message?

A client attraction message is a short pitch about what your business delivers. Ideally, it is a super short phrase, less than seven words, that you can consistently deliver when asked about your job. Essentially, it’s your slogan, directly answering the questions: what do you do, and for whom?

Examples of Effective Client Attraction Messages

Here are a few simple examples to get you started, along with some notes about why they’re effective:

  • Wealth Management for Executives in Transition
    • Wealth management is an extremely general term, but it is an extremely attractive client attraction message. Tapering it down by focusing on a specific industry or ideal client helps specify your work and make it sound less generic.
  • Investment Management for Lottery Winners
    • If you have a specific niche, it’s even more important to spread the word about your work far and wide. Though this is an extremely precise target market, it fills a direct need of potential clients.
  • Retirement Planning for Google Employees
    • If you aren’t sure about how to focus your messaging, focusing on a specific field or industry can help make it clear who you’re targeting.

Rehearse Your Delivery

While you can use this message in your marketing, it is even more important to have it prepared for networking and day-to-day conversations. Practice your delivery of this slogan so you can sound polished and confident as you meet potential clients or acquaintances. It can also help to have a quick story showcasing one of your best wins so you can make it clear what skills you bring to the table.

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you couldn’t clearly communicate your role, you need a rehearsed client attraction message. This will help you network and get your name out there while being quick and polished. Once you’ve mastered your client attraction message, you’ll be able to casually mention your line of work without taking too much time or stumbling over your words.

How to Optimize Your Area of Specialization (And Why This Matters!)

Once you’ve determined the makeup of your ideal client and began planning how to market to them, your next step is to decide what services you need to offer to be attractive. People in different industries, life stages, and regions will have different expectations and needs, so you need to consider exactly what offerings will make you the most attractive to your future potential clients.

What Is an Area of Specialization?
Though the specifics will vary depending on the industry, an area of specialization is essential for almost all service providers, from plumbers to physicians to veterinarians. Having a specialty on top of more generalized work helps you to become a leader in that narrow field, while still gaining more general work as people search for your expertise.  For example, many financial advisors offer comprehensive financial planning services while focusing on their favorite specific vertical, such as wealth management, 401k rollovers, retirement planning, or investments. They may offer every service under the sun, but much of their marketing will be focused on their area of specialization.

Ask Yourself: What Do You Love to Do?
Before you even get into the client-centric breakdown of your business plan, it can be helpful to consider what you love most. After all, people will be able to immediately sense your passion as you talk about something that’s important to you, and having a primary vertical that you enjoy will make it much easier to go to work in the morning. Consider the ideal breakdown of your workday and come up with a plan that can help you bring this ratio into reality!

What Is Your Experience?
Another thing that will help sell your expertise to your ideal client is highlighting your personal and professional expertise. Have you always been passionate about this line of work? Did your parents raise you a certain way that led you to pursue this career path? Or did you have an “ah-ha” moment while driving to class one day that started you off on your journey? Speaking to this expertise personalizes you, establishes trust, and helps your ideal client decide to make that initial connection.

Stand Out from the Crowd!
Let’s face it, the business world is crowded. Looking up financial advisors in my immediate area turned up hundreds of results, each with similar generic statements about how they help their clients. To stand out from the crowd, evaluate whether there are other less popular—but still essential—services that you can provide, especially if you’re keen to work with a specialized industry or client. Ultimately, even if you’re offering a service that everyone around you offers also, the easiest way to get business will be to put a unique spin on it. Why do you offer this service? Why is it important to you?

Conclusion
Once you’ve built out your ideal client profile, your next step will be determining your area of specialization and optimizing your marketing strategy with this vertical in mind. By taking the time to consider the best fits for your expertise, your ideal client, and how you can stand out from the crowd, you’ll be able to clearly define your area of specialization in a way that draws in potential clients.

How Defining Your Ideal Client Will Help Define Your Business

Whether your business is well-established or in its founding stages, taking the time to define your ideal client is essential to your success. Without taking the time to outline exactly who your ideal client is, you’ll waste time on your messaging, prospecting the wrong people, and lacking a clear idea of exactly what you bring to the table. It would be as if you are casting your fishing line randomly into the middle of the ocean versus into a well-stocked fishing hole. Taking the time to plan out your ideal client will improve your prospect-to-client conversions, and ultimately, your revenue.

The First Steps

If you’re unsure where to start, take a look at your current clients and the skillsets you use most. While you don’t necessarily have to follow the mold you’ve already created, it’s a good start to examine the most valuable things you have to offer. What feedback has your first client given about your services? Would your tenth say the same? It’s important to consider any potential changes as your business scales, and take the time to consider whether you should expand or rezone your offerings.

Creating an Ideal Client Profile

The first step in defining your ideal client will be to develop your ideal client profile. The metrics that matter most will depend on your industry and services, but here are some typical things to keep in mind as you create this profile. What is their age? Where do they live? What is their occupation? What is their income? What is the size of their portfolio? What prompted them to reach out to you at this time?  What are they looking for specifically? Is there something beyond this list that makes them ideal for you that is notable to track?

By evaluating your perfect match for each of these questions, you’ll know where and how to focus your marketing efforts. For each of these qualifications, there should be an adjustment to your marketing strategy, specifically when, where, and how you advertise your business.

Outline Your Marketing Goals

Once you have your ideal client, sit down and determine your next steps. Given the age and income of your ideal client, where should you market? Is Facebook your best bet, or perhaps LinkedIn? The platform you use will ultimately change your marketing strategy, so research each demographic before you start considering your first marketing campaign.

Once you have your strategy outlined on paper, your next step will be to consider your budget and goals. If you’ve never marketed before, you’ll want to start with a small budget and pay close attention to the results. Conduct A/B testing to see what messaging and images work best, and don’t be afraid to start from scratch if you aren’t seeing optimal results.

Conclusion

Many businesses are so excited to start marketing that they leave out the most important step: Knowing who to reach out to. By building out your ideal client profile, you’re ensuring the success of your marketing efforts and preventing wasted time and energy. If you have any questions as you build out your ideal client profile, please reach out to me!

How to End Your 2019 On a High Note

As the end of the year approaches, it’s the perfect time to evaluate your wins, successes, and areas for improvement.  Taking a comprehensive look at 2019 will prepare you for re-organizing your business strategy for 2020.

Evaluate Your Yearly Goals

The first step of your planning should be to look at the goals you set for January of 2019. Break these goals down into three categories: Accomplished, In Progress, and Needs Work. For each item, be honest with yourself about what made it a success, or what pushed it to the back burner. It’s important to be completely open about things that went wrong to perfect your process in the year to come.

When looking at the Accomplished and In Progress goals, take time to evaluate whether you should stay on the same course. If so, you may want to pick a numerical goal (like a 25% increase in ideal prospects or 20% increase in ideal clients) to help keep yourself on track. This can support your motivation and focus throughout the year.

Book out Your Calendar

The best way to keep yourself from stressing at the end of the year is to book out time to address your goals. This should be done at quarterly intervals at minimum, but it’s even better to book out monthly opportunities to assess what’s working and where you need to make changes to your strategy. Set specific goals for each session and add them to your appointment notes so you can quickly jump into the task and get the ball rolling.

While your schedule will fill up throughout the year, it’s essential to keep these appointments. If you have to move it to a different time slot in the same week, you can do so, but be careful about perpetually kicking the can down the road.

What Support Do You Need?

The end of the year is the perfect time to evaluate what’s working—and what isn’t—for your business. Take a look at the resources that you used throughout 2019, and if there are any gaps that could help you alleviate stress. Did you end up delaying your work due to lack of time or technical expertise? If so, it may be best to bring on a coach to help you fill in the gaps in your business. By gifting yourself support where you need it, you can focus your efforts on what you do best, helping to make 2020 your best year yet.

Consider Upgrading Your Technology

As you look back at your progress over the past year, think back on whether you have any major gaps in your technology. Is there any software that would be helpful in organizing and running your business? Some examples could be an email marketing service, scheduling software, or billing and accounting software. Start looking at these solutions now so you can implement in early 2020, getting ahead of the game for the year to come!

As you come to the end of a successful 2019, take a look back to see what could make 2020 even better! By taking a comprehensive and honest look at how your business is run, you can set yourself up for a more streamlined experience in 2020.

How to Scale Your Business Without Losing Focus

As your business grows, it will be essential to learn how to focus on your current clients while still expanding your business opportunities. By implementing a strategy long before you begin expanding, you can ensure that you are crafting the perfect balance between present and future success.

Fine-Tune Your Vision
As you begin ramping up your business, take a step back and fine-tune your vision. What did you define as success when you first started your business? Would you define it the same way now? Are there any immediate adjustments that you need to make to get to a place where you’ll be happy and healthy running your company? As soon as you have all of these parameters outlined, you’ll be in a good position to implement a plan to make changes happen.

Look at What’s Missing
It’s natural to hit some unexpected hurdles as you begin to expand, but many of them are easy to predict ahead of time. Will you need to hire more help in order to double your client base? Do you need to implement new technology to help automate your workload? Examine the average amount of time you spend on each task every week and see if there are solutions that might cut that wasted time down to the bone. As your business scales up, you can afford to implement new software and tools to free up your time for what matters most.

When it comes to hiring, a good approach is to set a certain profit goal. Once you pass that threshold, you know your business is ready to bring on another set of helping hands. When hiring, evaluate all the possible skills that this hire will need to service different parts of your business. For smaller companies, it’s ideal to hire someone who’s adept at many tasks rather than hiring an expert in a single field.

Explore Other Options
Almost every business starts with a single focus and grows their services over time, and it’s important to take an annual look at the market in your area as you plan ahead. In order to scale up your business, do you need to make any huge adjustments to your current plan? Take a look at how many potential clients are in your area that may benefit from your services. If the target market is too small, it may be time to expand your specialty or offer additional services.

Don’t Change What’s Working
Even as you make core changes to your business, be mindful of what brought you success in the first place. If you’re known for friendly, face-to-face interactions with your clients, don’t sacrifice that for the sake of volume. If the core of your business rests on a certain service, it would be counter productive to stop offering that service for the sake of bringing on new clients. Strike a balance between old and new and ensure your existing clients still receive the full value of your time!

While it can be stressful to drastically ramp up the scale of your business, it’s essential to stay focused on what has worked—and what needs improvement. Take an objective look at your business model and decide if any changes need to be made as you begin recruiting new clients to take your business to the next level.

Use Personal Development to Grow Your Business

As business owners, it can be easy to focus on the work itself and lose sight of your own personal development, but self-improvement is just another part of expanding your company. By taking the time to focus on yourself, you can develop new ways to support your clients and market your business. After all, as Elise Buie says, “We can’t go any further for our clients than we do for ourselves.”

Consider Your Shortcomings

Even the most well-rounded person has room for improvement, so take an objective look at yourself and decide which are your biggest opportunities for personal growth. Is there a particular skillset that you have been wanting to enhance and haven’t got around to just yet? For example, is there a part of your life that is noticeably disorganized? An area of your work that refining a particular skill would make a difference? As you reflect on your day to day, you will be able to create a list of things to improve upon over the next year. You may be lacking a skillset such as communication skills (whether in a group setting or one-on-one conversation), leadership skills, or even personal discipline such as working out to improve physical fitness and energy level. All of these can contribute to enhancing your sense of personal empowerment overall and your ability to attract new clients.

Think Small

If you are struggling to get started with a large-scale project, it can be easier to pick up a small skill instead. Even something as minute as juggling gets your brain used to new tasks, and it can be learned in a single afternoon. Once you get those balls in the air (no pun intended) you’ll find the motivation to move onto larger tasks.

Look Online

No matter how obscure the skill, there’s a class for it online. From mediaeval sword making to personal organization, you’ll be able to find course materials and tutorials. If you browse YouTube, you can watch a few minutes of each video to find a teaching style that works for you, and then watch a new video every week to master the skillset. There are also sites like udemy.com and khanacademy.org that provide full online instruction, and these tend to cost around $60-100 per course. If you need structure and the ease of finding the next step in your education, these sites may be worth the investment!

Schedule It Out

Setting benchmarks is the best way to enact your plan. I invite you to create deadlines in your calendar throughout the year. Set reminders for when to start a new task, as well as when you intend to complete it. While you can adjust these dates as other appointments come up, create a rule that you can only delay each task by two weeks. This will ensure that you stay on track while still maintaining flexibility in your work schedule.

Though your work is essential, don’t neglect your own personal development! Your clients look up to those who have mastered many different skills, and you want to always strive to have one more skill at your disposal than you did the previous year. By showcasing your own personal development, you can enhance your attraction factor which will support you in growing to meet new needs of your existing clients!

How to Create Consistent Branding Throughout Succession Planning Process

As you continue your ongoing goal of onboarding new team members and expanding your book of business, it can be easy to lose sight of the initial values that
attracted clients to your company. Here are some of the steps you should take during the transition to keep your company on track with your marketing and branding!

Meet Internally and Craft a Plan

Before you reach out to any clients, meet as a team to discuss the best messaging for your first few interactions. Often, a business transition causes stress on the client side of things, so take the time to align your talking points and mirror their existing experiences with the company. As often as possible, involve their previous points of contact in the new discussions, as these trusted advisors can create a bridge between the old and the new.

Go Back to Your Roots

After you’ve completed the initial steps of your transition, take a step back and think about the initial plan for your company. If you have old emails or marketing materials, this is a great time to review them and look back at what helped your company to grow. Though your new round of marketing and branding materials don’t have to be a complete match, your existing clients may be more comfortable to see previous values communicated clearly in your new marketing.

Meet with New Employees to Communicate Values

To ensure that new employees will champion the standards of your brand, schedule an all-hands-on-deck meeting to explore the company values. What sets you apart from the crowd? What does your ideal client need from your team? How can you take your customer service to the next level? Bring these questions to the top of your employees’ minds so they are aligned with both the company’s origins and future goals.

Reach Out to Valued Clients for Feedback

While you should have already discussed the transition with your existing clients, you may not have had time for a post-mortem examination of everything they loved about your previous company. Take the time to ask what attracted them to your brand, what they need most from your new team, and if they would recommend any changes. Taking time to hear the feedback from your loyal clients will help you evaluate if any changes need to be made, or if you can continue the course with your existing branded strategy.

Be Open to Change

While many companies want to keep everything consistent during a major transition, it can also be the perfect time to shake things up. If you weren’t happy with your previous logo, slogan, or design, it’s the ideal time to meet with a specialist and ensure your company gives the best possible impression. Involve all of your team throughout these changes to accumulate multiple points of view and reach out to trusted clients for their opinions as well.

As you complete the transition of your company, it is essential to outline your branded messaging and keep all team members on the same page. Creating this consistent messaging will craft a smooth transition for all parties involved, including your trusted clients!

FAST Track Your Business

Discover the 7 steps to attract your ideal clients and grow your book of business.