Marketing can take its toll on us as advisors. We want to attract new clients. We know we have a great service to share with them. But content marketing is not exactly our life’s passion – right? You might be surprised.
Sharing your message and becoming visible to ideal clients takes time and effort. There are however simple, actionable steps you can take right now to turn your marketing game up a notch. We’ll cover these below and a give you a bonus tip at the end to shift your thinking. These are the fundamentals that have an outsized impact. Let’s take a look!
1. Create a clear strategy
Like most endeavors, our efforts run smoother when there is structure and strategy in place. Marketing is no different. If you want results, you can’t just post on Facebook once a month or release a new video whenever inspiration strikes. Create a plan that works for you and your business. How can you do that? Start by asking yourself a few questions:
- What are your marketing goals?
- Would you like to attract a certain type of client? How many clients would you ideally like to attract over the next 12 months? Using a simple 10-3-1 rule of thumb (10 qualified prospects lead to 3 appointments, of which 1 eventually becomes a new client), how many qualified prospects do you need to reach? This will help inform the type and volume of marketing you should do.
- What part of your business really excites you?
- Identifying what you want to share with the world is a great starting point for marketing collateral, from social media to blogging to lead magnets and more. Is there a niche you’re jazzed about serving? Are there financial topics you enjoy reading about and could adapt into a content campaign?
- Is there a marketing tool you feel comfortable using?
- Maybe you are a natural in front of the camera or you are a wordsmith, find out which elements speak to you, and incorporate those into your plan.
- Can you afford to get some help?
- Advisors are constantly struggling with time constraints. If marketing isn’t one of your biggest strengths, consider outsourcing at least some of the effort. With content, consistency is key. Can you bring someone on to manage your editorial calendar, keep you accountable, and handle the actual posting and circulation of your content through your website, social media, and other channels?
Once you have a good idea of what your objectives and approach will be, it’s time to develop a true battle plan. Start by making an editorial calendar. This is super simple, but it provides a roadmap for your big-picture marketing strategy.
You can use a variety of tools to generate your editorial calendar, but something as basic as Google Sheets will get the job done. The key things to document here are:
- What will you create?
2. When will you share it with the world?
3. What mediums you will use to share your message?
With this plan in place, you have clarity about what needs to be accomplished every time you put on your marketing hat.
2. Apply a heavy coat of consistency
As we eluded to earlier, you won’t see results from your marketing efforts by haphazardly posting on social media or writing a blog when you find the time. To get the results you want, you need to be consistent with your plan. If you decided to start a blog, you need to update that blog monthly and consistently share that information with your audience.
Seeing results from your marketing is like working out. One run won’t prepare you for the Boston Marathon, just like one blog post won’t instantly attract every new client you could hope for. It takes time, dedication, and consistency to start reaping the rewards of your work. Your effort is cumulative. Every day that you stick with your schedule (post a blog, create a video, engage with your online community) your body of work grows in it’s power to attract and nurture prospects. Here are some tips to help you find consistency in your plan.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew
- Sometimes it’s best to start small. Perhaps you start with a weekly or bi-weekly video. Pick something that is manageable for you in the short and long term.
- Set a schedule
- Return to your editorial calendar again and again. The calendar is your friend. Develop a routine and build momentum by meeting your deadlines. You’ll soon learn what cadence works best for you.
- Block time
- We understand – you’re busy. Being creative won’t jump out as the most pressing to-do item, so you have to block time for it. Many find that the early morning is a time for creativity. Develop a routine of perhaps 15 minutes of reading, 15 minutes of free writing about whatever is on your mind, then mine your inspiration for content and topics. Remember, everyone’s first draft sucks. Get it down, then come back to edit it later.
- Don’t go it alone
- Having a community of people who you can turn to for questions, advice, and brainstorming can be invaluable. Find one or two news outlets or community forums to check for reading, inspiration, and feedback as part of your process.
3. Properly execute your plan
Your blog content isn’t doing you any favors stuck in edit-mode filed away on your computer. It needs to be out in the world, in front of your audience in order to do its job. This can be the tough part for many advisors—hitting publish.
Whether it is a blog, video, or social media post, sharing content in the world means that you are putting yourself and your ideas out there. Everyone wants their content to be squeaky clean and deliver their message with utter perfection. Consider this your conversation with the world, not your dissertation.
If you read this blog closely enough, you’ll find errors. We can live with that, and so should you. It is important to give your marketing your best, but don’t let that stop you from actually moving forward.
4. Infuse passion into your plan
People are drawn to passionate people. Why not include your passions into your marketing plan? Another way to think of this is being vulnerable. Relationships thrive on vulnerability, honesty, and trust. Your relationship with your audience is the same.
What does passion look like in a marketing plan? Here are a few ideas.
- Write about topics that are meaningful to you and your audience
- Create purposeful, actionable content that truly helps your audience
- Share a personal experience/story on social media
- Bring authenticity into everything you do. Be bold!
When you’re faced with a project or challenge that seems too complex, too daunting to even start, ask yourself, “what would this look like if it was easy?” Imagine a world where the outcome you’re after is achieved and you don’t really have to strain to reach it. Just jot it down. Imagine all of the things that get done without any effort from you.
Is this an imaginary reality? Maybe. But rather than focusing on all the things we have to do to succeed, it’s sometimes useful to simply imagine the most elegant and simple solution and what it would look like, then work backwards.
When you are organized, authentic, and willing to start somewhere, you’re very likely to attract the right people and (hopefully) repel the wrong ones. You may even find sharing your voice can be a lot of fun. At College Aid Pro, we really care about helping advisors solve college funding for their clients, and proper marketing is a big part of that. If you want to learn more about how we help advisors attract and serve ideal clients, schedule a call with us today.