I am excited to speak and hold consulting sessions at FPA’s Annual Conference in Minneapolis. Will you be attending? Here are a few tips I’ll dive into during a marketing panel.

Know Why You Are Marketing

When developing a marketing strategy, know what you want as an outcome and hold your marketing tactics accountable. Are they to drive new business, satisfy clients, retain clients, build stronger strategic alliances, recruit financial advisers or something else? If you know what you want, you are more likely to achieve it.

In our consulting business, it is amazing how much money we have seen spent in marketing budgets that deliver very few positive results. That isn’t to say marketing budgets should be slashed. The old adage is true, “You need to spend money to make money.” Instead, marketing budgets need to be better allocated to deliver real results.

Have a detailed business plan. If growth is a major initiative of that plan, have a growth strategy and build out a marketing calendar that helps plan, budget, and track successes and failures. It’s true: A mistake is not a mistake if you learn from it.

Act like a Fortune 500 company and get scientific about your marketing efforts. If you do, you will find each year you become more and more successful at it.

Think Outside the Box When It Comes to PR

Similar to the marketing advice above, before you start trying to get publicity, know why you want to get it. Is it to get new leads, to convert prospects already in the pipeline, make clients bigger advocates or something else? Some just like the notoriety, but I’d prefer that the public relations efforts help your business in some concrete way.

When starting out, research clients to learn what they listen to, watch and read. This will give some perspective on where you might want to get media exposure. This will likely identify retail press to consider, but don’t forget about industry press, as that can help build credibility (even if your clients and prospects are not normally exposed to that type of press on their own).

Next, look at not only traditional press, but nontraditional press too. For example, it might be beneficial to be in The Wall Street Journal for many reasons, but it might be even better to be on local websites.

For example:

  • If your target market is small business owners, write an article that provides them helpful advice and consider getting it published on the local chamber of commerce website.
  • If you want wealthy families who are philanthropic, consider getting exposure from a nonprofit organization, possibly on their social media pages. Think creatively and many nontraditional ideas will come to you.
  • If there is a specific industry you cater to, look to see if there is a podcast you can be a part of. I just took my own advice on this and participated in the FPA of Massachusetts’ “Wicked Pissah” podcast.
Test New Marketing Tactics

Marketing is always evolving, in most part thanks to technological advancements. Things like advertising that were kind of hit or miss in “the old days” can be tracked in the digital world with precision, so you can know if they work.

My favorite recommendation today is to try personalized video emails. These are not the videos that get uploaded to YouTube and get blasted out to your email distributions lists. In contrast, these are one-on-one messages that can be used for client service, prospecting and much more.

Personalized videos can be a better way to communicate. Imagine sending a video to a client who is a widow on the anniversary of her spouse’s passing. That message can convey emotions better than written text. Or imagine thanking a client for a referral. The excitement from getting a new lead can really shine through in a personalized video message, much more than written words.

Younger generations are already using personalized videos via social networks at an eye-opening rate, and soon older generations will follow. For now, there is a “wow” factor in using this form of marketing, but that will not last forever. Stay ahead of the trends and your business will better succeed.

Mike Byrnes is owner of Byrnes Consulting, LLC and an FPA Coach for business growth strategies. Mike will be participating in a marketing panel at the 2019 FPA Annual Conference, and you can connect with him by sending a note at ByrnesConsulting.com.

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