Is it time to give your marketing strategy a makeover? Your business isn’t static, and your marketing plan can’t be either. Especially with the volatile market and uncertainty that’s reigning supreme this year, it’s more important than ever to adapt and evolve your marketing strategy.
Five successful female advisors leading firms across the country sat down for a marketing roundtable. In a year where it is crucial to stay connected and communicate effectively with clients and prospects, they shared the progressive strategies they are using in their own businesses. If you are ready to give your marketing strategy a refresh, these ten ideas will get you inspired and help your firm thrive.
Idea #1: Amp up your communications
Can you over communicate with clients in a year like this? These advisors resoundingly say, “No!”
“What I’ve learned over my career is that the more volatility there is, the more frequency you need to have with your communications,” says Karen Coyne, CFP, president of Clarity Planning
In a world where information is vital, reaching out often and through different channels is key. If your clients expect phone calls, great — but also send emails and text. Look for more chances to engage on social media, both by posting your own content and interacting with posts from clients and prospects. By casting a wide net, you increase the chances of catching their attention and keeping them informed.
Idea #2: Choose your tone carefully
How do you come off to clients? You might be caring and competent. You might strive to be the approachable expert. In light of this year’s volatility, your normal tone may need tweaking. Advisor Laura Webb says she’s focusing on slowing down her pace. Usually brimming with energy, Laura is consciously shifting gears right now.
“I typically have a tendency to speak rapidly. I’m really trying to focus, not only in person with the clients but on the video too, to have a calm, confident, positive pace,” says Laura Webb, president and founder of Webb Investment Services, Inc. “I mean, not to put people to sleep, but the calmer you are, and also the more positive and confident that you are, that tone can be really helpful.”
Idea #3: Embrace video content
The days of hiding behind your keyboard and monitor are over, and the video revolution has begun. Static communications are losing their impact. To captivate your audience, focus on creating engaging video content. Whether it’s short videos that address common questions or share market insights, videos are a powerful tool to convey your message effectively.
“You find yourself repeating yourself multiple times on certain topics, so make a video about it and then you can send it to people because it’s clearly top of mind,” says Faith Doyle, MBA, CFP, a financial advisor with Webb Investment Services, Inc.
While watching yourself on camera might not be the most comfortable experience, remember that your audience craves authenticity. Embrace the opportunity to connect with them on a personal level through video content, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone.
Idea #4: Showcase your expertise
During uncertain times, clients want to be reassured. This is the time to lean on your experience. Demonstrate your knowledge and competence by addressing market-related topics and providing valuable insights. In fact, if you find yourself having the same conversations with many of your clients, consider including that topic in your communications strategy.
“I put a frequently asked question in the newsletter each month and it’s basically just the thing I’m already saying to all of my clients. You know, ‘What’s the deal with the debt ceiling?’ or that question that many people are asking. When clients see we’re posting things, even if it’s not immediately on the topic they’re worried about, it reminds them we’re on the job and we’ve got it covered and that settles their fears,” says Traci Richmond, JD, CDFA, RICP, president of The Meakem Group
Showcasing your expertise helps build trust and gives clients confidence in your ability to navigate the ups and the downs of the market.
Idea #5: Don’t make it all about the updates
While it’s crucial to address market fluctuations, that shouldn’t be all you talk about. If you get too focused on where the market is moving, your clients may lose their long-term perspective. Leave it to the news outlets to cover the headlines. Find other topics that are relevant to your clients and prospects.
“We start with a list of themes for the month. We try to pick themes that make sense, either if there’s an event happening, or like April is tax season. Women’s History Month, that’s what we’re focused on, but we’re also nimble. If we need to change it, if something specific happens, we’ll do that as well,” says Faith of Webb Investment Services.
Her team creates content about everything from cybersecurity to non-profits that are close to their hearts. It’s a way to serve clients and connect with them at the same time.
Idea #6: Tailor content to clients’ interests
Understanding your clients’ needs and preferences is vital for effective communication. Craft your marketing content based on their interests, concerns, and life stages. Consider adding topics to your newsletters to provide relevant information that aligns with their interests.
Advisor Traci Richmond’s strategy is to create content people will want to share. To do that, she chooses topics that relate to her three distinct target audiences.
“The retirees and those about to retire, that’s our Retire to Happy Place series. And then we have the sandwich generation group. That’s the stuff for if you’ve got parents and you’ve got kids and kind of what they’re doing. And then we have stuff that’s for people that are just starting out. We try to make sure that we hit some content, some video, something targeted toward each group every month.”
— Traci Richmond, JD, CDFA, RICP, President, The Meakem Group
“The retirees and those about to retire, that’s our Retire to Happy Place series. And then we have the sandwich generation group. That’s the stuff for if you’ve got parents and you’ve got kids and kind of what they’re doing. And then we have stuff that’s for people that are just starting out. We try to make sure that we hit some content, some video, something targeted toward each group every month,” says Traci.
Whether you’re talking about retirement depression or having a conversation with your high schooler about applying to a stretch school and an affordable backup, the topics should match what matters to your target audience.
Idea #7: Reuse and repurpose content
Don’t let your valuable content go to waste. Reuse and repurpose videos and other marketing materials to maximize their impact. By doing so, you can reach a wider audience and reinforce your key messages.
“Early on in our videotaping career, we did one that we called the ‘emergency toolkit,'” says Laura of Webb Investment Services. Her team recorded the video to calm clients’ fears during the pandemic and recently shared it again. “We always forget that if you do a video, you can reuse it. It’s not one and done, you know what I mean? We’ve pulled that back out a couple of times.”
Other ideas: Review past blog posts and pull some quotes or facts to share on social. Take a webinar and turn it into multiple blog articles. Use an old article as the starter script for a short-format video. Focus on working smarter, not harder.
Idea #8: Prioritize your website
Your website should serve as the backbone of your marketing strategy. Take the time this month to make sure it is well-designed, user-friendly, and invites visitors to explore further. Simple updates to copy and photos can make a big difference.
“I actually think the foundation of marketing is your website,” says Melissa Joy, CFP, founder of Pearl Planning. “My hope is that when they look up our website or explore a little further, I want them to make it clear that they’re invited to be interested. And then it’s very easy to schedule a meeting. Most of our introductory meetings are scheduled not through a phone call or, ‘Hey, this person might be interested’, but just nights and weekends people click on a Calendly link on our website.”
When you make it easy for interested prospects to schedule meetings and engage with your services directly through your website, you save time and have the chance to reach more prospects.
Idea #9: Leverage newsletters
Did you know that the most reliable way to digitally get information in front of your clients is through email? That’s why newsletters are still a powerful tool for staying connected with clients and prospects. Close to 2,000 clients and prospects receive Pearl Planning’s monthly digital newsletter. Getting prospective clients on that distribution list is important. To simplify writing her monthly newsletter, Melissa relies on a service called MoneyVisuals.
“I like writing, but some months I’m just too busy,” says Melissa. “If you’re someone who’s stuck and has difficulty writing that newsletter, MoneyVisuals is written by Ashby Daniels, a super thoughtful advisor and he creates content that advisors can use and reuse. The reason you don’t see his newsletters everywhere is because you agree not to re-share his content on social media. It’s just for the newsletter to your email list.”
Include a mix of valuable content in your newsletter, such as market insights, personal and company news, videos and podcast episodes. Encourage readers to subscribe to your newsletter to receive regular updates and stay engaged with your brand.
Idea 10: Follow a marketing SOP
Establishing a standard operating procedure (SOP) for your marketing activities can streamline your efforts and keep you consistent. The most successful teams create a roadmap that outlines who is responsible for specific tasks, deadlines and promotion strategies. This structured approach will help you stay organized and achieve your marketing goals.
“A couple years ago, I kind of reassigned one of my team members to marketing and communications. That is her role,” says Karen of Clarity Planning. “So, I have a dedicated person to support me with organizing everything and sending it to compliance, making the necessary corrections, tracking all of that. We have a game plan every week for what we’re going to post, when we’re going to post it, because it is very time consuming.”
As you navigate the challenges and opportunities of 2023, it’s essential to adapt your marketing strategies to meet the evolving needs of your audience. Try a few (or all 10!) of these progressive tips from marketing-savvy advisors. You can enhance your communications, leverage video content, showcase your expertise, and create meaningful connections with your clients and prospects. Stay agile, be creative, and embrace new opportunities to make 2023 a successful year for your business, no matter which direction the market maneuvers.
You can sit in on the entire roundtable discussion by clicking here.
Laura Garfield is co-founder of Idea Decanter, a video marketing company that creates custom videos remotely for financial advisors (including all 5 advisors participating in this roundtable). Laura’s team helps advisors plan marketing strategies that get results. To find out more about how to create videos remotely, visit www.ideadecanter.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.