In this eye-opening marketing message, I am going to address the 7 deadly financial advisor marketing sins that I continue see costing advisors like you TONS of money.
These marketing sins pertain to all marketing channels, not just digital marketing. However, you will see a majority of them pertaining to Internet Marketing, merely because I have found that to be the future of marketing in this industry.
Finally, the great news is that all of these can be corrected in short notice. The big question is WILL YOU make the changes and implement where needed?
Here are the 7 deadly financial advisor marketing sins of 2014…
1) No call to action on your sales and marketing material
The biggest sin that I continue to see on financial advisors’ sales and marketing material is in the Call to Action (CTA) department. More particularly, a legit and solid call to action on ALL of your sales and marketing material.
Let me first show you some examples of non-working Calls to Action that I see on so many financial advisor websites.
- “Click here for your free consultation” (Might as well tell them to come into the lion’s den so they can get sold something. Are you really shocked that no random website visitor takes action on these?)
- “Call now to book a time to come in” (Ditto from above. My guard goes up just typing this)
- “Sign up for our newsletter” (Why? What is the benefit? Why should I care about your newsletter? I get enough email as it is)
So what does a good call to action look like?
To begin, it needs to:
- Add value
- It needs to be incredibly clear how the call to action will improve their life
- Improve their finances
- Make their life easier, etc.
If you can remember these simple things when crafting your call to action, you will see massive conversions compared to the other “non-working” examples above.
Always talk about the BENEFITS (not the features). For instance, here is an example of a feature/benefit play on the annuity front.
If I wrote in one of my sales or marketing messages that my favorite annuity comes with “annual reset”, most consumers would glance over this feature.
However, if I said my favorite annuity comes with the ability to lock in your gains every year, that you can never lose a penny, and that in down years you can “reset” your S&P 500 value and work your way up without having to make up the losses like your friends in the market are having to deal with, then I have painted quite a different story here.
So always talk in terms of Benefits!
Next is to always educate, and GIVE before you ASK them to take action. In the old days, the mantra was “Ask and ye shall receive“. But today, that phrase has shifted to, “Give and ye shall receive“.
Now I will be the first to admit that the old days of asking someone to come in for a free consultation worked.
Well 20 years ago, financial advisors were the only method to get any kind of information on financial matters. There was no Internet, there was no up to date book on investing that could be found readily in places like the library, and there wasn’t a live stock ticker on hundreds of thousands of websites.
But today, free information and financial education is rampant. In fact, a consumer can learn pretty much anything they wanted to about investing, annuities, life insurance, and finance for free on Internet if they want to.
The good news is that I have found is that most of your ideal clients and prospects don’t want to do it themselves.
However, they also don’t want to be sold or to feel like they are caught off guard. There have been too many ponzi schemes and scams on retirees, seniors, and boomers that could frighten anyone into not taking action.
So what is the solution?
What your ideal prospects want is assurance that you are an expert and an authority, that you can save them money and time, and that they can trust you.
Which one of the following screams trust, and which one screams I want you to come in so I can see if you have any money so I can sell you something?
- Option 1 – Click here to instantly receive your free e-book, “The 7 Must Know Facts About Estate Planning For Baby Boomers With $1million or more Net Worth”
- Option 2 – Click here to book a free consultation with me…trust me I don’t bite…hard
Now don’t misread this to think that asking for an appointment or a “free consultation” is always wrong, because that is far from the case.
A consultation or phone appointment can be a great call to action after someone sits through your seminar, or to a prospect that is further into your lead funnel. The HUGE difference is that after they have come to your seminar or seen loads of your great content, they have received value from you. And after receiving tons of great value, you have earned the right to ask for larger calls to action like an appointment.
But just coming to your website and reading an article doesn’t create enough value (or authority) for 99% of visitors to want to book an appointment.
So ALWAYS add an appropriate and Benefit-rich Call To Action!
2) Not clearly stating the problem, how it will affect their life if they don’t fix it, and only offering the solution
I was recently given a project to help an advisor craft a solid 1-page sales letter that he would be sending to prospects in his area to get them into his seminar where he covers tax and estate planning. I asked him to draft up a few paragraphs on what he thought was a decent letter using his main points that he wanted to get across to the baby boomer prospects.
When I received the letter, I noticed that the entire first paragraph was about him and his firm’s services. Not a mention of the benefits to coming to his workshop, or the main problem that his ideal prospects are facing.
It wasn’t until the 3rd paragraph where he finally started stating the problems, and his solutions.
Bad news is that most people won’t read past the first two lines if they can’t immediately see what’s in it for them right away.
Would you stick around and read something that came in your mailbox, email inbox, or on a website if it didn’t tell you right away what was in it for you?
My bet is most of you would not.
So start telling them right off the bat how you can transform their life.
Always remember to add the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) in the very beginning of any sales or marketing piece.
3) Sending emails with no link back to your website
Deadly Marketing Sin #3 is another one that is costing many of you lots of business. The great news is that it is incredibly simple to fix.
Here is all you have to remember:
Do NOT ever send out a blast email (to your list or database) without a live hyperlink that brings them back to your site.
Ideally, you give them just enough in the email to explain the benefits that you are offering, get them excited, and then have them click a link to “learn more”. This link would take them directly to your own website where you now have them on your homeland.
Trust me, your website (aka homeland) is a much better place to have your prospects than an email, any day of the week.
What I have found is that my very best converting emails are only two short paragraphs (2-3 lines each), and then a line that says CLICK HERE to learn more about _________. And the CLICK HERE will be a live hyperlink to the appropriate page on my site.
4) Not having a free widget on your site to collect email addresses
Websites should be used to accomplish these 3 objectives:
- Create Leads
- Make Money
- Built authority and credibility
And if you aren’t doing all 3 on your site, then it is not working for you the way that it should.
Let’s talk about what a widget is, and how it can help achieve all three of these objectives.
A widget is the free gift you give to visitors in return for their email. It could be a free e-book, a video series, a hard copy book, software, whitepaper, etc.
It MUST be of high value, and it must be free.
What this does, is that it sets you apart as an authority. Someone who has so much great information that you can give away high content without even thinking about it.
(Click here to see an example of a great widget landing page – and opt-in to see how much value you get for free if you haven’t done so already. You can learn a lot from this)
And what you will find is most of your competitors will never take the time to do this. They will either borrow someone else’s report or e-book and use it, or they will hire the job out to some freelance writer who knows nothing about our industry. By the way, both of these options are very big mistakes in my opinion.
Do it yourself! If you really think of yourself as an expert and an authority, then write and create something of value and prove it! You will be shocked at what this can do for your business in terms of new leads, new doors opening up, and an immediate expressed authority.
Once you have created the free widget, then next step is to build a landing page around the widget so that you can start capturing leads from your site with it. I highly recommend LeadPages as they have proven landing page templates where all you have to do is put in the text and upload any special pictures you want. This is what we use to create all of our hundreds of leads per month. Check out the landing page templates here.
And if you don’t have a CRM (customer relationship management) system in place to keep track of and to automate your communication with clients, prospects, warm leads, etc, then you are hurting killing yourself as a financial professional.
In fact, not having a CRM in place is deadly sin 4.5
Once all of this is set up, you are on your way to creating leads, to making more money, and getting more creditably and authority as the go-to expert in your area/niche
5) Doing seminars and not building an email list of every person who ever attends your seminar
I have yet to meet a seminar producer that books and brings on 100% of their seminar attendees as new clients.
No one is that good, and it is impossible to find continuous prospects who are all in buying mode and ready to convert into clients right away.
For those of you who have been through any kind of sales training in the past, you might recall the stats that say it can take up to 7 different marketing messages in front of a prospect before they finally morph from a somewhat interested prospect, into a highly motivated prospect/soon to be client.
I have found for my business, the same stats run true. That is why I email all of my financial advisor prospects (like many of you reading this) once per week with new (and valuable/helpful) information. And I have found that in some cases it took over 18 weeks of my continuous weekly emails before someone made a purchase.
The tough part is you just never know what you might say or convey that will cause the prospect to go into buying mode.
The important part is just being consistent with high value content.
Here is how you can begin to build a HUGE email list, and begin to get closer to converting 100% of your seminar attendees over time.
Your New Seminar Rule: The meal is free as long as you can provide a valid email address. That simple.
And if they don’t have an email, then you probably don’t want them as clients, as they will be tough to communicate with, tough to give updates to, and tough to add value to as a client in the future.
At the end of the day, this is your seminar, you are paying for the meal, you are providing free value, and the rules are yours to make.
Let them know the reason you must have their email is that you send out a free retirement tip once per week that is usually only reserved for your top clients. Make them feel special for giving up this information. And remind them that if they ever feel the weekly email doesn’t add value, that they can unsubscribe with one click. Most prospects and clients will have no issues with this.
And then once you have these emails, you can easily build an automated drip sequence out with any CRM or email autoresponder.
Tip – Email drip on your email list, and continue adding value to your list forever. Don’t stop after just a few weeks. That is one of the biggest mistakes I see financial advisors making. You never know when someone might need you. It could be two months or even two years that they inherit money, sell a company, retire, etc.
And YOU want to be the person that pops into their head immediately after they know they need some help. There isn’t a better way to stay top of mind than a weekly value add email or newsletter.
6) Not having a blog or a site that does your selling/educating/nurturing for you
Before I started my first blog, I seriously thought blogging was only for stay at home moms who were “blogging” about knitting, soccer games, and the like.
Little did I know that blogging would end up changing my life.
Let me explain the big disconnect with blogging. And more importantly, how it can benefit you as a financial advisor.
I found out pretty quickly that a blog is simply an online platform to get your message, your sales literature, your value add, and your sales funnel in front of your ideal prospects.
When presented like this, do you see how powerful a blog could be?
Think of your blog as recreating yourself to have multiples of you out there selling, educating, and marketing on your behalf 24/7, because that is what it becomes when done correctly.
Let me tell you what has happened to me from blogging.
I have an online calendar where advisors can book up to 30 minutes of my time. And my calendar gets booked up every week. These appointments all come from random advisors that I have never spent a dollar marketing to, or calling on directly.
One of my first questions I ask the advisor when we speak is, “How did you find out about me?”
The majority of advisors answer that they found me via my blog after coming across my content (blog/video/hangout) after doing a Google search.
Most importantly, the majority of these appointments are booking because they are wondering how they can begin to work with me (aka become clients of mine).
Can you see how powerful this is?
My blog has become:
- A replication of me
- Is educating for me around the clock even if I am not working
- A platform to attract my ideal prospects
- A lead and sales funnel that brings my prospects one step closer to becoming clients without me even having to speak to them directly
- An entire pre-sales system on autopilot
And YOU can do this as well!
- Set up a blog on WordPress
- Start by simply answering your clients and prospect’s top questions
- What do people ask you at your seminar?
- What do client’s or prospects email you about the most?
- What concerns do they have?
7) Not being on social media sites for people to find you
Now I am a firm believer that you can’t grow a successful practice using social media alone. And anyone who tells you that all you have to do it post Facebook links, Tweet out financial information, or add links to LinkedIn and you will become rich, is doing you a disservice.
Yes, those platforms are all crucial to your overall success, but they can’t work successfully unless you have the prior 6 sins fixed.
For instance, even if you posted incredible content on Facebook, but had no call to action or no way to capture the interested party’s information, you are missing the big picture of why you post to social media in the first place.
- To add value
- To drive them into your sales funnel
Here is my advice on what has worked well for us.
- Use social media to promote and share any and all of your blogs, videos, content, etc
- Always have some kind of call to action or a link where they can go learn more
- Create sharable content that encourages your prospects to share it with their friends
- Always post on Facebook (your business and personal page), LinkedIn, Google+ (this is great for Google search engine exposure), and Twitter (optional)
If done correctly, not only will you build a tribe of followers, but new people will begin to find you, to follow you, and will even become your clients over time
To conclude, if you can eliminate the 7 deadly financial advisor marketing sins from your practice, then prepare to see your practice take off in the very near future.
For most of you, fixing these sins might seem overwhelming and insurmountable. My advice is to conquer one at a time. You will find out that each marketing sin by itself is not that scary, and once you start to see your changes working, you won’t want to stop.
It’s time to automate your practice a bit more, time to recreate yourself and let your “autopilot” start bringing in qualified prospects for you around the clock, and most importantly, it is time for you to start working smarter (not harder).
For more help on this, check out our three popular products that empower you and show you EXACTLY how to implement all of these steps, plus many more.
And even if you don’t get help from us on this, please, get help somewhere…the future of your practice and your sanity depends on it.
P.S. – Click Here to learn how you can streamline your practice starting today
P.P.S – Which of the 7 Sins are you most interested in fixing as soon as possible? I would love to hear your feedback below in the comment section. And if I missed any marketing sins that you feel are important, list them in the comments as well.