4 Ways to Capture Events For Your Marketing Effort

Conducting events in your community is an excellent way to support your current clients and reach out to a new group of prospects. Whether you are hosting seminars, conferences, parties, or lectures on timely financial issues, you can show off your personality and establish yourself as a thought leader.

But hosting events also gives you an additional opportunity to boost your social presence and cultivate engagement through email marketing and blog posts. Here are some essential steps to ensure you are maximizing the ROI on your event planning:

1. Create a new event using ALP’s Event Builder

The more information you can include, the better, but be sure to have the date, time (be sure to select the right time zone), location, and a contact who can handle any questions about the event. For maximum impact, let people know what they should expect to learn from the event and encourage them to invite their friends and family. The RSVP feature makes it easy to estimate a head count and ensure that you have enough snacks and drinks to cover all of your attendees! 

2. Get the word out early on social media 

 In the lead-up to your event, it will be essential to post multiple times on all social media channels. Posting on your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter may be a given, but don’t ignore smaller channels like community pages and specialized groups. Craft a short sentence that describes the event, when it takes place, and what the public can expect to gain from attending.

3. Find someone to team up with

To really drive community involvement, consider a dual partnership with another local business to double your marketing efforts. You can reach out to the community to line up potential collaborators, guest speakers, or even just a popular lunch place to supply catering. Don’t forget to mention these partnerships in all of your marketing efforts!

4. Create a targeted email campaign

Reaching out to both existing clients and promising prospects is another excellent way to drive up attendance, and directing them to your website’s event page drives up your SEO. Be sure to send a series of emails as you countdown to your event. We suggest sending the first three months prior, then re-sending at 1 month, 1 week, and the day before to keep your event top-of-mind.

If you’re taking the time and effort to put together a company event, why not reap the benefits of your marketing strategy? Crafting an event on your website to drive traffic, sharing your event across all social platforms and through a dedicated email campaign, and drumming up community involvement all ensure that your event gets the attention it deserves! 

How Content Marketing Helps Your SEO

If you’ve been paying any attention to the marketing landscape, the words “Content Marketing” have probably caught your eye. Why has such a simple concept—creating timely and informative content to share on your website—come to dominate the marketing world? In addition to being relatively simple and affordable, content marketing has taken center stage for one key reason: It is an excellent way to maximize the impact of your SEO. 

But how specifically does content marketing increase your SEO? Here are some brief explanations of their impact (and some tips to put content marketing to work for you)!

So much space!

Take some time to imagine that you’re The Google Search Engine Algorithm. You can’t see the pictures posted on each website. You can’t watch videos. So how do you determine what each website is about? The written word, of course! 

If you’re not posting regular blogs, Google has limited information it can use to determine what industry you’re in, what clientele you serve, and what search terms are most relevant to you. The algorithms would have to rely on the sparse information on your homepage and interior pages to figure out how to rank you. Posting regular blogs gives Google more information to work with, and the more keywords you integrate into your content, the better it gets to know your business. So help Google out! Post regular blogs to strengthen its algorithm and improve your site ranking. 

You have our attention…

In addition to improving your SEO Keyword Rankings, content marketing performs another essential function for your website: Keeping the attention of your audience. As Google’s algorithm calculates its search rankings, it measures how many visitors frequent your site and how long they stay on each page. 

Posting regular blog posts has a twofold effect on your website: Previous visitors check back in to see if any new blogs have been posted, and new visitors take the time to look at your latest postings to see if your services fit their financial needs. In both cases, the time they take to scroll through your new blog post ranks you higher in Google’s SEO rankings, so keep posting that new content!

Show off your unique point of view!

One of the biggest challenges in developing an SEO keyword strategy is finding a niche that no one else is writing about. As a Financial Advisor, this gives you a wonderful opportunity to show off what sets you apart from other professionals. Is there a service or opportunity that you provide clients that flies under the radar in most firms? Is there a particular question that your prospects would type into Google that could lead them right to your website? Take some time to show off something special, and remember to be more specific than “How to prepare for retirement?” 

As you dive into your marketing strategy, content creation is an effective and inexpensive way to stand out from the crowd. By utilizing a keyword strategy and posting content regularly, you can optimize your SEO and make Google go gaga for your site! 

Creating Marketing Channels for Your Content

So you’ve mastered the first steps of your marketing strategy. You’re posting bi-weekly blogs, drumming up your following on social media, and emailing clients to share your new and exciting insights. You’re ready to expand your marketing efforts even further, and the first step is to find new channels to share your amazing insights. So where do you start?

Recycling is all the rage right now, so why not extend it to your marketing efforts? By giving your existing content a facelift, you can repurpose it to attract a whole new audience. Here are some fun, out-of-the-box ideas to put a more creative spin on your old whitepapers and blog posts:

  • Infographics: These bright animations are a wonderful way to attract an audience that is too busy to read more than a paragraph at a time. Hire a graphic designer, pull out the key talking points of your content, and create a work of art!
  • SlideShare: LinkedIn’s recent acquisition of SlideShare makes it a key component of a LinkedIn Marketing Strategy. Repurpose your content as a PowerPoint, then upload it to SlideShare to send it out into the world! For added impact, send it out to qualified leads and show off your industry knowledge.
  • Videos: Record a 2-3 minute clip explaining the key points of your content and share it across all of your marketing channels. As an added bonus, the camera gives you the opportunity to show off your personality and build rapport with your prospects before you even connect.

Rather than focusing on the constant creation of new content, ensure you are getting complete use out of the whitepapers and blogs you’ve already created. Putting a bright new veneer on your existing content is an excellent way to attract viewers who don’t have the time to read a full page of content, and it allows you to maximize the impact of your hard work.

Rocket Talk: How to Make Videos Your Customers Can’t Resist

 

You have probably heard how much potential there is to connect with your clientele through video. But how do you make your videos really stand out and attract an audience? Raudel Enrique and Kirk Faulkner join us for another episode of Rocket Talk and discuss 10 different things that anyone can do to make their videos irresistible.

3 Tools To Help You Generate Blog Ideas

As a financial advisor, listening to the concerns of your prospects is the very first step to expanding your business. What fears or stressors drive the average person to hire a financial advisor? What topics should you touch on to ensure that you’re delivering content that matters to your target market? 

Here’s a surprising suggestion: Keyword planners! These tools have been an integral part of the marketing landscape for years, but they are often used just to decide what specialized SEO “buzzwords” to plug into your latest blog post. What a waste! Financial advisors should be using these tools to focus on the big picture instead: What are your prospects looking for?

Here are a few Keyword Planners that can help you answer that question:

Answer the Public

This innovative, long-tailed research tool shows you what real people have been asking about a certain subject. Unlike other keyword planners, this tool breaks the results down into easily-digestible data and even provides an alphabetized list of supplementary keywords.

To put this into practice, search for “Retirement.” You will see the 198 most commonly asked questions surrounding this keyword, including “Are retirement pensions taxed?” and “Will retirement age increase?” 

These are likely questions plaguing your potential prospects as well, so address their concerns! Write blog posts including these exact questions—and some of the suggested keywords from the “Alphabeticals” section—to answer the public and attract new prospects!

BuzzSumo’s Top 10 

BuzzSumo’s innovative marketing tool scours the internet for the top 10 shared pieces relating to your search, allowing you to evaluate your competition. What are prospects most likely to share with their friends and family? What type of content will drive the most visitors to your site? This tool is a great way to stay on top of what content is trending in the financial services industry (and craft a strategy to catapult one of your pieces into the Top 10)! 

Tried and True: The Actual Conversation

Though keyword planning tools are an excellent way to survey the content landscape, there’s no replacement for the old-fashioned conversation. Ask your ideal clients what their biggest financial anxieties were before they signed up for your services. What fears kept them up at night? What did they Google as they scoured the internet for answers? Go right to the source and ask your clients what drew them to your doorstep. This is the ultimate keyword planner in a financial advisor’s playbook!

Your prospects are leaning on search engines and social media to find answers to their financial questions. In order to draw them to your site, leverage your financial experience by creating content tailored to their queries. Whether you utilize a keyword planner or a good, old-fashioned conversation, you should be answering their main concerns in your latest content. 

Content and the Art of Persuasion

When compared to the marketing strategies of your average industry, financial advisors face a particular challenge. People hire financial advisors to avoid worrying about the very services you are trying to offer. For the average person, finances are confusing. Math is frustrating. Saving for retirement is stressful. Though Benjamin Franklin described Compound Interest as “the eighth wonder of the world,” the average American will yawn (or roll their eyes) if you start explaining it in detail. 

So how do you persuade your prospects that you’re the right person to hire…without diving into those boring and complicated numbers? Here are some other techniques you can use to make your services shine, taken from the true masters of persuasion: famous authors!

  1. A Tale Of Two Clients

Humans are naturally drawn to a compelling narrative. Our ancestors used to bond by sitting around this awesome new thing called “fire” and telling stories about the origins of the earth. Though you’re not working with anything this grandiose, you can still make a compelling argument by contrasting the stories of two very different clients. Client #1 is motivated and starts investing with you right at the start of their career. Client #2 dilly-dallies a little bit, buys a fancy sports car right out of college, and is struggling to catch up. Comparing the financial future of these two characters illustrates how your company can help people in different situations, and, if you tell the story well, prospects will see themselves in one of the characters you create.

  1. The Sound And The Fury

One of the quickest ways to unravel your argument is to use generic language that forces your reader to drift off. In the Financial Industry, there are certain cliches that your prospects have heard a thousand times. “Your dream retirement” and “Planning for your financial future” are some of the worst offenders. Try to think of hip new ways to describe these boring old concepts. After all, William Faulkner didn’t describe life as a “struggle” or a “challenge.” Instead, he rehashed one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines as a metaphor for his tragic novel. 

  1. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Repetition is key for marketers in the modern world, so take a lesson from Dr. Seuss. We are constantly inundated with advertisements on our phones, on TV, and even splayed up on billboards as we drive to work. Most prospects won’t pay attention to your content until they recognize your logo and have a basic understanding of what you do. Sending content out into the world via email, social media, and other forms of advertising builds the first stages of “brand awareness” and primes your prospects for future interactions with your content. 

Using these persuasive techniques allows you to market your business…without falling back on those boring numbers. As you reach out to clients that are less mathematically-inclined, tell a compelling narrative to make your business stand out! 

4 Tips To Utilize Freelancers To Create Great Content

If you’re like most financial advisors, time is one of your most valuable assets. Hiring freelancers to handle your content creation frees up your schedule while bringing another expert set of eyes to your team. However, as with any other job, hiring the right person is the key to success. How do you ensure you’re working with the best possible writer? 

Define Your Style

The first step to hiring the right copywriter is to find someone who can match your rhetorical style. Take some time to consider your ideal client and what they will find most compelling. Are you working with an older demographic? Remaining factual may be your best bet. Do you want to attract younger generations? Then you will need to bring a sense of humor to the table in order to hold their interest. Once you have defined your company’s style, look for writers who fit that tone so your branding remains consistent throughout your website. Ask for samples of their work that fit your brand’s style so you can be sure they are up to the challenge!

Test Those Testimonials

When working with a freelance copywriter, you want more than just the end product. A great working relationship is just as important as the writing itself, and testimonials are the best way to judge what your experience will be. Was the writer timely in their communication? Did they deliver drafts right on schedule? Were they open to feedback and willing to make the necessary changes? All of these are questions that you should be asking a writer’s former clients. 

It’s Not Just The Copy

Though a compelling narrative is key, a competent freelancer also has to maximize the impact of your new content by using SEO keywords throughout the copy. Keep an eye out for freelancers who mention “SEO” on their resume, and ask how they have successfully incorporated this into their previous work. 

Quality Over Quantity

Chances are, your clients don’t have the time to read a 5,000-word blog post, so content needs to quickly deliver the info they need to know. In order to confirm that this is a high priority for your freelancer as well, ensure that you are paying by the project. Avoid freelancers that charge per word, as they are incentivized to make your content as wordy as possible. Your content should be clean and quick! 

Hiring a freelancer is a practical step for a busy financial advisor, but you need to ensure that you’re bringing on the right person. These tips will help you narrow your search and pick the best fit for your business! 

 

How Do You Map Personas to the Sales Funnel?

Today’s consumers expect a more immersive conversation with their potential financial advisor before subscribing to their services. The excess of information readily available to all consumers requires you to work harder—and smarter—to convert your leads into clients. The days of sending a one-off postcard are over. Clients want to create a relationship with you before enlisting your services.

Mapping the content that you create to different buying stages can help you maximize the success of your omnichannel strategies. To optimize the success of your content, you need to consider the different needs of your prospects at each stage of the sales funnel. 

The Anatomy of a Sales Funnel

Even for the most analytic consumer, making a purchase is ultimately an emotional decision. To truly understand what will appeal to your prospect, you need to know where they stand in the sales funnel.

The most simple model of a sales funnel has three very important stages:

Stage 1: Awareness 

This is the first step in a prospect’s buyer’s journey, and they may not even know what specific services they require at this point in the process. They are doing their research on potential financial advisors by scouring blog posts, the social media accounts of potential advisors, and industry trends in order to see what works best for their needs. 

Stage 2: Consideration

The evaluation stage is much more involved, and the prospect is now looking closely at what you offer. What sets you apart from your competitors? Do you offer the specific services that they will require? In addition to the services themselves, clients will be examining their possible professional relationship with your firm. Are your personalities the right fit? Do you respond to their questions quickly and concisely? 

Stage 3: Purchase

This is the final stage in your sales funnel, where you leverage your ongoing communication with the prospect to finally convert them to a client. In order to truly sell your services to your client, spend time highlighting your experience in the industry and what sets you apart from the crowd. Really drive home what you deliver for your clients! This will, of course, encompass your financial services, but don’t forget to mention how you cultivate relationships and deliver peace of mind every step of the way. 

How to Tailor Content to Each Stage of the Sales Funnel

Too many companies get hung up on the sale itself and neglect the first two stages of the process. Creating a relationship with your future clients takes time, and your prospects will have unique needs at each stage of the sales funnel. An effective marketing strategy will create content that addresses those needs and distribute it across multiple channels. This sounds daunting, but don’t panic! Here are some steps to guide you through this process:

Define the content needs of each stage in the sales funnel

Before you start hammering out your content, you need to take some time to evaluate what each prospect wants to see. This can be a daunting task, but breaking down the data will help you determine the needs of each persona.This data includes the life stages of your ideal client, their demographics (age, net worth, location, etc.), and what financial services will be most helpful.

Once you have your ideal client in mind, you can brainstorm what will most appeal to this user at each stage of the sales funnel. For example:

Stage 1: Awareness

The awareness stage is vital to starting a new relationship with your prospect. This is the stage where you want to build trust and establish yourself as an authority in the financial services industry. Talk about your accomplishments, tell the story of how you started your career as a financial advisor, and post rave client reviews. Having a compelling narrative helps build brand awareness and convinces clients to pick you over the competition. 

Once this content has been created, use blogs and social media to share it with the world. Posting on your social media channels gets your name out and encourages a conversation with your prospects. Be sure to respond to every comment on your page in a timely manner in order to prove that you care about your clients! 

Once you have started a conversation with a new prospect on social media, ask for their email address and inquire what financial services they need most. This will allow you to continue the conversation in a more direct way and speak to their major pain points. 

Stage 2: Consideration

This stage is a little more sales intensive, and you want to convey the value that you have provided for other clients in order to prove your worth. 

Begin by addressing the pain points that the prospect brought up in your first conversation. Explain how you have delivered value for your existing clients, highlight your specialties, and explain your process. Having a page of client testimonials is a great way to demonstrate your success, and it will assure the prospect that they will be in good hands! 

Stage 3: Purchase

At the very end of the sales funnel is the purchase stage.  The client is now familiar with your brand and the financial services that you offer, and they are ready to take this relationship to the next level. To “seal the deal” with a prospect at this stage, show off your industry knowledge by sharing whitepapers, case studies, or any recent articles that you have authored. Ask your prospect if they have any other questions or concerns, and invite them in for a face-to-face meeting at your office. 

In closing

When creating your marketing strategy, you need to closely consider the stages of the sales funnel and tailor content to each step. Consumers today expect a longer conversation before committing to a service, and creating content that appeals to each buyer persona ensures that you are covering all your bases. 

How to Define Your Content Niche

When prospects begin searching for a new financial advisor, they have specific needs in mind, and they know what services are most important for their financial future. Publishing content that is tailored to these unique challenges establishes you as a thought leader and confirms that you are the right fit for your new client’s needs. After all, you wouldn’t check into a hospital with a broken arm and ask to see a neurologist! Outlining your content niche highlights your expertise in every interaction with your prospects and clients, confirming that you are the right fit for their financial needs. 

1. Leverage Your Expertise

Bestselling author John Gordon notes, “Experts are not called upon because they are the smartest person in every room; they are called upon because they are the smartest person in a specific room.” Most clients aren’t looking for a “catch-all” advisor. They want someone with years of specialization in a certain area. Highlight your experience working with a certain demographic or strategy in order to attract more clients with the same needs. 

If you don’t have a specific specialty, take some time to think about what work you enjoy the most. This is a great way to decide what to focus on in your content marketing, but more importantly, it will allow to craft a career that you enjoy! 

2. Focus

If your area of expertise is something broad and sweeping, you may find that you have too much competition when prospects start browsing for financial advisors. Carefully focus your niche in order to stand out from the crowd. Do you offer tax services? So do thousands of other financial advisors in your area. What about tax services for new parents? Now you’re thinning out the competition! Highlight these niche areas of specialization in every blog post and social media campaign in order to reach the right prospects at the right time.

3. Testing, testing!

Now that you have some focused content, start sending it out to certain subsets of your contact list and measure the response. If a certain piece gets more engagement than others, you know you’re on the right track! Continue this testing with different content and prospects until you have a solid idea of what speaks to your core demographic. 

Creating content that truly speaks to your prospects helps you stand out from the crowd and attract the right client for your business. Take some time to consider the key needs of your ideal client and focus your content on that niche in order to prove that you’re the right advisor for the job! 

Influencer Marketing and the Financial Advisor

Influencer marketing is the art of using paid endorsements from people who have attracted sizable and loyal audiences online. In a recent Digiday article about the real cost of influencer marketing, it stated that the going rate for an influencer recommendation was $1000 for every 100,000 Instagram followers they have. YouTube star Pewdie Pie, with his 50 million followers, earns a staggering $15 million dollars a year with endorsements and ad revenue. This is all to prove the point: influencer marketing is a very real thing.

How can a financial advisor use influencer marketing to grow their business?

It might seem like influencer marketing is only for big public-facing brands that want a lot of exposure. The truth is, influencer marketing is a perfect strategy for service professionals with niche markets that are looking to both find new leads and increase their cachet within the types of communities, online and off, that will increase prospect comfort and likelihood to take action.

Financial advisors are often worried that engaging an influencer will violate compliance rules. While you do need to be careful when working with a thought leader or expert, it should not stop you from trying influencer marketing. The key is to create content with the person rather than just have them recommend you. This way it is not a recommendation, it is a collaboration.

With a little bit of time and effort, you can leverage the power of influencer marketing to increase your own brand’s engagement, recognition, and reputation. The first step is finding the right influencer.

How do I find influencers in my market?

When it comes to finding a good influencer to work with you should not be too worried about which platform they are on. While Facebook and LinkedIn will probably be the most common if you find a Twitter profile, Instagram personality or Tumblr page that reaches your audience you should engage with them.

The trick to finding influencers is to search, search, search. Think about your ideal client. What are the types of search requests they would type? Which words would they use? As you begin to search words and phrases on the different platforms, profiles will emerge that have some amount of authority in each arena.

Here are some types of people who might be good influencers for your business:

  • Authors
  • Journalists
  • Thought Leaders
  • Community Leaders
  • Lawyers
  • Bloggers
  • Politicians

Engaging an influencer is simple. Reach out to them and ask them if they would be willing to consider an online recommendation. How much you offer to reimburse them (if anything) is based entirely on what you are asking for. Some influencers may be happy just to interview you in a blog or podcast. Check out the service Help a Reporter Out.

What should I look for in an influencer?

All influencers, whether they be in the world of fashion, food or Futons, have three criteria on which they can be judged: Reach, Resonance, and Relevance.

Reach - How big is their audience? Do they match your ideal client?

Resonance - How good are they at getting that audience to take action? What is their engagement level?

Relevance - How important are they in the market you are trying to influence? How much will it matter they are recommending you?

What should I look for in an influencer’s audience?

The only way to judge audiences is to look at similar influencers and get a sense of where the numbers are. Another aspect to watch is how engaged their audience is. If a Facebook page has 150,000 likes but none of their posts have a single engagement, chances are they paid to pump their numbers and don’t have much relevance to their audience.

Pay careful attention to the follower to following ratio. If the numbers are the same, chances are the influencer spends more time pumping up their followers that creating meaningful content.

With a little effort and ingenuity, you can align yourself with powerful voices online that will increase your exposure to ideal audiences and improve your chances of closing new business.