12 MIN READ
Of all the hats firm owners wear, one in particular seems to cause a lot of stress: the marketing hat. There is a lot riding on your marketing, after all. Marketing brings in clients. Clients put food on your table.
Take a deep breath; everything’s going to be okay. Marketing isn’t rocket science. If I can be a “marketeer”, so can you.
Questions from RIA owners most often fall into two groups:
- Why isn’t my marketing bringing in clients?
- What else should I be doing?
At #XYPNLIVE 2019, we’ll explore these two questions. For the first time ever, we have a supercharged content track dedicated solely to marketing and sales at our annual conference.
Why isn’t my marketing bringing in clients?
If this is the question on your mind, you’ll want to pour over your marketing data to identify problem areas. Start at the bottom of your marketing funnel, right at the point of onboarding new clients.
Do you lose prospects after having a call with them or do you struggle to get them to schedule a call in the first place?
If you’re losing prospects at the finish line, you need help with your sales skills. But wait…you went into fee-for-service planning so you wouldn’t have to sell products! Like it or not, you are in the business of sales—you might not be selling products, but you are selling yourself.
If asking prospects for their business makes you queasy, check out these can’t-miss sessions:
Selling for Non-Sales Professionals
Financial planners need to grow their businesses to be successful, but most did not enter the field of financial services to be salespeople. Beverly Flaxington will show advisors how to incorporate good selling techniques without becoming "salesy." This session will be a precursor to a new XYPN program that focuses on business development techniques.
Coaches’ Corner: Effectively and Confidently Communicating Your Value
How are you communicating your value to prospects and clients? XYPN's new sales coach will work with you one-on-one to help you connect with your clients and prospects, using behavioral selling, consultative questions, and active listening. If you’re new to #XYPNLIVE, read more about Coaches’ Corner, one of the most-popular features of our annual conference.
Many firm owners have the opposite problem. They could sell a hair dryer to a bald man, but there aren’t any bald men in the pipeline. Plainly, their ideal clients aren’t finding them.
Not attracting an audience—or the right audience—is a top-of-funnel issue. When trying to identify the problem, start with your website.
The bad news is there are many issues that could be hurting your website: slow load times, broken links, poor user experience, lack of conversion opportunities, low SEO ranking, and so much more. The good news is most of these are an easy fix.
If you’re questioning the power of your website, don’t miss these opportunities from experts on our team:
Website Metrics: What's Normal? A Study of 100+ Advisor Website Analytics
"Is my website doing okay? Is this normal?" Carolyn Dalle-Molle faces these questions weekly as XY Planning Network’s Marketing Coach. For the past three years, she’s answered using her overall understanding of what's "normal" based on experience monitoring and reviewing advisor website analytics. In this session, she exposes the data. After three months reviewing 100+ advisor websites, Carolyn has actual answers and data to share. Learn what a healthy website looks like and what's cause for concern as Carolyn exposes advisor websites' traffic volumes, bounce rates, traffic sources, most popular pages, viewer paths, and more.
Coaches’ Corner: Website Review
Your website is crucial to marketing your firm and attracting your ideal clientele. Katie DeMars, XYPN's highly experienced webmaster, will review your website with fresh eyes and evaluate it for best practices and ADA standards. You're sure to leave your one-on-one Coaches' Corner session with a handful of recommendations that may make a world of difference.
Also from the what-am-I-doing-wrong bucket:
“I responded to a request from a journalist, but my quote was not selected for publication.”
The backstory: journalists from top news sites use XY Planning Network’s media portal to request quotes from XYPN advisors for use in their stories. Through this program, members have the opportunity to get national publicity about 250 times per year.
Free publicity establishing yourself as an expert is PRICELESS, so a little media training could have a major impact on your business. We’ve seen it time and again; members report getting multiple clients off media mentions.
“But I never know if I’m doing it right,” I’ve heard. Rest assured nobody is born knowing how to pitch the media. That’s why we invited our PR partner, FiComm, to present:
What Media Want
In this media panel, FiComm Partners will discuss what reporters are looking for when they are constructing a story— and what they don’t want. Hear from actual industry journalists on what makes them tick and how they determine what to cover within the industry.
What else should I be doing?
If you feel like you have extra time, energy, or money to do more marketing, I bow to you. You are doing something right.
If that’s not the case, you may still need to listen up. Why? Because sometimes “Try something else” is the only answer to the question, “Why isn’t my marketing bringing in clients?”
For example, if you put all your eggs in the Instagram basket and your kids are your only followers, it’s time to rethink your strategy. (Unless, I suppose, your kids are willing to pay for your advice—I bow to you again!)
If you need try something new, we have sessions at #XYPNLIVE 2019 to get you thinking about marketing in a whole new way.
Try a new approach:
The Best Marketing Tactic You're Not Trying Yet: Sharing Your Authentic Self
Many forward-thinking firms see the value in inbound marketing and are using content to try to connect with their audience—but most are failing to see results from their efforts. Too many advisors waste time and energy with blogs, social media, emails, and ebooks because their content doesn't drive conversions via more prospects and new clients. This session with Kali Roberge will detail how advisors can solve this problem and better market themselves by shifting from fact-based (and boring) content to strategically sharing personal, authentic stories that form connections between their businesses and their prospective clients. This session is designed for advisors who want to stop creating content no one consumes and start developing a strong, unique voice that stands out from the crowd.
Try a new strategy:
The Power of Public Relations
Public relations has the power to differentiate your business. In this session, FiComm Partners Chief of Communications Kirsten Plonner will explore the influence of PR, including how to utilize the media to help you stand out in a sea of sameness and gain third-party credibility. In addition, she’ll discuss how you can harness thought leadership to market your firm so you stand out within the industry.
A Blueprint for Creating Kicka$$ Video
In today’s age, every company is now a sales and media company—either a good one or a bad one. Video packs the most punch in getting your message out, but how do you do it in a way that, quite frankly, kicks a$$? In this session, Candice Carlton talks all things video and walks through a comprehensive framework for creating next-level videos. This session is for the DIYers who are just getting started, those who have dipped their toes into video and want to dive deeper, and for anyone who wants to refine their video strategy. You’ll walk away with the resources, the layout, and all the critical ingredients you need to create kicka$$ videos.
Try a new niche:
Widows and Divorcees: Servicing Women in Transition
In this session, Chris Dale and Melissa Ellis will dive into the nuances of working with women during some of their most difficult transitions: divorce and death of a spouse. As planners who focus specifically on women, Chris and Melissa will share explicit tactics for working with these niches, things to consider when consulting them, and most importantly, how they humanize the relationship.
If all else fails, I’m back in Coaches’ Corner myself to solve the most challenging marketing mysteries with attendees in 30-minute, one-on-one sessions. You’d be surprised by what we can accomplish in a half hour.
Nearly all of my victims coachees sit down and declare, “I know nothing about marketing!” After just a few minutes of chatting, I discover they actually know quite a bit.
Then the pressure is on me to offer something meaningful. Sometimes it’s brainstorming. Sometimes it’s looking for missed opportunities in their current funnels. Sometimes it’s breaking the news that their outreach is too pushy or that their website has typos. No two sessions are ever the same, nor is the advice I give.
Coaches’ Corner: Content Marketing Assessment
Are you creating great content, but not gaining clients? Stop banging your head against the wall and get some expert advice. XYPN's Director of Marketing Jen Mastrud will examine your inbound strategy to be sure you’re leading prospects to the finish line. During your 30-minute one-on-one session, Jen will look for opportunities to iterate on your current efforts and, if necessary, give you the hard, cold truth if there's something off-putting in your approach. Jen will bring a package of take-home resources and over 20 years of marketing experience to your session.
I’m confident you’ll leave #XYPNLIVE 2019 with at least one new idea to advance your marketing efforts. Often, one small idea is all you need to get the machine churning. That’s why I love marketing. When you see it for yourself, you will too.
Safe travels to St. Louis!
About the Author
As XYPN's Director of Marketing, Jennifer Mastrud is tasked with sharing the movement at XYPN. Her expertise is in branding, marketing, and public relations. She’s as passionate about the XYPN message as she is about innovating new ways to share it. Before joining XYPN, Jen accumulated several years of experience representing national brands in diverse sectors including technology, gaming, TV, and education. She’s based in Minnesota, but travels frequently to warm up.