Now more than ever, your marketing efforts reflect onto your business’ success. In order to keep up with our constant world, many practices often lose strength in their marketing efforts, thus losing success– but, how do you keep up with these changes and maintain successful marketing efforts?
We chatted with Bill McGuire, firm principal of W.M. McGuire to discuss the components of successful marketing that your brand needs to thrive. Here’s what he had to say…
LH: What is the “rule of three” and how does it relate to marketing?
BM: There’s a great INC magazine article ‘The Marketing Rules of Three’ that explains that how hard it is to cut through the clutter and how these simple rules can make your marketing efforts more impactful by ensuring you focus on what’s really important. I think this is especially relevant for financial advisors who have limited resources and often struggle with effectively marketing themselves.
LH: What three components of marketing help financial advisors reach maximum success?
BH: 1. Passion: I believe this that is where it starts and ends. Sharing your knowledge and insights with clients, prospects and centers of influence through content is one the most effective marketing strategies. Blogs, webinars, whitepapers, infographics, podcasts are a few ways you can share your thought-leadership and viewpoint. Before you start though, there are a few questions that need answers to get you there:
- What are you most passionate about and what makes your firm different than others?
- Is there a particular niche or unique client type that you best serve?
- Who within the firm is best to tell your story? It doesn’t have to be the firm’s principal, but they should be someone who will be fully committed to the role.
Most importantly, be authentic and speak about what you know. Steer clear of the latest fads and avoid competing with or copying others.
- Purpose: How do you cut through the clutter? To start, make sure your message is clear, concise, and easy to understand for the reader. Always have a compelling call-to-action (CTA) which offers value to your reader. Think about what the next logical step in the process that may provide additional insight and engagement. For example, if you’re writing a blog article, you may want to reference a ‘Download a whitepaper…’ or ‘Attend a seminar to learn more…’ Try not to make it too sale-oriented, instead focus on the educational benefit to the reader.
- Commitment: There are two factors to your commitment – financial, determining a budget that aligns with your return on investment (ROI), and personal; who’s going to actually doing the work and how much time are they willing and able to put in.
On the financial side, Investopedia gives this simple example, “take the sales growth, subtract the marketing cost, and then divide by the marketing cost: (Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = ROI.” How you look at the ROI of any marketing campaign ultimately comes in the form of increased business growth. The main purpose is to track your efforts over the course of the year and beyond.
On the personal side, select someone who has both strategic and tactical experience. It’s great to have someone who’s able to tell you what you’ll need to do. It’s another thing to have the hands-on skills to get the job done.
LH: In what ways do financial advisors struggle in adopting these components?
BM: As marketing is a long-term investment, staying the course can be their biggest challenge. My advice is to find out what works for you and be all in and do it as best as you can.
LH: For a small firm that doesn’t act on these components, how would you suggest they take the first step in adopting them?
BM: Look to partner with outside resources to help you, there are many in our industry. Read my 5 Advantages of Working with a Virtual Marketing Director for more on this.
LH: Any additional advice?
- BM: View all marketing initiatives as ‘works in progress’ — look for small ongoing adjustments which can often have great impact on the results.
- Conduct after-action assessments — take the time to review what worked, what didn’t, and what needs improvement. Analyze all aspects of your effort and set qualitative and quantitative goals for the future.
As small and entrepreneurial businesses, financial advisors need to approach marketing in the most efficient manner with constantly keeping an eye towards both short and long-term goals.
Bill McGuire is principal of W.M.McGuire Marketing, a full service marketing resource serving the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and wealth management community. We help with every aspect of your marketing from developing a well thought out strategy to seamless tactical execution, and return on investment analysis. Bill has provided marketing support to firms such as MarketCounsel, Morningstar, and TD Ameritrade Institutional. We help businesses grow by applying common-sense marketing with a keen eye towards budgets, deadlines and results.