The old advertising, marketing and client acquisition tactics of days gone by are becoming less and less effective.
The financial industry is rapidly changing and financial advisors still clinging to the past are going to quickly find themselves passed by.
Transforming your practice, at least partially, into a “virtual agency” that embraces digital marketing and the processes and platforms that enable automation is a big key to creating a thriving business.
The purpose, of course, is to contribute to the final outcome: more quality appointments booked.
Your Online Platform: Great Content is Only the Beginning
In part one of this client-attracting mini-series, we shared the importance of building trust in order to attract your most ideal clients. One of the best ways of accomplishing this is by providing online visitors regular batches of great content.
Marketers sometimes call this ‘building authority’, which shouldn’t be hard for a prosperity-minded advisor like you. You have mountains of insight you can share to help guide people to the freedom and abundance they’re after.
Hopefully, you’ve written some authoritative content and published it on your blog. We’ll call these posts your assets.
But unless you make your content go to work for you, your blog will languish – virtually useless. Maybe you can impress some current clients with it, but that’s about all.
Maybe you’re impressing website visitors too, but how would you even know?
The Importance of a Marketing Process
The goal here simple. We’re aiming to transform your online traffic (people visiting your website) into a steady stream of ideal clients for your business.
You can do that with great content, but you’ll need a few tools (online platforms) and the right process to bring everything together into one well-oiled marketing machine:
- Your assets
- Some lead magnets
- An email service provider
- A series of autoresponders
- A whole lot of CTAs (explained later)
The beauty of it all? Once set up, a machine like this requires little work from you until it’s time to pick up the phone and call a very warm lead; one who already feels like they know you and are eager to speak with you personally.
If you have read the last post in this series, then you’ve probably already begun building your assets.
On your blog, you’re giving away assets: your knowledge and insight about creating and protecting wealth. The lead magnet puts a price tag on some of your content so you’re not just giving it away.
Don’t give it all away for free. Ask for an email address in exchange for access.
A lead magnet is content so good, people are willing to give up their contact information so you’ll give them access to the content they crave.
How does it work? You ask for their contact information in return for access to some premium content. Then sit back and wait for those email addresses to start rolling in. As you’re about to find out, email addresses can quickly equal new clients.
Before that happens, you’ll need to create that lead magnet.
Use Content Upgrades for Stronger Magnets
The best way to create high-converting lead magnets is to make use of content upgrades.
A content upgrade is a better version of a blog piece. The idea is that if someone enjoyed your blog post, wouldn’t they really enjoy a better version? A content upgrade?
By tailoring every lead magnet to the page it’s on, you can dramatically increase the likelihood that someone will go for it. Posting a blog piece about the pitfalls of investing in a qualified plan?
Make your lead magnet a checklist entitled, “5 Investment Alternatives to the Qualified Plan”.
Here are a few more ideas for content upgrades.
- A formatted, downloadable PDF of your article
- A video of you explaining a critical financial concept
- The slide deck from that video
- An infographic explaining the route to financial freedom
- A financial freedom checklist
- A free consultation with you
- A giveaway
- An invitation to a webinar hosted by you
- A guide to choosing a financial advisor
Automation is a Beautiful Thing
Once your wonderful blog article is in place and once your lead magnets are ready to go, you’re pretty much ready to sit back and let the automation take over. If all goes well, your next direct input will not be required until it’s time to pick up the phone and dial the number of that very warm lead mentioned above.
That’s the beauty of automation. For that beauty to enter your life, however, you’ll need the help of some good online platforms.
One such platform is an Email Service Provider (ESP).
A few ESP’s that come to mind are MailChimp and Infusionsoft (what we use). What they do for you is help you manage your email list so you can whittle it down to the most likely prospects. Then, with your filtered list, you can hone in on those prospects and turn them into real leads.
That golden path to great leads is paved with a series of autoresponders.
Autoresponders, Your Soldiers of Marketing
Autoresponders are automatic emails sent out by your ESP. You set them up and the ESP does the rest. The idea is to respond to your subscribers’ actions in order to further engage them. Engagement can be leveraged to form a lead.
Autoresponders can be used to “drip” information to prospects or clients over a predetermined period of time… all without you even thinking about it!
They can even be set up to respond to certain actions like:
- replying to a previous email
- registering for a webinar
- clicking on a link
- deleting a previous email
- booking an appointment
By examining visitor behavior, you can tell who is likely to become a lead. Let’s say someone downloads your lead magnet. You’ll want to thank them for that. There’s your first autoresponder email.
With autoresponders in place, there’s no need to keep track of the visitors who are responding to your lead magnet. The Email Service Provider (ESP) does it for you. It sends out those automated emails, engaging your prospects for you. Automation!
Finally, the CTA for Booking an Appointment
For the final cog in the machine, we have the CTA. Someone who keeps engaging with your blog should receive another autoresponder to pull them in further. That calls for an autoresponder with a CTA button.
CTA stands for call-to-action. In your case, the action you’re looking for is a well-informed prospect to book an appointment. By now, this prospect is quite warm, having engaged with your company in several ways. Therefore, they’re likely to click that CTA, fulfilling your ultimate goal: booking an appointment.
Hook your CTA to a scheduling app like Calend.ly or Schedule Once and your automated marketing process is complete… and you hardly had to do a thing once it was all set up!
Your marketing machine is now up and running. To be clear, setting this up is not easy. Don’t try to do everything at once.
Connect one great piece of content with a single lead magnet that kicks off a series automated emails. Start small and add one piece at a time.
At some point, you will likely want to make a phone call. Feel free to insert the human touch at any point in this automated process of marketing machinery, preferably towards the end when leads are warm and eager to connect with you.
In part one of this little series, we shared with you the most important factor for investors in choosing an advisor was whether they were perceived as being honest and trustworthy.
Perhaps ironically, creating a “virtual agency” that utilizes online processes and platforms to automate your marketing will likely be the most successful approach in establishing more trust and attracting more of your ideal clients.