By Nicole N. Middendorf, CDFA
Marketing, I believe, is the life blood of your business. Marketing is the cornerstone of your success.
The first thing you need is to figure out your end goal. Set goals for yourself so you have something to work towards. It is important to not only focus on the present, but also into the future. In order to achieve these goals, make sure that you know what your strengths and weaknesses are and focus on your strengths.
Once you have set your goals, you want to develop a marketing plan. It is important to have a niche. You want to find a market that you target and you become an expert in. You cannot know everything which is why it is important to develop a focus for your practice. Plus, if you are an expert in an area you eventually will be sought out by qualified prospects. You also want to make sure you have a focus with your marketing plan and set realistic expectations. After you do these things to develop a marketing plan, you want to figure out how you will achieve this. Brainstorm ideas of what ways you will achieve these goals you have set for yourself. Once you develop a plan, create a time line of when you are going to implement them.
To have true marketing, it is important to have activity in each of one of the following areas. At our company we actively focus on having activity in all of these areas all the time and also evaluate regularly on how well we are doing each of these:
- Advertising – Products, Community Involvement, Sponsorships, Niche, Volunteering, Networking, Public Speaking
- Public Outreach – Seminars, Sponsorships, Charity
- Direct Communication – Thank you cards, Mailing, Newsletter, Social Media
- Industry Leadership – Chambers, Board Member
- Media Relations – Columnist, Newspapers, Magazines, TV, YouTube
- Events – Expos, workshops, client appreciation
Another great way to market yourself is to develop a system to thank those that give you referrals. You would be surprised how doing this simple thing can help you brand yourself and get a positive reputation with others. It is the small things that can make a lasting impression.
Also, make sure that you utilize technology. Google your companies name and see how many places you can be found online. Having a website and using social media is an easy way to get your name out there. When people hear your name from your marketing efforts, chances are they will try to find your contact information online if they do not already know it. So, if you don’t have a website, get one. Not only is it a great way to get your name out there, but it is something that can help your clients and prospects. By having useful information, articles and resource links on the website, you can help educate them. It is also a great way to advertise the events and seminars that you are putting on in the community. Make sure you include a picture of yourself and your biography as well.
Social media can be a great tool in marketing. Just make sure that you are utilizing it correctly. LinkedIn is to gain a professional network whereas Facebook is best used to prospect and connect with clients. Make sure that you keep your personal and business social media pages separate.
With all of these ideas, persistence is the key to success. Marketing and developing your brand take time, it is not something that can be done overnight. We believe in the WOW effect, which is going out of your way to really “wow” your best clients randomly throughout the year. Develop your marketing plan and stick to it. Go out and “wow” your clients.
Nicole is a Registered Representative with LPL Financial and CEO of Prosperwell Financial. She is featured on numerous new stations where she makes guest appearances to discuss personal finance . Nicole has been professionally trained in retirement planning for small businesses and practical investments for the general public. For more information, visit www.prosperwell.com.