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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Jorge's Thoughts: 6 Tips to Becoming a Trusted Local Expert

Hyper-local marketing demands that you use a more integrated approach to impress upon your ideal prospects that you are the trusted, go-to local expert. 

It’s important for your company to have a plan that continually places your products and services at the forefront of your local market using a variety of channels that will provide you with several opportunities to deliver a compelling message, your benefits and your value proposition. The company that creates that top of mind awareness with consumers is the one that wins their business in the end. 

Here are a few ways to do just that: 

1: Know your ideal target client.

Believe it or not, this is actually a challenge for many financial advisors. There’s a difference between what you want in a potential client and the clients that actually drive your revenue. To accomplish this, conduct an audit of your last 20 new clients. This audit could include the following data points:

  • Source: Where did this client come from? (e.g. referral, seminar, etc.)
  • Address: This will indicate if there’s a cluster of clients in a specific area in your geographic market.
  • Age: This will indicate a key demographic for future prospecting.
  • Admitted assets: How much money do they have to invest?
  • Assets secured: How much of the available assets are you able to use for their financial plan?
  • Services provided: Retirement income, estate planning, etc.
  • Products sold: Mutual funds, life insurance, long-term care, etc.
  • Date of first contact: When did you first hear from this client?
  • Date of closed sale: When did you receive payment/s for products and services delivered? Knowing the number of weeks from first contact to close will give you a clear idea on how frequently you need to prospect.

2: Know your competition.

Though you would like for your customers to overlook your competition, it’s crucial for advisors to be well-versed in who your competition is, what they offer, what makes them stand out and why prospects respond to them. This information can help you make important marketing decisions as well as help you hone in on what the competition offers and how they differentiate themselves. 

3: Understand your prospects’ needs.

Selling a product or service to prospects begins with assessing their needs and understanding how you can help. This is more than knowing who your clients are as advised in step one; this is more about identifying with your prospects’ short-term and long-term concerns so that you can exceed their expectations, thereby building your brand and outshining your competition. 

4: Use the proven social dinner event approach, not the outdated lectures, workshops and lunch seminars.

It is an incontestable fact that dinner/evening seminars at better restaurants - when compared to all other forms of advertising and if done correctly - generate the most consistent flow of qualified and motivated prospects and the best ROI. In fact, a recent survey of top dinner seminar producers shows an average ROI of more than 300%.  If you think that sounds too good to be true, do the math. If you invest $10,000 in a seminar marketing campaign that generates 40 buying units and you close only 10% of those prospects (assuming an average commission of just $7,500), you’ll have an ROI of 300%.

5: Use local magazines and publications. 

 Simply getting your business’ name mentioned in a local magazine is not meaningful enough to generate buzz or connect with your local market. Local magazine advertising offers many benefits that make investment on your part worthwhile. According to Forbes, many businesses rely upon online advertising, so “the decline of print publication can actually be used as a marketing advantage. The publications are less crowded, allowing more room for your ad to shine, and possibly even cheaper prices for that ad space.” 

6. Establish an online voice with social media.

Social media is a great way to grow your brand, attract prospects and create a digital voice, but tackling your social media presence by creating accounts that you randomly use will do more harm than good. Create a calendar to schedule your postings.  If you already have a social media presence, ask a marketing professional to conduct an audit on your profiles and identify areas that need improvement. If you don’t have a strong social media presence, ask a marketing professional skilled in digital strategies to develop strategies and content and to post on your behalf if needed.  Ask her/him to collaborate with you on marketing goals and to compare your social media presence with your competitors’. Also, follow these best practices:

  • Remain current with topics of interest. 
  • Stay relevant and consistent…deliver a solid message with benefits.   
  • Be engaging by offering value. 
  • Monitor and respond to online conversations.  

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By: Jorge Villar, President and Founder