The fourth quarter is rapidly approaching. Are you seeking new clients before the calendar end? Do you want to build up your leads so you start 2013 on the right foot? Unless you are in the fortunate echelon that has all the clients they’ll ever need, of course you seek more people who want to engage with you.
Where should you spend your time, money and energy for this end-of-the-year marketing push?
The easiest and most effective way to determine if a specific marketing opportunity is right for you is to be 100 percent clear on your target audience. Whether or not you have a true “niche” practice, you still need clarity on who you want to reach with your outbound marketing efforts.
If you could select the next person who comes in your door, who would that be? This is your marketing target.
If you are unsure how to articulate the details of your target audience, try this fun activity:
Go to a bookstore or newsstand and pick up magazines that appeal to your marketing target. Spend time glancing across the various covers. Look for cover photos of people who reflect the client (age, gender, style) that you would want to attract. Select magazines that show homes or interests that match the aspirations (or the reality) of your ideal audience.
For example, an independent 50+ year old women approaching retirement will likely read More magazine. If you want to reach Moms who are 35 to 40, pick up Real Simple. Grab GQ if professional single men in the accumulation stage are your niche.
- Select three magazines that represent your vision of your ideal client. (Yes, buy them and bring them home if you are more tactile in your learning).
- Next, look up each magazine online. Print magazines almost always have an online version, too.
- Pretend you are an advertiser. No, I do not recommend running a $150,000 print ad, but you can leverage the power of magazine marketing (they know reader data inside and out!) to your advantage. Scroll down to the bottom of the home page where you’ll usually find the “Advertise With Us” or the “Media Kit” link.
- Drill down until you can find “about our readers” info or a demographic profile. Here you will find specific descriptions of who the primary magazine reader is. They’ll show age, income, education and all the basic stats. Hopefully, you’ll also find interests or other qualitative information about the audience.
- Keep the magazines that are compatible with your marketing target. You can reference them when opportunities arise or blend multiple descriptions to form your own “profile.”
Now, with clarity on the type of client you want to attract, you can evaluate each new marketing spend or effort against your profile. Whether you are identifying your own outlets or you are approached with the sales pitch for a can’t-miss advertising opportunity, you are armed and ready. Inquire about the primary audience the particular channel reaches. Match it back to your profile and ask yourself, “Will this channel or opportunity accelerate my ability to reach these people? “
You’ll be surprised and delighted how easy it is to know when to say “yes” and when to decline and move on to your next marketing idea. And hang onto those magazines; you’ll need them when I talk about content marketing!
Kristin Harad, CFP®
Marketing trainer for advisers