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5 Tips to Up Your Marketing Game

You’re a financial planning expert. Marketing might not be your thing. But here are some relatively easy goals you could potentially achieve before 2019 is over.

1.) Get out in your community.

Among the top marketing tips on Business.com is to get involved in the community. Donate prizes to local competitions and contests. Connect with people. Attend local events, volunteer, network, and create awareness about your business.

“Participating with community members this way can help you make stronger connections that you otherwise wouldn’t have through the normal business events,” Ally Scott writes in the Pulse Marketing Agency article, “Why Community Involvement Is Good for Your Brand.”

Then, when somebody needs a financial planner, they’ll remember that one planner (you) they met at that one event, or who donated that prize for that one local contest or silent auction.

Another way to get involved in your community is to serve on community boards. Gloria Zamora and M.L. Hanson (of the Colorado-based Boardbound by Women’s Leadership Foundation) noted in a recent FPA Latino Knowledge Circle call that non-profit and corporate boards alike are always looking for professionals with financial expertise to serve. Catch a replay of their call here.

2.) Hire a good writer.

The buzz around content marketing and personalized content for email campaigns has been growing for years now. But you hate writing. Or maybe you love writing but you have no time. Investing in a freelance writer to interview you on key topics and write your blog posts and email copy might be helpful, said Robert Sofia in the Financial Planning article, “How Advisors Can Up Their Digital Game.”

3.) Keep it consistent.

Whether you hire a writer or write it yourself, make sure if you are producing content, you are consistent with posting it. In the Forbes article, “Why Content Consistency Is Key to Your Marketing Strategy,” Jon Simpson writes it’s crucial to adhere to a schedule to build credibility and better customer experience. You might remember author Claudio Pannunzio noted in a recent blog post that an excellent client experience is better than any other marketing tactic.

4.) Talk to the media or write for professional publications.

If you see a financial planner being quoted in the news—and they happen to be an FPA member—chances are they’ve gone through FPA’s media training. (Virtual media training comes with your FPA membership. Not a member? Become one today.) After going through the training, members receive inquiries from the press and respond to the ones they want to answer.

Dennis Nolte, CFP® professional, told TheStreet.com that talking to media outlets was one of his methods for marketing on a budget.

Another way to market yourself is to establish yourself as a leader by writing for the profession’s trade and professional publications. Go to their websites, find their writing guidelines and pitch and write relevant content. If you want to learn more about how to write for this blog, or the Journal of Financial Planning, join me this Thursday at 2 p.m. EDT for an FPA Latino Knowledge Circle call on that topic. Journal Editor Carly Schulaka will also be on the call to answer any questions you might have. (Also, in case you missed it, you can now register for Knowledge Circle calls).

5.) Get help. If you have no clue what you’re doing, get help. In the July issue of the Journal,columnist Evan T. Beach writes about how there is no silver bullet to marketing success. Hire somebody who is an expert in marketing of all types—whether it’s a full-time staffer or a marketing firm. There is no shortage of financial planning marketers out there.

Ana TL Headshot_Cropped

Ana Trujillo Limón is senior editor of the Journal of Financial Planning and the editor of the FPA Practice Management Blog. Email her at alimon@onefpa.org, or connect with her on LinkedIn

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Is the Global Space Economy the Next Big Investment Theme for Clients?

Today, the global space economy is estimated to be worth $384 billion. By 2040, Morgan Stanley estimates that value will nearly triple, reaching $1.1 trillion. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is even more aggressive in its projections, suggesting the space economy could represent as much as $2.7 trillion by 2045.

This presents a huge opportunity to capitalize on the future expected growth of a sector that—up until recently—has been largely off limits to the average investor. Baby boomers, millennials and Generation X have all been captivated by the “final frontier,” and may soon want to explore these investments further.

Advisers may not be able to ignore such opportunities if investor demand grows. It is crucial to understand the value of investing in space and where clients can turn to gain access to this emerging sector.

Here are three key reasons why now may be the time to invest in space:

1.) Trade wars fueling government investment

Recent news from Washington, D.C., paints a promising picture about the future of the Space Force, a proposed sixth branch of the U.S. military that would organize, train and equip military space personnel. Although the details of the Space Force are still being negotiated, President Donald Trump and key members of the House and Senate all recognize the importance of American defense capabilities in space. By creating a Space Force that operates independently of the Air Force, greater emphasis could be placed on space-related career paths and space acquisition programs. From an investment perspective, this could lead to more robust defense spending on space-related hardware, software and services, especially at a time when trade wars are shining a spotlight on protecting national interests and security.

Governments are also looking to buy services from private companies rather than specifying or building their own systems. In one recent example, NASA awarded contracts to commercial companies that will transport NASA science instruments to the lunar surface. This approach is intended to stimulate creative commercial solutions to government challenges, essentially creating a new kind of “space race” that could result in powerful new capabilities that create value for non-government customers as well.

2.) Commercial revenue growth

The majority of future growth in the global space economy will likely take place in the private sector, as was the case over the past decade. Today, private industry already accounts for 80 percent of the space market. While governments continue to sponsor space-related initiatives for science, exploration and defense, private industry leads the way in addressing the needs of businesses and consumers.

Traditionally, private companies have encountered barriers to entering the space market due to high costs associated with the sector. However, many types of satellites can now be manufactured inexpensively due to advances in electronics. On a different front, the introduction of reusable rockets has contributed to a drop in launch prices, increasing the accessibility of space. In addition to these innovations, global space policy has become more defined, offering commercial entities greater legal and regulatory clarity about how they can operate in space. This significantly reduces the risk of investing in space, another catalyst for commercial investment.

Commercial opportunities to invest in space will continue to expand as products are developed for interplanetary exploration. While the idea of lunar colonies and asteroid mining may seem far-fetched today, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and reusable spacecraft are rapidly changing our approach to the formerly insurmountable challenges of space.

3.) Disruptive technologies reliant on space-based systems

Space-related systems have become the toll operators for the data superhighway. Satellite-enabled navigation (such as GPS) is the driving force behind the ridesharing apps and location-based delivery services that have opened entirely new markets on Earth. Satellite-based technology also fundamentally influences disruptive investment themes like 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and cloud computing.

The pioneers who invest in these transformative technologies believe the amount of data created and utilized for these applications may expand exponentially. Companies developing the infrastructure necessary for the transfer of all this data will be instrumental to successful operation, and as such, are well-positioned to benefit from the expected growth of each of these industries.

Other industries have had profitable “toll operators” as well. Rail providers, for example, have been critically important to the movement of physical goods for more than 100 years. Today, the world is driven by digital assets and goods, and space-related systems make their transportation and communication possible.

The growth of the global space economy over the next 20 to 25 years will incorporate many industries including technology, manufacturing, biotech and mining, as well as areas we have not yet envisioned. The opportunity for investors is far-reaching and evocative of any major industry at its inception state, such as when Ford debuted the Model T or when initial iterations of the internet appeared.

Introducing your clients to satellite-manufacturing companies and other space-related technologies could offer a way to capitalize on the opportunities in this sector today and for years to come. The “space revolution” is upon us, and your clients cannot afford to ignore it.

Editor’s note: Want to see more about the trends in investing clients are asking about and your fellow planners are exploring? Check out the FPA/Journal of Financial Planning Trends in Investing Survey findings

Andrew Chanin is the co-founder and CEO of ProcureAM, a wholly owned subsidiary of Procure Holdings, LLC. ProcureAM is a new exchange-traded product (ETP) issuer behind The Procure Space ETF (NYSE Arca: UFO), the world’s first global ETF to give investors pure-play access to the expanding space industry.  


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How to Look Like the Financial Planning Expert You Are

Here’s a secret: There are only two things your prospects need to become clients.

First, they need a personal relationship. They want to know you truly understand their situation and goals. Second, they need advice they can trust. They need to be assured that you really are an expert. The more confidence they have in your expertise, the more they are willing to pay for your advice.

Generally, financial planners have great people skills, so building a relationship with your prospects is the easy part—at least if you can get in front of them in person. However, proving your advice is trustworthy can be quite the challenge. We’ve all been around the salesy salesman who makes too much of an effort to impress us. He touts his achievements and awards with grandiosity and tells us how our lives are not complete without his product or service. Yet, as he carries on, all we can think is that this fluff is covering for a poor product or service.

So, how do you show your financial aptitude in an authentic, tasteful way without coming across as phony or ostentatious?

Here are a few recommendations on how you can position yourself as the expert you are. But there is a caveat here: To come across authentic, you must be authentic. This doesn’t mean don’t do it if it is uncomfortable. Anything new is going to be uncomfortable at first. It means only move forward with a strategy if it fits you and your business values and goals.

Promote Your Professional Memberships

Make sure to use your FPA membership—and other association memberships—in your marketing plan. Specifically with FPA, take advantage of their brand recognition by using your “FPA member” logo, along with your designations and certifications, on your website and other materials. Stay tuned for my upcoming article, “How to Leverage Your FPA Membership” for more details.

Present at Seminars and Webinars

Present seminars and webinars on hot topics like Social Security. Notice we said present and not host. Hosting a great financial seminar may be an added value to clients, but it won’t do anything for impressing upon prospects that you’re a financial expert. Sorry guys, the one speaking gets the expert credits here. We know that many fund companies will sponsor your event only if they can speak at it. If you must use them, then make sure to split the speaking time with them.

Secondly, notice we said speak on hot topics. Prospects are only going to pay attention during an event if it’s a topic they are interested in. That’s right, you might get them in the door with an incentive, but you’re not going to keep their attention. Look for topics that affect everyone, but don’t go into too many complicated details.

Warning: While presenting on a subject does have the ability to make you look like an expert, we do caution that you should practice your public speaking first and be prepared.

Be a Guest Speaker

Being a guest speaker has two additional benefits beyond the points above. As a guest speaker, you are exposed to a whole slew of new warm prospects you may not have been introduced to on your own who are interested in what you do. You also get the added benefit of having the host vouch for your expertise by asking you to speak or write.

Always be looking for connections that may offer you the opportunity to present to their clients or audience. For instance, professionals that offer complimentary services, like an estate attorney or CPA, make great seminar partners. Of course, it can be the industries that aren’t related to yours at all that provide the best opportunities. You could offer your expertise to your local chamber of commerce, or to companies who want to offer their employees information on saving and retirement.

Be a Media Source or Content Contributor

Just like being a guest speaker, being a media source or a content contributor introduces you to new prospects and validates your qualifications. It can be difficult to get your name in print for respected news outlets, but your FPA membership offers you the chance to be listed as a source with their FPA MediaSource program after you complete the media training.

Lend a helping hand to content creators by offering to contribute to or write your own blogs. Partnering with professionals with complimentary services can work here also. Many times, contributing can lead to guest speaking as well. FPA offers members opportunities to contribute to various areas including Knowledge Circles, the Journal of Financial Planning and this blog right here.

Be in the Know

Stay updated on financial changes. Make sure you’re aware of all the updates and changes to financial legislation and taxation. It never looks good to have your client explaining a new financial change to you. Take advantage of content in the profession’s publications. For instance with a simple “Tax Law” query on the FPA website, I found this great article. If I were a planner, I would know from reading this that when I meet with my client (or produce my own content) that if my client were to convert their IRA to a Roth, they would save on their future investment returns from the Roth IRA “tax-free” asset class as well as enjoy the freedom from RMDs, but they would have to foot an upfront tax bill and it may disqualify them for the lower income QBI deduction for the year in which they convert.

Imagine the difference a prospect would notice when meeting with two different planners—one who was informed of the tax bracket change the conversion may cause, and one who was not. Your being informed sparks confidence in prospects and clients.

Produce Content on Financial Topics

As you learn about the changes in the financial industry with legislation, taxes, etc., use that information in your content to position yourself as an industry expert. For instance, using the example from above, frame your newfound knowledge by telling your audience how you can help them: “You can convert your IRA to a Roth IRA to avoid paying income on your growth, but with the new tax bill, this may force you into a tax bracket you may otherwise not have been in. We can help you figure out how much you would really be saving by converting to a Roth IRA.”

Promote Awards and Recognition

We know it can be awkward to “toot your own horn,” but there are a few ways to promote your recognition in a tasteful way. Add the award logo to your website under your designations. Tell the world why this award has meaning for you. Add the logo to the bottom of your email signature. Put a press release on your website. Have someone else in your office post or send an email about you winning. Remember: Don’t say this is an important award, say why it is important.

Want help implementing these tips? Find us at KalliCollective.com.

Kalli Lipke

With nearly a decade of experience in the financial industry, along with securities licenses 7 & 63, Kalli Lipke not only understands the way your clients think, but how the financial industry operates. She helps financial planners bring their business to the next level through marketing and branding.