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Hidden Marketing Gem: Working with the Media

Occasionally, the local NBC affiliate in Denver interviews CFP® professionals on money matters; often members of the FPA of Colorado. To those viewers, their names become top of mind whenever it comes time to search for financial planners.

Being quoted in the media—print, digital, TV or radio—has served as a great marketing tool for some FPA members, a few told me recently for the cover article in this month’s Journal of Financial Planning.

Mychal Eagleson, CFP®, president of An Exceptional Life Financial, said completing FPA’s media training was a smart marketing move for him. Members go through the training and then have access to reporters and writers who need input from financial planners. When reporters fill out an FPA MediaSource request, it’s distributed to members who have completed the media training, and they can respond via email or call the reporters up and answer questions.

“I recently used MediaSource and was quoted in an AARP Magazine article,” Eagleson said. “I’ve had two prospects who saw that article and called me because of it.”

Eric Roberge, CFP®, founder of Beyond Your Hammock, said in an FPA member profile that the FPA media training was invaluable in helping him attract new clients and impress his current ones. Participating in the training helped him build a media platform and be quoted in CNBC, Entrepreneur, InvestmentNews and USA Today. After the USA Today article, a high school classmate he hadn’t talked to in more than 20 years contacted him to talk finances. Another high-earning young professional contacted him after reading the same article.

“The FPA media training and media queries are an incredible way to help me expand my platform to people across the country,” Roberge said.

Being quoted in articles and on TV isn’t just a way to prospect, it also affirms for current clients that they made the right choice.

“When clients see my name, they say, ‘Oh congratulations, we saw you in this article and we were blown away,’” Eagleson said. “It’s a testament.”

Serving as a resource to the media is commonly among the top public relations tips for financial planners.

“The better the relationship [with reporters], the more opportunity you will have long term,” Ben Lewis, director of public relations for FPA said in a recent Financial Advisor article.

The article indicated that if you build positive relationships with reporters, you’ll
continually get quoted, leading to more exposure to potential clients for you.

To sign up for the virtual media trainings that come with your FPA membership, click here. Not a member? Become one today.

Ana Headshot

Ana Trujillo Limón is associate editor of the Journal of Financial Planning and the editor of the FPA Practice Management Blog. Email her at alimon@onefpa.org. Follow her on Twitter at @AnaT_Edits.

 


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The 5-Step Formula to Create A Client-Generating Video In 5 Minutes Or Less

Video is one of those things you must do in order to move your financial business forward. According to a DMN3 Study, Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers spend up to two hours per week watching online TV and video. Forty-three percent of boomers watch a video on YouTube daily. Nearly half (48.7 percent) are watching videos to get information. If you aren’t providing regular video content or “tv show,” you can’t be found and you can’t help someone who needs it.

But what do you say and how can you always have something new to talk about? That’s a question we had to answer ourselves. My online TV show, The Ambitious Life has just crossed the 80-episode mark. Then there’s the hundreds of promotional videos, our reality show, Ambitious Adventures, and the 60-plus Ambitious Live courses we’ve created. And all we really talk about is video marketing.

Surely, we must run out of things to say! But we don’t.

As we began crafting original TV shows for our financial clients, we started to reverse engineer how we always had something to say. We also wanted to make it so you don’t feel the pressure to be perfect, but were instead being the best version of you while genuinely helping your clients and prospects.

In doing this, we discovered that they all followed a simple formula. You might think this formula is too simple or too easy to follow. Good. Don’t mess with it. Follow the framework I’ve laid out for you below.

The 5-Step Formula to Create Client-Generating Videos In 5 Minutes Or Less

Step 1: Introduce Yourself. This first step is foolproof. If you get this wrong, we are in big trouble. Start by introducing yourself.

“Hi, I’m X from Y.” All you need to do is replace X with your name and Y with your business name. Here’s my example: “Hi, I’m Greg Rollett from Ambitious.com.”

Got it? Good. Let’s move on.

Step 2: What’s This Video All About. In Step 2 you’re addressing the audience by telling them what this video is all about and why they should watch it. The framework looks like this:

“In this video I’m going to talk to you about X because Y.” Replace X with the topic of the video and Y with the reason why they need to hear about X right now.

In my case it might look something like this, “In this video I’m going to teach you a simple 5-step system to quickly create videos because I believe most financial planners want to create videos but don’t know what to say.”

When thinking about what to film the video about, start by going through all your products and services. Think about things happening in pop culture, like what’s happening right now with 401(k)’s and the tax debate. Make a list of as many topics as possible and keep them handy when you are going to be filming some videos.

After you state the topic of the video, then you give a reason why you are talking about that topic. People like to know why something is important and will help them to stay and watch your video. Now that you have the topic and the reason why it’s important, let’s move onto Step 3.

Step 3: The Story Hook. In step 3 you are going to do the bulk of the heavy lifting in your video, but I’ve made it easy for you. You are simply going to share a story, case study or example that talks to the main point of your video.

Stories are what bonds us together. You want to pull your prospects and audience in with a great story that relates to the topic they’re interested in. We are just looking to tell a story that helps us to make our point and do it in 2-3 (not 20) minutes.

In my example, the story might sound like this, “I want to tell you a story about a financial planner out of Surprise, Ariz. He has a great practice but really wanted to get to the next level and help even more people. I told him to think about creating an online TV show. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to be in front of the camera and if he had enough to say that would get past compliance. I shared with him this simple 5-step video formula and started brainstorming some ideas with him right on the phone. In about 5 minutes we had a dozen ideas and he was hooked. Two weeks later he was in the studio, and just last month we launched his new online TV Show, The Joe Gleason Show, which has been seen by thousands of people all over Surprise.”

That’s it. Quick story that makes your point. Once you have a story idea for each of the 5 topic ideas, let’s move onto Step 4.

Step 4: Relate It Back to The Audience. It’s time to give your audience some genuine help and tips. I know you need to be careful here, but there is still plenty to say and plenty of helpful advice you can dispense while still staying compliant.

Give them one thing (not 100 things) to do right now to get the result they desire. This isn’t a pitch for your service. This is genuinely telling them what to do. It is getting them one step closer to solving their problem (or whatever end result your product or service delivers).

I might do this by saying, “If you’re like Joe and want to take your business to the next level, I want you to go out and shoot a video today. Introduce yourself. Tell the viewer what this video is about and why they should watch. Tell a story that relates to your video’s point, then actually help them. Give them one tip to get the result they desire. Finally, tell the viewer how to get started working with you. Use these 5-steps and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the reactions you get.”

Simple, right? It tells them what to do, but not necessarily how to do it (that’s why they need you).

Ok, write down one tip you are going to share with your video topic ideas, then on to Step 5.

Step 5: The Call to Action. No video is complete without telling the viewer how they can become a client. We do this with a simple transition after we genuinely help them.

It looks like this, “Hey, if you liked this video and want to learn more, do this.” Naturally, replace “do this” with what you want the viewer to do. That can be going to a landing page to download a free report or to call the office for a free consultation. That’s it. Don’t draw it out, just tell them how you can help them take that next step.

Follow this 5-step system and go out to film your next video. I’d love to see it. More importantly I know it will help you reach more people and make a difference in their financial lives.

Greg Rollett.jpg
Greg Rollett is the founder of Ambitious.com (http://ambitious.com), an Emmy® Award Winning media production and marketing agency for financial professionals and business owners. He is the host of the reality TV show “Ambitious Adventures,” seen on Entrepreneur.com, and the host the Ambitious Life. Reach him on Facebook or Instagram to say hello and share your videos.

 

 


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How to Minimize Your Marketing Budget and Still Get Results

Want to know my favorite thing about inbound marketing? Anyone can do it, and you often get the best results from organic efforts.

Organic refers to campaigns and strategies that naturally attract your ideal prospects and clients to you—rather than paying to get in front of them. Organic marketing is free marketing with no barrier to entry.

So before you throw money at AdWords, before you rush out to hire a professional to do all your marketing for you, take a step back and consider that the only thing you actually have to invest is time.

How to Market Your Firm for Free

There are countless marketing strategies that don’t require a dime to implement. If you’re short on budget—or just want to stop massive marketing spends—try free or inexpensive tactics like:

  • Blogging and creating content (and publishing on platforms like LinkedIn, Medium or Tumblr);
  • Engaging on social media;
  • Creating a podcast or a video series;
  • Responding to reporter’s requests for stories or media queries;
  • Pitching influencers and media members with relevant, timely stories that contain something their audience would really want;
  • Developing your own event series where people can come and learn something for free (this could be a workshop, a webinar, a class, or just a networking event for a specific tribe of people);
  • Joining online communities and participating in discussions; and
  • Becoming part of in-person networking groups, business development initiatives in your area, and professional organizations or associations.

Minimize Your Budget Without Killing Your Time

Of course, the fact that all of the above takes a lot of time is the downside. That’s where organic, inbound marketing gets tricky.

It takes a lot of time to see results and as a firm owner or decision-maker in a financial planning practice, time is one resource you probably don’t have an abundance of. Still, that doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton of money or keep a massively inflated marketing budget to get results.

If you want to minimize your marketing budget but it’s not realistic to do everything yourself, here’s what to consider instead.

Know Your “Who” and “Why”

Always start with who you want to reach before you try and figure out what tactics you’ll use in your marketing. Where does your target audience live—online and off? How do they like consuming content? Understand your audience and what they want.

Then, be clear about what you want from your marketing. What’s the purpose or the goal? What does success look like for your firm? Marketing goals could include:

  • Brand awareness;
  • Greater visibility and name-recognition;
  • More referrals through word-of-mouth channels; and
  • Establishing thought-leadership or generating new business opportunities.

Your goals will also help inform your tactics. If you only want more exposure in the media and don’t care about creating your own blog, direct your attention to outreach strategies and PR campaigns.

If you want to be known as the go-to firm for a certain niche or as a thought leader on a particular topic, on the other hand, you’ll likely want to create a blog, podcast or video series establishing your expertise.

Build a Simple Strategy

Once you know what you’d like to do, map out a simple marketing strategy. You should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Goals: What are you trying to accomplish?
  • Metrics: How will you know if you succeeded? What does “successful marketing” look like for your firm?
  • Audience: Who is this marketing for? What are you trying to communicate to your audience?
  • Channels: What mediums or methods will you use to reach your audience?
  • Call to action: What will you ask your audience to do once you reach them?

Identify What You Love (and What You Hate)

With your simple marketing strategy in hand, it’s time to implement. Look at what you love doing, or what only you could do. Keep these tasks on your plate as long as they’re enjoyable.

Then, list out all the steps you absolutely hate doing—or just aren’t any good at. You should also list action items that you don’t know how to do (and would waste time on if you tried to figure out how to DIY).

Now, it’s time to divvy up those tasks. First, look around at your existing team and connections. Are there people in your firm who could take on some of these tasks (and want to)? Let others volunteer to help, especially if they have a passion for something like creating content, making connections and forging relationships with media, or managing systems and processes.

Outsource Wisely (and Cheaply)

Look at what’s left on your list of tasks that someone else needs to complete in order to implement your marketing strategy and plan. Sort these into two categories:

  • Time-intensive: These are relatively simple or basic tasks that most people could do—even if they don’t know how (by teaching themselves or getting a quick lesson in what to do).
  • Skill-intensive: These are tasks or projects that you need a trained expert to help you with. Not just anyone could complete these to-dos; a specific skill set is required.

Most tasks are time-intensive. Here’s where you can outsource cheaply to minimize your marketing budget:

  • Hire a virtual assistant: A virtual assistant and can help with most administrative tasks and very basic marketing functions, like scheduling social media posts, researching speaking opportunities. Good VAs range from $15 to $30 per hour.
  • Hire an editor: Can you jot down rough drafts for articles or marketing materials? If so, you might not need to spend hundreds on a freelance writer. You could simply hire an editor for about $50 per hour to wordsmith your drafts into polished pieces of content.
  • Hire an intern: You may feel wary about bringing a college student into your team, but younger talent can be immensely valuable when it comes to marketing. For best results, map out the marketing projects you want help with first and be as specific as possible. Don’t expect your intern to work for free, either. Show that they and their work are valued in your firm by paying them a reasonably hourly wage and help structure their workload by agreeing to a set amount of hours each week.

As for those remaining skill-intensive tasks? Consider working with an expert on an as-needed basis. There’s no need to keep a professional or an agency on a 24/7 retainer if you’re trying to minimize your marketing budget. A periodic consulting call or help with a few projects throughout the year may be all you need to market successfully.

KaliHawlk
Kali Hawlk is the founder of Creative Advisor Marketing, an inbound marketing firm that helps financial advisers grow their businesses by creating compelling content to attract prospects and convert leads. She started CAM to give financial pros the right tools to build trust and connections with their audiences, and loves helping advisers find authentic ways to communicate in a way that resonates with the right people.