2 Comments

Fitting Video Marketing into Your Business Plan

How does video marketing fit into your business plan? Does it at all?

If it doesn’t, it might help to know that almost 77 percent of small business owners get results when they incorporate video marketing.

Video is a big deal, especially for small businesses. Having a website is only part of the battle, now. With almost half of internet users looking at video before visiting a store for the first time, not having some kind of video for your financial planning firm could actually be hurting you.

To Have or Not to Have Video Marketing

Compounded with our almost-impossible-to-combat instant gratification impulse, it makes complete sense that video advertising has become the easiest and fastest ways for a business to convey a message.

Hours, days and even months can go into researching and crafting the perfect medium. Thousands of marketing research dollars, testing groups, advanced analytics tools to measure things like attention span, engagement, drop off times—you name it—it’s there. It all matters.

And of course, there’s always a risk it won’t work, and we’re left wondering if we’ll get the best possible ROI or if it will flop.

When it comes to video advertising, if it moves, is pretty and speaks to our souls then guess what, we’re probably interested. We may even sign up for your newsletter.

Sounds simple—but since you’re a business owner, you know it isn’t.

Science is showing that we have even less time to capture our audience’s attention, and it’s only about 20 seconds. Yes, 20 seconds.
But does it matter to try video marketing for your practice in 2020? Yes. A huge, loud, resounding yes!

Though by no means exhaustive, here’s a quick start guide to help you to start thinking about video content for your financial planning practice’s marketing efforts.

Starting from Scratch

You’re going to want to build a plan to develop your video strategy, which will include scripting, production and editing time and, of course, sending it off to compliance. While the following list may change depending on your practice, the general idea will look something like this:

  • Target demo: Your existing clients OR prospects (you may have to develop slightly different “buyer personas” for each).
  • End objective: Do you want to increase your visibility? Build trust? Upsell?
  • Metrics of success: Sign ups, conversion rates, referral numbers, page visits, etc, social shares, etc.
  • Distribution: where is it going? Social media? Pay-per-click ads? Your website? YouTube? Sit down with your team and brainstorm a plan of attack.

What Kinds of Video Content Marketing to Use

There are so. Many. Options.

The best part of video marketing in 2020 is that you really don’t need the fanciest equipment to deliver value to your prospects.

Heck, you could be recording a value message while driving in your car with your phone recording your dashboard and you could, technically, throw it up on your social media (though, always make sure to run everything through your compliance department first).

As a financial planner, you can create:

  • Video interviews (with existing, obviously-consenting clients to give testimonials)
  • Video case-studies
  • Video ads, 30 seconds or less
  • Quick animated videos explaining a difficult financial topic
  • Tutorial videos (webinars) that pertain to tax returns, estate planning, investments, etc.
  • Snippets of or full video presentations you’ve given (events you’ve spoken at, etc).
  • Social livestreams and snippets of the best pieces of those livestreams later

Depending on your short-term end goals (building an email list, getting a warm lead, etc.) some of these may be better than others. Do you want to increase your visibility to existing clients to be able to upsell on other products and services? Do you want to establish some trust with prospects?

Like with every piece of content you create, you want it to be part of a well-planned “sales funnel.”

Sometimes, a video is just the start of one. Other times, there’s a video at every step. And, other times still, a video could be a purchase at the end of one.

You decide how you want to use your content—just make sure it’s part of a well-conceived plan.

How Long Should Videos Be?

You’re busy, right? Well, so is your prospect. Remember this fact with not just every video you create, but every email. Generally, keep it short and succinct. The rule for us marketers is to keep a video under 2-3 minutes.

There’s tons of data that shows there’s little difference in engagement between a 90-second video and a 30-second one, depending on the desired end-result.

You might be thinking, “But Kristina, there’s no flipping way I can get my point across on an intense topic like estate planning to my prospects in 2 minutes.”

The good news is that, for more “educational” content, the second best length for a video is between 6 to 12 minutes. Yes, there will be drop off, but it’s not as significant as the plummet that occurs after the 2 to 3 minute mark.

If you want to create an educational webinar or show your prospects a conference you spoke at, then that’s fine. You can manage the video length by either creating a mini-series (each piece about 6 to 12 minutes in length), or pulling the “nuggets of wisdom” and turning them into little micro-clips for your advertising.

Where Should the Videos Go?

To start, know that mobile video marketing and social media video marketing are two different things.

If you already utilize paid ads through AdWords or Bing, a video ad works similarly to a text or image pay-per-click ad.

Social media video marketing is different. Just like with your text and image ads, you should be catering your ad length and messaging depending on the platform you use.

It also means that you pay the social platform to “boost” your video to an audience verses a search engine, or that you create specific videos intended for those social platforms

It depends on where your target demo is likely to be found. If you’re targeting Gen XY and/or millennials, Instagram and Twitter is lifeblood.

Don’t Be Left Behind

The bottom line? Over two-thirds of small businesses are now using video in their marketing arsenal, and it’s expected to keep growing by 14.6 percent per year.

So, turn on that phone and record some wisdom—and then let compliance take a look!

Kristina Rocci

Kristina Rocci is the web content manager for The CWA Network (seen in MDRT, Advisor Today, FA Magazine, PlanPlus Global, etc.) a financial adviser coaching business in Rochester, N.Y. that recently released a completely free business plan training webinar for planners. She originally hails from the fintech world in Toronto with 9 years of digital marketing under her belt.


1 Comment

Focus on the Future: How to Be A Successful Financial Planner in 2030

Defining how to create a successful practice in 2030 is an ambitious undertaking, one that probably makes you uncomfortable.

There are forces at work that are changing not just the landscape of our profession, but the very lives we live and the way we live them. Today’s consumers have been conditioned to receive precisely what they want, at the best possible price, quickly and conveniently. Amazon, and businesses like it, are reshaping the landscape and will continue to set the expectations by which you will be judged in the future.

Ten years ago, few prospects met with multiple advisers before choosing one. Fewer still worked with advisers remotely, or were comfortable with digital experiences. Ten years ago, there was no thought of serving the mass market profitably, much less with specialized services. Ten years ago, ‘robo adviser’ wasn’t a term. Fintech wasn’t a common word, and ‘digital experience’ meant turning on your computer.

Provide Remotability

Technology is also empowering a trend I see being a major force in the future, which I call remotability. Remotability is a business’s ability to operate successfully without its staff or clients needing to be in the same physical location.

A growing number of firms work successfully with remote clients who never come into their office. Many are relying on virtual staff, paraplanners and even virtual advisers to keep up with the demands of growth in a competitive labor market. Remotability is enabling advisers to create a new sense of freedom by empowering them to live and work from anywhere—or to at least enjoy long stretches of time in other locales.

Provide Positive Experiences

Even though consumers expect to get what they want faster, better and (often) cheaper, there is a growing need to engage and connect on a more meaningful level. This need for connection is driving a shift to an experience economy (the economy following the agrarian economy, industrial economy and service economy, first written about by B. Joseph Pine, II, and James H. Gilmore in the Harvard Business Review), one in which firms must create and orchestrate experiences so that the feeling and memory of the experience becomes the product. The value is the experience or outcome that is generated.

Between now and 2030, you can expect these trends to continue with full force and ferocity. Inevitably, there will be a few not-yet-known forces emerging along the way.

Provide Specialized Experience

The most successful advisers in 2030 will be the ones who recognize that the model for the future is simple: advisers must find a systematized way to deliver a highly specialized experience.

While the methods to use these forces to one’s advantage are readily available, the professions’ ability to evolve hasn’t kept pace with the trends reshaping the future. The simple reality is that it’s hard to get ahead when you’re struggling to keep up.

As you prepare for a successful practice in 2030, it’s important to recognize that it’s not the marketplace that will define your success, but rather your mindset.

A study by the Cambridge Institute of Technology showed that success is driven by three key factors: environment, skill and mindset. The staggering point of this research is that 80 percent of your success is determined by mindset, and only 20 percent by the methods you use.

Operate from a Success Mindset State

The advisers I work with tend to operate from two mindset states: a success state and a survival state. The success state is marked by clarity, confidence and committed actions. The survival state is marked by fear, uncertainty and failure to follow through. Anyone who has ever taken a referral that doesn’t fit, accepted a client below their minimum, discounted a fee or kept a difficult client has done so from a survival state.

The biggest challenge in the decade ahead isn’t the trends; it’s the crisis of confidence that they will bring in their wake. This crisis of confidence keeps advisers out of their success state and causes them to make compromises that cost mightily in both subtle and substantive ways. The challenge for most of us isn’t that we don’t want more; it’s that the tongue in our mouth and the tongue in our shoes aren’t moving in the same direction.

When you harness your mindset into a success state, you can radically accelerate the speed and ease with which you succeed. If you master your mindset now, you’ll be able to turn seemingly overwhelming hurdles into headwinds you harness to your advantage regardless what the future holds.

Stephanie Bogan

Stephanie Bogan is CEO of Educe, Inc. and serves as the Financial Planner Mindset Coach in the FPA Coaches Corner. She works with financial planning professionals by using the latest in neuroscience. She helps financial planners get in the right mindset so they can make profound change in their businesses.

 

Untitled design (7).png

Editor’s note: This piece originally appeared in the FPA Coaches Corner whitepaper, “Action 2020: Create Business Success for Today and Tomorrow.” Download your copy of the whitepaper here.  


1 Comment

4 Steps to Achieve Your Desired Business Outcomes

At some point in their career path, advisers might look at the success of their peers and wonder, “Why aren’t great things happening for me, too?”

Some examples might be a colleague taking over a multimillion-dollar 401(k) plan or landing a large roll-over or insurance account. While you may believe that luck has something to do with it, the truth is that your actions create your own outcomes.

Chris Grosser, a successful entrepreneur and photographer, said it best when he said, “Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”

There are a few elements to consider if you want your desired outcomes to occur: you need to consistently (on a daily basis, preferably) implement action steps, this includes getting to tasks that you least like first so that you ensure that they get done. Also learning from both your successes and failures from the past and mapping out ways to maintain what worked and replace what didn’t.

The following are some suggestions that I utilize in my professional development and coaching programs. See if you can relate to what the adviser in my example is going through when applying the process yourself.

Step 1: Consistently Implement Action

Most advisers who want better results miss consistently implementing action steps. Take Steve F., a 15-year veteran client of mine, for example. During our initial session he admitted that although he wanted to have a record year, he rarely prospected because of the anxiety he felt just thinking about getting rejected. It had overwhelmed and swamped his level of success.

I explained that being consistent in tackling items that are most challenging to you will end up reducing anxiety. Avoiding things that make us uncomfortable will keep blocking your way every time. I recommended that he trust me and for 20 business days he had to prospect and record his level of anxiety on a scale of 1-10 (1 being lowest and 10 being highest) to determine my theory. He reluctantly agreed but also knew he needed to move out of his comfort zone to forge ahead.

Step 2: Do the First Thing First

At this point, most advisers need to prioritize their tasks and, unfortunately, it’s the least desirable task that must be accomplished first.

To ensure that Steve prospected each day as his No. 1 task, he needed to begin each morning with a list of people to call, knowing exactly what he was going to say and how to handle the inevitable objections. That way he was prepared as best he could be. He then needed to make a game out of making the calls by trying to contact 10 people before 10 a.m. If he did that, he got to reward himself in some small way to motivate him to continue conquering that first of the day task.

Step 3: Look for the Lesson

One of the best ways to change a perspective about any undesirable task is to view doing the task as a learning opportunity. After Steve finished prospecting each day, he would record one lesson that he learned. The next day and so forth, he would review the list of lessons he had documented so that it would reinforce positive activity. It didn’t take him long before he started to look forward to adding to his list.

Step 4: Create Accountability

Consistency is important when creating productive new habits and in order to create consistency advisers need accountability. Without accountability, it’s too easy to slip back into unproductive behaviors. I had Steve begin emailing me his level of anxiety before and after prospecting for each of those 20 days. I also had him send me his “lessons learned list” each day. In addition, he had to track his appointments set, attended, individuals in his pipeline and any new business that he landed.

Why Crafting Desired Outcomes Works

After those 20 days, Steve had changed his perspective on prospecting. He realized that doing the aforementioned steps helped him redirect his focus from one of fear to one of faith that he could actually obtain his goals. The reason this process worked was simple—he had a stepwise approach and wasn’t winging things or procrastinating anymore.

If you are ready to take your business to the next level, schedule a complimentary 30-minute coaching session with me by emailing Melissa Denham, director of client servicing.

Dan Finley

Daniel C. Finley is the president and co-founder of Advisor Solutions, a business consulting and coaching service dedicated to helping advisers build a better business.