Customized One-on-One Business Coaching for Financial Advisors
Celebrating your wins
Friday, February 19, 2021
Taking Time to Celebrate Wins
February is a busy month for financial advisors so rather than provide tips and resources, we are celebrating our clients' accomplishments. It is truly amazing watching what happens when clients commit to their goals and achieve their vision. Here are the milestones we've tracked.
We asked our Brand & Marketing Team what advisors should be doing in 2021...
Fortunato Restagno, Brand Coach
Many advisory firms have great brand and marketing ideas but they forget about one critical ingredient before getting started - their compelling story. As an advisor, your story is the one thing that is unforgettable. Without it, it's easy for people to forget why you are different than other advisors.
A compelling story will flow through your brand and touchpoints effortlessly and bring your corporate identity together. The challenge is figuring out what your unique story is. Think about your childhood, your adolescence, the beginning of your career, important people in your life, hobbies and interests. If you have a team, work on this together and see if there are any similar themes that come to the surface. Write down any noteworthy events that you feel have had an impact on who you are today and why you are an advisor. Don't be afraid to share this story with your clients. It makes you human and relatable.
Heather Amlin, Marketing Coach
Having a TouchPoint Strategy and Implementation Plan is essential once you have created your new Brand or have decided to re-fresh your marketing materials. There are a few key points to consider:
You need to understand how to reach your ideal clients and/or target your ideal prospects when considering your marketing materials (TouchPoints). Many of your clients may be tech savvy and appreciate your online presence - virtual meeting PowerPoint presentations, online appointment software and e-newsletters. However, many advisors have clients that are not on the computer and would benefit from physical paper documents like brochures and on brand client report templates. You need to know your audience.
The people in your target area should know who you are, what you do, and how you support your community. Having a marketing strategy outlining where to advertise and how to keep top of mind with your clients and prospects is important. It might be something as simple as your name, logo, slogan, and descriptor appearing as a banner ad in the local newspaper, a 10 second ad on your local radio station, or sending a unique, on brand Thanksgiving card to clients in October.
Digital Marketing Tips
Kelly Maxwell, Content Creator & Digital Marketing Coach
If you have developed your strategy and have concluded that digital marketing is an important part, consider the following:
Most TouchPoints you create can have a digital aspect to them - online brochure, newsletter or greeting card so developing a digital version can broaden your reach.
We have also seen many advisors revamp their websites to better reflect their brand, values, philosophies and to provide more resources and easier online communication. E-newsletters and social media communication are also popular, especially now when face-to-face interaction is limited. If you don’t like writing content, share third party content or try short videos on your phone/virtual meeting software. It's easy for advisors and small businesses to get overwhelmed with what to do. Take one step at a time and stick to the plan!
Good luck and if you need help getting started,
For more tips, check out this 2-minute video:
4 Critical Steps to Brand and Market Your Business.
We are seeing extinction in the business world due to the current conditions brought on by COVID-19. Will your business survive or thrive in this changing environment?
The good news is the financial services industry itself is not endangered. In fact, in uncertain times like these, advisors are needed more than ever. This time should be viewed as an opportunity versus a hindrance.
In the May issue of FORUM, Kim Poulin and April-Lynn Levitt discussed having successful virtual meetings with clients. We are seeing successful advisors not only reevaluating how they meet effectively with clients — virtually — but also enhancing their entire digital marketing strategy. This is one facet of business that has become more important with physical distancing.
I have always talked about the significance of technology and digital marketing. Ten years ago, I would see many advisors hesitate to take the leap to implement any digital strategies. They wondered what the impact would be on their business and if it was necessary. Like many marketing strategies, it is hard to quantify your digital marketing success. However, what is the cost of doing nothing? In this unprecedented time, that cost is now amplified.
So, how do you play an important role with clients in the current environment and maintain your ecological niche? Let’s discuss some ways that advisors are taking their businesses to the next level with digital marketing.
Since your online first impression is becoming as important as your face-to-face first impression, advisors want their websites to reflect what their business is about. They are making sure their site reflects their brand, value, and business philosophies. Advisors are also giving their websites a tune-up by offering regularly updated resources to stay relevant and provide the latest information. Consider reviewing your images and making sure they capture your ideal client. Review your slogan and descriptor. Does it explain what you do and who you do it for? Do readers get enough information by simply viewing the homepage? Does your website look great on a mobile device? If not, it’s time to change that.
Advisors are sending specific messaging directly to their contacts regarding the latest news, words of encouragement, and explanations around market changes. These messages are effective because they are coming directly from the advisor. In a world full of templated text, this is a refreshing change. This content can also be used in different ways for broader exposure. If appropriate, you can share these newsletters on your website and on social media.
Leverage your online strategy further with social media platforms. Connect with clients, prospects, centres of influence, and share the same newsletters and third-party articles to communicate your breadth of knowledge. Take the opportunity to introduce yourself on LinkedIn to new potential leads.
If you don’t like writing, try short videos on your phone or virtual meeting platform as well as podcasts to discuss topics you want to share with clients.
Time pressed? If you can, delegate these tasks to an associate advisor or other team member so you can focus on what you do best. You can also hire outside coaches who specialize in coaching financial advisors.
The tools we see advisors implementing are within reach for small businesses. It’s just a matter of implementing the plan and sticking to it.
A lesson about business adaptability and perseverance.
If you look up the word “Moxie,” you will see it is a noun meaning energy, courage and determination. It is also the brand name of a carbonated beverage, which is among the first mass-produced soft drinks.
We have all heard of Pepsi and Coca-Cola, but we may be surprised to learn that Moxie Soda, originating in New England in 1876, outsold Coke at a time and was so popular that the word “Moxie” became a part of the American vocabulary - every marketer’s dream! So why have most people today never heard of this soft drink? According to historians, after the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, Moxie decided to cut almost its entire marketing and advertising budget. Meanwhile, Coke decided to ramp up its advertising budget despite the tough times. The rest is history.
There are parallels that can be drawn from the Moxie story and the hesitation businesses and advisors might be experiencing right now with spending. The good news is advisors are optimistic. In fact, we see most successful advisors investing in their business, despite the pandemic.
Findings from the Natixis Investment Managers 2020 Global Financial Professional Survey revealed that financial professionals believe they will see annualized growth of 14.3% over the next three years, from new clients and new assets from current clients.
The most adaptable advisors are embracing digital strategies and viewing these uncertain times as an opportunity to boost their visibility. Here are some strategies to consider:
Online Meetings - advisors are going virtual with their meetings to see clients regularly and utilize their time efficiently while also using programs like Calendly to schedule meetings without the back-and-forth emails.
Online Surveys/Forms - advisors are taking administrative tasks online to fill out forms and surveys when appropriate. This makes it easier for clients. Printing and scanning is tedious when there are much better options now like Monkey Survey and Google forms etc.
Website/Social Media - advisors are focused more on utilizing their online presence as an important resource for clients and prospects to learn more about their business philosophies and topics they feel are most important to their readers.
E-newsletters/Videos/Podcasts - advisors are sending specific messaging directly to their clients with the latest updates/announcements and words of advice during uncertain times.
You can implement many different strategies that will not break the bank like previous advertising expenses seen in the Moxie days. Advisory businesses do not need to have the budget of Coca-Cola to come out on top either!
Now is the time to turn a crisis into an opportunity and position yourself as an innovative advisor who is ready to service their clients, in the most effective ways - no matter what.
William Shakespeare penned, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – but would it be as memorable? We’ve had the opportunity and pleasure to help advisory firms across Canada develop compelling brands and company names. Here we share some tips to help you establish a company name that is both personal to you and memorable to others.
Apple, Nike, Mercedes, Amazon, and Google; these names appear to have nothing to do with the type of business they are in, yet these companies are incredibly successful and are household names. As Sasha Stauss, brand strategist, explains, “Successful businesses are not selling a service they are selling an experience, a sensation, a focused promise, and most of all, a story.” Even if the product or service, like Apple or Mercedes, is expensive, the company will still be very profitable. What makes them successful? For starters, they are entirely in control of how they want you to think.
For example, Apple clients believe they are unique and think differently outside of the norm. Mercedes owners believe they perceived as elegant and successful. Even if the car or the phone (remember the iPhone battery debate?) had a reputation for consumer concerns, we would value the brand over any misgivings. As humans, we want to be a part of something that makes us feel good about ourselves.
So how do you go about creating a name for your firm? Do not try to explain everything in a company name. A company name is one part of your brand, just as your logo and slogan are elements that serve a specific purpose within your communication strategy.
Be unreasonable in your creative process. Pick a thing, an object, or a feeling that will connect your ideal clients to your promise. A few of the company names we’ve developed for Financial Advisors are Blue Whale, Aurora, Gallery, Arrival, Framework, Forté. These (like Apple, Nike) having nothing to do with industry, but everything with reflecting the team inside the name.
Don’t be hesitant to pick a name that supports a theme and uses analogies. A past client, Framework Financial, purchased a custom-designed wire sculpture they call the Vision Frame. They use it to communicate their value. It encompasses both theme cohesion and has a local community feel, which reflects the hometown pride that resonates with clients.
An impactful company name is simply a recognizable or interesting word that sticks in our minds. This is magnified if the name reflects the personality of your business. Reg from Gallery Wealth Management has a passion for nature photography, and since most of his client’s come to his office, they converted it into a photo gallery. When clients arrive, they become part of the brand and culture. How do you think this will positively impact the meeting?
Your company name should engage clients to FEEL they are part of something beyond just providing a service.
Finishing The Year Strong. It's Not Too Late To Amplify Results!
It’s hard to believe we’re already at the end of September and the end of the third business quarter as well. A common theme for September is that it offers a fresh perspective - or a “new year”. Everyone is back from summer holidays, the kids are back to school, and it’s time to reflect on how the year has gone, and how you want it to end.
So, how are you doing? This question can be daunting for most advisors to answer because, even if one aspect of your business is thriving, there could be other factors that are demanding your attention and pulling you away from your preferred focus. Also, if we’re frank, most advisors don’t spend enough time working on their business to develop systems for a routine review and to strategize for the future. This realization means you are not equipped to overcome unexpected challenges causing business growth to stall. It can also lead to frustration, stress, and stagnation. Look at the visual below and apply it to your business. Where are you on the S-curve? If you are reaching a breaking point, it could be time to implement something different that will burst you through that ceiling and start you on a new S-curve.
Wait, where’s the “Staples button” because if only it were that easy. When you hire someone new or install new technology or change a process, you trust that it will make a difference. However, it may be little more than a leap of faith unless you accompany it with talent, procedures, or coaching to support the leap to the next growth curve.
So what can be done right now to end the year on a high note? At this late stage, less is more. The best course of action is to reflect on the goals you set at the beginning of the year. Are there any that you identified as integral to the success of the business that are still incomplete? What are your team’s views? Have they identified any items that require your immediate attention? Now is the time to narrow your focus to the critical elements of your original plan. Pick one or two top priorities and implement the necessary changes. Moreover, remember that effective collaboration produces results that are greater than each individual’s contribution. This rule applies to whether you build your team internally or create a virtual team of external resources. There is still time to amplify your results for 2019.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
Are you looking to grow your business? Save the date for our Generator Event! Tuesday November 26, 2019
If you want to grow your advisory business, get this date in your calendar!
Tuesday November 26, 2019, Cambridge, ON.
This TPC event is for advisors looking to grow their business, double their revenues and achieve time and money freedom. Full event details and sign up information here: www.tpcgenerator.ca.
Alison Ottewell is helping advisors to connect and have an online presence.
Digital shouldn't be daunting! Creating a digital Marketing Strategy that works with your business is realistic and achievable. Engaging videos, compelling blogs and Social Media success is within your reach. Connect with Alison today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you an advisor who sees the value in podcasts? Are you wondering if creating podcasts is worth your time and effort? Podcasts are an inexpensive way to position your business and add value.
For the technically disinclined, a podcast is an episodic series of digital audio or video, which a user can download to listen to. If you are already creating content for a newsletter or e-campaign, or have hired The Personal Coach to create content for you, why not summarize your written communications in a podcast.
Consider this before doing so:
Check your dealer’s compliance regulations. Some may have specific guidelines and others may not allow it.
2. Ideal Client
Will a podcast be valued and listened to by your ideal clients? Age, region, occupation and psychographics play a major part in what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your marketing strategies.
3. Hire a Social Media Expert
You may wish to hire a social media expert who has the ability to effectively share your podcast with your network. Send your podcast to your clients, centres of influence and prospects.
4. Compelling and Engaging Content
Your podcast should be educational and help position you as the expert. Avoid bragging or directly selling your services. Any tips or ideas you share should be followed with a sample client story that will resonate with listeners.
5. Other Tips
Have a catchy intro piece with music. Use your slogan if you have one. Use a novel strategy - create curiosity, develop your characters, have a climax and a memorable ending. Make sure your microphone is clear.