How’s your lead flow been so far in 2022?
If you’re like many practices I work with, you may be seeing a significant influx of prospects.
It’s been a while since growth was quite so organic as it is right now. For me, it’s a bit more validation that the winds are now shifting in our favour (after years of blowing right in our faces).
It’s been a weird two years, but one side effect has been the restoration of consumer trust in advice.
Some would argue it’s more to do with the exodus of advisers than enhanced trust (and it’s true more and more clients find themselves orphaned without an adviser).
Yep, growth is back on the menu.
I penned a blog a few weeks back that went against the grain, suggesting this might not always be the best thing for your business. [read here]
This isn’t that though, rather I wanted to answer a key question I fielded recently…
Why continue to market when you already have a significant amount of client opportunities?
Let’s get something out of the way.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say…
“We don’t market. We get enough leads come through from referrals without having to”
Here’s the thing. Assuming this is not a flex and some weird way of trying to brag about being so good you don’t have to worry about getting new clients, then it ignores what I think is a key point about achieving business success.
Learning how to generate leads is the first challenge any business owner had to overcome.
If you don’t, how can you ever truly know if you’re in control of your growth?
How can you be sure enough that it’s because of your capability, rather than making a potentially fatal error of missing the fact it’s due to something completely different (e.g all boats in the harbour rise with the tide).
So, assuming you agree that having a dependable way of generating opportunity (i.e a marketing system) is better than not, let’s cut to the chase.]
Continuing your marketing efforts now is possibly more important than ever, even if you’ve got more prospect inquiries you could possibly deal with.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I look at marketing advice as having three core channels:
- Generating referrals from clients and other non-commercial partners
- Forming partnerships with other businesses
- Digital marketing in various different forms (aka tactics)
Although separate channels, each with its own unique activities, it’s important to recognise that they don’t operate independently.
They’re intertwined and, if you were to join me for our Marketing Advice Fast Track program starting 18 April (Early Bird available for 50% off), you’ll find out how important this interdependence is to understand.
Ultimately, it’s from these three sources that most leads advice businesses generate come.
Let’s break this down one by one and start with the easy one.
#1 – Why you should continue digital marketing.
Digital marketing is not a short term play, even more so when it comes to advice.
One major misconception some advisers sometimes share with me about digital marketing and advice is that this is about instant conversion – visitors hit the website, book their first meeting, and becomes a client.
Wrong 97%+ of the time.
What this is about is building an (ideally automated) pathway (aka funnel) that leads a potential prospect down the path to engaging, whilst filtering out anyone who isn’t the kind of client you love working with and, importantly…
…amplifying your message to prospects being referred to you (ie. the other two channels) and accelerating the likelihood of them engaging sooner.
(Because the first thing 99% of referred persons are going to do is Google you, right?)
However, the golden rule of digital marketing is you have to be consistent.
Let me give you an example of why this matters you may relate to.
About 18 months ago I had an inquiry come through from an adviser about the Leveraged Advice Firm program. Part of what they wanted to do was get better results from their marketing, so I jumped on their website to have a look.
It was a good site. They had a number of elements that most firms miss having (which are actually essential to generating ROI). All looking good…
…until I hit the blog page.
There it was, clear as day. Last blog post. Publish date: 17 October 2019.
Nothing screams “I tried but I wasn’t getting the ROI and couldn’t keep it up” than a two-year posting hiatus.
Similarly, nothing will give an inquisitive prospect the desire to widen their search than an abandoned blog…
BTW, if you want the solution to this, read to the end.
Once you start digital marketing it’s a habit worth keeping. The longer you stick at it, the greater the returns.
If you’re not investing time in maintaining your digital marketing efforts, you’re also deciding that being digitally present is no longer needed.
#2 – Why you should continue building strategic partnerships.
Would you rather have 4 new clients, 3 good new clients or 2 great new clients?
It’s easy to think about marketing advice as being solely about attracting or encouraging engagement.
In truth, sometimes it’s more about sorting and selecting, and marketing with strategic partners (ie. businesses within a common focus or niche) can be the very best way to achieve this.
Oddly, whenever I talk about niching I can guarantee that roughly a third of the time it’ll raise concerns. I’ll get pushback.
At the heart of it is this concern I think some advisers worry that by no longer saying yes to certain clients, they’re saying no to growth opportunities. This just isn’t the case.
The largest and fastest-growing firms I work with and have worked with all have a niching strategy at the core of their business model.
Putting aside the argument about faster growth, the reality is that at some point you need to make a choice. Right now is one of those points.
Unless you want to grow a big volume business – and solving as quickly as you can the resourcing, systems and tech issues that come with making that transition – as soon as you hit capacity, your focus has to be about working with clients…
- you like working with,
- who like working with you,
- you can solve problems more easily efficiently than other businesses,
- you can create more value because of your expertise, and
- ultimately can pay you well enough for that expertise for you to become sustainably profitable.
Working with 3-5 compatible strategic partners who can help get the message out about the kind of people you help, the problems you solve and how to get started isn’t about the volume of opportunity, it’s mostly about the quality of opportunity.
Partnership marketing, even when your pipeline is full, is a damn good way of ensuring your business is growing in the right way.
#3 – Why you should continue referral marketing
Here’s something that was once said to me…
“Referrals aren’t marketing. They’re what happens when you do a good job”
That’s partly true, but it’s not the reason clients refer. More a requirement.
Even if it were, just because a client is happy with what you’ve done for them, doesn’t mean they understand:
- what your full suite of services are,
- who else you can help, and
- how to introduce people to you.
If you’ve already made the decision to keep your digital marketing going, and you’re producing content that appeals to the people you’d like to see more of (because it speaks to the frustrations, concerns, objectives and aspirations they have), this can be super simple.
When you share that content with your clients too, you increase the likelihood that you’re going to get the right referrals from them.
By making sure it’s also shareable and speaks to the problems their friends, family and colleagues may talk with them about…
You get it. It makes it easier for those clients to pass it on to others when they want to help out.
In summary, in times of plenty, it’s easy to forget that marketing is not an event, it’s a process.
When you stop marketing, for whatever reason, you stop planting the seeds which are often the reason for the fruit of your success in the first place.
Sometimes the results you get today are really from what you did six months ago.
You may have plenty of opportunities now, but what do you want that to look like six months from now?
On April 21, I’ll be running our 3rd Fast Track of the year all about Marketing Advice and if you’d like to join me please click the link here.
Or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more about digital marketing in the financial advice space.
OK, so here’s the solution to the blog issue.
Drastic solution: Take your blog offline.
Simple solution: Turn off the posting date from your blog.
Sustainable solution: Produce content that is “evergreen”. Topical content has a shelf life (e.g. Budget Update 2019), so focus on content that could still be relevant five years from now (e.g How my client bought their first home at 25).
Optimum solution: Find an easier way to produce content or reduce the frequency. The former is the more desirable option. If you’d like to know how, join me for the Marketing Advice Fast Track and I’ll make sure you don’t regret it.