Marketing Corner – 5 Marketing Resources You May Not Know You Already Have

Marketing Corner – Thursday August 10th, 2017

5 Marketing Resources You May Not Know You Already Have

A good advisor is always on the hunt for new clients and marketing opportunities. And it can seem like every day there is some new program to try—fintech, exclusive lead gen funnels, alternative marketing concepts, etc. While many of these can prove to be effective for the needs of your practice, some can involve significant time and money. However, there are a few resources you already have that can be leveraged. Things such as…

Prospect Lists

Over the course of building your practice, you likely have a warm prospect list. These are the consumers that you’ve had some level of contact with, but haven’t had a chance to convert. You can take this list of consumers and build a drip pipeline with contact specifically tailored to them. You may not convert prospects right away, but this gives you a marketing channel that can basically run in the background, while you focus on other activities. It may require a bit of organization, effort, and thought to properly establish a prospect marketing channel, but once you have it done you now have another funnel that you can build on with little work. Already have something like this? Take a look at your list, evaluate its success, and see if it needs to be refreshed with new contacts.

Current Clients

Advisors know that current clients can generate other planning opportunities, but how many actually leverage their current book of business? This is why low-effort marketing activity—such as holiday and birthday messages—throughout the year is helpful to keep you in front of consumers. But also consider the impact of the annual review. Financial professionals often tell consumers how important periodic reviews of financial plans are, but focus their attention on new clients. Keep your current book engaged with messages throughout the year and send anniversary reminders to draw up review opportunities.

For Example:

Congratulations [CLIENT NAME],

Your Financial Plan is one year old today!

A lot can happen in a year. New jobs. Marriage. New child.

As part of our dedicated service to you, we would like to schedule an annual financial check-up to make sure everything is still on track to meet your objectives. Give us a call at XXX-XXX-XXXX and let’s get something on the books.

Thank you, 

[Your Name]

Better yet, you could establish the annual review at the initial appointment and then send reminders as the date approaches.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great resource for professionals like financial advisors. More formal than Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn presents itself as the social network for professional connections. Obviously, one way to use LinkedIn for marketing is to syndicate content and participate in relevant groups. But there is another way to leverage LinkedIn for your business: exporting your growing list of connections. Contact us for help with this process. You can add this list to your base email marketing campaigns or drop them into a unique distro.

Carrier Marketing Material

Most carriers will have a small library of material available through their agent portals. These pieces may be producer guides about specific products, but there will likely be general, high-level concept information that can be used for a variety of purposes. These concept documents can be re-shaped and used as items in your e-marketing channels or given directly to consumers at appointments. Stay away from pieces that are too sales-y and product heavy. Instead focus more on basic information (retirement basics, life insurance overview, etc.) Include a branded letter from you that explains what the consumer is receiving.

For example:

[LOGO/LETTERHEAD]

Dear [CONSUMER NAME],

I am giving you this piece from one of the insurance carriers I work with. Based on what we discussed in our appointment, you might benefit from this high-level overview of retirement planning. Please let me know if you have any questions. I’ll reach out to you soon.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

Yourself

The biggest resource in your firm is not a new lead-gen program, sophisticated quoting software, or high-quality deliverables (although these are important). No, the biggest resource your business has is yourself. If you work in the business planning realm, you are familiar with this concept. Consider how you are or aren’t leveraging your experience, knowledge, and expertise. Do you have a specific approach or specialized knowledge than not only would appeal to your target base, but also distinguish you from your competitors?

If so, how can you highlight this? Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Clearly identify designations, specialties, and experience in bios (don’t brag, but be proud)
  • Build your brand around the specialty or area of focus

Create marketing collateral based on your approaches, experience, and specialties. The cost of this might be the time it takes to write it down and maybe some printing

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Marketing Corner – Why Consumers Still Need Human Advisors

Marketing Corner – Thursday July 27th, 2017

Why consumers still need human advisors

It’s 2017. We summon rides a with a smartphone app. We stream music from endless libraries, rather than inserting a CD or cassette. We have companies send us boxed meals based on our personalities. And, in some areas, we can get kitty litter drone-delivered to our house in under two hours. The point is technology has been integrated into our lives in both big and small ways.

This is even true for financial services. With the rise of robo-advisors—that catch-all term for automated or largely automated financial service providers—some advisors fear they may be out of the business, the same way taxi-drivers see Uber pushing them out.

Should advisors fear the rise of the machines? A report from Business Insider last year argued that there is a global $2 Trillion opportunity for robo-advisors and that this may be achieved by 2020. Seemingly, for agencies that employ robo-advisors, the marketshare is there for taking.

For carriers and companies, robo-advisors offer an efficient way to provide services with low overhead. For consumers, the benefits of using a robo-advisor may be lower fees, active participation, and control. So does this mean that advisors will be the next profession to be outmoded by technology? Not exactly.

As reported in AdvisorNews a pilot Direct to Consumer (D2C) program run by Nationwide in Arizona received low closing ratios, especially on the weekends when, rather than speaking to a live voice, consumers were routed through an online platform. According to Eric Henderson, senior VP or Life Insurance and Annuities at Nationwide, “people still want to talk to somebody.”

While Nationwide will continue to employ technology to keep the consumers on the pilot program’s website, it remains to be seen how these Direct to Consumer channels will fare out. But what then, is the value of an intermediary like a financial advisor if a financial company can advertise direct to consumers and consumers can seek out robo-advisors for their financial planning needs?

By and large, consumers will still seek out a knowledgeable live professional. A recent Gallup poll found that U.S. investors greatly preferred a personal advisor. This doesn’t mean that certain consumer segments (like say Millennials) won’t seek out fintech solutions. But advisors provide things that algorithms can’t. For example:

Holistic Approaches – a single financial solution typically doesn’t make for a complete retirement plan. Many things need to weighed and evaluated. Advisors can show a consumer’s financial plan at both micro and macro levels.

Relationship and Trust – It is hard to build long-lasting relationships with an application (Facebook and Twitter notwithstanding). We use technology in many different ways, but when it comes to money and building toward the future, a consumer is likely to seek out a human professional that can earn their trust, versus an efficient piece of software.

Education – Not only can an advisor provide detailed financial solutions, they can break things down in a variety of ways, educating their client throughout the process. An advisor can adjust his or her language to meet the financial literacy of the consumer and tie solutions to the larger picture.

Of course, the best approach is not to reject technology outright. Technology has already changed the way financial services are conducted. Think about all the producer portals, illustration software, and retirement analyzer programs you use in your day-to-day business. It’s possible to use technology to enhance the human value you provide with out replacing it. If you want to stand out and retain more clients as tech continues to evolve how business is done, focus on the human element of your services, keeping one foot in the digital realm and one foot in traditional practices.

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Marketing Corner – Six Reasons Your Email Marketing Goes Bust

Six Reasons Your Email Marketing Goes Bust

In an age when VR headsets, one-on-one teleconferencing, and 360 videos are becoming more mainstream, email can seem like a quaint—even old-fashioned—way of marketing. However, just as direct mail is still relevant to an advisor’s target market, so is email. With a number of affordable platforms, email marketing comes at a reasonable price, compared to other forms of marketing. But often agents and advisors become frustrated with email marketing because they don’t get the results they would like to see. If this is you, here are six reasons why your email marketing goes bust.

You Don’t Segment

Segmenting is critical to building a sturdy email marketing engine. There are many different ways to segment an email list. For example:

Demographics (i.e. older and younger prospects)
Level of Engagement (what have they responded to in the past)
Bulk and Targeted

A good email service provider and CRM can help make segmenting easier, so that at a glance you know where an individual may be in your pipeline. This is very useful information if you want to issue tailored emails.

You Don’t Replenish Your Lists

Over the life of an email campaign strategy, your lists will likely become smaller, but more valuable. With non-responders and undeliverable addresses whittled away, what remains should be a small core of consistent openers. However, at some point, even this valuable list will lose some of its worth, with consumers opening emails, but not taking actions that allow them to become clients. This is why it is important to replenish your lists periodically. Even better, have a process in which new consumers automatically join your lists. For instance, a content or lead magnet strategy in which consumers provide information in exchange for a gimmie.

You Don’t Issue Emails Consistently


One big question advisors face with email marketing is how often to issue emails to a list of prospects. Too much and your audience will become annoyed. Too little and your name won’t be in front of them as much as you’d like. What is right for you will vary, but in general, a couple of emails in a week’s time is a good benchmark to follow. If you want to engage more often than this, vary your content and type of emails.

Your Subject Lines Are Weak

Crafting a good subject line is an art. A subject line has to inspire confidence, tease content, and speak to a consumer’s specific need or curiosity. If you get too aggressive or sales-y, then your email may be dismissed as spam. Too dry and literal, and your email won’t have a strong pull to open.

Here are few examples of good subject lines:

The Versus or Comparison

When You Can Actually Retire Vs. When You Want To Retire
Fixed Index Annuities Vs. Traditional Annuities: What’s the Difference
Saving Versus Spending: Why You Might Be Doing Both Wrong

What You Need To Know About X
What You Need To Know About Retirement
What You Need To Know About Saving

Why/How

Why Working With A Financial Advisor Matters
Why Planning Your Legacy Now Is Important
How You Can Save Even With Debt
How Your Retirement May Change Next Year

The Future

The Future of Retirement
In Your Future–A Better Retirement Plan

The Missing

One Big Thing Missing From Your Retirement Plan

Just For You

Selected Just For You—Key Life Insurance Stats

You Don’t A/B Test

Most email platforms will allow you to A/B test an email before sending it out to your entire list. Often this is used to test subject lines, but in many cases, can be used to test other elements. Test variants of buttons, colors, links, fonts, and images—as well as subject lines—to determine the best performing template.

You Include Too Many Images or Too Much Text

An image or two can spice up an email, but going overboard can distract from the content and worse, affect deliverability. Putting too much text in an email can cause eye strain, with consumers ignoring the important details. If you have a piece of communication that needs to go over a few hundred words, place the content on your website and tease it in the body of the email.

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Marketing Corner – Summer Slump Survival 2017

Marketing Corner – Wednesday June 28th, 2017

Beat the Summer Slump

Now that is it officially summer, you may be preparing for a downturn in business. With prospects and clients engaged in summer activities, many advisors experience a steep slump between June and late-August. Some advisors use this period as a chance for a mid-year reset, while others simply accept the decline in business as a matter of course.

However, as we discussed last year, there are things you can do during the summer months to improve your business. Here are four more ways to beat the summer slump.

Barbecue Giveaway

The summer months are associated with many outdoor activities, including grilling. Popular around summer holidays like the Fourth of July and Labor Day, but also in between as a weekend occasion, barbecues bring to mind good food, good beer, good people, and good times.

There are a few ways you can leverage a barbecue into a prospecting activity.

1): Set up a stand in a local meat market or grocery store promoting a BBQ giveaway package, timed around key holidays, or even throughout the summer months. Have consumers fill out a short entry form that you can use for the drawing (and pull prospect contact info from).

2): Host a barbecue at your office or some other location.

3): Sponsor a barbecue contest/team.

Update Your Collateral

When you’re busy throughout the year, it’s easy to let things like your marketing collateral fall by the wayside. You can use the extra time you may have in the summer to restock your marketing collateral and update it with fresh pictures and current information. In the same vein, you can use this time to update your branding (i.e. replacing an outdated logo with a modern one, replacing old photos with higher resolution ones).

Fireworks Display

Most towns will have a grand Fourth of July fireworks display, drawing huge crowds of people of all ages. This presents you an opportunity to engage with your target market in a couple of ways. First, you could sponsor the fireworks event and ensure that your logo is listed on any fliers promoting the event. Secondly, you could set up a booth offering free water bottles, coozies, or other small swag items at the watch site.

Utilize Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are often thought of in digital terms—a consumer is routed to a landing page with a compelling offer inspiring them to submit their contact information. But lead magnets can also be used to entice consumers in the physical world, with a well-placed flier in a target-rich venue. For example, placing a well-designed flier offering a free pro lesson at a golf course or country club may attract high net-worth individuals who golf more in the summer.
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June is Annuity Awareness Month

June Is Annuity Awareness Month

There are many kinds of seasonal-based marketing opportunities for advisors. You may be familiar with Life Insurance Awareness Month (September), organized by the non-profit Life Happens. May is Disability Awareness Month. As most of you know April and October are CD renewal months.

These awareness months provide great opportunities to present the value of specific products, educate potential clients, and generate more production. And, of course, they also give you access to helpful collateral from carriers, marketing organizations, and industry groups.

With that said, June is Annuity Awareness Month. What does that mean? While perhaps not as visible as LIAM, it means that now is a good time to discuss the many uses of an annuity with prospects and clients. Two big features that will appeal to consumers are the ability to accumulate tax-deferred cash value (as with fixed and fixed indexed annuities) and the ability to trigger a source of income that cannot be outlived (as with a life-time income rider).

Annuities come in many different shapes and sizes. Some consumers may not even be familiar with the fundamental structure of an annuity. So successfully selling a prospect on an annuity can depend on educating them on the basics and clearly illustrating how an annuity product can fit within their retirement goals.

To aid you in this process, we’ve created an Annuity Awareness Month kit.
This complimentary package includes:
  • Annuity Basics Guide
  • Annuity Slide Presentation
  • 2017 Quick Tax Guide
  • 2017 Annual Tax Equivalent Tax Yields
  • CD Alternative V. Split Annuity Concept Sheet

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Five Reasons Advisors Should Use Facebook

Marketing Corner – Thursday May 25th, 2017

In the thirteen years or so years since its creation, Facebook has developed from a social connection tool to a digital giant, encompassing more than just status updates and friend requests. Now it is a hub for an endless stream of information, social sharing, commerce, and advertising. Even as Facebook has grown, many businesses—especially financial advisors—have looked at the platform with skepticism. Is it relevant for my business, you may be asking yourself. Just a few years ago, our attitude may have been that Facebook can’t hurt an advisor’s business, but it’s not the most important marketing activity. But now, a business page and Facebook activity are essential for advisors. Here are five reasons why.

Boomers Are There

Surveying social media usage, the Pew Research Center found that Facebook was the most used platform for those aged 50-64 and those aged 65 and older. While this usage tracks with other age divisions, the difference from Facebook to other platforms is greater with those 50-64 and 65 and older than other ages. This suggests that while overall, on average, all generations use Facebook more than other platforms, Facebook is more relevant to older Americans.

Another Place To Leverage Content

A good content strategy can help you connect with consumers, boost your SEO ranking, and keep you in the minds of your client base. Facebook gives you a direct way to do this. In addition to distributing content through email newsletters, blog posts, and other social media platforms, cross-post on Facebook. Adapt pieces for the layout and features Facebook provides.

Affordable And Effective Digital Marketing Opportunities

All digital marketing has a learning curve, and Facebook’s Ad Manager is no different. But the sometimes confusing and tricky platform provides a relatively affordable option for marketing your services and boosting your content. With extremely detailed audience filters, you can target a wide range of demographics.

A Well-Rounded Business Page Helps With Consumer Confidence

Your business Facebook page may be the first thing consumers see relating your business. Or they may be driven to there when doing research about your services. A fully-fleshed out page, with good visual elements, recent posts, and complete business profile information can signal to consumers that you are trustworthy and legitimate. Avoid low-res images and out-of-date information.

Done Properly, Facebook Activity Doesn’t Take Much Time 

Advisors often think that a good digital outlay will consume a great deal of time. While you should regularly commit some time for social media activity and content strategy, once you have learned the lay of land, so to speak, the time you spend should become minimal. And the best part? Aside from display ads and boosted posts, it’s free.

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Marketing Corner – The Four Challenges Everyone Faces in Retirement

Marketing Corner – Thursday May 11th, 2017

The Four Challenges Everyone Faces in Retirement

Modern retirement planning has evolved to involve a number of complex strategies, products, and solutions. With each proposed idea comes any number of considerations; tax-liabilities, asset positioning, sequencing, risk exposure, etc. While working through these problems is the meat and potatoes of financial/ retirement planning, it can be helpful to highlight, in simple terms, the four challenges that everyone faces in retirement. By doing so, you can impress the importance of a robust financial plan.

So what are the four challenges? You’re likely already familiar with them. They are:

  • Taxes
  • Inflation
  • Market volatility
  • Longevity

Each of these impacts financial plans and retirement resources in different ways.

Taxes
Without getting into specifics, a consumer can face tax liabilities before and/or after retirement. This gets into the whole “would you rather be taxed on the seed or the harvest analogy.” And while deferred products grow tax-deferred, liability upon distribution is something to be aware of.

Inflation
Inflation is a constant ambient threat before and during retirement. Inflation affects the consumer’s real value of their dollars they have, which is why products or solutions that have some element of growth potential may be appropriate. The better a consumer understands this, the more they will appreciate the importance of deferred-growth cash value products. A good rate of return can combat the rate of inflation and large cache of retirement resources can help mitigate the effects of inflation once income is no longer earned from work.

Market Volatility
If a consumer’s risk exposure is inappropriately balanced, they may be subject to the effects of a market dip or sector drag. Many consumers might not even be aware of the level of exposure in their employer-sponsored plan. So a consumer not only needs to evaluate their stocks and direct investments, they need to look closely at their company retirement benefits. Just by explaining what is contained in their package (through policy and doc reviews) you can gain a lot of trust from a prospect.

Longevity
We all know that people are living longer. This means that retirement resources that in the past may have been expected to stretch 10-15 years, now need to go much further. This gets to the central challenge of retirement planning – accumulating enough resources that cannot be outlived. As soon as an individual stops earning income, the clock is against them.

Understanding these four challenges is crucial for a consumer to appreciate the value of a robust retirement plan. And it is not just these factors individually that work against the consumer’s ideal retirement; it is all of them working together. If you start the exploration process with a simple breakdown of these factors and boil complex solutions back to the core challenges they address, you should have a better connection with your prospect or client.

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Marketing Corner – Beyond Capital Transfer

Marketing Corner – Thursday April 27th, 2017

Beyond Capital Transfer

Many consumers (and some advisors) see life insurance as having two purposes. The first is to provide a death benefit that replaces income and helps with household expenses. The other, when expenses are met, is to transfer wealth to the next generation in a tax-advantaged manner.

These two purposes are certainly relevant and can help align other pieces of an individual’s financial plan. However, modern, cash-value policies have evolved to provide many more benefits, some that can even be tapped into during life.

This creates a situation where a consumer can receive the peace of mind that comes with a death benefit and legacy transfer, while also enjoying asset leverage, additional sources of retirement income, and increased tax-efficiency.

While you may be familiar with the concept of life insurance in retirement planning, there are a variety of ways life insurance can be used to increase retirement income. This is why we created our latest sales kit, Beyond Capital Transfer. This complimentary guide provides:

• Overview of several advanced creative life insurance strategies
• Information on how to reposition assets, maximize tax-efficiencies, and gain additional leverage
• Case scenarios and illustrations.

For this week’s Marketing Corner, we wanted to run an excerpt of this exclusive guide. Below is the guide’s section on GMWB Maximization. Use the form to request the full kit.

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GMWB Maximization

10,000 individuals are turning age 65 every day and will continue to do so for the next decade. Many of these consumers are not only concerned about maximizing their income in retirement, but also not outliving it. In fact, the number one fear of boomers is outliving their retirement income. With this in mind, a good solution can be using an annuity with an income rider that can generate a lifetime of income. Couples will often elect a joint payout for the income rider so that after the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse will continue to receive an income for the rest of their life. The downside to this option is that a joint life payout will generate a lower payout than a single life payout.

A potential alternative to selecting the lower joint payout is to use the higher life-only payout and bundle it with a life insurance policy. By selecting a life-only payout and applying the income difference between the life-only payout and joint payout to a life insurance policy, you can ensure a continued income stream for the surviving spouse.

There are a few reasons why this strategy can make a lot of sense. First, many times the life insurance premium will be less than the income difference between the two payouts, resulting in a higher net income amount.

Second, if the annuitant passes away prior to the income distribution or during the income distribution but prior to exhausting the accumulation value, the surviving spouse will continue to receive income from the annuity until the accumulation value has been exhausted. The spouse will also have the life insurance death benefit.

Third, regardless of whether the initial funds in the annuity were qualified or non-qualified, the life insurance death benefit will be paid out income tax-free if a SPIA is used to continue the distribution. In this case, only a small portion will be taxed based off of the exclusion ratio.

Finally, since most income riders have a set income payment at the death of an individual, there can be an influx of bills or unexpected expenses that can be challenging to pay for with set payments whereas, having a lump sum from a life insurance policy can help mitigate these potential expenses.

Here is a case scenario that illustrates this strategy:

John Smith
Age 60

Jane Smith
Age 57

25% tax bracket

Clients have $250k saved up in an IRA to use for retirement income. Their primary objectives are to not outlive these funds and to generate consistent income. They are planning on retiring in 3 years and are considering purchasing an indexed annuity with an income rider to give them the guaranteed income they desire.

Annuity Company A can provide a joint income payout in 3 years of $12,823.45 for the rest of John and Jane’s lives. The equivalent single life premium for Jane necessary to generate $12,823.45 is $200,000.00. We then take the $50,000 difference and deposit the after-tax funds into a guaranteed universal life policy.

Based on this lump sum, Life Insurance Company B will guarantee a death benefit of $162,240.00 for the rest of Jane’s life. It is important to note at this point that at the death of an annuitant, an income rider will continue to pay out an income until the accumulation value is exhausted. In our scenario, assuming zero gains in the contract, the accumulation value will exhaust 14.81 years after income started. So if Jane dies in the 14th year of payout, John will be 77 years old and will receive the $162,240.00 from Jane’s life insurance policy. If these funds are deposited into a life-only SPIA with Insurance Company C, it would generate $15,729.05 per year of income for the rest of John’s life.

This strategy accomplishes a few things:

• If Jane dies prematurely, John receives a tax-free lump sum and can still continue the annuity’s income stream until the accumulation value is exhausted.
• If Jane pre-deceases, John he can deposit the funds into a SPIA that will not only increase his income but also has a lower tax liability because it is being funded by NQ funds.
• If Jane outlives John, her income remains guaranteed and she now has a life insurance policy that can transfer to her beneficiaries.
• The advisor, by presenting a more leveraged strategy, now has 2 sales instead of 1 and also has the potential to manage the funds received at Jane’s death.

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Marketing Corner – Going After Your Whales

Marketing Corner – Wednesday April 19th, 2017

Going After Your Whales

While you may have a healthy book of clients, there are likely a few big prospects you have your eye on. Your elephants. Your whales. These are the prospects that could take your practice to the next level, either through career cases or high-value lifetime planning opportunities. Because of their stature and the difficult nature of converting them into clients, some advisors find going after whales an intimidating enterprise. Here are six tips for chasing your whales.

Maintain Regular Contact

Very few advisors convert on the first touch, high-value prospect or not. The frequency of touch is key in maintain a prospect pipeline and wearing down objections. It can take months, even years before you convert a prospect, especially if they are a high-net-worth business owner, physician, or whoever your whale is to you.

How do you eat a whale? One bite at a time. As you engage with your whale, keep conversations focused on a few things—hitting them with all you got can come across as desperate. And remember, if they keep picking up the phone for your calls or answer your emails, that is a good thing. It means they like you or something you are saying. You just haven’t found the right thing to say to bring them in your book or they just aren’t ready. If you maintain a good series of regular calls or emails with your whale, the more you will both learn about each other.

End Every Interaction With Keeping The Door Open

A whale likely doesn’t have much time to chat with you, so you should handle every call with an awareness of the time you taking away from the important business they need to attend to. This means keeping conversations brief and focused on a few topics, without getting too deep (at first). This might seem like a disadvantage. However, brief calls mean that you are retaining information out for the next round of calls. You have a reason to follow-up and your prospect has a reason to pick up. If you hit a wall, make sure to ask if it would be alright to check in down the line. If your interactions have been pleasant, the prospect likely won’t object to this.

Really Uncover Your Prospect’s Pain Points

Compared to a regular client, a whale-type prospect often will have more complicated planning needs. They may not be concerned with 401(k) rollovers, basic life insurance coverage, or simple tax maximization strategies. Their needs may be more in the advanced markets realm. This means digging deep to uncover their needs and pain points. Thankfully, if you use a serial contact strategy, you will naturally come to understand what matters to them and what they need. As you further the conversation, draw on your growing knowledge of your prospects objectives and challenges.

Pay Attention To Life Events

Prospecting around life events is a great way to engage with a variety of consumers, no matter their profile. But your whale will probably have different life events than a regular consumer, or their life events will require different needs. Consider the life insurance solutions that may be appropriate for a business owner or executive, compared to a regular consumer. A business owner may be worried about transferring the business to the next generation, or shoring up additional protection for the company, or may be preparing for a sale. If you maintain contact with the prospect, you should have a good sense of what’s going on in the consumer’s financial life, what their worries are, and what future events to look out for.

Get Referred Or Introduced By A Mutual Connection

Between your current book of clients, friends, and acquaintances, there’s a good chance that you and your whale know someone in common. If you can get your mutual connection to vouch for you, you will gain a distinct advantage over others chasing the prospect. Through platforms like LinkedIn, you can see how you are connected and what connections you have in common.

Build Your Brand In Their Sphere

Think about the places your whale and other whale-level prospects visit. Do you have marketing outlay in the places? Are you sponsoring or participating in activities that make you visible to your whale? The more your high-value prospect sees you and your brand in their own sphere, the more credibility you may gain.

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5 Reasons Your Digital Content Marketing Strategy Isn’t Working

Marketing Corner – Thursday April 6th, 2017

5 Reasons Your Digital Content Marketing Strategy Isn’t Working

Content marketing is a broad term describing a range of marketing activity, from blog posts, articles, videos, emails, and status updates. While there are many ways to implement a content marketing strategy, the main goal is to leverage your expertise and engage your consumer base with relevant information. Here are five reasons your digital content marketing strategy isn’t working.

You Don’t Post Content Regularly

Regularity is key to staying in front of consumers. Many advisors will attempt a content strategy and then quickly burn out on articles and posts. Or, they may find that they aren’t able to maintain a steady time commitment to draft content. It’s generally going to be more advantageous (and manageable) to have one or two good posts each week than a short burst that stops. Figure out what you can fit into your schedule and keep a consistent flow that can be sustained over a long period of time. You’ll be surprised how much you can actually craft if you devote 1-2 hours each week for content marketing.

You Don’t Post Relevant Content

Given that your consumer base likely includes many types of individuals, you may have some difficulty in delivering relevant content. Your pieces don’t have to be relevant to everyone in your target market, nor do they have to address every age/situation of your prospects. What you should do, however, is ensure that the content is relevant to a specific segment of your audience. Vary your approach—address the many different consumers types within your overall target market. Maybe this week your piece on the top issues facing baby boomers isn’t relevant to the business owners you also pursue. Next week, have something that discusses key-person insurance.

Your Social Media Profiles Aren’t Developed

Social media is useful for distributing your content, especially since these digital spaces are where many of your consumers already are. Because your potential clients may develop an impression of you based on your digital hubs, you should take extra effort to ensure that your profiles are complete, with high-quality branding. Add personal touches by incorporating a portrait of you or a photo of your offices. Too often advisors will simply use a low-res copy of their logo for both profile pictures and banners. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, all give you many opportunities to present yourself visually, so take advantage of this. Why does this matter? If a consumer bounces to your Facebook page or Twitter page and sees that it is undeveloped, they may not have a lot of confidence in you.

You Don’t Share Across Multiple Platforms

Some consumers may be more active on Facebook, while others on LinkedIn. Some may exclusively use Twitter, and some may poke around many platforms. This is why you should spread your content across multiple relevant platforms. You may find that one platform becomes more relevant to you and your audience, but this does not mean you should ignore the other platforms. Keeping all your profiles active with recent posts can help you reach new prospects, help with SEO ranking (as this activity can be a ranking signal), and give you a trail of digital pieces that help to establish your credibility.

You Don’t Employ Different Types of Posts

A good digital content marketing strategy employs many different types of posts—articles, photo, video, infographics, macros, and more. Explore your options and get creative. Vary long posts with shorts posts. Use photos with your articles. Craft a short-video series. The more you have in your bag of tricks, the more you can engage your audience.

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