The Value of Lead Magnets
Every business needs a stream of qualified leads. For financial advisors this is a unique challenge. While a neighborhood bakery, autoshop, or boutique clothing store provides tangible goods and services, the benefits of working with a financial advisor may not be as instantly gratifying. Many consumers only seek out financial advisors when there’s a pressing need, meaning it’s often too late to properly address the issue. One way to address this is to incorporate lead magnets into your marketing plan.
What is a lead magnet?
A lead magnet is anything that drives a consumer to a specific action. You can think of it similar to a call-to-action or a give. What a lead magnet does is attract consumers with a tangible offer or unique experience. This is often thought of in terms of digital marketing. For example, a consumer responds to a digital ad, routing them to a landing page which has a form submittal to receive a complimentary kit, rate report, or retirement analysis. There are many different versions of this structure and advisors can implement a digital lead magnet system to reach many types of consumers.
While it’s good to focus on the digital, lead magnets can be very effective in traditional formats. For instance, we’ve seen success with agents offering a free round of golf or a free tennis lesson. Instead of (or in addition to) using digital ads to promote this offer, the agent places a high-quality, eye-catching ad at the target venue. This can, to an extent, pre-qualify the audience, based on the venue where the ad is placed . The consumer gets a unique experience of value and is able to learn more about you in a casual, low-pressure manner. Another benefit is that you can build a relationship with the venue, which can open you to business owners and advocates.
What Makes a Good Lead Magnet?
A good lead magnet:
Offers an experience or product of real value
A rate report or retirement analysis represents a real value for your time and expertise. For some consumers, this may be enough. But to really attract high-value consumers, offer something that is immediately gratifying.
Is pitched toward a specific target market
You can use a lead magnet any number of ways, which is why you should have a clear idea of the type of consumer you wish to attract.
Gives you an opportunity to interact with the consumer
Dangling out an Outback gift-card for an introductory phone call at best gives you an impersonal interaction with a consumer and at worse attracts plate-lickers. If your lead magnet involves an experience like a lesson with a golf pro, this is an event that you and the consumer can share together. This gives you opportunities to interact with the consumer and for them to get a sense of you.
Aligns you with businesses that support you and your efforts
Since you are likely to use another business’ products or services as a carrot to attract consumers, it’s important to develop a good relationship with the business. As mentioned above, this can gain you advocates and access to business planning opportunities. On a smaller level, however, having a good relationship ensures that you are able to continue to use the business for your lead magnet. Make sure that the relationship is mutually beneficial.
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Marketing Corner – Wednesday June 29th, 2016
6 Key Challenges Advisors Face Today
Advisors and Agents face many challenges throughout their career. From establishing a practice, building a client base, marketing, and dealing with downturns, the zigs and zags of an agent’s career can be erratic. Here are six key challenges advisors face today.
Shifting Demographics and Client Bases
America is on the cusp of the largest transfer of generational wealth, ever. Over the next 30 years, some $30 trillion will be transferred from Boomers to Gen-Xers and Millennials. That’s a pretty good opportunity for advisors, except for two things:
Nearly 66% of children release their parent’s advisor
Most advisors only focus on a particular age segment
Retaining clients across familial generations requires skill. Although there is no such thing as “easy money,” focusing only on Boomers does simplify your practice. You are able to understand the key needs of this population segment and positions to continually enhance your expertise. But doing this cuts you off from the next wave, which is going to arrive sooner than you think. Some demarcations put the outer edge of Gen-Xers around 1960, which means that in five-ten years, these will be the new Boomers. Plus many Gen-Xers and Millennials (yes, Millennials) represent planning opportunities now. Take some time understand the key issues facing each generation and expand your target market.
Marketing and Prospecting
Marketing and prospecting will always be a challenge in any business. Financial advisors are in especially prone position, however, when it comes to generating leads and converting new clients, since the service they provide is not a tangible object and often involves long time-frames. As generations shift, so too does the effective means to reach new clients. This is where having an array of marketing solutions is helpful. While you may have one core marketing activity (seminars, social media, referrals, etc.) having many different marketing tools will help you adapt to changing target markets. It’s not digital versus traditional or push versus pull marketing. It’s digital and traditional, push and pull marketing.
One immediate challenge facing the financial service industry at large is the DOL fiduciary rule. While advisors can expound endlessly on the potential impact of this rule, it does raise some concerns about regulation in general and the changing perceptions of what it is financial professionals actually do. We’ll see how this change plays out before full implementation (already there are many lawsuits set to argue against the rule) but it points to the importance of staying abreast of industry-wide changes and being diversified in your offerings.
Balancing Being A Good Advisor and A Good Businessperson
A good advisor provides custom-tailored service and excellent care. A good businessperson understands the true cost of profit and has a vision for the company on several different time scales. The challenge many advisors have is that they have to be both a good advisor and a good businessperson. Independent advisors may pull enough in production to hire a support staff, but the responsibilities of dealing with consumers and protecting the business’s growth fall squarely on their shoulders. Time spent as an advisor can take away time needed to ensure business needs are met. Time focused on the numbers takes away from time that could be spent with consumers, which at the end of the day, helps support the vision of the business.
How do you balance this? It may help to establish a distinct marketing and business plan periodically. You may also wish to align with another producer or agency. Or you might seek out a FMO to handle marketing and back office tasks, as well as help shape the scope of your business. However you do it, never forget that you are a business owner and need time to focus on business needs as much as client needs.
The market is unpredictable. While there are best practices, solutions, and strategies that work within and outside the market, the market still casts a large shadow over financial services. Market volatility presents a challenge to advisors in a few interesting ways. Advisors need to have some idea of how products and solutions will perform in the ecosystem of the stock market. Consumers, watching key stock figures and measurements, come armed with their own perceptions, fears, and concerns. This can lead to behavioral finance biases. While you can’t control the market, you can help people address their specific needs. Having a good understanding of consumers’ biases and issues can go a long way to selling your market-tough solutions.
Generalization v. Specialization
The problem many professionals face is to generalize or specialize. This is true of doctors, lawyers, and certainly financial advisors. If you are too generalized, you may miss opportunities to land advance-market, high net-worth clients. If you are too specialized, you may be vulnerable to changes with your specialty and target market. One possible approach for success is similar to the point we made about marketing: have one core offering, with an array of other offerings. This will allow you to go after niche clients, with a sustaining set of services.
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Updated North American Allocation Forms
North American has updated their annuity allocation forms for several products. Call today to get updated forms for your application packets.
Annuity Awareness Month
June is Annuity Awareness Month and LFP has a wealth of resources available to help market to and educate prospects and clients about the benefits of annuities. Call today to learn how we can help.
Do you think about money the same way your parents did? Probably not, every generation has its different nuances whether it’s in regard to saving or in how they interact with various forms of marketing. Available for download is our Multi Generational Marketing Guide which discusses each generation and how to effectively market to them.
Life Insurance Sales
A recent survey found that 52% of advisors don’t feel like they’ve had success with life insurance advice. Identifying the right prospect, uncovering the need, and framing the solution are all key components to making your life insurance sales soar. LFP has resources and training available that address these 3 key areas and will make you a life insurance rock star. Call today for additional details.
Allianz Life Pro +
Allianz recently revamped their Life Pro + IUL and has rolled out several enhancements. Costs were lowered and the option for a convertible term rider was added. In addition to this a 15% interest rate bonus was added to the product starting in year 11. Currently the product offers some of the highest cash accumulation and income streams in the IUL space. Call us today for additional details.
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Marketing Corner – Thursday, June 9th, 2016
Six Ways To Be More Personal In Your Practice
The best advisors know they don’t sell products—they sell themselves. With the rise of robo-advisors and increasingly competitive markets, one of the easiest ways to gain a foothold with your consumer base is to be a personable professional. For some advisors, this is common sense and natural. Others may not be aware of the ways they could sell themselves better. Here are six simple ways to put your best foot forward.
Too many times we see advisors that have decent looking websites with poorly shot profile photos, if they have photos of themselves at all. A well-shot photograph allows consumers to put a face to the services or bio they are reading about. Using your image on other marketing materials like fliers or mailers can also serve to make a personal connection.
Statistics show that video can increase linger time and conversions for websites. You might find that some advisor websites have explainer videos on every concept or product line. This is great, however you can bring video to your website without huge expense by providing a short introduction clip on your home page. In this clip you should address the consumer, give your mission statement and a summary of your skills/experience. This allows the consumer to see and hear you, further connecting your practice to a real person.
Sponsoring community events can be a great way to get your name out in your area. But to get the most out of this strategy you should actually attend the event and meet members of your community. Consider also creating regular charity events that tie the community together, such as a food or clothing drive, charity sports tournament, or volunteer blitz. This aligns with your passions outside of work and helps you to become a known quantity in your local area.
When you meet a new prospect, you likely have casual small talk before delving into products and solutions. Conversation topics like family, goals, experiences, etc. This information is
helpful to provide a personal touch later on as you drip on an unconverted lead and to reinforce your relationship once they become a client. Within your CRM capture this information and use as you interact with the consumer.
We’ve discussed the importance (and ease) of personalizing emails/subject lines before, but it’s worth repeating here. This is such a simple, low-effort way to provide a personal touch with something that is somewhat impersonal. If possible, personalize mailers and form letters as well.
Tastefully Demonstrate Your Personality In Your Collateral
Striking the right balance between personality and professionalism is a skill. Done well, it demonstrates that you are a human being with a family and interests, not a suit trying to sell
insurance. There are many ways to do this. For example, in the copy on your website or newsletters, use language that has a bit of your voice, while still providing professional and compliant details. You can also consider a hobby or passion and use this as imagery or metaphor in your marketing collateral. Again the key is balance. A little bit of personality makes you relatable and distinguished; too much turns you into a clown.
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Marketing Corner – Tuesday 5th, 2016
6 Best Practices for Running A Successful Workshop
Workshops and seminars are powerful marketing activities for advisors. Even in our digitally driven world, nothing will replace the value of an experienced advisor presenting relevant information to a live audience. It should be no surprise that many advisors and agents rely heavily on this method to prospect for new clients. A well-run and informative seminar simply works. However, new and old advisors alike miss many opportunities to maximize their workshops. New advisors may overlook small details that can derail their presentations. Experienced advisors may become too rote in running their seminars, ignoring possible blindspots that can inhibit the effectiveness of their event. To help advisors and agents everywhere, here are six best practices for running a successful workshop.
Choose Your Topic Carefully
Advisors may want to try workshops/seminars but struggle with topic selection. This is also a problem that experienced advisors may face, after exhausting a set of topics. The topic you present is the most important part of your workshop. A good topic will be relevant and provide opportunities for elaboration. A good topic will relate to things that affect your client base, whether they know it or not. You must also have some knowledge or expertise with the topic you choose so that you can present it with confidence.
So here’s how to choose your topic:
1: Find a topic or focus that is relevant to your consumers.
2: Address current trends related to this topic.
3: Provide research and stats with your topic presentation. This will lend your presentation credibility and support your main arguments
For example, let’s say you want to run a Social Security workshop. You know that this topic is very relevant for a significant portion of your consumer base. Prepare a presentation that outlines Social Security basics, then discusses specific maximization strategies. Interlace your presentation with credible stats. Focus on new changes that may impact consumers. Social Security is subject to many changes this year, with the removal of “file and suspend.”
You may struggle with topic development not because a topic is bad, but it is too broad. Social Security and retirement income planning are both important areas of financial planning, but they are broad. So if you are struggling with a topic, think about a specific focus that you can present. If you are trying to reach pre-retirees and retirees, you may want to discuss things that Medicare will and won’t cover, with the angle that a good financial plan and an LTC policy may help to protect an individual’s finances. This has a good broad topic that will appeal to many of your target consumers (Medicare), a specific focus that educates consumers, and imparts the urgency of proper financial protection (solutions you can provide).
Involve An Assistant
During your workshops, your time should be spent presenting to and engaging with consumers. Collecting forms, managing the session, handing out pens, etc. can take away time you could spend educating consumers and interrupt the flow of your presentation. Having an assistant that handles the grunt work of running the workshop can make your presentation run smoother. From the time attendees arrive to the collection of follow-up forms, your attention needs to be on the consumers. An assistant that handles much of the operational aspects of the seminar frees you to build rapport and make a strong connection with your audience.
Be Thoroughly Prepared and Organized
The more prepared and organized you are, the more time you have to spend educating your consumers. Anticipate issues, rather than react to them in moment. This means:
- establishing an itinerary for the session
- arriving early
- communicating with wait staff (if say you are doing a dinner seminar)
- having extra copies of relevant forms and pens
- testing any tech (such as microphones and projectors)
- running through the event with your assistant to make sure you are both on the same page
- allocating a buffer window for issues that may occur or Q &A portions that run long
- creating take home sheets and evaluations
Your seminar could have many more components. The important thing is that you are prepared at every moment–before, during, and after the presentation. Not only will this reflect on you as a professional and ensure a smooth workshop, it will make things like follow-up and appointment setting easier.
Choose an Appropriate Location
Where you hold your seminar can have an impact on how well it runs. Ideally you’ll want to choose a venue that is supportive and located in a central area to your target market. You should also consider issues like road construction that may make it difficult for your target market to travel. A high-end or well-suited venue can give your workshop more credibility, causing consumers to associate their positive feelings of the location with your presentation. For dinner seminars, find higher-end restaurants or event halls that have brand recognition in your local area. For more of an educational workshop, a library or community center may suffice, especially if staff is supportive of your seminar as community event.
Advertise Your Workshop Through Multiple Marketing Channels
Direct mail is the most common way advisors market a workshop or seminar. Certainly direct mail is an effective means to get the word out and get responses. However, there are other means that can enhance the marketing of your seminar, often at a minimal cost. Don’t discount the power of a local newspaper ad placement—in many communities physical newspapers still reach a large audience, especially older consumers. Digital ad placements can also greatly improve registration responses. Even something like a boosted Facebook post can help you reach your audience. These marketing pieces, all operating at the same time, also mean that a large segment of your audience sees your workshop ads in multiple places, through multiple channels. And of course, don’t forget the power of a simple flier at the venue to reach consumers.
Although you are educating your consumer base with a seminar, the bottom line is that you are trying to set appointments and capture new clients. Follow-up is crucial for these things to happen. This means that you need to have some form of an information-gathering sheet where a consumer can provide their concerns and other valuable information you can use to tailor a pitch to them. If you don’t already have emails from the workshop registration process, this is your opportunity to get them. After the workshop, issue a thank you message that also summarizes what you discussed. If you plan on doing a workshop on a different topic, invite the consumer to the next one. You can also use the list to build a drip marketing campaign.
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American Equity MYGA Rate Adjustment
American Equity has announced that they will be reducing rates on their MYGA product line by .15bps effective April 13, 2016. Applications must be at the home office by April 12, 2016 to receive the current rates. Call today for additional details.
Athene Raises Rates
Athene has increased rates effective April 1, 2016 on their Performance Elite FIA series. Caps have increased and spreads have been decreased. Call today for an updated rate guide.
Seminars and Educational Workshops are a popular marketing activity for advisors. Success with event marketing often comes from making sure that everything is implemented correctly. Making sure all of the little details are checked off the list can lead to big results. In this weeks Marketing Corner we discuss 6 tips to running a successful workshop. The article can be found by clicking the following link. Click Here.
Metlife SIFI Designation
After a lengthy battle with the government a federal judge recently struck down Metlife’s SIFI designation. If the ruling stands Metlife won’t be subject to the governments tougher scrutiny.
NACOLAH Guarantee Builder IUL
Current assumption UL’s that use an index chassis have grown in popularity in recent years. One of the shortfalls though, is that the death benefit guarantee doesn’t run all of the way out and the caps oftentimes aren’t as competitive as traditional IUL products. The guarantee builder on the other hand is very competitively priced, offers a full death benefit guarantee, and offers caps as high as 13.5%. In addition to this it also offers a free chronic illness rider. Call today for state availability and additional information.