12 Best Practices for Sponsoring Community Events
Community events are great marketing opportunities that advisors often fail to take advantage of. This is a shame because community events allow consumers to see a friendly, personal side of your business. Rather than meeting you or engaging with your brand through normal business channels, consumers become aware of you in settings that add enjoyment to their daily life. Here are 12 best practices with sponsoring a community event.
Choose an Event That Is Visible And Draws Crowds Within the Community
Consider the community activities that occur in your area. Are they popular enough to draw significant crowds? Do they bring together different strands of your target market?
Choose Events That Occur Regularly
While sponsoring a new event or a one-off activity can certainly be helpful to your brand, finding events that occur regularly may lead to a long-lasting relationship with organizers. This provides you more opportunities in the future, granting your name a strong association with the event, and helping you to plan far in advance.
Select Events That Align With Your Passions and Hobbies
You can certainly sponsor an activity just for the sake of brand awareness, but if you choose an event that reflects your personal tastes and hobbies, you will be more invested into it. These may also give you chances to showcase parts of your life not related to your business. For example, let’s say you are great at cooking BBQ. Sponsoring a BBQ cook-off would allow you to be a part of an event that attracts people in your community as well as participate.
Give Your Audience A Unique Experience
Align yourself with events that provide your target market with a unique, fun experience. Avoid boring, information-style activities, and think of things that the entire family can enjoy.
Identify Activities You Can Directly Participate In
Getting your branding in front of consumers is great, but directly interacting with consumers is a better way for them to get a sense of you. So don’t just sponsor the art walk, or beer fest, or block party—directly participate and mingle.
Don’t Overwhelm The Event With A Pitch
It’s fine to discuss your services and area of expertise, but avoid trying to sell. Explain who you are, what you do, maybe even give a business card, and then focus on having fun and interacting with attendees.
Promote The Event
Don’t simply count on organizers to promote the event. Promote through your social media channels and newsletters. Let current clients know about the event, as this can be a form of client appreciation and referral gathering all in the same activity. Use your regular marketing channels to market the event, i.e. e-blasts, phone calls, and even direct mail. Understand how the event fits within your other marketing activities. What marketing will you do before and after the event? How will you use these to highlight the activity?
Consider A Range of Events to Reach Multiple Types of Consumers
Younger consumers may be responsive to a summer concert series or a food fest, while older consumers may respond more to leisurely activities like crafts. If budget allows, strategically place yourself within both types of events.
Coordinate With Organizers On Your Level of Responsibility
Make sure your role is clearly defined and that you don’t overstep the bounds of those doing the brunt of putting on the event. Offer your help where needed, but don’t overwhelm them and make the event all about you.
Create Your Own Events
If you are unable to find a suitable event that aligns with your hobbies or passions, create your own. While this means that organization falls an you and your staff’s shoulders, creating your own event, especially if it is unique, can set apart from your competitors.
Without being narcissistic or disturbing the spirit of the event, document it through photos and videos. Place these on your website or social media platforms.
Define What You Want To Get Out Of The Event
Make sure you have a clear idea of what your business gets out of the activity. Are you looking purely for brand awareness? Or will you try to capture leads?
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Met Life Promotion
Beginning August 1st-December 31st is running a class match special that allows a consumer to buy up to 1.5mm of additional coverage by providing their current life insurance information and having a clean mvr, prescription check, and MIB report. The clients current insurance has to have been purchased within the last 5 years from an approved carrier. Call today for additional details.
Legacy Increasing Rates
Legacy has announced a rate increase on their Americo suite of products that takes effect July 29th. Call today to get an updated rate sheet.
Allianz Consumer Site
Often times after meeting with an advisor a consumer will continue to do more research about the product or strategy that the agent recommended. Allianz has created a very informative consumer facing site that covers a wide range of planning topics that are very informative. The following link will take the consumer right to the site https://www.allianzlife.com/retirement-and-planning-tools/
SEC Auditing RIA’s
The SEC has announced that it will start taking a closer look at the types of mutual fund share classes that RIA’s are recommending to clients.
North American Guarantee Builder
North American offers a low cost very competitive guaranteed death benefit ul with an indexing chassis. For clients that want a death benefit guarantee and also like the idea of cash value this product can be a perfect fit. In addition to having caps as high as 13% annual pt to pt it also offers a free chronic illness rider. Call today for additional details.
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Ramp Up For Fall
While we are smack in the middle of the dog days of summer (it was 96 degrees with a heat index of 108 here at LFP HQ) fall isn’t too far away. September is only six weeks from now and autumn will creep up faster than you know it. Whether you are dealing with a downturn due to a summer slump or clearing high production, now is a good time to think about the next quarter of your business.
This is because with each season, comes new opportunities. Here is a list of things to consider as you ramp up for the fall:
Your Marketing Plan
Many advisors don’t have a marketing plan to begin with it. Even if you do, you are likely focused on very short-term (weeks) or very long-term (years) marketing activities. But having a marketing plan that aligns with the seasons (months) can be a good way to establish goals and take advantage of opportunities that occur during this time period. Don’t ignore your daily marketing activities nor your long-term goals; simply add another timeframe to consider how you can leverage your value proposition.
We discussed before the enduring value that seminars have as a marketing tool. Because of summer can both hurt attendance as much as it can help, some advisors reduce their seminar activities during this time period. If you are one of them, now is the time to plan your fall seminars, with presentations often taking six weeks or more to prepare, coordinate, and advertise.
Back to School Marketing Opportunities
You may not think that back-to-school season offers opportunities for reaching new clients, but it does. You can align you marketing around the concept of “back-to-school” or even look at school publications. In areas where high-school sports are popular, look at sponsorship or booster opportunities.
Industry Specific Opportunities
The fall has two big industry specific marketing opportunities: life insurance awareness month (September) and critical illness awareness month (October). As you head into the fall, consider how you will take advantage of these awareness months, contact specific carriers to request collateral, and ask what your brokerage or FMO is going to do to help you market during this timeframe.
The spring and summer months are full of community events, with more people seeking outdoor or social activities. Autumn likely has several events in your area that draw regular crowds. Look into sponsoring these events or even creating your own.
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LFP Closing Early
Legacy Financial Partners will be closing at 3cst on Friday July 22nd due to renovations. LFP will reopen at normal business hours on Monday July 25.
F&G Rate Decrease
F&G has announced a decrease in caps and spreads for most products that takes affect August 5th. In addition F&G has also announced that it will be dropping the rollup and bonus on the Prosperity Elite Series as well as the Safe Income Plus effective August 5th. There is no rate lock for the rollup and bonus decrease so applications must be issue by August 4th to receive the current rollup and bonus. Call today for details.
Capital Transfer is the process of converting existing assets into a tax efficient format for wealth transfer. Life insurance is a great tool for this. We have a comprehensive guide that discusses how to transition a variety of assets and leverage them with life insurance in order to reduce taxes and increase legacy. Call today to request your guide.
A recent Allianz Life study found that while 93% of Americans think positively about living longer 70% of them feel financial un prepared for the prospect.
Equitrust WealthPay Life
Equitrust’s WealthPay life is a simplified issue IUL designed to spread the tax burden of qualified assets and to increase the value of those assets to be left to heirs. In addition the product offers competitive caps up to 9% and provides for chronic and critical illness. Call today for additional details.
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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.
Newest Competitive SPIUL
With treasury rates continuing to drop several carriers have announced rate decreases for July on their annuity portfolios. Call today to get updated rates for all carriers.
Global Atlantic Update
Beginning today Global Atlantic will be launching a new 1035/Transfer form. For the time being Global Atlantic will still accept the older Forethought Version of the form and hasn’t set a date yet to fully transition from the old form.
Unfortunately for many consumers their decisions in regard to investing can be heavily influenced by emotion versus logic. One of the most frustrating things for an advisor is to make a sound recommendation only to have the client only implement part of the plan or do something different altogether. We’ve put together a powerful 1 page piece that illustrates the risk of making emotional decisions when it comes to investing. Call us today to request it.
Genworth SIFI Designation Rescinded
The FSOC on Thursday rescinded GE Capital’s SIFI designation. One of the main contributing factors was GE’s decision to divest over $150 billion of its financial services business.
Lincoln National Term
Lincoln National has recently rolled out their TermAccel level term product. This simplified application process uses an E app and doesn’t require any APS’s. The program is designed for prospects without a complex medical history that are 30-50 looking for 250k-500k of coverage. Lincoln also has available their fully underwritten LifeElements term plan which is highly competitive as well. Call today to get quotes.
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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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4th of July
Legacy Financial Partners will be closed Monday July 4th in observance of Independence Day.
Athene Lowering Rates
Athene has announced a rate decrease for its Performance Elite, Target Horizon, and MYGA product series. In order to get current rates applications must be received by July 1, 2016 4pm CT. Call today to get an updated rate sheet.
Annuity maximization is an efficient asset repositioning strategy that can be used for annuities where all or a portion are earmarked to be left to beneficiaries. Or for annuities that have been underperforming. By repositioning funds from the annuity into life insurance the owner of the annuity can ensure that there is a pool of tax free funds at death to offset any income tax that might be due at transfer. In addition to this if the annuity is underperforming liquidating it to fund the life insurance policy can result in a significantly larger amount of money to be transferred to the next generation.
Health Spending in Retirement
A recent HealthView Services study found that a 65 year old couple retiring in 2016 can expect that their total healthcare spending during retirement will exceed $377,000.
Equitrust’s MarketBooster FIA is a competitive 9 year product that offers a 7% premium bonus with competitive caps and several index options. The product is designed for accumulation but also offers an optional income for life rider. Call today for additional details.