Self Promotion II for Financial Advisors
Chris was having lunch with her assistant, Mike, at their local coffee shop when an elderly couple approached her.
“Excuse me,” the gentleman said, “my wife and I read your article about annuities in last week’s paper, and we’d like to come in and talk to you. Do you have a card so I can call for an appointment?”
After the prospects left, Chris took a final bite of her salad. “That’s the third one to ask me about it this week. It must have been a good article.”
“I really don’t know. I forget what I sent in. I’ll try to find the paper.” Mike pushed the check towards his boss. “Just think what’ll happen once your book comes out.”
How would you like to be constantly recognized like Chris was when you stop by your favorite watering hole or while you’re watching your kid’s little league game? Can we call you? It’d be pretty neat, right? Well, you can have this type of identification. All you have to do is put pen to paper, or better yet find someone to do it for you.
Newspapers are continually looking for articles on investing, the economy, and other personal finance topics. Try your local papers, even the “giveaway” types. They’re chucked full of ads but so what? As long as you can get your photo, a short bio, and some words of wisdom out to a few thousand people it’s worthwhile.
Meet with the editor. Be prepared with your bio and a few potential article topics. Explain that your pieces will be educational and totally generic. Editors aren’t dumb. They’ll know why you’re willing to perform such a noble service and will work with you as long as you play by the rules (no sales pitches in the articles). If the newspaper is using another advisor, offer to keep in touch with the editor. You never know when that advisor might stumble and generate an avalanche of reader complaints.
You offered to keep in touch with the newspaper editor? What better way than to send a newsletter each month? Newsletters with your photo, your bio, and four or five well-written, educational articles are one of the most effective, low-key client acquisition tools available.
Say that you’ve been in the business for three years. How big is your prospect list? It’s probably in the hundreds. These are all the people you have spoken to on the phone, you met at social functions, and who may have requested information at one time but you’ve never been able to reach. It’s next to impossible to call all of these potential clients, plus all of your existing ones, on a regular basis. So why not let the U.S. mail do it for you? Or better yet, use the Internet.
There’s a good chance that the majority of your clients and prospects have Internet service. Get their e-mail addresses and send your newsletter electronically. It’ll save you a few bucks in postage and printing, but more important it’ll show them that you’re using 21st century technology—a perceived necessity for a financial advisor.
Write A Book
Book authors are recognized as experts. Go to your local bookstore and look in the investment section. Rows and rows of books on everything from making a killing in real estate to how to prepare for the coming economic collapse. You know that you could write something of greater value. So why don’t you?
Your own book would make a great gift to your clients, prospects, and seminar attendees. Wouldn’t it be a good introduction to the high-level employee benefits manager who won’t return your calls?
Look at your specialty or the area where you have the greatest interest. Is it financial planning for families with handicapped children, or maybe you would like to put something together for middle-income singles who are within five years of retirement.
If you need some help, there is no shortage of books available that offer guidelines for you use that can take you from the conception phase to the printing and marketing of your publication. A good place to start is http://writersdigest.com/.
Financial Copywriters And Publishers
So how did Chris find the time to manage her busy practice, write weekly articles, publish monthly newsletters, and compose a book? For the most part, neither Chris nor her assistant spent much time at it. What they did do though was to hire someone to do this for her.
A financial copywriter wrote Chris’s newspaper articles. All she did was supply a list of topics and her copywriter provided the text. Mike would then e-mail the finished piece, including Chris’s photo, to the newspaper for the following week’s edition.
Chris’s newsletters came from a professional newsletter publisher. Each month batches of articles were e-mailed to her, and she select which ones were most appropriate for her prospects and clients. Her assistant pasted her photo and bio into the newsletter template and e-mailed the finished publication to over 1000 people.
For her book, Chris had put together some ideas and sent them to 25 publishers. She found out though, that without a completed manuscript and in many cases an agent, no one was interested in talking to her. Then she looked into self-publishing but could not justify the cost and time needed. A financial publisher was her next choice.
She contacted a company that had experience in producing books that could generate client interest without getting too technical. The financial publisher had ghost writers available who could put Chris’s thoughts on paper. They also had books already written on relevant financial topics. For her debut as an author, Chris chose a pre-written book so that all she had to do was supply a photo and bio. Within a few weeks, Chris was a published writer—an expert in her field.
Talkers Are Hawkers, Writers Are Experts
Gain instant credibility with your clients and prospects. Communicate regularly to let them know that turbulent markets shouldn’t prevent them from realizing their financial dreams. With articles, newsletters, and financial-help books you’ll find that the pen is mightier than the sword and more persuasive than the tongue.
See the preceding post Self Promotion for Financial Advisors