Everyone knows that the beginning of a new year calls for a review of the past 12 months and planning for the future… We hope our 7 step marketing plan will help you gain a head start for the year. Good luck!

1. Set your goals

The TOP 3 things you will need to achieve your goals this year will depend on your current phase of business.

Growth phase – you will need

  1. Lead generation strategies
  2. Training for top conversion
  3. Additional resources and/or technology to manage new enquiry

Maintenance phase – you will need

  1. A professional client education and communication program
  2. A range of communication and touch points
  3. Systems to ensure low maintenance

Diversification phase – you will need

  1. Accreditation and training on your new products
  2. Strategies for cross-selling to existing clients
  3. Client education on new product and services

Retirement phase – you will need

  1. Everything in the ‘maintenance phase’ above
  2. A planned exit strategy (succession planning, systems, procedures, accountability)
  3. Marketing results analysis to improve the pending sale price or to maximise the ongoing retention of your businesss

2. Find new business

Everyone seems to be looking online for their next lead. AND spending a lot of money trying to achieve this: Google AdWords™, SEO, Facebook advertising…

We suggest you start by examining where your clients came from last year, then increase your activity in those areas that were most successful.

Most finance businesses survive on referrals from existing clients.

I always find it to be an interesting exercise when I ask this question in my workshop sessions. Over 99% of people tell me they get 80+% of their business from referrals, however when I ask them to do the calculation of how many of their client base actually refer it is ALWAYS between 2-5%.

MOST of your business comes from existing clients, however most of your client base DOES NOT REFER TO YOU…

So where is your BIGGEST lead generation opportunity THIS YEAR?
From your EXISTING client base and your business partners.

Consider the strategies you can put in place to increase your referral rates. You are actually really good at this already – so just ask more often and put some systems in place to make it easier for you.

If you have a low referral rate then you need our help. If you don’t have a large client base, then you also need our help.

3. Connect with your audience

There are many ways to stay in touch and connect with your target market. Consider a range of these mediums:

Print media

This is now the most ‘cut through’ communication medium you can invest in. Do not dismiss this old but still proven method of client education and engagement.

While everyone’s inbox is cluttered, why not stand out and pop something in a letter box directly to your clients? At least it will get opened!

Email marketing

A must for all businesses.

Explore how YOU can be different this year and cut through all the online clutter. Think about the content you need to create to gain a better readership and open rates. How good are your calls to action (CTAs)? Investigate the system you use to analyse your open rates and learn about how you can get more action from email marketing.

SMS

Everyone has a mobile permanently attached to their hand. Think about creative ways to engage your clients this year via SMS to fill your diary with a click.

YCM has a range of SMS campaigns to fill your diary fast!

Website

I am sorry to say that if your website is 4 years old or more it’s time to dump it and get a new one.

What content can you use to create downloadable factsheets for your website? Remember to request client details before they access it. Name, email address AND their mobile number.

Digital and online marketing

You will need to obtain great content and graphics (with copyright privileges), engaging CTAs AND a way to capture data from your online followers.

Plan your education to keep up to date this year with social media and technology to increase your digital footprint.

Audio

Podcasts are becoming popular amongst brokers and planners to connect with new audiences. Research how can you turn your great content into awesome podcasts.

Videos

I’m backing that videos will be another winning client communication medium that will get even bigger this year. Start thinking about how you can use videos to gain more business awareness and activity.

4. Educate your clients

We have all heard that ‘content is KING’. THINK about how YOUR CONTENT will stand out from the crowd. Why will your readers want to connect with you? What don’t they know that you can teach them? How can you help them with their finance challenges? Learn strategies to use content in ways that no one else does.

Is your content different to your other 2,000 broking friends?

5. Plan the activity required for success

Who will do the work?

YOU? If so:

  • Block out time to learn what to do and how to do it
  • Block out time to do the activities
  • Develop a plan to ensure that the marketing activity will still be actioned, delivered and followed up when you get busy…

The easiest way to lose a client is to NOT call them back!

STAFF? If so:

  • Block out time to build the processes and train them
  • Create and develop systems in case of staff turnover and illnesss
  • Make sure they are working on the day you want the marketing delivered and followed up
  • Plan your marketing around your holidays if you can

OUTSOURCE? Ask yourself:

  • Should I use a professional company that has the knowledge, experience AND understands your industry (know anyone?)
  • Do they have the knowledge, skills, resources and time to produce and deliver on your behalf?
  • Will they maintain consistency when you are busy and your staff are away?
  • Can they help and support your business when times are tough? (But you need to let them know you need help!)

6. Track and measure your results

ALWAYS measure your responses and results. Remember not all business will come from the first campaign or marketing activity.

Education and relationships take a while to nurture. A call today that may lead nowhere has a higher chance of conversion later on IF you STAY in touch on a regular basis and via many methods.

But don’t over communicate!

Put yourself in the shoes of your clients. How many times would you want to hear from your broker/planner?

7. Set up accountability structures

If you don’t have someone to hold you accountable there is greater risk that you will not achieve your goals.

Find someone who will keep you accountable to your goals this year!

Who will it be?

You? Your partner? A staff member? An industry colleague? Your coach or mentor? YCM???