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Marketing a new financial planning practice - five tips to get you started

28 August 2014

Marketing a new financial planning practice - five tips to get you started

New to the financial advice industry and not sure how to start marketing your business? Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Target your existing and local connections

Contact your small business networks, local sporting or other social clubs, your children’s schools etc., and enquire whether you can advertise in their regular newsletter or post a flyer on their notice board. It’s likely that someone in your immediate network may be searching for qualified financial advice, but simply hasn’t known where to look.

Send a postcard to all members of your existing clubs and networks, introducing yourself as a financial planner and the services you offer; provide your contact details and refer them back to your website for more information. It’s a cost effective (and unobtrusive) way to let people know how you can help them.

Perhaps there’s another local business you already have a relationship with, eg. a tax accountant or solicitor, who you could align with to promote your complementary services – sharing the associated marketing costs (and your networks).

2. Harness the power of ‘word-of-mouth’

Encourage clients to recommend your business; the best ad is an endorsement from a satisfied client. The postcard mentioned above, can also be included in outgoing mail to existing clients, inviting them to forward it to someone who would benefit from your services.

An incentive may be to offer a free initial consultation to referral clients, giving them an opportunity to meet with you, understand what you can offer, and determine whether they could work together with you to secure their financial future. You then get the opportunity to sell your services face-to-face which can be very powerful.

If you’ve got a particularly satisfied client, ask for a testimonial about what you achieved together and their thoughts on your services.

3. Make your presence felt locally

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make your presence felt in your locality.

There’s a myriad of online business listings in local directories (hotfrog.com.au; truelocal.com.au). Many are free (at least for a basic listing) and cater for those prospective clients seeking a local financial adviser.

Local newspaper advertising is generally cost effective and you can be guaranteed it will reach people living in your area. What’s more, if your dealer group provides you with editorials, or you are confident penning one yourself, you could submit an editorial to the paper which would help position your expertise.

If you can find a topic that will resonate with your local demographic (eg. saving for a deposit for your first home), offer to do a presentation at a business networking event, or at one of your local forums. You could even get someone to record it, so you can include it as a podcast on your website.

4. Ensure your marketing collateral is as professional as you are

In many instances, your dealer group will have a number of templates you can use for corporate flyers, stationery, web design and so forth. If not, it’s worthwhile investing in a quality designer to develop these for you – the visual appeal of your collateral and usability of your website says a lot about your professionalism and attention to detail. It’s also worth paying for good content: typographical errors and clunky phrasing can detract from your message and significantly dint your brand.

5. Maximise your presence online

If you have a shop front – you rely on people passing by to notice your business. However, done correctly, your website can attract people from a wide catchment, and can provide them with insights on your business, any time of day.

A basic website is all you need to get started. It will need to include:

  • a profile of you and your team – remember, it’s your expertise that you’re selling;
  • a summary of the services you provide – explained in simple terms (and preferably using words potential clients are likely to enter when using Google); and
  • your contacts details and physical location.

Promote your web address as broadly as possible: on your business card and stationery, flyers and brochures, and include a link in your email signature, online directory listings, and social media platforms (such as Twitter and LinkedIn).

To most people, self promotion doesn’t come naturally. But establishing yourself as a financial planning expert in your locality, need not be a burden. The services you provide can genuinely enhance people’s lives - all you need to do is spotlight your skills and let people know where to find you.

Want to learn more? Click here for further tips about using social media to build your profile or boosting your website traffic.

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