Map out work and goals for a successful year
The beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect on the year behind us and start planning for the year ahead. Most people have a list of the plans they need to make for the new year – buy a gym membership, clean out the closets, plan the budget, etc. One thing that may not already be on your list that should be is an annual marketing plan.
If you’ve fallen victim to planning on the spot or throwing together marketing efforts month to month, you could benefit from creating an annual marketing plan. Here are five tips on how to do it:
- Take a Look Back
Before looking forward at all that you have to do in the new year, take a look back at the previous year and make a “Stop, Start, Continue” list.
Stop: What marketing efforts didn’t work that you should stop doing?
Start: What are some new marketing efforts that you’d like to start or try?
Continue: What marketing efforts worked well that you’d like to continue?
Doing this assessment will help you get into a forward-looking mindset, while also taking your past efforts into consideration.
- Set Goals
Just as you work with your clients to set financial goals, it is helpful to set marketing goals to measure how well your plan is working and when to adjust. Some examples include:
- Grow social media following by 10%
- Grow email contact list by 20%
- Grow client appreciation event attendance by 50%
- Break Down the Steps to Reaching Your Goals
Once you have your goals set, plan the methods you’ll use to seek to reach your goals. For example:
- Goal: Grow social media following by 10%
- Methods: Post to social media twice weekly, budget $5,000/year for paid advertising, write monthly blogs for social media, invite acquaintances to follow your practice on social media.
- Goal: Grow email contact list by 20%
- Methods: Create an email sign-up pop-up on your website, collect email addresses at community events, plan a social media giveaway with a call to action for followers to sign up for your emails
- Goal: Grow client appreciation event attendance by 50%
- Methods: Promote events on social media, send text reminders to clients to attend events, mail personalized invitations to clients with a gift, promote a raffle or giveaway to event attendees.
- Tier Clients by Profit Potential
In order to maximize your time and efforts, it’s crucial to develop a tiering system based on the potential profit clients can bring to your practice. Each year create profiles for each potential client type, align your marketing strategy with their needs, and assess these tiers and identify any necessary adjustments.
|Tier||Client Profile||Communication Strategy|
|I||These are your most valuable clients. They have the most assets with you, are in your target market, and can refer you to more clients like them.||> Provide the highest service level, communicating at least two times per month.
>Invite to exclusive client appreciation events.
|II||While in your target market, these clients don’t have as much to invest as your Tier I clients. However, they can be a valuable referral source if serviced well.||> Communicate at least once a month with personalized, valuable content.|
|III||These clients have given you some, but not all, of their assets to manage. By expanding your relationship to its full potential, they can help you grow your business.||> Communicate two times per month, especially if you think other advisors are reaching out.|
|IV||These clients typically have a low amount of assets and are not ideal for your business.||> Offer minimum service and communication levels.|
- Determine What to Communicate
To make your process more manageable, try to create a plan for each client tier discussed above. Below is a sample communications calendar – the frequency of communication should be adjusted to reflect each client’s tier level.
|Week 1||Article: Social Security||Article: Prospect Theory||Email: Quarterly Newsletter|
|Week 2||Email: Invitation to plan annual financial goals||Retirement Article: Little Changes for Big Plans||Article: Investor Protection List|
|Week 3||Direct Mail: New Year postcard||Email: Share a commentary on current market events||Email: Share an activity for parents to teach kids about budgeting|
|Week 4||Annual Portfolio Update||Monthly Portfolio Update||Monthly Portfolio Update|
Taking the time to look back, set goals, and establish a plan can help you manage your time better and execute marketing efforts consistently. Once you complete your first quarter of communications, measure your results against the goals you set, ask clients for feedback, and reassess. Remember to build in some room for flexibility to adapt to significant industry or world changes. Some ideas for other content you can send your clients to include:
- Active vs. Passive investing article
- Tax management strategies
- Retirement topics: How to know if you have enough
- Alternative Investments 101
- Your favorite podcasts, with a few sentences about why you recommend them
- Your thoughts on cryptocurrencies and their place in investing
- Blended families: What to consider in estate planning and investing
And, of course, if you’re looking for additional client-friendly articles and content to help fill your communication calendar, your Frontier Asset Management team is happy to help.