Magic Bullet Marketing?
You’re an independent financial advisor. You want to expand your practice. Should you get going today and “just do it”?
For most advisors, the answer is “No.” Why is this?
Because you’ll probably end up wasting time and money and the effort will not succeed. Ouch.
I tell my clients that there is no magic marketing bullet which can easily and instantly expand your practice. I tell this to prospects because I don’t want a client with unrealistic expectations. Do you?
Imagine “Bob” calls your office for an initial consult. After introductions, you ask him what he wants you to do for him. Bob says with a straight face, “I lost 40% of my retirement portfolio when the market tanked. My current advisor pulled it out at the bottom so I missed the bounce. I want you to make up my losses in the next year. Can you do it?”
He throws his quarterly statement on your desk and you notice he has a million dollars in his account. Nice.
Time to bring Bob back down to earth, “Do you realize that making up a 40% drop in one year would require earning 67% on your money?”
Bob looks shocked. “I don’t want to take on that kind of risk at my age. What are my options?”
You explain how some combination of more time and more money can get his retirement portfolio back where it was. “You can increase your monthly contributions to the max and stretch out your time horizon to 5 years. This eliminates the need to use risky investments so you’re much more likely to reach your goal.”
Bob likes the sound of this and you land the account. Congratulations!
Now what does this story have to do with growing your practice?
If Bob had pressed you a bit, you might tell him there are no magic bullet investments that give high returns quickly with low risk. The same thing is true in the marketing world. With one important difference.
Making such bold promises as a financial advisor can land you in an arbitration hearing. Making bold promises as an ad rep helps land the account and make the sale. Ever hear of a newspaper giving a refund when no one attends your open house? Me neither.
Magic Bullet Marketing activities can include:
- Running an untested full-page ad in a new glossy seniors magazine
- Getting a larger yellow page ad. Or a yellow page ad in the new yellow pages in town.
- Creating a high glitz, beautiful, Flash-based website which gets no traffic and is instantly static
Almost any unproven, untested marketing activity done in haste qualifies as a magic bullet marketing activity. Or anything requiring “just a few minutes of your time and your major credit card….”
So the moral to the story is that expanding your practice takes time and money.
You can save time by hiring someone to help you get it done. Or you can invest your time and do it yourself when money’s tight.
I’d love to hear your comments on ‘magic bullet marketing’ efforts. Did you hit your target? Or fire a blank?