Meet Jeremiah Desmaris: best-selling author, TED speaker, and marketing authority. Based in the US, Jeremiah knows what’s working and what’s not when it comes to marketing a financial advice business in the States. He shares some tips and strategies for leveraging lead generation and funnels to gain new clients through digital platforms. Jeremiah’s book Shift: 201 ideas and techniques that are working now to generate leads for insurance of financial advisors all over the Internet has many more great strategies to explore too.
The importance of niching
In the US, most advisors are generalists, until they realize how much is being left on the table by not niching, and then they begin to specialize. A couple of niches that are working well right now is business owners. Typically, most advisors have been going after people 55 and over through seminar marketing, but that’s become a really saturated market. Business owners have long been neglected, but they do have a lot of assets available to serve and they’re also in need of tax reduction and succession planning strategies.
Another way to niche is through interests and hobbies, e.g. people interested in equestrian, lacrosse or golfing. These are all higher income hobbies, and there are many smart advisors who have developed niches in those areas. Jeremiah shares a success story of an advisor who niched in wine! He set up a monthly wine tasting and created a joint venture with a local restaurant. In the US, studies have confirmed that the affluent community wants to perceive their financial advisor in favourable social engagements prior to beginning the conversation about finance. The interest-based networking events allow for comfortable, low-pressure, non-sales environments to just get to know people. It has nothing to do with financial services, and everything to do with networking and getting in front of the right people. It’s a very smart, low-tech strategy that is proving very successful.
The power of digital marketing strategies
Jeremiah believes that social media is still a blue ocean for financial advisors. This means that anybody who really starts implementing digital marketing strategies will create more opportunities to have more conversations, get more appointments and have a competitive advantage. The general feeling in the US regarding digital marketing and social media is that people know they need to do it but very few are actually doing it. There is an even smaller percentage are actually doing it well.
LinkedIn is a good place to start and a great way for financial advisors to positions themselves and connects with like-minded potential clients. However, many financial advisors underestimate LinkedIn and use it only to connect with other financial advisors. Jeremiah’s first suggestion is to stop joining groups that are only for other industry professionals! Instead, start connecting with ideal prospects, for example, business owners or affluent executives nearby. It’s not about being salesly, but simply about striking up a conversation and starting to cultivate that connection.
On Facebook, the simplest and fasted way for financial advisors to use it is to be an active member of local community pages and groups. When people have questions about financial services, add value by posting the answer. An even better way to do it is to get one of your friends to post in there and tag you! A more aggressive strategy is to use Facebook ads, where you can target people by income, demographics and interests. Tools like InfusionSoft of aWeber can also be used to create automated follow-ups and nurture sequences to help build the relationship with the prospect who signs up through Facebook.
Make your marketing memorable
Niching helps you be remembered, understood and referred and your niche has to be clear in your marketing. Video marketing is a great way to build a reputation, especially if you as the advisor get in front of the camera and explain your expertise in the niche area. There are other tools for those who are a little camera shy that can help you create other kinds of videos—such as screen flows and cartoons—to explain your topics. Some of these tools include Camtasia, PowToons, Lumen5 and Fiverr.
There are many ways to use these videos strategically. Have a video as an intro on your LinkedIn profile and Facebook page, have them on your website and even use them in Facebook ads. Videos that are down to earth and paint a picture of the advisor as a real human are a great way to build rapport with the audience and can even increase an advisor’s closing ration because it helps them be more authoritative. They key, however, is that you must be yourself.
Jeremiah’s definition of a successful marketing strategy is one that can be automated and scaled. The aim with any strategy he teaches is that it can be automated and scaled, as well as outsourced so that the advisor can get their life back. Using those four qualifiers, digital automation funnels are the most successful methodology. They can be used to drive people to a calendar to book themselves an appointment, to drive them to a seminar where they can be indoctrinated by your presence or to put them through a nurture sequence of on-demand videos.
Of course, the common challenge for all of us is lack of time, lack of money and a lack of knowledge. It can make it feel way too hard to even start. That’s where Jeremiah’s techniques come in—they’re proven and practical and they will allow you as a business owner to position your business as the authority and automate the whole process so you can get back to living your life!