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Spreading The Word

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Do you ever feel like you spend more time, effort, and money luring new clients to your door than actually working with existing clients? Perhaps you’re making things harder than they need to be.

Marnie Aznar keeps it simple by eschewing several old marketing standbys, including the glossy brochure, the seminar, and the direct-mail campaign. Instead, she prefers a more subtle approach: She makes herself available as a media source, networks with other planners and professionals, and keeps her Web site and her NAPFA and FPA referral profiles as up-to-date as possible. While many NAPFA members aggressively court the many referrals that come to them through the organization’s Web site–plying them with shiny pamphlets, phone calls, and tomes of information–Aznar tends to hold off until the right client comes along, and then simply sends an e-mail introducing herself and directing the prospect to her Web site for more information.

Once prospects reach Aznar’s Web site (, the process of getting them into her office for an initial meeting requires only a small investment of time on her part. The site spells out her credentials, ideal client profile, compensation structure, and other details, and there’s a link on the site with directions to her office, so she doesn’t even have to call to give them directions. Aznar’s young clients respond well to this Web-based approach. “The people that I’m targeting look for a planner by going online and doing a Google search for a fee-only planner in the area,” she says. “A lot of times I’ll have a prospect come in, never having spoken to them on the phone; we’ve just communicated by e-mail.”