Ever wonder why the top senior advisors market their practices? Because it works.
Marketing can help sell nearly everything, from retirement planning and long term care insurance to college funding. It’s not enough to know everything there is about the senior advisory business: If nobody knows you know it, then you’re probably not maximizing your business potential.
While many advisors are coached early in their careers to select a niche in which to practice and then concentrate on maximizing that channel, very few are actually advised on what might be the best way to promote their practice.
Some like to do a good job and then let word-of-mouth marketing handle the rest, which can work. Others like to get more aggressive and turn to direct mail, cable television or radio and newspaper ads. Still others try their luck on the seminar bandwagon, while others aim to create a more lofty image of themselves by employing a media-relations strategy.
The fast start
New advisors entering the business may be leveraging their results at a faster speed than previous generations by harnessing the power of “new media.” Going beyond basic e-mail-based marketing, social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn are being used to spread the word about oneself more effectively and with a wider range than anything that’s come before. And while this was once considered a “young person’s” medium, there’s no reason others cannot utilize these tools.
“Facebook is home to an extremely desirable demographic — educated 18-26 year olds — and it’s where they feel comfortable,” notes Steve Holzner, author of “Facebook Marketing: Leverage Social Media to Grow Your Business.” “Facebook excels at connecting users with friends and keeping them in touch. That’s what social networking is all about.”
Another benefit is that with this type of marketing you can learn a great deal about your client/prospect base whether you make a sale or not, and begin to compile potentially useful information while spreading your business reputation.
LinkedIn, with some 35 million registered users, is technically a general social-networking Web site, but is mainly used for business purposes. Facebook boasts some 235 million users around the world. Other sites with a special appeal to boomers include the once very youth-oriented MySpace (USA Today says almost 7 million of its 130 million users are 55-plus), as well as a social networking community hosted by AARP.org, with 1,700 different discussion and topic groups.
Making connections on Facebook
Facebook, the giant of the sites, is strictly a social site that is increasingly used for business purposes by participants. These include people such as advisor Jackie Willse in Wilmington, N.C., who uses it to promote the Wilmington Young Professionals Network, a grassroots business-development/social group.