Because I own a seminar marketing company of which I am also a client for my practice, I am very familiar with the results of seminar marketing.
For many advisors, though, seminar marketing is not working. These advisors are actually not aware that a seminar must have a very compelling message. The tired, old standard seminar messages like, “Save taxes on your IRA,” “Increase income,” “Stock market-like returns without the risk,” and other mundane topics don’t help people respond to seminar mailings. The topics must be very relevant and timely and address an urgent need.
For example, crisis long-term care planning is a great topic. It’s very relevant for older clients. When a person is in crisis/at time of need of care, they want to solve the money issues now, not later. People are not going to stop getting sick, so the market for these services will continue from now on. Seminars that address crisis planning are working well for me, and they don’t require a meal. Additionally, the 70- to 85-year-old age demographic is my target market — a market that has diminished in value for the last few years but is great for my practice.
See also: How to target today’s senior market
Another seminar that is receiving a good response addresses Social Security planning. Social Security issues will not go away, so the topic is pertinent, timely and requires attention to improve retirement. The Social Security seminars are also being offered without meals, so the attendees are coming because they are sincerely interested in the topic. The savings on the meal makes more dollars available for marketing.
Meal seminars are still working but only if the topics are exciting. The meal helps attendance and could draw a couple of potential clients, but the meal shouldn’t be the only reason for attending.
When considering marketing your practice, the huge mistake many agents and advisors make is to be stingy with marketing expenditures. My company, Seminars for Less, is housed in Jacksonville, Fla. We own the building that houses our employees and also serves as my offices for my personal practice. I make mortgage payments on the property. The utilities must be paid, including our telephone systems. Maintenance and property taxes are due each year. All of these items add to the cost of doing business. Every dollar I spend on infrastructure, goods and services has a purpose. The goal is to generate revenue so that there is ultimately a profit. Marketing is also a key component. Mailings, a website, blogs, seminar school and supporting marketing material cost money or time. Without them, I don’t have a business.
Seminars are the most efficient way to gain significant numbers of prospects. You can present them in just a few hours including travel time. They can be cost-efficient with the right topics. I have relied on seminars for the last 10 years and, in fact, just presented in November. I mailed 5,000 postcards. There were 32 attendees at a hotel. I did not offer a meal and kept my cost under $2,500. That means one annuity sale for $36,000 covers my costs. No problem.
Remember, any marketing method will work to some degree, according to the ability and skill set of the marketer. Become committed to your marketing method and make it work for you.
For more from Kim Magdalein, see: