The past few weeks we have been discussing an advisor’s end-of-year checklist. In this post, we will finish with a look at marketing your business.

Marketing your business is important, especially in the early stages. Many talented practitioners have gone out of business due to poor marketing. At some point, you should have a sufficient number of clients and name recognition in the community that referrals will sustain your practice. A prominent advisor once stated that an advisor’s best marketing plan is their customer service. In essence, he was saying that satisfied clients would refer their friends. This has been a centerpiece of my practice from the beginning. I have always believed if I could become the best possible practitioner, the referrals would follow.

Over the past 25 years, I have utilized a number of marketing strategies. More recently, all new business has come from referrals from clients, CPAs, tax attorneys, and even Google searches. Technology will likely play a larger role in business development in the future. In addition to the aforementioned sources, our website (currently under reconstruction) should play a more active role. However, having a good website is not enough. Individuals must find you. Therefore, I am looking at ways to increase traffic to our site. A PR firm and a knowledgeable IT person can be very helpful.

There are many ways to market a financial service business. Some strategies will depend on the advisor’s skills. Here is a brief list to consider:

1)      Seminars

2)      Speaking to groups

3)      Direct mail

4)      Networking

5)      Hosting client events, birthday parties, etc.

If the advisor is good at public speaking, seminars or speaking to various associations may be an option. However, seminars are costly and require a great deal of time and effort. Direct mail is another option, but it may be more of a branding method than one that brings instant results. Networking is a good way to build rapport with centers of influence. Hosting a client appreciation event or a client’s surprise birthday party can be a good choice.

All of these are viable strategies, but in the end, you must deliver high-quality service. Every practice has a front door where new clients enter and a back door where clients leave. If your value proposition is excellent, your back door will remain closed. Since you work hard to bring in new clients, it makes sense to serve them to the best of your ability. Don’t give them a reason to leave.

Until next time, thanks for reading and have a great week!