Category Archives for "Branding"

Tips for Taking Your Own Headshots

I recently published an article, Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Marketing Photos. I talked about taking photos for your marketing materials. A number of advisors asked me if someone could take their own headshots.

You can take your own headshots, but you need to be prepared and aware to get the most professional photos you can. I always recommend hiring a professional if at all possible, but if you are going to take your own photos there are things you need to consider.

Look your best

I mentioned it in my previous article but I have to say it again: The details matter. Make sure you have put thought into what you are going to wear and how it will translate in a picture – makeup, jewelry, and haircut. Every little detail will forever be captured in your photo, so make sure it is right.

Location

Think about what will be behind you in your photo. You don’t want it to be too busy or cluttered. If you are taking the photos indoors, take it in front of a solid-colored wall. Consider the lighting. It is always best to use as much natural light as you can find. A large window near you, but not directly behind you, is ideal. Avoid taking your photos under the typical overhead fluorescent lights that are found in offices. They will give you stark highlights and harsh shadows.

You can take your photos outside — just make sure that you are fully aware of what is going on behind you that may possibly show in the background. You also want to make sure that you are not in direct sunlight. Not only will it make you squint; it can also make you look washed out. Finding a spot with great indirect light or taking the photo on an overcast day is best.

Photo resolution

Your photo must be in high resolution. This will give you the most versatility when trying to use your picture in different ways. Typically photos are printed at 300 dpi. When used on a screen, having high-resolution photos will ensure that they can be used in a variety of situations — such as on a blog, in a profile picture, in your e-newsletter and on your website — without having to worry about them looking fuzzy or pixilated.

DPI (dots per inch) refers to the printing of an image. When it comes to taking pictures with your cell phone (see below), think in terms of megapixels (MP). Check your phone’s megapixel count by looking at the user’s manual or doing a simple search online to be sure. A higher megapixel count will give you crisper images. Anything higher than 8MP should be fine. Front-facing cameras will have a lower megapixel count than a camera on the back of the phone. Change the settings to high resolution. While the photos will take up more storage space, they will be higher quality. Don’t use the on-camera zoom. This will result in a fuzzy picture. Always take the picture with some white space around the subject and then do your cropping while you are editing.

Is a cell phone picture good enough?

With today’s technology and cellphones, yes. Depending on the phone, the quality of the pictures will vary. Test it out and see if you are happy with the results. Use the HDR mode. HDR combines several exposures to create a single picture with more detail and better tone and color than non-HDR mode. See if your phone can lock its focus. Sometimes phones will try to adjust the focus as the camera moves, and this can cause images to become unfocused and fuzzy.

Make sure you have a way to hold the phone perfectly steady. You can purchase a small tripod or a simple stand for your phone. This will help reduce camera shake.

What kind of camera should you use?

I can’t answer this one. There are thousands of choices for cameras in a range of prices. It comes down to the different features of the camera, especially the lenses. You pay a professional for not only their top-of-the-line equipment, but also their experience and expertise. If you are taking your headshots, use the best camera available. Experiment with different cameras you have and see which one gives you the picture with which you are most satisfied.

Give yourself options

Don’t be afraid to mix things up. Try different poses, move your hands into different positions, and try different facial expressions. You never know what you are going to like until you try it. The bonus to taking your own headshots is that you are not on someone else’s timeline. Take advantage of that and try a bunch of different things. Try are a big smile, a smirk, and a slightly serious face. Each one of these expressions will give the photo a different feel.

One great and simple tip is to change the position in which you hold your head. Tilt it at a slight angle and be sure to hold your chin up. It may feel a little awkward at first, but it produces a more flattering photo.

The logistics

Now that you have the details all worked out, you need to figure out how you are going to take these photos. It is best if you enlist the help of a friend. It is much easier for a person to be able to see what is captured within the frame rather than you guessing what is going on while the timer is going off.

If you don’t have anyone who can help, you can always use a tripod and the self-timer function on your camera. Just be sure that you practice. The camera needs to be steady and set at eye level. This will also be when you find out if there are any problems with your background or lighting, so you can adjust if you need to. The big bonus to using the self-timer is you can take all the time you need without feeling uncomfortable in front of anyone.

Editing

Once you have a few photo options that you like, the process doesn’t stop. You will need to do at least some standard editing. Think about contrast, sharpness, and brightness. Each one of these adjustments will ensure that your headshot looks crisp. Stay away from most automatic enhancements and filters, as they tend to overcorrect and will make your photos look very unnatural and unprofessional.

With these tips, you should be well on your way to DIY-ing your professional headshots. No one will be any the wiser.

Download a free copy of the Financial Advisor Content Marketing & Optimization Guide here.

 Sometimes content marketing can seem like an overwhelming task to undertake on your own. This is exactly what we do for our clients! We help create and select the right content, optimize it so it is reaching the right people, and handle the scheduling to ensure it is as far-reaching as possible. Let us help you get a handle on the whole process by scheduling a discovery meeting today.

8 Introduction to Content Marketing for Financial Advisors

With the growth of platforms like YouTube and content sharing on social media sites such as Facebook, video is a great way to convey information to your audience and make a more personal connection.

Indeed, it’s the perfect way to talk to clients and prospects and move beyond sharing text-based information. While those types of marketing materials still have a place in your business, they don’t come close to meeting the potential of connecting with people on a more personal basis.

If you aren’t sure where or how to start with video marketing, here are a few tips to get you moving in the right direction:

Your Appearance

Most people won’t consider doing videos for their business because, let’s be honest, they are worried about what they will look like on camera. The truth is, you look about the same on camera as you do in person. There are a few things you can do ahead of time to ensure that you will present the best you possible and be confident on recording day:

  • Test out your wardrobe.
  • Use a camera to see how your clothes look. Don’t rely on the mirror.
  • Be aware that the appearance of your clothes, colors, and necklines can all look a little different on camera.
  • Wear something that is comfortable but professional and makes you feel confident.

Mindset

Another struggle of getting in front of a camera is putting yourself in the right mindset. You have to put your nerves aside and take the leap. Having the right mindset does wonders for your confidence.

  • Know your why! Why are you doing this, what benefit will your clients get from it, what do you want to accomplish? This “why” needs to be bigger than your fear of being on camera.
  • Warm up – sing, dance, be silly while you’re setting up and getting ready. This will help you loosen up and bring a smile to your face.
  • Set an active intention before you press record. This needs to be focused on your audience and how you want them to feel:
    • examples: inspire, empower, entertain, connect, ignite, invite, inform

What are you talking about?

You’re creating this video for a reason and you want to make sure that reason is clearly communicated. Plan your talking points and have a general outline. Read your scripts out loud to someone in advance and tweak it so that it sounds like you and flows naturally.

If you don’t think that you can make it through your points without completely forgetting what you’re saying, you can use a teleprompter. However, there are a few things you need to realize about using a teleprompter:

  • Look straight into the camera lens. You don’t want to look like you are staring off into space rather than looking at the camera.
  • Keep it conversational and don’t make it feel read or too rehearsed, this can be hard and will take practice.
  • There are teleprompter apps from the App Store and Play Store, and a free teleprompter website that you can use right from your browser.

If you are not sure what to talk about, here is a quick list of ideas for financial advisors:

  • Share a big announcement
  • Provide a behind-the-scenes look
  • Draw on a whiteboard/chalkboard
  • Thank your audience
  • Tell a story
  • Recap a blog post
  • Share an office tour
  • Share your thoughts on a current event
  • Discuss a commonly asked question
  • Introduce your team
  • Conduct an interview with an attorney, CPA, or other professional
  • Talk about an upcoming or past seminar or client event
  • Provide insights, tips or tricks related to personal finance

Let your viewers know they can find out more about you and your firm on your website and social media. Don’t assume they can find you – give them the URL so they know exactly where to go.

Recording

You have your wardrobe picked out, you’ve got your mindset right, and you have your talking points – it is time to record!

Start out talking in a really conversational way about something personal and even unrelated to your topic. It needs to be something that makes you smile and gets you relaxed and warmed up. Once you are comfortable you can move into your topic. You can then edit out the warm-up intro during the editing phase.

  • Use the camera to talk to one person you really like.
  • Bring someone in the room with you, stick up a photo, or even bring your dog into your first attempts.
  • Drink lots of water (your mouth will get dry).
  • Take breaks if your mindset gets supercritical. Go for a walk and come back fresh.

There are a few steps you should take to be sure the audio quality of your videos is good. Record in a room that doesn’t have a lot of background noise, such as air conditioners, fans, printers, or other equipment that hums; if you’re using your phone to record, mute your notifications or even turn on airplane mode so your video isn’t interrupted by a text message or phone call; and you may want to consider using a shotgun mic or lavalier mic. Another simple but often overlooked step is to do a sound check before recording. Nothing’s worse than finishing your video only to find out the audio quality is terrible.

About Batch Recording

If you’re using a background setup and have put time into getting ready for recording I highly recommend batch recording. That way you don’t have to set up your lights, makeup, hair, camera, etc., for each video you create. You can use the same set up over a day (or more), and knock out a bunch of videos at one time. Just be sure to have a realistic goal for the number of videos you can shoot in a day. Also, think about changing your shirt between videos so it is not so evident that you’ve done them all in one day.

Wrapping Up

Your work is not quite over when the red light of the camera goes off. You need to put in a little extra to make sure that you get the most out of each and every recording session. So, once you have done a little victory dance that you did it, and no you didn’t die, then you can move into the wrap-up stage.

  • Focus on what you did well, not on what went wrong.
  • Write down at least three things you’re proud of in your filming.
  • Write down one or two things you’d like to improve for next time.

I hope this helps you in your video marketing journey. Last year I moved into the world of creating podcasts for my business; this year I hope to complete some video marketing pieces. I would love for you to step out of your comfort zone with me and see how fun and beneficial it can be.

A Generational Gap in Digital Marketing?

Should financial advisors spend their digital marketing efforts on a specific generation?

The best way to promote your services through digital marketing –depends on who is your target market. That depends on the age range of the people you are trying to reach. Your choices can span from the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X to Millennials.

Can all generations be reached with the same message, through the same media?

Each generation has unique characteristics that shape the way they make decisions and how they spend their time and money. To create effective marketing campaigns it is important to understand the differences (and similarities) in how each generation prefers to receive digital content. You may be surprised by what you learn!

First, let’s look at a breakdown of the generations living in America today and some information that will help shape messages you use to reach them:

The Silent Generation (born 1928-1945) grew up in a time of rationing and saving. They are patriotic and value morals and ethics. Seeing and understanding the history of a business or product is important to them, as they appreciate established brands.

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are also referred to as the “Me Generation.” They hold the majority of the country’s wealth, which is partially because women of this generation started working outside the home in record numbers. Boomers respond well to marketing that focuses on what’s in it for them.

Generation X (born 1965-very early 1980s) reached adulthood in tough economic times, and many grew up in homes where both parents worked. As a result, they are more independent and focus less on loyalty. They are currently at an age where they are busy with their career, young families, and are looking for products and services that make things easier for them.

Millennials/Generation Y (early 1980s – early 2000s) are the children of the original Baby Boomers and are set to become one of the largest living generations. This generation is growing up with technology at their fingertips and is used to information coming at them from every direction. They value friendships, so word-of-mouth marketing is effective (think of a Facebook “like” of your financial advisory firm showing up on their newsfeed).

Now that you understand the breakdown of the generations and what motivates them, how do you reach them?

Putting information online is an extremely effective way to get your message seen by a broad audience. But where do you start? What are the most popular platforms for each group?

Surprisingly enough, all generations have similar preferences for types of content and how they receive information:

Blog posts

Across all generations, blog posts are the most consumed type of online content. A blog gives you the ability to provide relevant content to your clients and potential clients, driving them to your website and social media platforms.

You can vary the messaging in each blog post to reach different audiences, which allows you to keep everyone engaged. A blog post on creating a family budget may appeal to a Generation X client whereas a post on financial planning for long-term health care may appeal to a Baby Boomer. If you provide new content on a regular basis, you will consistently draw different audiences to your business.

Facebook and other social media platforms

Even though the motives for joining Facebook may be different for each group, Facebook adoption is still growing for all ages. Creating a company Facebook page is worth the effort as long as you are also willing to use it to connect with clients and prospects.

Someone from the Silent or Baby Boomer generation may join Facebook strictly to see and post pictures of grandchildren. But if you can connect with them, your updates are likely to be more visible to this group because they typically have fewer “friends” and less showing up in their newsfeed. This will keep your business name fresh in their mind.

Gen Xers research online and if you give them a solution that is quick and easy they will like it. Using Facebook to push your blog posts, relevant articles, or maybe information about a wealth management seminar you are hosting is a great way to reach these clients efficiently.

And finally, my reference above about Millennials putting a Facebook “like” in high regards is a great example of how businesses can earn recognition and familiarity with this age group. Perhaps this group may not have an immediate need for a financial advisor but when they do you are already their “friend”!

Email

Target email campaigns are the most effective way to reach a specific segment of your client base without overwhelming other groups with non-relevant information. Tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact simplify the process of sending out information electronically.

Once you have email addresses you can create separate lists based on age and any other demographic information you are tracking. You can utilize automated emails, personalization, and activity-trend analysis. By using email marketing, you can reach a specific group in a place that they are typically checking often – their email.

Marketing across many generations may still require different messages, but by using digital media you can reach each group successfully and inexpensively. The key is to keep the content fresh and ever-changing, targeting a new audience with the next bit of information you are providing.

The fascinating thing about digital marketing is that record numbers of people are proactively going online looking for information. All you need to do is provide them with what they need, or may need and just don’t know it yet!

If you are still unclear on what is the best way to reach your target market, the right content to provide, or the right platform to use, I can help. Please reach out and see how I can help you create a customized marketing strategy that is right for your financial advisory firm and your ideal client.

1 How to Brand Yourself as an Expert

Eight Reasons to Use Content Marketing

Content is the foundation on which online marketing is based. Whether it is a social media post or a blog article, it reaches out to people and positions you and your brand as an industry expert.

According to a study by KISSmetrics, 96% of website visitors are just researching and don’t want to be contacted or begin a relationship. Website visitors come to learn, not to be “salesmanned.” They seek value, not an advertising message.

Good content lets them learn and engage in a low-pressure way. This is not the time to request a meeting, but to give them value and a reason to provide you with their contact information. Content marketing provides value to your reader and it will have a very positive effect on your business.

Here are eight reasons to use content marketing to establish yourself as an expert:

1. Establish credibility

Consistently creating quality content related to topics your target market is interested in will not only attract them to your website but it will also establish yourself as a subject matter expert. This will showcase your knowledge and highlight your experience within your field. When people see your qualifications first hand, they’re more likely to trust you and buy from you.

2. Add value

In today’s world, we deal with a lot of content overload. People are grateful if you share something that helps them and adds value to their lives. When you are careful about the types of information you share your content is more likely to be regarded as useful or helpful, and less likely to be skimmed over or deleted.

3. Build relationships

Content curation is a great way to show not only what you know, but how you think and what you care about. “There are two elements beyond investment performance separating firms with high satisfaction from those with low satisfaction: the person that investors credit for their investment performance and the relationship investors have with their advisor,” said Craig Martin, director of investment services at J.D. Power & Associates. Showing personality gives people something personal to like and relate to.

4. Drive engagement

Writing and publishing blog articles and social media content also creates an opportunity for your information to be shared through various platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, which in turn drives more readers to your website. A bonus is that by blogging you can keep your social media presence going without having to create a lot of other new content on a regular basis.

5. Generate traffic (the good kind)

Ultimately, blogging is a way to drive readers from comments, likes, and shares to go to your website. Readers probably found your content by doing a search about the information they need or in which they are interested. If they like what they read they will more than likely check out your website and your services. This will connect them to the information they wanted and allow them to explore the financial advisory products and services you offer.

6. Improve SEO

There is a fairly direct correlation between blog posts and website traffic with abrupt growth at 300 to 500 pages, and a huge jump at 1,000 pages. What this means is that every time you write a post, it adds one more indexed page on your website. This gives you another opportunity to show up in a search engine and drive traffic to your site. Just because you posted content to your blog a month, a year, or even 3 years ago, does not mean that it is “old content.” Quite often website traffic is driven by people finding older posts in their search engine request. The content you post will continue to work for you even long after you may have forgotten about it.

7. Create consistency

When writing content it is important to use a consistent voice or tone. When you do this successfully it gives a reader a feeling of who you are, what your values are, and even an idea of what kind of person they might do business with. A study by McKinsey & Company of 27,000 American consumers found that a consistent customer experience across the entire customer journey increases satisfaction, builds trust, and boosts loyalty. A reader that sees the consistent content that you are providing, and likes what they see, can very likely become a long time follower and, eventually, a client.

8. Grow your audience

Content on your website can be shared on social media profiles and via email newsletters. This means that one well-written piece of content can have three or more marketing uses for your online presence. This not only saves you time but also reaches more viewers on multiple platforms. The more people you reach, the easier it is for potential clients to find you.

As a marketing consultant, it is my job to make sure that my clients are getting the most out of their content. Working with financial advisors, I have seen how writing effective blog articles on relevant topics boost website traffic.

I have seen my clients’ website traffic increase after publishing well-written blog articles on a consistent basis. I have been working with one of my clients, GW Financial, Inc., and their content marketing efforts over the last few years. We began by posting at least four articles per month to their blog. This simple effort has caused the traffic on their website to double in the last two years. This can easily be attributed to the increased visibility through content creation. This client has also seen an impressive increase in website traffic via sharing content on social media. Two years ago the numbers were minimal, now there has been a 3,300% increase, with Facebook actually dominating that number with well over 60% of the clicks.

While creating quality content may take a little time and getting it to the right people is important, the payoff is outstanding and will be well worth the effort. You can position yourself as an industry expert while providing something of value to your readers and building relationships.

Seven Steps to Create a Great Tagline

Your financial advisory firm in one phrase:

  • “The happiest place on Earth.”
  • “Save money. Live better.”
  • “You’re in good hands.”
  • “It’s everywhere you want to be.”
  • “A diamond is forever.”

Great taglines stick in your mind and will forever be associated with the company it represents. A tagline tells potential clients something about you, your advisory firm and how you help people. It needs to be memorable and set the tone for your business. It may help some clients choose between you and another advisor and establish brand awareness.

How do you create the perfect tagline? Here are seven steps and guidelines that will get you heading in the right direction.

1. Brainstorm

This step is just what it says. Take some time to write out what your business does, what benefits you provide, what makes you different, and what is your focus or target. Don’t leave anything out at this step and don’t edit. The goal here is to get it all out on paper and get a few different ideas. Some advisors may have an idea of what they want their tagline to be and others may be starting from scratch. By having a brainstorming session, you can at least see if there is a reoccurring theme that keeps coming up.

2. Be clear and concise

You don’t have to be overly creative when developing your tagline. There is no rule that says it must be cute or catchy. It helps for it to show a little personality, but you also don’t want to confuse people with strange or complicated wording. It is a good idea to consider working in an action word into your tagline: investing, helping, creating. This action word will help show people what you do.

3. Stay relevant

Try to keep any current trends or fads out of your company’s tagline. What is relevant today may not work in the years to come. You want your brand to have staying power and not seem dated or old-fashioned when the next year comes. This guideline is especially true in the financial industry. As markets change and investors’ feelings change, you do not want to have to change your brand identity with it.

4. Revise and edit

Keep working with it. Change things around and don’t hesitate to put it down and come back to it in a few days. A tagline will become part of your company’s brand and what you represent. Make sure you are happy with what you have.

5. Ask for feedback

Get those around you involved in the process. Be sure to have associates in the firm involved.  You can also ask friends, family and your spouse. Having outside people take a look and give you feedback may provide another perspective that you have not thought of. You can also ask your top clients for their preferred options or if they have any input. They are your target audience after all, and may be able to provide valuable insight as to what they think represents your business.

6. Follow a few guidelines

  • Keep it short. Less than ten words. It can be a sentence or two short statements, but not a paragraph.
  • Remember it isn’t about you. It is about what you provide and the benefits that clients receive.
  • Avoid clichés or commonly used catch phrases.
  • Be sure to ask yourself, “So what?” If you can’t answer this one question, then keep working and go back a revise.

7. Use an example

I worked through this process with a client of mine, Oatley & Diak, LLC.  They are a family run registered investment advisory, and family values are their focus. After listing out several options, we narrowed it down to their top three and then they asked for feedback from key people. Those key people chose “Investing in Family Values.” They took the new tagline to their board and it was approved. This particular tagline is perfect for them. They knew that having a family-centered focus was important, and, being a financial firm, the term “investing” also worked nicely in more than one way. It is short, it tells the benefit that they provide, and it rings true to their firm.

If you don’t have a tagline go ahead and challenge yourself to get started and create one. This process can take a few weeks or a few months. Set aside the proper time to create this powerful statement that can help define your brand.

Thoughts on Naming Your Practice

Your business name is your firm’s first impression to the public and potential clients. Choosing a name is a critically important decision and choosing a good one drives revenue. Choosing a confusing name or one that is hard to understand will lead to spending as much time explaining your company name as in finding new clients.

Your name

A business name made up of your family name and the industry you work in can be just as effective as any other. For example, if your name is John Smith and you want to start a financial advisory firm, then calling your company “John Smith Financial” can be extremely effective.

You can also play off the meaning of your first name as well.  A client of mine was starting her own wealth management firm and had worked through several options for a company name.  By searching the meaning of her first name– Lori– we found that it means laurel tree, or sweet bay tree, which are symbols of honor and victory.  She ended up using this information and choosing “Laurel Wealth Management” for her company name.  It was a perfect mix of personal meaning and symbolism for a successful business name.

One problem with naming the business after yourself is that it can be difficult to sell the business to someone else when you try to retire. This may be a problem down the road, but it is something to consider when creating your name.

Geography

Geographic names can sound professional and give the impression that your company is the official business in your industry for that area. For example, if you have a financial firm located in Lockport, NY that you call “Wealth Advisors of Lockport,” that can sound as though your company is the primary financial firm for the area. That perception can create instant credibility with prospective customers, vendors, and financial lenders.

This has a few drawbacks. It will be very difficult to relocate your business should the need ever arise.  Using your city/location in your name may also deter any non-local potential clients from seeking out your business for services.  This may not matter to some types of companies but with the use of the internet, potential clients can search you from across the street or across the globe.  Don’t let your name be a reason someone doesn’t contact you.

Personal preference

Some company names act as riddles that require solving. But as long as the name contains enough pertinent information, then a slightly special name can be an engaging marketing tool. If you want to start a firm and your favorite color is green, then you can call your company “Green Financial Planning.”  An entrepreneur looking to start an office may like the beach or sun and decide to call his business “Sun Wealth Management.”  The names are effective because they identify the company’s industry. They also act as ways of opening up a discussion with a prospective customer.

There can be a temptation to take it too far.  Your customer base has to be able to draw a clear line between your business name and what it is that you provide.  You also don’t want to turn off any potential clients with a poor name choice.  Think “Fast Money” for someone who likes fast cars and works in finance.  This may not be the best association for a financial firm that wants to instill trust and loyalty in clients.

Creativity

If you are really stuck for a business name, then use a creative approach. Write a series of random words on small pieces of paper, put them in a box, and then draw two or three of them out. Place the words on a table and start putting them together to make phrases. Write down 10 phrases that you find, and then do it again. Once you have a list of around 50 possible names, start narrowing them down to the top five. Then have your friends and business associates let you know which one is best.

It can seem like a careless way to name your company, but when you are stuck for inspiration, it can be the best way to break through that creative block. You may also surprise yourself with the variety of interesting names you come up with. Some options can be strange, but the process can also bring forth some very exciting marketing ideas.

Chose a name that endures

A business name should be planned out and have significance for you. The name you give your organization will be the cornerstone of your company logo development, the inspiration for your company tagline and the front-end of most of your marketing.

If you choose unwisely it can become a very costly mistake.  More money will have to be invested into impressive marketing campaigns and even expensive name changes in the future.  Think about everything that has your company name printed on it from business cards to building signage.

Spend time working through your options and choose a name that will stand the test of time.

Six Ways A Marketing Consultant Can Help You

There are a few traits that most financial advisors have in common. They are all hard workers, they strive to create a lasting legacy for future generations, and they have a passion to create their own company that provides value to customers. Something else that most of them have in common – they are not marketing professionals.

Financial advisors may not have the experience or expertise needed to develop an effective marketing strategy; they may find it hard to move the strategy into an actionable plan, convert web traffic into clients, or have a hard time using social media in the right way. It is a difficult task to create a compelling strategy and implement it in the right way with the help of countless marketing tools. Rather than just “getting it done” or keep pushing It to the bottom of the to-do list, it makes more sense to hire a marketing consultant to help you do what you set out to do – keep your current clients happy, and get new clients.

There are many reasons and benefits to hiring a marketing consultant.

Specialized expertise and experience.
I would never try to give someone financial advice or offer to manage someone’s investments.  Most consultants often have 10+ years of experience in their industry and stay up to date with the latest trends. They track and analyze different data points to make your business as successful as possible.  Additionally, these professionals understand that business growth depends on creating and managing strategic relationships with other business professionals and referrals. When you hire a consultant, you can be confident that he or she knows what to do and will get it done.

Consultants are objective… and smart.
One of the major benefits of hiring a business consultant is getting a fresh look at your company’s standing from a professional who is familiar with different types of businesses, or better yet, similar types of businesses.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know what your competition is doing right and wrong? A business consultancy will always have the advantage of being impartial, and seeing what your business needs to be successful. Leveraging a consultant’s experience will help you run your business more effectively and avoid making mistakes in the future.

They can help you build a brand and a plan.
A reputable and experienced marketing consultant will know the importance of understanding your business goals, creating a strategy that works, and implementing that strategy.  They will also help you select the best marketing tools for your business. This strategy can include things like identifying the target audience, putting together a comprehensive marketing plan, and even optimizing your website’s design to make it more attractive to prospective clients. In addition to that, a marketing firm can help you plan your marketing campaigns to retain and add to your current client base. They are also available to set up an action plan to calm the fears of your investors when the market changes.

They understand the big picture.
Developing and growing a business can be more difficult than many financial planners expect.  Business development includes a series of processes and techniques that are very important for actually growing the business.  Expansion is only possible if the owner understands that the concept that the full client experience matters.  From onboarding a new client, to taking steps to retain loyal clients. A marketing consultant will have processes in place to make sure that this often forgotten fact is not overlooked.

You have resource gaps.
There are never enough hours in the day or people in the office.  There is always that one thing that needs to get done, but everyone is already busy taking care of their specified job responsibilities.  How do you determine who will log-on to Facebook and make your business posts, who will design, write and send out your newsletter?  None of these are related to financial planning but they are all vital to the success of your business – and they are important tasks. Instead of taking someone off a higher payoff task to take care of these, you should seek outside help.  A marketing consultant will not only know how to complete these task, have the tools to do so, but it is also part of their job responsibilities.

They are more cost effective than another employee.
According to an article from Investopedia, it can cost 1.5 to 3 times the proposed salary to hire a new employee, train them, and account for the adjustment period for productivity. So not only is there no HR and new hire paperwork, there is no additional overhead, no turnover, and they are already trained and 100% productive from day one. They don’t need to learn the job they were hired for – they are already trained, probably experienced, and well researched in the area.

Should you hire a marketing consultant?
It’s really up to you. If you wait until you are ready or you “need” it – it’s likely too late.
This specialist is capable of performing and monitoring a variety of assignments that are crucial for growing a business without taking away from yours’ or your staffs already full plates. They organize their strategies based on your feedback and their expertise. It really is a perfect partnership.

The struggle may be in creating an effective small business marketing strategy, implementing it, meeting marketing and business objectives, or lacking the skill in taking your business to the next level. Hiring an experienced business consultancy can help you save a lot of time and trouble, as well as increase your profits.

Whatever the reason may be, a marketing consultant can infuse some much-needed life into a financial firm.