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My Sources for Marketing Information

As a marketing professional specializing in the financial services industry, I would like to think I know everything there is to know about marketing in this field. But like any profession, there is always more to learn. I make an effort to read everything I can about financial services marketing. I read, purchase and download any information I can find from industry thought leaders for my own professional development. There are hundreds of wonderful resources available, but I thought I would share with you a few of the resources I’ve used for my own professional development so far this year. I hope you find them as valuable as I do.

Books/Programs I’ve Purchased:

•             Secrets of Successful Client Events, Horsesmouth

•             Surprise & Delight Mini-Guide, Oechsli Institute

•             Intimate Client Events, Oechsli Institute

•             Social Media Prospecting Mini-Guide, Oechsli Institute

  White Papers I’ve Downloaded:

•             The Future of the Financial Advisory Business, Inside Information by Bob Veres

•             A Guide to Twitter Social Networking Compliance, Socialware

•             A Guide to Facebook Social Networking Compliance, Socialware

•             A Guide to LinkedIn Social Networking Compliance, Socialware

Videos I’ve Watched:

•             Niche Marketing for Financial Planners, Next 10 Clients

 Blogs/Newsletters/Articles I’ve Read:

•             Plain Speak eNewsletter, Wendy J. Cook Communications

• Investment Writing Blog, Susan B. Weiner Investment Writing

•             E-Marketing Blog, Wired Advisor

•             Make it a Great Day Blog, MIAGD

 

•             The 100 Best Marketing Ideas, Senior Market Advisor

Why should consumers pay IFAs for advice when information is free?

The expression ‘knowledge is power’ is well known and until recently was all too often seen in the sales process. Just think about how you would have bought a car 10 years ago. You would first go around a few car showrooms to see the models available, then have a chat with your friends to gather their views, and finally buy a copy of ‘What Car’ in the hope that it could provide a review. Ultimately though, the person that you had to rely on most for information was the salesman. Of course they had the knowledge about price, performance, reliability, competition etc, and the power to decide how much of this to share. This knowledge gave them the power.

Fast forward to the present day and things have changed a lot. Now if you want to buy a car you first go online to research the different models and read the reviews of existing users. Next you search for the best deal for a particular model, along with information about the garages who sell the car. Armed with this knowledge, you can march to your local dealer, tell them about the best deal you know about and ask them to better it. Access to information has moved the power from the salesman to the consumer.

What has this got to do with financial services? Well 77% of consumers now see the internet as the best method of researching financial services products, 43% think financial discussion boards are a valuable source of information, and 39% think the web is a good place to get a second opinion post the receipt of advice.

So against this background, how can IFAs, who effectively exist by selling knowledge, continue to thrive when the consumer expectation is that information is for free?

The answer lies in understanding where an adviser can add value to freely available information, and there are a number of opportunities to do this, including:

·        Personlisation: Converting generalised data into relevant, meaningful information which is specifically pertinent to an individual client.

·        Insight: Using knowledge and experience to interpret information so as to communicate the implications of that information. In the context of websites this means not just pumping out news but commenting on it.

·        Currency: Ensuring that the knowledge imparted reflects the current situation rather than the huge legacy of outdated information that circulates online. Again with in the context of the web site this means ensuirng appropriate, regularly updated content is provided.

·        Authenticity: This comes from the ongoing provision of useful information to your clients at all times, not just when there is a sale in the offing.

·        Convenience: Yes, your client can find all the information they need online, so make sure they think that finding it out from you is easier.

·        Authority: I could probably fix my car’s brakes using information online, but I want the reassurance of an expert when it comes to the safety of myself and my family. The same should be true of financial advice, so communicate your expertise.

Achieving this differentiation requires thinking about the whole of your proposition and how you communicate it. But it is only through understanding and demonstrating the value add that an IFA brings to the relationship they have with their client that they will be able to thrive if the world of free and unlimited information.

Google White Paper ‘IFAs in the Digital Space’ available NOW

With daily internet usage in the UK increasing year on year by 22% [2], there are strong adoption rates among older and more affluent demographics – key markets for the IFA community.

According to a new White Paper published by Google, searches on financial related terms are growing consistently and increased 19% year on year in 2009 [3], as users embraced the internet as a medium for their financial research. With 30% of adult internet users earning household income of more than £50,000 [4] this is a market IFAs should be aiming to capture.

Financial advice searches have grown strongly in the last 18 months – the search term ‘unbiased financial advice’ had 84% more queries in February 2010 than in February 2008 [5]. As the internet becomes an integral and even primary component of financial planning, companies with a strong online presence offering products or advice are benefiting hugely from the growing demand, whilst those who continue to rely solely on traditional sources of leads such as word of mouth and directories risk falling behind.

Whilst query volumes have increased, the majority of IFAs have failed to step up their internet presence either through maintaining a healthy website or through promoting themselves with online advertising. It is vital for IFAs not only to have a good website, but to use all means possible to drive potential leads to find that website. Many IFAs are failing on one or both of these steps, meaning that online consumers are not finding them. IFAs are missing out on business, as potential customers are forced to look to other online sources of advice which are only a click away.

In recent years and with shaken consumer confidence in traditional financial establishments, many new online businesses have become popular sources of advice, with comparison sites like Moneysupermarket.com and forums such as Moneysavingexpert.com benefiting from the preference for independent online advice and information. This consumer behaviour gives online IFAs a great opportunity to gain consumer trust and build their businesses online.

Philip Calvert, founder of IFA Life and an Internet marketing expert for IFAs said today:

“It’s great news that consumers of all demographics are taking control of their personal finances. Because the internet is now part of people’s lives, it’s not surprising that they increasingly use search to find financial help and advice.”

“What’s not such good news however, is that IFAs are missing out on a wealth of opportunity online, and risk becoming increasingly sidelined in the online world if consumers cannot find them in searches.”


Wealth management is a big opportunity for IFAs online

Despite scepticism amongst many IFAs that older, high net worth (HNW) individuals use the internet as part of their financial research, studies indicate that HNWs do increasingly use the internet and are using search as an alternative research tool for managing their wealth.

Ian Morgan, Head of Finance at Google UK said today:

“This market represents a real opportunity for financial planners online because queries in this sector have grown strongly over the last few years – yet the lack of advertising by IFAs to this market means that they are missing out on valuable leads.”

“We want to offer more support to IFAs looking to grow their business through effective use of search marketing. Our aim with our White Paper and forthcoming webinar is to offer an educational starting point to these financial advisors. Consumers are looking for guidance in their wealth management and we believe that the internet can play an important role in helping them find the appropriate support.”

IFAs who have embraced the internet are seeing positive results. Tina Weeks, owner of Serenity Financial Planning in North London said today:

“It’s unimaginable that any IFA firm could even survive today without the internet. It’s now an essential part of our lives and the lives of our clients, so it’s vital that we keep on top of all the different ways that it can be used and build value in our business whilst adding value to clients. I also recommend that every IFA puts time aside regularly to get trained on internet marketing.”

Keith Churchouse of Churchouse Financial Planning in Guildford added:

“Economies of scale help us as financial planners to diversify our marketing message using the internet and the accessible and cost efficient tools available. Blogger.com is an excellent example, allowing us to distribute topical issues electronically as well as our own website and where appropriate, podcasts. Additional news can also be distributed by the use of social media which we use regularly.”

Google’s White Paper IFAs in the Digital Space is available now through IFA Life for an exclusive period, and their educational webinar will be available to download from the 1st July. The webinar is hosted by Google’s Finance team and will include demonstrations of how to use Google’s free online resources to identify and benefit from the online opportunity, as well as tips for getting started on AdWords.

Google will be offering an AdWords voucher to IFAs trying AdWords for the first time, available via email.

A Marketing Guide for RIAs in Transition: Craft Your Message

This is part two of a ten part series on marketing an RIA. Read A Marketing Guide for RIAs in Transition for a full overview.

In last week’s post, I discussed the importance of an RIA choosing a niche market (See A Marketing Guide for RIAs in Transition: Pick a Niche). When resources are limited, choosing a niche market provides marketing direction and helps you focus your time and money on activities most productive to building your business. Choosing a niche also makes it easier for a firm to craft a message differentiating itself from the competition. Spending time crafting a message will help you explain what you do to the public and on your marketing collateral.

Too often, advisors will create marketing communication that is firm focused and ignores the needs of the prospective client. Your message needs to be client-centric. While creating the perfect messaging can seem like a daunting process, it can be simplified by breaking it down to six steps:

·        Identify your niche market

·        Define the current situation facing your target market

·        Identify your target market’s unique issues and needs

·        Explain your firm’s solution to the problems

·        Describe your process in engaging with clients

·        Highlight the benefits of your services to clients

By following these six steps using the exercises below, you will have the themes and wording you need to create your marketing material, website and unique value proposition (aka elevator pitch).

Niche Market

Last week you identified a niche market. If you haven’t done this yet, visit A Marketing Guide for RIAs in Transition: Pick a Niche and complete the exercise. When you have defined your niche market, include the description in the box below:

Niche Market

 

Current Situation

Use the box below to identify the current situation for your niche market. Be specific when describing the situation. An answer like “currently retired or nearing retirement” is too broad not a sufficient answer. There may be several scenarios for your niche market, so write down all the possibilities. This will help you craft your message later.

Example: Individuals starting a new business

– Starting a business and relying on the spouse’s income to survive the first few years

– Getting remarried and blending two families with young children into one

– Youngest child is graduating from college next year, and the couple would now like to retire in five years

Current Situation

 

 

Unique Issues/Needs

Use the box below to identify your niche market’s unique issues and needs. Consider not only what they need today, but what they will need in the future. Do not list your services like investment management, tax planning or estate planning. Instead, list the problems your prospective clients face that your services can solve.

Example: Individuals starting a new business

– Access to affordable health care insurance

– Income protection in case of disability

– Rollover 401(k) and setup a new retirement savings plan

– Analysis of cash flow

– Evaluation of best sources to fund the new business (e.g. savings, liquidate investments, loans, HELOC/line-of-credit, credit cards, borrow from 401(k))

– Setting up a 401(k) plan for employees in the future

Unique Issues/ Needs

 

Solutions

Use the box below to describe the solutions you offer to solve the unique issues and problems of your target market. The solutions you provide should include your services.

Example: Blending two families into a second marriage

– Provide estate planning services to ensure that assets are distributed to the children and current spouse as desired

– Provide estate planning services to ensure children are assigned an appropriate guardian

– Provide insurance services to ensure that there is enough money to support the children to the age of 18.

– Provide college planning services to ensure adequate savings to fund college tuition for the children from both the current and previous marriage

Solutions

 

Process

Use the box below to describe your unique process or engagement with clients. This will help you differentiate yourself in the marketplace. Items to list could include your compensation structure, the planning/investment process or the experts you use to collaborate with in your planning process.

Examples:

– Financial Coach: Ongoing retainer with four meetings per year to stay on track

– Life Planning – Coordinate with client’s CPA and attorney

– Hourly planning so clients can pay for only the services they need

– Fee only planner that does not receive compensation from third parties so you are always acting in the client’s best interest

Process

 

 

Benefits

Use the box below to identify the benefits of your services (solutions) and process in the box below.

Examples:

– Our college planning services will help you fund your child’s college education without sacrificing your future comfort in retirement

– We help reduce the financial stresses often associated with blending two families into one so that you can focus on building your new life.

Benefits

 

 

 

Now that you have identified who you help (Niche Market & Current Situation), what they need (Current Situation & Unique Issues/Needs), how you can help (Solutions & Process) and how they benefit (Benefits), you can begin creating your message. The best place to start is to create a unique value proposition, or elevator pitch, that clearly states who you work with and the benefit you offer. Use the themes you listed above to create this message. Your Unique Value Proposition should include the following:

• Your Target Market

• The benefit you provide your target market

• A description of your service and how you work

• What makes you unique in the marketplace

Example:

Second Chances Wealth Management works with blended families to help them create a new life together while protecting their individual interests. We work with clients on an annual retainer basis so we can help families with the initial transition of a new marriage and continue assisting throughout the different stages of life. Blended families face many challenges, so it is our goal to reduce the financial stresses commonly associated with second marriages through our financial planning services.

Unique Value Proposition

 

 

 

Your unique value proposition is a statement you will want to include on your website and marketing collateral. You can adapt it to meet the needs of the different pieces, but the essence should remain the same. You will also want to include the wording and themes from all of the above boxes in your marketing materials. These words will help you create a consistent message that focuses on your client’s needs and the benefit of working with your firm. Creating your messaging platform doesn’t have to be difficult. Just remember to focus on the client at all times.

Ten New Year Internet Resolutions for IFAs and Financial Planners in 2010

As New Year headaches begin to ease, many consumers will experience a hangover of a different sort as their spending over the Christmas season catches up with them.

Those with New Year Resolutions to sort out their finances will use the Internet to find an IFA, but many IFAs’ online presence will do little to attract people to make contact because their websites are dull, lifeless and do little to communicate professionalism.

Despite IFAs working very hard to reach the highest levels of professional standards by examination, consumers can see little evidence of it from many IFAs’ websites.

But according to IFA Internet marketing expert Philip Calvert, 2010 will be the year when IFAs finally embrace the Internet as a mainstream marketing and client communication tool.  Many IFAs have traditionally believed that their clients (particularly older clients) are not interested in receiving communications or services via the Internet, but Google, search engines and social networking sites are rapidly replacing the telephone directory as the preferred means to find an IFA.

Consumers no longer want just a list of local IFAs in their search results, they also value online recommendations, videos, blogs, articles and other content which will help them to ‘get to know’ an adviser before making contact with them.

IFA Life has produced ten New Year Resolutions for IFAs to enhance their Internet presence:

1.      Communicate much more with existing clients by email and through your website.  Start today by sending out a New Year newsletter giving ‘Ten Financial New Year Resolutions’ for clients and website visitors.

2.      Commit to adding regular (weekly) new content such as articles to your website.  This keeps people coming back to your website and helps to improve your search engine results.

3.      Give your website a ‘human touch’ by including professional photos of every IFA and member of staff.  Include hobbies and interests and avoid too much boring stuff.  Remember that ‘people buy people’ online just as much as they do face to face.

4.      Encourage clients and site visitors to get their financial news from your website.  Write a three paragraph summary of the weekly financial news and put it on your website every Monday morning.

5.      Start using video as a communication tool and to add value to clients.  Record your weekly news summary and post it on to your website.  This gives people an opportunity to see and experience you and also increases the amount of time they spend on your website.

6.      Set up your own Channel on YouTube and upload your videos.  Don’t worry about the quality – it is the content that people are interested in.  YouTube is also a search engine and is second only to Google.

7.      Create new sections on your website which contain content which is exclusively for existing clients and professional connections.  Add to it regularly and build community by encouraging people to add their own thoughts and comments.

8.      Add a Press and Media section to your website.  Get in the habit of writing regular press releases (monthly) and post them on your site.  This will add to your content, will help improve your search engine rankings and will prove to site visitors that your business is live, busy and active.

9.      Set up profile pages on LinkedIn, IFA Life, Twitter and Ecademy.  Also set up a business page on Facebook.  These websites will broaden your reach on the Internet, help your search engine rankings and will attract new business to you.  Spend fifteen minutes every day adding content to your profiles on these sites.

10.   Brainstorm and develop ‘financial information products’ for people to purchase from your website.  This adds to the perception of your expertise and creates a valuable new income stream.


Write an Internet Marketing plan

Whilst many IFAs have written marketing plans for 2010, very few have written a specific Internet marketing plan.  At the very least, IFAs should include a separate section within the marketing plan detailing how they will use the Internet and in particular social networking sites to both attract new clients and to add value to existing clients.

Founder of social networking site IFA Life, Philip Calvert said today:

“2010 will be the year when IFAs make huge steps forward in their use of the Internet.  It’s still fair to say that many don’t yet have a clue as what to do, but they are learning fast.”

“We are very excited that in January, IFAs will be treated to Ian Morgan, Google’s UK Head of Financial Services who will speak on how to use the Internet to target and communicate with clients.”

The Social Media in Financial Services conference in January will also feature speakers from networking sites LinkedIn and Ecademy, plus YouTube and BT Tradespace.  The conference will also feature Nick Bamford of Informed Choice on why an online execution-only service offers huge potential for IFAs – plus Father of Life Planning George Kinder will lead a discussion on how to develop a high touch, high tech financial planning proposition.

 

Searchers aren’t looking to buy online. Website lessons for IFAs and Financial Planners

Two-thirds of  people who are searching for local businesses have no intention of buying anything from them online. That’s the startling statistic from new research conducted on why people search. The study of search intentions shows that 66% of people are merely trying to find a business location, phone number or driving directions. This has important implications for any business web site.

 Offline methods of connection appear to be very important to people

Indeed, the research found that only one in ten people actually went on to contact the business using the internet, having completed a search. Some 89% of people went on to use offline methods of connection or to conduct further searches. It suggests that even after 20 years of web activity, the offline world is still highly important to people. Companies who concentrate their efforts on being “virtual” or entirely online are clearly losing out.

 People want to speak to you on the phone, visit your premises and meet you in the “real world”. It is increasingly evident that many businesses are neglecting the need for “offline” activity in a bid to do everything online. Clearly that’s not what people like. Indeed, the figures show a slight increase in the desire for offline connections, instead of online methods.

 So, what does this all suggest for your website? It means that your phone number, address, directions to shops and offices and so on, must all be visible for everyone who lands anywhere on your website. That means on EVERY page. Making people locate this information within your site will slow them down and increase their level of frustration with you, producing negative thoughts about your company.

 It’s also a good idea to have all your contact information on every page, since studies have shown that when you identify your business as “real” you increase levels of trust in your website visitors. Companies who effectively hide their contact information are perceived as less trustworthy. So, there is a “double whammy” impact of having full contact details on every page – you increase levels of trust AND you immediately provide the offline information most searchers are actually looking for.

 But whatever you do in terms of providing those offline points of contact, what is clear from this new research is that the online world is actually only of marginal importance to people. We all live in a physical, three-dimensional world – and that’s the world your customers expect you to inhabit. Ignore it at your peril.

The power of mobile marketing

It’s hard to believe that the first mobile phone call was made over 24 years ago. Ernie Wise, using the Vodafone network, made that call, with a phone that weighed nearly 5kg. Luckily the phones got lighter, and affordable enough for over 85% of UK households and 95% of businesses to use them. For a weight comparison: today’s iPhone weighs a measly 135 grams.
Advertising didn’t take long to exploit the improvements in mobile technology, with many companies experimenting with text message (SMS) promotions. The highly targeted and personalised marketing that mobile phones allow has always created flurries of excitement within organisations that have messages to spread.
The launch of ITV’s Pop Idol in 2001 showed businesses how to use mass text voting to their advantage and draw in viewers by both voting and ‘win ticket’ competitions. Big Brother and Strictly Come Dancing are further examples of mobile marketing to wider target audiences.
Mobile is a sizeable marketing channel, with over 3 billion users. But with the web and its 2 billion users not far behind, mobile marketing is in a competitive race with the internet.
Unexplored potential?

When you think of mobile marketing, you probably think about standard text messages – no more than 160 characters. Text messages have been a popular advertising medium with debt companies, mobile phone networks and TV productions, who can easily drop messages into the hands of the right audience.
Although picture messaging has moved on from the early days, when it took hours (sometimes more than 24) to download a message, it’s still failed to find a place in the hearts of marketing men and women.
Consumers now demand media-rich applications on their phones, and the ability to connect to and update social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
So marketing on mobile phones has come full circle. After shrugging off initial limitations the technology has evolved and refined to the point that mobile marketing now offers advantages over many traditional marketing media.
With the latest generation iPhone, Blackberry and Android handsets, the choices for businesses wanting to reach their audiences are unlimited. In 2010, the opportunities for exciting mobile marketing will be greater than ever. So how are you going to take advantage?

3 reasons why even the most stubborn IFA should welcome the RDR

In case you didn’t know, the world of financial services is going through a major change over the next few years as the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) does away with commissions and imposes higher educational standards on advisers.  For many IFA’s, the RDR represents yet another bureaucratic headache getting in the way of the everyday business of helping their clients.  However, here are three reasons why even the most stubborn IFA should welcome the enforced changes to adviser knowledge and commission.

The growth of Financial DIY

Compeer’s March 2009 Financial DIY report suggests that for those resistant to change, the RDR is a blessing in disguise.

Some of Compeer’s findings include:

  • 29% of adults believe their knowledge is as good as financial advisers’ – uniformly spread across age and socio-economic groups
  • 28% of adults believe advice is just disguised sales of investment products – A&Bs (39%) and 40-49 year olds (34%).
  • 26% of adults believe financial advisors add insufficient value to justify their fees (A&Bs 38%)

It’s about time therefore that IFA’s upped their game for their own sake.

They also found that:

  • Overall use of IFAs fell in 2008 – 7% fewer respondents regard a commission based IFA as their main financial advisor compared to 12 months earlier.
  • 6% of adults cite a fee based IFA as their main financial advisor, up 33% on the previous year.
  • A growing proportion of people (67%) taking professional advice now seem to have accepted a fee based model.

And when you take into account the trend from 2003 onwards the picture doesn’t get any better:

  • 44% of adults view the internet as an essential source of financial information and advice.
  • 42% of A&Bs unadvised in 2008 (26% in 2003) and 44% of C1s (27% in 2003).
  • Of those with over £1m of liquid assets, 61% make all or most of their investment decisions with professional advice.

The growth of financial DIY is powerful.  Nails are already being hammered into the coffin of the traditional IFA.

Life insurers are going bust

There’s the other small issue that life insurers are going bust. Life insurers often report rosey results on a European Embedded Value basis to satisfy the markets. However, these results include future premium income on policies sold but not yet collected. With less than half of policies in force after five years, the International Financial Reporting Standards measure which does not include future income but includes investment losses have been showing unsustainable losses for some time. Up front commissions funded by the illusion of long term contracts are therefore unsustainable.

The loss of indemnified commissions under the RDR is therefore insignificant. They were already on the way out.

Bear markets badly expose the transactional, commission based adviser

Traditional commission based advisers often sell themselves on their ability to pick funds, find the best product – little more than a personal shopper in some ways.  When the focus is on the transaction rather than the long term plan, the indemnified commission based adviser’s credibility and business model tends to sink as fast as their client’s funds. By focusing on working with clients on their plans and charging explicitly for the life enhancing work, advisers’ business models are far more sustainable.

Be thankful for the RDR. For the transactional IFA, it is a wake up call. For those financial planners already prepared, the industry is better for it.

How IFAs & Financial Advisers Can Attract High End Clients Through Seminars, Workshops & Retreats – A Proven Formula For Success

It was a great lesson for me to learn, but it took a soaking on a wet and windy February morning in London to discover just how powerful seminars can be…

In fact, it shocked me just how how effective this was…

It was the early 1990s and I was working as a Broker Consultant for Zurich Life in London.  I had a panel of IFAs to call on, but because it was a City patch, I never got to use my shiny company car.  I walked everywhere, and in the winter it wasn’t a lot of fun.

Like most Broker Consultants, my target was to meet with twenty IFAs a week.  It had to be by appointment, but for most of us, our IFA contacts kept us at arm’s length as much as possible – we might see ten if we were lucky…

I remember standing on the corner of Bank and Cornhill one morning as the rain lashed down.  My shoes were soaked through and I wasn’t enjoying it at all.

It crossed my mind that there ought to be a better way of reaching out to my IFA contacts.

And that’s when a lightbulb came on…

What if I switched things round and could get the IFAs to come and see me instead?!

It was a worth a try and I headed back to the comfort of our Leadenhall Street office to make plans.

As I looked round the fourth floor, I realised that we had a lot of expertise in the office.  We had an underwriter, an actuary, fund manager and the CEO – and we had a fantastic boardroom with great views of the City.

My sales training had always stressed the importance of adding value to my prospects, and it occurred to me that I could wheel these people out if I hosted a small seminar for my IFA contacts.

It didn’t take me long to discover the power of the bacon roll to get ‘bums on seats’.

Soon after, I was hosting small and intimate seminars and workshops for my IFA contacts.  We put the focus on four things:

  • Adding value through sales ideas
  • Training on how underwriters assess Protection applications
  • Giving IFAs a ‘behind the scenes’ look at our company, its people and its values
  • Giving our IFA attendees an additional opportunity to network and engage with each other

And yes, it worked…

Usually I would host short breakfast meetings, but mixed it up with lunch workshops and the occasional full or half day training event.

The result?

Almost overnight I went from seeing between ten and twenty IFAs a week, through to often seeing twenty or more a day.  My sales figures spoke for themselves and it wasn’t long before I was given a major promotion.

This simple strategy of moving from ‘speaking to one’ to ‘speaking to many’ had an immediate impact on my sales.

But not only that, there were other benefits too:

  • Perception of our company as experts in our field was increased significantly
  • Trust in us as a company grew instantly
  • IFAs instinctively expressed interest in what other products we offered
  • I stood out from the crowd in the Broker Consultant community because I was doing something different
  • Overnight, I was able to gain face-to-face appointments with anyone who had attended our seminar

And more.

Now, this isn’t unusual.

It’s a fact that Seminars and workshops have proved themselves time and time again over decades as a proven way to attract new clients.

In many industries, those who use seminars and live presentations as part of their proposition are consistently amongst the most successful amongst their peers.  It is particularly true within Financial Services.  Most of the top financial advisers around the world have used seminars and workshops as part of their proposition.

As a financial adviser, you may be aware of some advice firms whose entire proposition is based around seminars, and if you’re like me, you’ll have received invitations to their events in the post.

Just a few years later, I went on to write a book about how to use seminars and workshops to attract new clients and it was a best-seller in the Sales and Marketing category.

But here’s the thing…

For IFAs and Financial Planners who took seminars seriously, it didn’t take them long to realise that there was another key benefit that they hadn’t seen coming

Whilst most business people use seminars and workshops as a lead generation tool, it can do a lot more than that.

You see, when done properly, conversion rates can be incredibly high…

One IFA told me that he would run a seminar every three months in a local hotel.  He said that out of a room of about forty people, 90%+ would want to make an appointment to see him.

“Sometimes the conversion rate was 100%” he told me.

Now that’s great, but this IFA went on to tell me that in due course he started charging people to attend his events.

It was exactly the same event, but instead of offering attendance for free, he would charge £147 – with a discount to £97.

What do you think happened when he started charging for exactly the same seminar?

Initially he was concerned that this would put off people from attending, but quite the opposite happened…

Because the perceived value had increased; charging a sensible but ‘professional’ entrance fee made his seminar even more desirable.

Now, you do the math:  £97 X 40 = £3,880

That’s £3,880 that people pay him in advance of the seminar.  That’s before he even meets them.

Doesn’t that sound good?!

And even if just 50% of attendees wanted an appointment afterwards, that strikes me as a fantastic business model!

Now let’s bring this right up to date, because in a world of fee-based financial advice it’s critical that you not only offer value, but are SEEN to be offering value.

  • If you are looking for new clients – seminars, workshops and client events are an option for you to consider because they are proven to work
  • If you are looking for a new way to add value to existing clients – seminars and workshops are a MUST
  • If you are looking for a new way to deliver and share your financial planning expertise, seminars and workshops should be on your list
  • If you are looking for a proven new income stream – seminars and workshops will work for you
  • If you are looking to enhance the perception of your expertise, professionalism and credibility – seminars and workshops are proven to work, just as they did for me…
  • If you want more professional connections to refer business to you – seminars are a proven way to fast-forward those key relationships
  • If you want to raise your profile locally, build relationships with local journalists and strengthen your personal brand – you must embrace seminars and workshops

Does this sound good?

I’ve only scratched the surface with this article, but are you starting to see the possibilities this offers you?

And I haven’t even mentioned the incredible value you can give when you run your own weekend retreats and ‘bootcamps’…!

But I know you have questions like these…

  • How do I fill the seats?
  • How many people should I invite?
  • Where do I get a mailing list?
  • How do I attract the RIGHT type of attendees?
  • What topics should I talk about during my seminar?
  • What are the best days of the week for seminars?
  • What sort of venue works best?
  • Can I outsource the planning?
  • How do I write a mailing letter?
  • Should I get a guest speaker?
  • Have you any examples of best practice?
  • What if I’m nervous about public speaking?
  • How long should I take to market and promote my event?
  • And many others…

You should take immediate action…

It’s not for everyone, but here’s what you should do if you think that seminars and workshops could have a part to play in how you attract more of the right type of clients…

On 12th September I’m hosting a three hour webinar on How To Attract High End Clients Through Seminars, Workshops and Retreats.

It’s a no-nonsense webinar which could be worth many thousands of pounds in revenue for you.  It starts prompt at 10am, but don’t worry if you can’t make it at that time and day, because when you register, you’ll have guaranteed access to the recording so that you can go through it again at your leisure.

When you join our webinar, you’re going to learn:

  • The key benefits of using seminars and workshops (some of them will surprise you…)
  • How to plan and promote your seminar – online, with Social Media and through traditional marketing methods like mailers
  • Key influence techniques which will attract the people who you really want to attend your event
  • How to present your message at your seminar in the most professional way possible so that attendees are eager to meet you
  • Proven tips and techniques that will ‘wow’ attendees at your events
  • How my finanancial advice friend got conversion rates of up to 100%
  • And much, much more…

What IFAs say

Here’s what one IFA in the North West of England said after we helped them with his new event:

“I am a man of few words – I’m sure ‘thank you’ will suffice.  We ran our first seminar last night. The room capacity was for 50, and 61 turned up.  [only] 250 invitations were sent out – we therefore believe the return rate is pretty good.  The mixture was roughly 60% new people and 40% existing clients.”

Bill Hofstetter, Inspirational Financial Management Ltd.

“Nobody I have heard comes close to Phil’s practical knowledge of using seminars and the internet (in all its varied forms) to get one’s message out there.”

David Crozier CFP, Navigator Financial Planning

Seminars are a long-established system for communicating financial products and financial services...

And whilst professional financial advisers have moved on from selling financial products, there couldn’t be a better way to sell your financial planning expertise.  Seminars give high quality clients an amazing opportunity to see ‘the whites of your eyes’; to ‘try before they buy’ and to build a relationship with you based on trust.

It enables you to effortlessly establish trust and credibility and to create lucrative new relationships.

Establishing relationships is one of the biggest opportunities that hosting seminars can bring financial advisers, but often the most overlooked.

Many advisers say that they don’t actually want to increase their client base, preferring to focus on existing client relationships, but again, seminars are an outstanding and proven way to add value to existing client relationships and to cement recently new relationships.

Our promise

Unlike the vast majority of webinars, we guarantee that this will not be a drawn-out sales pitch!  We promise that when you join us at 10am on 12th September, we’ll get straight into the training, so you’ll need to be ready to start taking notes right from the start.

The training lasts for three hours and we guarantee that you’ll be able to get straight to work on planning your event.

Free bonuses:  When you sign up today, we’ll include a PDF copy of Philip Calvert’s acclaimed book Successful Seminar Selling – PLUS we’ll give you access to our private marketing group for financial advisers on Facebook.

You should sign up now…

Your investment is £167, but when you sign up immediately this is discounted to just £57.  This price is for a limited period only.

If you have already booked on our forthcoming Internet Marketing webinar, you will receive a further discount to £47.  Select this option when you sign up below.

Pay safely and securely – click the button below to pay with PayPal or your credit/debit card.  Satisfaction guaranteed and full refund if not completely satisfied.

Yes, I want to join the webinar on 12th September

Good news for IFAs & Financial Advisers in the North of England, Scotland & the Regions…!

Join us for our LinkedIn, Social Media and Internet Marketing webinar!

Here’s why…

 

For many years we’ve been hosting Social Media and Marketing training days for financial advisers.  We normally hold them in Central London, and whilst many attendees are able to travel, these events have not always been convenient for IFAs/advisers around the UK.

So we’re delighted to announce that on Wednesday 5th July, we are hosting our first webinar, so there’s no need to travel beyond your own office! 

Isn’t that great!  I can’t believe we’ve not done it before…!

Starting at 10am prompt on the 5th, you’ll join me for a special two hour training session, where we reveal:

·        LinkedIn’s Inside Secrets – how to use the networking platform to attract profitable new clients


·        Changes to your LinkedIn profile you need to make which will make an immediate and measurable difference to your visibility in LinkedIn search results


·        Proven message scripts you can use to attract more of the right kind of connections.  Two separate financial advisers told us that they got new pension and investment clients the very first time they used these scripts.  Would you like a copy…?!


·        A secret feature on LinkedIn which you need to switch on.  All the time it is switched off, people are leaving your profile page to look at other advisers…


·        Changes that LinkedIn have made to their site which impact you and your business


·        Are my target clients really on LinkedIn – and if so, how do I find them?


·        Who should I connect with when I receive a request?


·        How one IFA attracted fee income worth £100,000 just from using LinkedIn

·        The truth about internet marketing and Social Media – what does and DOESN’T work for Financial Advisers


·        How much time you need to commit to Social Media and where to find that time


·        How many leads can I really expect from Social Media?


·        The pros and cons of LinkedIn Premium membership – including one feature of Premium membership which will guarantee new client enquiries

·        and much more… 

 

New Developments in Website Design – and how they impact IFAs & Financial Advisers…

We’ll also be covering important developments in website design for all IFAs and financial advisers, including:

·        Two critical factors that are now missing from most IFAs’ websites (it’s vital that you know about this)


·        Important changes in how consumers use IFAs’ websites, and how IFAs’ need to respond


·        One key addition that you need to make to your website that will convert more of your site visitors into high quality enquiries


·        The benefits of blogging and three easy ways to get started (…and keep going!)


·        What is Content Marketing and is it relevant to Financial Advisers?


·        The truth about Twitter and Facebook – do they really work for Financial Advisers…?


·        How to create an easy Social Media plan which supports your client proposition

 

Your investment

Our workshops are normally £157 but you can join this online training event for just £47.  What’s more, the training event will be recorded so that you can access it again whenever you wish.  So, once you’re reserved your place, you can watch the webinar whenever you wish.

And look what else we will give you…

 

You’ll Be Given Four FREE Special Bonuses when you sign up today…

1.     Free copy of LinkedIn Secrets – The Blueprint to Growing your Business with Social Media (247 page eBook worth £30)

2.     Free membership for twelve months of our Private Marketing Group on Facebook for financial advisers (worth £324)

3.     Free Social Media Strategy Planner for Financial Advisers (worth £197)

4.     Free specimen Social Media plan for IFAs and Financial Advisers (worth £125)

 

 

 

The total value of these bonuses is worth £676 and will be yours when you click Yes to sign up for our webinar.  Does that sound good…?!

 

Our promise

Unlike the vast majority of webinars, we guarantee that this will not be a drawn-out sales pitch!  We promise that when you join us at 10am on 5th July, we’ll get straight into the training, so you’ll need to be ready to start taking notes right from the start.

The training lasts for two hours and we guarantee that you’ll be able to make immediate changes to how you use the Internet, LinkedIn and Social Media to:

1.     Strengthen and enhance your online profile and professional identity

2.     Attract and convert more of the right type of visitors to your website

3.     Build a compelling online presence which adds value to your clients and encourages more referrals

 

Don’t forget… once you’ve attended the webinar form the comfort of your home or office, you’ll have access to the recording over and over again, which you can share with staff and colleagues.

When you sign up today, your investment if just £47 to attend the webinar, and in addition to the amazing value you’ll receive on the day, you’ll also receive £676 worth of free bonuses.

So if you’ve not been able to attend one of our events before, now’s your chance!

And if you joined us at one of our training events in the past, this is an unmissable opportunity to top-up and build on your learning because we guarantee new material that you won’t have heard before.

 

Here’s what Financial Advisers like you have said after attending our training events... 

“It was a BRILLIANT course on Tuesday, thank you so much!  I’m really looking forward to putting the action plan together.”  Jonathan Palfreyman, Financial Director, Hiatt Financial

“Went on the London workshop last week. Brilliant! A real eye opener and very worthwhile event. It is totally relevant to all advisers.”  Financial Adviser, Manchester

 

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