April 16, 2015 by Kristine Garrett
Holding a seminar in your area allows you to get in front of new prospects and engage attendees long after the event is over. To help you plan and market your next seminar, consider using the following timeline to be sure it runs smoothly.
Six weeks out:
- Start your seminar planning by first selecting a date and time for your event. Tuesday and Thursday evenings are considered the best nights to hold a seminar. Avoid Sundays, dates around major holidays and any political, sporting and civic events in your community to experience higher attendance rates at your seminar.
- Select a venue based on your budget limitations. If you’re running a seminar on a tight budget then some low‐cost venue options may include community centers, American Legion halls, your office and public libraries. Make sure the location is easily accessible with ample parking and lighting.
- Check that your venue’s space is the appropriate size for your expected turnout and has your desired seating arrangement (e.g., theater, semicircle or classroom seating.) Also check if any audio-visual equipment you might need is furnished with the space. If you plan to provide refreshments, make sure there are no restrictions.
Five weeks out:
- Choose your presentation topic and prepare corresponding seminar materials. These materials can include invitations, a seminar workbook, PowerPoint presentation slides, information request forms and follow-up emails.
- You can find a host of ready-to-use seminar materials available on The Compass, Brokers International’s virtual storefront.
Three to four weeks out:
- Send out your seminar mailers and email invites.
- Complete your materials preparation and begin to review and practice your presentation.
Two weeks out:
- Review your registrations and begin to prepare name tags and sign‐in sheets.
One week out:
- Make reminder calls to your registrants to let them know you’re looking forward to seeing them.
- Verify your venue reservation and confirm that the space will be set‐up and available presentation equipment is working.
- Continue to practice your presentation.
One day before seminar:
- Conduct a final review of your materials and pack up all name tags, workbooks, information request forms, business cards and other promotional materials.
Day of seminar:
- Arrive early the day of your seminar to make sure your space is set up correctly, all equipment is working properly and that the room temperature is comfortable.
- Bring an assistant to help you welcome guests, get registration sheets signed and pass out name tags.
One to five days after the seminar:
- Call each attendee who completed an information request form.
- Email attendees with a “thanks for attending” message. Send a “sorry we missed you” email to those who registered but did not attend. Include a call-to-action for recipients to contact you for any questions about their retirement strategy.
Seven to ten days after the seminar:
- Launch a follow-up email campaign to attendees that includes additional information or handouts related to your seminar’s topic. In your email, invite your recipients to call and schedule an appointment at your office.
To select a seminar topic and create related materials to hold and promote your seminar, visit Brokers International’s seminar prospecting packages page. You’ll find ready-to-use seminar packages that include invitations, presentation slides, information request forms, workbooks and post-seminar emails.
Each seminar package available on The Compass also comes with automated registration service and invitation mailings to a purchased list of potential annuity and life insurance buyers in your area.
April 9, 2015 by Travis Redfern
Anybody can pay for a commercial or an advertisement in a magazine, but you can build your business’ brand in a creative, no-cost way with earned media exposure.
Earned media is a type of exposure that doesn’t cost anything and helps build your reputation because the audience knows you didn’t pay for it. In fact, 92 percent of consumers trust earned media above all other forms of advertising.1
Some examples of earned media include: providing a quote for a magazine article, giving your advice on financial topics during the nightly news, getting your clients to tell their friends about your services or being a guest on a morning radio show.
To help you stop paying for media exposure and start building your reputation for no cost, we’ve created an Earned Media Quick Tips guide. This guide spells out six no-cost ways you can earn media attention in your community. Download the guide here.
1“Global Consumers’ Trust in ‘Earned’ Advertising Grows in Importance.” Nielsen. 4 Oct. 2012. Web. 9 April 2015. <http://www.nielsen.com/content/corporate/us/en/press-room/2012/nielsen-global-consumers-trust-in-earned-advertising-grows.html>.
March 5, 2015 by Ryan Kennedy
So far in our series on online video marketing we’ve looked at the effectiveness of online video in today’s marketplace and scripting tips for crafting an effective client message. In this part, we’ll examine some presentation types for delivering your message.
With video, there are countless ways to get creative and turn what may be considered a “dull” topic into an engaging or even entertaining one. Your scope will only be limited by your own imagination, so don’t shy away from trying something different to grab people’s attention. Consider using a compelling client story to bookend your message, take a camera around your office for an inside look at your business or create an interview format with you and another professional. Just remember that video is a visual medium and you should always strive to “show” your audience over just “telling” them.
Here are some common and feasible presentation types that may be most applicable to your financial service business:
Talking head – The most standard and economical way of delivering your message is straight to the camera. This format can be effective for personal introductions about you and your business. To add some energy, consider using props, a white board or graphics to better convey your message visually.
News style interview – Invite another professional to join your video and use an interview format to discuss trending topics, products or services. You could also utilize Skype and Google Hangouts to record a two-way interview.
Informative webinar video – You can build your credibility by creating an informative video through a recorded webinar. You only need a webcam and a web resource such as Camtasia or GoToWebinar to host and record your session. You can then use the recorded archive as a video for distribution.
PowerPoint video – A quick substitute for video that most already have available on their desktop can be achieved through PowerPoint. You can use PowerPoint and your computer’s mic to narrate a voiceover to go along with your presentation slides and then export the slideshow video for posting. This feature also creates the flexibility to quickly customize videos for individual clients.
Testimonials – Let your clients tell your story with a testimonial video. Testimonials from your clients build trust with your audience and can be used to promote a particular service or product that solved a problem for your client. Remember, that to remain compliant, testimonials must also follow these standards: Testimonials must be genuine, relevant, current and clearly written. Testimonials cannot be edited and you must obtain the written permission of the individual in the testimonial. Testimonials may not be paid for other benefits given for the use of the testimonial. The Investment Advisor’s Act of 1940 prohibits the use of testimonials for Investment Advisors and or Affiliates. Testimonials included in videos must also include the following disclaimer: “This testimonial may not represent the experience of other clients. This testimonial does not guarantee performance or future performance of any product. The Investment Advisor’s Act of 1940 prohibits the use of testimonials for Investment Advisors and or Affiliates.”
If your content is informative and lends itself to more than one video, you could choose to break out your topic and create a video content series (ex. Five commonly asked questions about retirement) that builds interest as you release them. If you plan to shoot a series, pick a presentation format that would allow you to easily shoot a number of them at once. This will save you time, create consistency and also keep fresh video content readily available as new marketing opportunities arise. As always, be conscious of all compliance expectations as you put your video together.
By choosing a simplified format, you won’t need an army of technicians to create your video. Check back soon for an at-a-glance look at some tools and resources you can use to commit your message to video.
August 12, 2014 by Travis Redfern
Your personal brand, your reputation and your credibility are three very important things to continue building along with the size of your practice. One way to build on them is through your local television news.
When you work with Brokers International, you get access to our exclusive partnership with Media Minefield. Media Minefield is a Minneapolis, MN-based company that helps individual financial professionals gain access to valuable local television time without the cost.
Television news is an ideal medium for professionals to establish themselves as a committed financial professional to viewers in their area. A recent study by data-collection company GMI found that television news is the most trusted medium, and that 73% of Americans prefer to get their news from television.1
Recently, Media Minefield drew the attention of InsuranceNewsNet Magazine, a top industry news source. InsuranceNewsNet Magazine featured a Q&A with Skip Johnson, a Minnesota-based agent who attributes his success to working with Media Minefield. 2
Skip Johnson and a colleague founded Great Waters Financial in New Hope, MN, in September 2012. Appearances on local television news, facilitated by Media Minefield, has helped Skip get his name into the community and increase his influence.
It didn’t take Johnson long to start seeing the fruits of his labor. He received positive results “within a matter of months.”
“We were a brand new company and were getting feedback from our appearances,” Skip said. “Television provided us with name recognition that otherwise could have taken years to develop.”
Once you make an appearance on the local television news, you can use those clips on your website, social media pages, or other advertising pieces. By doing this, your credibility can still grow even if an individual didn’t see your segment on the news.
To learn more about how Skip Johnson benefited from working with Media Minefield, download the full InsuranceNewsNet Magazine article here.
1 Shearman, Sarah. “Social is the rage, but consumers still trust TV news: study.” PR Weekly. N.P. 27 March 2014. Web. 5 August 2014.
2 “Television News Helped This Independent Professional Increase His Public Profile.” InsuranceNewsNet July 2014: 27. Web.
June 18, 2014 by Brokers International
Consumers crave content, which explains why the phrase “content marketing” has generated so much buzz in the past year.
A study by the Custom Content Council found that 78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.1 Deeper in the study, they find that customers don’t necessarily want content that’s selling them a product. They want something that provides benefits and value.
As a financial professional, you don’t need a Pulitzer Prize to create content that engages customers. You just need to transfer what you already know into a format that clients can consume.
Consider consolidating big ideas that have come up in client discussions into a series of tips. This allows you to break big concepts into bite-sized pieces that are easier for you to write and your clients to digest.
Here’s a list of “tip” topics to consider:
- How to prepare for a child whose entering college.
- Things to consider when a parent needs long-term care.
- What to do with unplanned, extra income (tax returns, bonuses, etc.)
- Preparing your estate so your beneficiaries are protected.
- How to take an inventory of your retirement strategies.
Get writing. Before you know it, you’ll have enough content to keep your customers engaged. In the next installment of the blog, you’ll learn the different places to publish your content.
150 Stats You Need to Know About Content Marketing. (n.d.). 50 Stats You Need to Know About Content Marketing. Retrieved June 12, 2014, from http://blog.newscred.com/article/50-stats-you-need-to-know-about-content-marketing/4d5125444fcd2d72ebd17b282107d742