June 24, 2014 by Travis Redfern
Firm: Secure Financial Strategies, LLC, in Weston, FL
Years in industry: 10
Licenses: ChFC®, CRFA™
Throughout the past decade, Richard Price has built a successful career around helping his clients prepare for retirement. He goes beyond helping them accumulate wealth by advising them how to use it.
Prior to becoming a financial professional, Richard spent a considerable amount of time in the academic world at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. He has master’s degrees in psychology, organizational leadership, and business development.
When he’s not in the office, Richard enjoys trying different foods from all around the world. He has flown to France, New York, Los Angeles, and other cities just to experience their local culinary offerings.
What marketing techniques work well for you?
Getting in front of groups and sharing my passion with them works well for me. As a marketing tool, seminars allow me to convey my passion for retirement from a genuine and honest posture. For example, right now I’m doing a seminar in which I teach a college program on retirement planning.
What piece of advice did you receive early in your career that has stuck with you?
“Never forget in the dark what you learned in the light.” You will go through hard times that will bring suffering, but you cannot let that moment define you. You cannot forget what you learned when you weren’t in those tough positions.
What is the key to your success?
Our industry is about service and because of that, you’ve got to be genuine and honest in everything you do. If someone in our industry is genuine and honest only to increase sales, there’s no value in that. If you are genuine and learn how to treat people properly, people will trust you, even if you don’t make the sale. Recognizing the value of being genuine and honest has been the key for me.
June 18, 2014 by Rebecca Prescott
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
May 28, 2014 by Rebecca Prescott
Consider this ridiculous hypothetical situation:
You decide to stop cleaning your office. Clients come in, sit in dusty chairs and can only choose from outdated magazines. The receptionist doesn’t acknowledge them. The floor’s dirty; there’s no complimentary coffee; and the artwork is reminiscent of a 1970s-era dentist’s office.
It seems kind of ridiculous, and not something you’d do, because of the reputation you’d get as being outdated, unfriendly and not professional.
By failing to keep your website up-to-date and branded, you’re risking the same reputation peril. A website is an online store. It’s sometimes the first introduction to a potential client. You wouldn’t let your office fall in ill repair; don’t do the same thing to your website.
According to the New York-based web design firm, Ironpaper, 94 percent of people cited web design as the reason they mistrusted or rejected a website.1 That means that if your website isn’t up-to-date with your brand, and doesn’t represent you, it may not resonate with your clients.
The best way to illustrate the power of incorporating branding into a website is using an example. I’ll use Apple. Visit their site, www.apple.com. It looks and feels like the company’s television commercials, retail stores and the devices themselves. It’s streamlined and perpetuated.
You don’t need to be Apple. But there are some simple things you can do to take your website from brand drab to brand fab. Click here to see them all.
May 21, 2014 by Travis Redfern
You don’t have to go much further beyond the answers to these questions to see that Pensacola-based Annalee Leonard believes that growing a successful client base goes beyond selling. She notes in the interview that teaching people about retirement is important to her.
It only takes one look at her firm’s website, www.mainstaypensacola.com, to see that she uses an educational approach to reaching her current and potential customers.
Read on to learn more.
Name: Annalee Leonard
Years in industry: 25 years
Specialties: Working with people to help preserve their hard earned assets; teaching the rules of use, preservation, and legacy.
Licenses: Life; Health; Series 6, 65,66
College: Our Lady of Holy Cross
Volunteer or hobbies: Golf; my three schnauzers; Impact 100
What’s the (not-so) secret to your success?
Educate, enlighten, and empower people. If I can educate you, I can enlighten you. Once you are enlightened, you have the ability to be empowered.
If you were to give advice to an agent starting out, what would you tell them?
Keep learning. Start at the bottom and work your way up and know every part of the business. Love what you do and do it because you love it, not for the money. That will come. Listen, listen, and listen. Care about your clients. Learn to delegate.
What marketing techniques work for you?
Teaching people about retirement is important to me. We have a radio show that is holistic where we teach listeners about many of the things that they may encounter during retirement years. We also try very hard to keep in touch with our present clients and to make them know they are special.
What keeps you motivated?
My desire to teach as many people as I can keeps me motivated. I don’t want any family to go through what mine did because of poor estate planning on the part of my father. Teaching young people who are coming into the industry also is very important to me. They need to realize that we are problem solvers, not salespeople.
May 15, 2014 by Rebecca Prescott
Here’s one way to lose a potential client: Write a 7-paragraph email without asking the reader to engage with you. (I tried to avoid that here just by doing it in the headline.)
By leaving out a call-to-action you’re taking the chance of losing a client conversation.
If you’ve read the past Brokers International blog about creating drip marketing campaigns, you’ve already spent time segmenting your database. Don’t forgo that hard work by skipping the call-to-action. If you don’t provide a call-to-action, your reader will not know what they should do next. So what do you need to do?
A call-to-action is the mechanism that you use to get a client to engage. Once you’ve set the goal (example, call to set up an appointment) it’s time to create the call to action. Here are some tips:
- Use the active voice
- Try synonyms of everyday words
- Focus on benefits (not features)
- Give a deadline
- Guide their actions
- Create value
A call-to-action not only motivates a reader to engage, but it also changes your advertising piece—which is meant to build brand awareness—into a direct marketing piece that can help drive traffic.
Do you need some call-to-action examples? Click here to download a list that we developed to help you go from advertising to selling.
In the next installment of our blog series on drip marketing campaigns, we’ll look at creating content that’s relevant, easy to read and encourages your audience to stay engaged.
April 23, 2014 by Rebecca Prescott
So you think you have something interesting to say? The key is to get someone to listen.
Press releases are one way for you to get attention and exposure from a local newspaper, website and radio or television station. So here are some tips on how to write a solid press release, and how to get it published.
A press release is a pretty simple document. A basic, solid release contains the following items:
- Contact information
- Company description
When you start writing the body copy, put the most important information first in the release. The general rule of thumb is that people don’t usually read to the end of the article, so you want to get the most important information as high in the article as possible.
And don’t feel like you have to write a novel. Anytime that writing can be quick and to the point, you increase the chances of someone reading. For more detailed tips on writing a press release, download our sample here.
How to get it published
There are a couple of ways to increase your chances of getting your press released published.
Tie it to a philanthropic event: When I asked a group of fellow marketing and journalism friends whether the press release was still a viable tool, my friend and colleague, Sara Wilson responded with a resounding yes.
“We get about every one of our releases printed,” said Wilson, Marketing Director for the United Way of Story County. “Tell them to tie it into charity.”
I also heard from colleagues in manufacturing, health care and sales who agreed that releases work, especially in smaller communities. The key is to make your topic interesting to a wide group of people. Don’t just talk about yourself.
Include a photo: Newspaper readers love to see photos. Snap a picture of your donation and include it with the release. Make sure to write a caption to accompany the photo.
Be sure you’re sending it the right place: Most news organizations have information on their website to direct people with news releases.
Follow up: If it’s been more than two weeks and you haven’t seen your release published, follow up and ensure they received it, and ask if they have any questions.
Press releases are an affordable way to brand yourself to your local community. They take little time, and can provide you decent exposure. The thing to remember is: Every little bit helps you make a name for yourself.
April 18, 2014 by Kristine Garrett
Choosing the correct segment—target audience—for a marketing message can dictate its success.
Segmenting allows you to use the information you know about someone—such as gender, age, income or interests—to create a persona/client profile.
According to Eloqua,1 a leading provider of marketing automation and revenue management software, “Personas are fictional characters created to represent your ideal buyer.” Click here for a sample client profile.
When creating a persona, recognize that there are different types of clients. Look at your client list and prioritize what type of client is most important to your business. For example, you may work with clients in different life stages such as pre-retirement or retirement. Which one of these segments is the most beneficial to your business? Create that persona first.
Click here to download a client profile template to help you complete your persona.
Here is an example of a segment you might look for in your database to market life insurance.
- Workshop attendees: Keep track of workshop attendees in your database. And, record what workshop they attended. Creating a follow up campaign will help keep you top-of-mind after the workshop—and hopefully, when they are ready to buy.
When you are ready to create your next marketing communication, choose your segment or persona first so your message resonates. Remember, you can use multiple segments to narrow your marketing message such as: women who attended a workshop on estate planning.
The next step in creating a relevant message is to decide on your desired outcome. The next bog will go into detail about how to create a call to action.
1Pacheco, Claire. “EloquaU Power Hour: Creating Buyer Personas.” Topliners. Eloqua, 7 Feb 2014. Web. 28 Feb 2014. <http://blog.biltd.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/SalesFunnel_2.jpg>.