Marketing your services effectively is critical to attracting and retaining clients. If you feel your current marketing activities are not working as well as they should be, then it could be down to one of the following reasons:
1: Lack of commitment to sustained marketing efforts
So many small businesses follow a stop-start marketing effort. When leads are a bit thin on the ground, firms undertake short-term marketing pushes to generate more business. While they service the latest round of leads, they take their foot off the pedal on sustaining the marketing effort, with the result tending to be the leads dry up again. For marketing to be truly effective there needs to be a consistent and sustained plan of activity underpinned with the right resources, time and effort to execute the plan and follow-up leads.
2: Potential clients see no clear benefit
What problems do your services solve? Understanding what your clients actually need, want and value is critical. Client engagement with financial services is a continual challenge. Your service must deliver what people need in a way they find engaging, easy and valuable. Without engagement and ease, getting clients from one end of your advice process to the other may very well feel like you are climbing mountains every day of the week. Be clear about what you offer and the value you add, and communicate that in an engaging way.
3: Poor positioning
Fitting in is the path to mediocrity. Standing out is the road to success. If you offer exactly the same as your competitors, why should people buy from you? What benefits (that really matter to people) are you offering? In a world full of mediocrity and “sameness” it does not take much to stand out from the crowd.
Be clear about your offering, communicate it well and, once you have got leads through the door, make sure your advice process and ongoing servicing do not let you down.
Often the most effective ways of marketing are the simplest. Word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals are by far the best strategies but many advisers are reluctant to ask for fear of sounding desperate or needy.
Simple techniques like adding a referral card to your ongoing client servicing packs or building relationships with solicitors and accountants through straightforward conversations can reap massive rewards while being subtle. Over thinking your messages or your marketing is not always a requirement.
Great marketing does two things. It cuts through the noise of the thousands of messages your target market is exposed to every single day and it inspires people to take action. For your business to reach its full potential great marketing is not optional; it is a necessity.
Steve Billingham is director of Steve Billingham Consulting