As marketing becomes more difficult, you need to get more creative. Quit throwing money at the problem and start thinking outside the box. Prospects are throwing junk mail away, they are not attending seminars, they Tivo their TV so they don’t have to watch the commercials. They just plain don’t want to be sold.
Now don’t get me wrong, Prospects LOVE to buy, they just don’t want to be sold. So how do they decide to buy? Well, personal relationship is the number one reason. It could be a referral or they might work with a friend, etc.
How else do they make their buying decisions? By what they see in the Media…papers, television, magazines. If it is in the media, then it must be true. If the advisor is in the media then he or she must be great. So how do you get yourself in the Media?
Same way you get into a prospects life. Create a relationship. The best tool for that is the handwritten note. Here is the 6 step process to getting into the Media:
1. Determine where it would be most profitable for you to be seen or heard – First, think about what your best prospects read. Where do they get their information? What do they trust? Second, think about the big credibility builders like the WSJ or New York Times. Put together a list of publications that would be worthwhile to get your name into. (And don’t forget the newsletter of local companies or groups in your area!)
2. To write or to be the expert – You can choose to either write an article and submit it or to position yourself as an expert to be quoted. Generally, being quoted holds more water with most people. Anyone can write an article but reporters obviously would only go to experts for quotes (not true, but that is what the general public believes). To become an expert determine who writes about consumer issues and financial matters. Send them some information that might be useful to them to either create a story or give them an idea on a story worth reporting. Jot a note introducing yourself and send it to them in the mail.
3. Consistency and regularity – Make sure that you continue to do this like clockwork. This will build trust and credibility for you. And remember, this should not be self-promoting info. It should be something worthwhile for them to write about or pursue.
4. Make sure you are easy to find – When you begin to be quoted you had better be sure that you are easy to find. The reporter is not going to put your contact information into the article. People will be forced to seek you out elsewhere. Make sure that you are easy to find in the phone book and that you have some branding activities going on elsewhere as well.
5. Make sure that you are ALWAYS available – When a reporter calls, get back to them NOW, not later. If you are reliable as a quick and easy resource, they will come back again and again. And once they use you, send them a note thanking them for their professionalism and assure them that you are willing to help again in the future.
6. Don’t be stupid and lazy – This type of marketing is the most valuable of all marketing and costs nothing but a bit of elbow grease. I have seen people spend over $100,000 in marketing in a year with marginal results and yet they are unwilling to spend a few minutes each week nurturing these relationships. Please put this to work for you right now before you forget!
Like handwritten notes, they are cheap and VERY EFFECTIVE!