17 Marketing Ideas to Reconsider

By Patti Branco
March 1, 2006

Listen to an interview with Patti here.

If the same old thing isn't bringing in results, maybe it's time to vary your strategy. Advisors use a variety of ways to get themselves in front of some new prospects.

If the market uncertainty has you paralyzed with procrastination, shake off your indecision by doing something different. While others stare at their computer screens and whine about not getting enough referrals, you can get busy! Try some of these proven, and unusual, ways to promote your services after making sure your planned activity is in sync with your marketing and compliance folks!

  1. Become a teacher. Give back to your community and get a captive audience at the same time. Apply to your local college or adult school and offer to teach a class on investing. They are always looking for new talent, you don't have to be a professor, and you will find that people who attend a class on how to invest usually have the funds to do so!
  2. Affinity markets. Do you have a favorite hobby like golf, fishing, sailing or skydiving? Do you have expertise in a former industry where you once worked? Those should be your first targets! Look into every aspect of their interests and affiliate yourself with relevant associations, read their magazines, know their pain, become the "niche" expert.
  3. Write articles. Get some press and credibility by submitting articles to your local paper. Don't think you are the best writer? Write a draft and have it edited by a local copy editor. It is a well-kept secret that local newspapers are usually in need of articles, particularly in these difficult times, and will welcome a submission from a local investment expert.
  4. Become a speaker. Present yourself to local associations and business organizations in town and offer to speak at a meeting. You can also offer to be a "speaker on call" for speakers who cancel at the last minute. When this happens, you'll be a hero. Speak on a topic that you feel you know best, estate planning, saving for college, or something pertinent to the investment industry. Prepare a short presentation in advance, pepper it with humor and a story or two, and make sure it is not an infomercial. Just the very act of standing there and delivering a terrific presentation will make you the expert, no need to tell them you are.
  5. Church talks. Heed the calling to serve local parishioners. Behind the scenes, most churches are run like a business. There are bills to pay, lights to keep lit, and support staff needed to run the church. Offer to do a fund-raiser, a content rich presentation on effective money management for the congregation. The church gets the money, the crowd gets your expertise and your business card.
  6. Clip for business. Scan newspapers with scissors in hand. Clip out articles or press releases of people you would like to do business with and send it to them with your card and a simple note, "Thought you might like a copy of this. Congratulations."
  7. Corporate directories. Securing a corporate directory for a firm that is having layoffs is the best list one could ever want. Ask clients and friends for help in locating a corporate directory for a target firm. Speak to their HR department and offer to do retirement benefits seminars.
  8. Launch an E-zine. A weekly email update can generate a lot of inquiries. Start your own. Use a pre approved ‘canned’ one if needed.
  9. Press releases. If you receive a promotion or some other noteworthy award, send press releases to your local papers and to industry magazines, and get the recognition you deserve as well as free PR. Then send copies to clients !
  10. PowerPoint marketing. Learn how to use Microsoft PowerPoint and create a dynamic brochure for your services that can be emailed, or saved on a disc and mailed. Very unique, different, and the opportunity to learn a new skill.
  11. Radio talk shows. Much like newspapers, radio shows look for guests with an interesting slant. What's yours? Call the radio stations and ask to speak to the program co-coordinator. Pay attention, they are listening to your voice, your tone and your tempo!
  12. Scripting. Five must-have scripts—fine-tune yours when things are slow!
         1. 10-second introduction
         2. 30-second personal commercial
         3. Prospecting script
         4. Product presentation script
         5/Profiling script
  13. Sponsor a company or church picnic. Find a lucrative small business and offer to sponsor a company picnic. You might be able to get help from your favorite vendors, local radio stations, and other community members. Think outside the box and seek door prizes from local merchants, ask a local wine store to provide a wine-tasting booth, maybe have a pet show contest sponsored by a local vet . . . get the idea?
  14. Sponsor a golf tournament. Like golf? Love publicity? This is a good way to penetrate a niche market. Offer to be a sponsor for a local golf tournament. Get signage, press, and take pictures of foursomes on one of the holes, pictures that you will deliver in person when they are developed! Put them in a folder with your information, and use them as a door opener to the golfers.
  15. Surveys. Jump-start your cold calling by conducting a survey. For example, what are seniors doing about the high cost of prescriptions? Call prospects to help you build your business by answering three survey questions. Offer to share the results of the survey. You could include a variety of solutions in the report as well as your information.
  16. Volunteering. Always a favorite way to meet new and exciting prospects. When you give of yourself and your time, volunteering will pay it back tenfold. Only do this if you have the heart for it, involving yourself for purely selfish reasons will always make you feel like an outsider.
  17. Warm up act. Find a local professional who does a seminar. Doctor? CPA? Contractor? Offer to do an intro for them, and be a bit of a warm up act. Try to tie what the professional is doing in with the need to maximize investment opportunities!

Most of these ideas have been used with excellent results. Don't just sit there worrying; activity will always reward you with success!

An 23-year veteran of the securities industry, advisor coach Patti Branco is a  securities industry consultant, and founder of Patti Branco Management Solutions. And can be reached at 903-451-9800

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