Create a Culture Focused on the Value You Bring to Customers

August 30, 2018

In today’s society, one of the best ways a company can be successful is to provide great customer service. But, is that really enough? Working in customer service goes deeper than just ensuring it is “good.” We want to make sure that we deliver a value to the customer through our services or products. Some of the best companies worldwide have developed a culture within the organization around the value they deliver to their clients; companies such as Apple, Ritz-Carlton, Disney, Amazon, and the list goes on and on. So, how should companies go about creating a culture focused on delivering value to clients?

  1. Customer knowledge. As you build your book of business, really get to know your customers and especially their expectations of you. A lot of the times we deliver our services but forget to check if they align with the expectations from our customers.
  2. Create a customer service strategy. Often different segments of an organization aren’t aware of the company’s strategy or their understanding of it doesn’t align with the company’s. Therefore, creating a customer service strategy focused on delivering value to customers and spreading it throughout the whole organization will allow for consistency.
  3. Listen to your employees. The employees are on the frontline of daily customer interaction. Therefore, they may have customer insights that could be valuable for your customer knowledge. It will also provide a framework of ways to develop your customer service strategy.
  4. Loyalty. Don’t say you’re going to contact a customer in a week and then never contact them. Follow through with your promises and check up on customers regularly. What this does is it creates loyalty which means that you have provided a level of customer service that has exceeded expectations.

Not only will these actions steps result in higher customer satisfaction, but it will also greatly differentiate your business from companies who simply “deliver” their services or products.


What’s Unique About Your Business?

June 14, 2018

In the business world, it seems that it’s always a company’s goal to be better – better price, better product, better service. However, that’s not always the best way to go about your business. Whenever a customer says “why shouldn’t I just go to the financial firm across the street?” and your answer is “because we’re better,” does the customer necessarily believe that?

What truly matters and what we should all be focusing on is being different. Think about what’s unique about your company. Most of the time, customers choose your business because of you, not knowing the products you offer because they loved what’s unique about you. If you look at really successful companies, they didn’t become successful because they wrote “WE ARE BETTER THAN THE OTHER GUY” as their headline. They outlined what’s unique about them and shared it with the world. And people bought their product because of them. 

So, you’re probably wondering: what’s something that could be different about your firm? The people, your leader, and staff. No other firm has the same people as yours does, and that’s one of the best ways to describe your uniqueness.

I’d like to leave this post with a few questions for you to think about:

  1. What’s something that you are doing that your competitors aren’t?
  2. What are you doing that’s exactly like your competitors that you could change?

Does Your Marketing Have a Purpose?

April 12, 2018

As a financial advisor, planner, or an attorney it’s highly important to ensure you have a compelling message with your marketing strategy. This is mainly because people are drawn to companies that are authentic and inspiring. The real question here lies in how do we go about creating our compelling marketing message? I always suggest to focus on the purpose of it all. If you ask a financial advisor what is the purpose of their marketing, most of them would say: “To bring in referrals,” “Build my prospect list,” “Grow business.” However, what they don’t realize is that they’re sharing their goals. The purpose of your marketing and your goals are two separate things. Goals are tangible, measurable, and dated. Purpose is infinite. It is the reason you do what you do. To successfully build your compelling message, one must create an effective purpose. And it is okay to revisit your purpose time to time. But once it is set, the goals are based off your purpose. I’d love to provide some tips on creating your purpose that go beyond the bottom line:

  • Stay authentic. Do you simply love helping people? Are you passionate about helping people reach their financial goals? Or do you love helping people get out of their financial struggles? Let that be heard in your purpose.
  • Specialize. What type of financial advisor/planner are you? Do you focus on a specific target market? Having a niche will actually provide a better and more focused type of service.
  • Have a story. Why did you start doing what you do? This doesn’t necessarily have to be written out in your purpose, but it’s a good idea to develop your story so you can share it with your prospects and clients. It provides the background to your purpose.

What’s the purpose of your marketing? Let us know in the comments below!


New Year, Stronger Marketing For Your Firm

December 28, 2017

As 2017 comes to an end, it is the perfect time to look back on annual reports and evaluate your progress. Although it is important to look back on your performance, it’s also just as important to plan for the upcoming year. The new year can be intimidating, especially when competition is heavy. While planning your marketing for the new year you should make sure that it is: strategic, measurable, attainable, and cost effective. There are various ways to develop your marketing plans on a budget but one of the best ways is to provide a “personal touch” and connection that most clients don’t expect, but certainly value. This means going above and beyond for the customer by showing extra care and doing things out of the ordinary that the customer doesn’t expect. Here are 5 methods in approaching a “personal side” of marketing:

  1. Have someone in charge of marketing. This doesn’t mean you need to develop a whole marketing department. Is there someone in your office that you consider a “people’s person” or someone who likes to put events together? Assign them to the marketing tasks. The tasks could vary from arranging seminars and events to updating the website and blogs. Rather it’s having a marketing consultant, an intern, or someone from your office, having someone assigned to the job will ensure that it gets done.
  2. Arrange a reverse seminar. Instead of you presenting to your client, have them present to you. This will put the “spotlight” on the client and will allow for them to feel engaged.
  3. Conduct an annual event. We all know of a few companies in our areas that are associated with certain charity events. That’s the goal for your firm. Having an annual event, especially involving charity, will not only help out your community but will also provide advertising opportunities.
  4. Pick up your phone and call! Sounds like something you should already know, but it’s one of the more effective (and free) ways to market. Instead of sending an email, give your client a call. Have the call be from the financial advisor or attorney that is working with the client. Discuss with them any business updates and ask if they have any questions. This also allows for the client to develop a relationship with the firm and feel like they are a part of the process, instead of being left in the dark. Make sure to personalize each call and switch up the subject.
  5. Go above and beyond with the simple things. This means whenever a client is in the office, make a fresh cup of coffee and add a snack with it. Have a welcome sign whenever the client is entering the office. Provide a welcome package, make parking arrangements, give a map, etc. Go the extra mile so that the client feels truly appreciated. And this will not only help your “personal side” marketing, but will also provide word-of-mouth marketing. The clients will tell their families, friends, and coworkers about this.

Have more ways on providing a “personal side” to marketing? Tell us by leaving a comment below:


How to market your content to potential clients

May 25, 2017

content

Taking the time to produce marketing content can be difficult. It’s not always easy to consistently come up with topics and ideas and over time you can start to feel like you’ve come to a dead-end. If you’ve been doing it for a while however, you know as well as I do that dead-ends are just an illusion. We always manage to come up with new ways to push forward; and so with all that work, of course we’d like to think that our readers are absorbing everything we have to offer, right?

That’d be nice, but I’m afraid not. I challenge you to ask a friend, that you know follows your publishings, how many times on average they actually read every word of your content. There’s a good chance you won’t like what they have to say; but try not to get discouraged. Time is valuable to people and sometimes it’s easier to just skim through the paragraphs rather than reading everything on the page.

In marketing, we are always trying to formulate new ideas and strategies to keep our techniques up-to-date; so much so that we can easily lose touch of the basics. One fundamental key principal of content marketing is BENEFITS over FEATURES.

Let me explain… Benefits are just as they sound. They are the value that the potential customer would receive from your services should they decide to become a client. For example, one way you could pitch a benefit is to say something like, “10% Increase in profitability guaranteed!” This is a benefit, and with all things that benefit us, we tend to give them more of our attention. In order to keep your content’s target audience interested and engaged, you need to make sure the benefits your services offer are standing out as much as possible.

Features are kind of like your credentials, so-to-speak. One example of a feature would be something along the lines of, “With over 25 years experience” or “Recipient of Best Firm Award”. These are features, and although they earn you credibility with whom you’re trying to market yourself to, they don’t necessarily capture the attention of the reader. Now, this is not to say features are bad. In fact, including them is very important; but you don’t want to make your pitch focused so much on your features that your benefits don’t get the chance to stand out.

As a rule of thumb, I like to recommend a ratio of 80/20 in favor of benefits. This way, you have a good percentage of features in your content so that your target audience can see what you’ve accomplished for others like them, but they also stay engaged in what you’re trying to sell them. Benefits are the key to getting people to pay attention to you. If you miss the opportunity to capture their attention, you miss the opportunity to serve them as your client; and nobody likes missed opportunities.


Happy New Year 2017

January 5, 2017

fireworks-879461_1920

What will 2017 bring?

This upcoming year brings a lot of change. A new year. A new presidency. Some of you are nervous, some of you are excited, some of you are a little of both. We have many unanswered questions … and I certainly don’t have the answers.

However, I know one thing for certain: I will continue to be concerned about my family, my friends, my business. I know that I will continue to serve my clients and help support their marketing efforts.

Even if we have no idea what the near year will bring, we know we can do our best to prepare and plan for it.

What marketing strategies are you going to implement in 2017? What new ways are you going to reach out to attract new clients? How are you planning on retaining the clients you have?

We need to be resilient in our ideas and follow through with our commitments. New year new me is an unrealistic assumption, but this is the year to know your voice, be creative, and focus on you in order to better your business and client satisfaction.

2017 is the year to return to the basics of human connection. Be present in all that you do, stick to your word, be creative and courageous, hone your strategy and focus on what matters to you.
Don’t let this be the year of resolutions not held.


The Importance of Handwritten Notes

September 29, 2016

The world we live in is quickly moving away from things like snail mail, and as millennials move into the workforce it can be easy for them to overlook things such as the power of a handwritten note. While a handwritten note might not be as common of a gesture to see, it will send a positive message to your potential employer.

to-write-224591_1920

Sending handwritten notes are important for much more than just after an interview, though. They can be sent to potential clients, donors, loyal customers, etc. Not everyone is going to send a note, so it will set you out from the rest of the competition, no matter the setting. It means much more to the recipient than you may realize. A note can, and should, even be sent for things like birthdays, anniversaries or other special events.

It doesn’t need to be long or extensive, something short and simple will do the trick. Thank whoever it is for the interview, service, etc. and mention who are you are. You will be remembered and it shows that you really care about the opportunity at hand.


6 Tips for Upping Your Visual Marketing Strategy

May 26, 2016

With the rise of social media, blogging, LinkedIn, and so much more, the opportunities for new forms of marketing are endless. According to a recent infographic from WebDAM, human’s visual intelligence is on the rise. This means that when considering your marketing and blogging strategy it is important to put just as much emphasize on your photo choices as you do on the words you use.

phone-793046_1920

Here are 6 tips on how to best utilize visuals:

  1. Think about color. You want your images to grab the readers attention and draw them in. Make sure to use bold colors or combinations to hold their interest, as well as make it easier for them to recall the information they read.
  2. Utilize your resources. There are many free tools out there, such as Pixlr, PicMonkey, and Pixabay, to download or edit images. Be sure to do your research and take advantage of the resources available to you.
  3. Keep it simple. While you want to use great colors, designs, and prints it’s important to remember that simple is usually better. You don’t want to be too busy and overwhelm the reader. Grab their attention, but don’t distract them.
  4. Make it mobile accessible. Oftentimes readers will be viewing your ads, blogs, or social media on a mobile device. It’s important to remember to keep your images or videos easily seen on mobile devices and able to load quickly.
  5. Be thoughtful. When choosing your visuals make sure to give thought to who you are marketing to and why, just like you would with written content. Think about the message that you are sending.
  6. Be consistent. The types images you choose should be consistent throughout your various marketing forums. Don’t forget that you are creating a brand for yourself.

We live in a digital world where everyone has instant access to images and and social media. Visual content can be shared with the click of a button and, according to a Buffer infographic, it is 40 times more likely to be shared on social networks. With millennials making their way into the work force, it is important for businesses to take advantage of these online and visual resources that are available.

In what ways do you use visuals to enhance your marketing strategies?


5 Tips to Stay in Contact With Potential Clients

May 12, 2016

When it comes to clients, we have all figured out the best ways to communicate and behave with them. What’s not always so clear is how to stay in contact with the people who have decided that now is not the best time to work with you. When running your business it’s important that you always keep yourself in the back of these customers minds, so that when it is time for them to commit you will be in the forefront. It’s important to keep track of these people or companies, and strategize how to best market yourself to them. Here are 5 tips to help foster better relationships with your potential clients.

 

street-sign-562573_1280

 

  1. Social Media Engagement. A great way to stay in contact with your potential clients is through social media. In a business relationship you should connect with them on LinkedIn. To encourage a more personal relationship, feel free to add them or promote yourself using other outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a video on how connect through Facebook.
  2. Utilize Newsletters, Articles, and Blogs. Similar to social media, it’s important to show potential clients the type of work you do, what your expertise is in, and how your business is doing. A convenient and efficient way to do this is through the use of weekly or monthly newsletters or regular blog posts.
  3. Invite Them to Events. If you are hosting a business, social, or personal event for your clients, be sure to invite your prospective clients as well. This not only gives you an opportunity to talk with your prospective clients on a more personal level, but it also allows them to see the type of service and relationships you maintain with your clients.
  4. Make an Introduction. A great way to make a lasting impression is to think about who you may know that would be beneficial for the potential client to know as well. Maybe you had a conversation about how they wanted to expand an area of their business and you have a connect in that field. Introduce them! It will show them that you are already invested in their success.
  5. Check In and Be Responsive. Send them a small gift if you recently had a meeting, a holiday card if it’s that time of year, or a birthday card if you know it’s their birthday. Even simpler than that is making sure you are keeping up on your email and social media. Make sure to respond to comments, calls, or emails quickly, whether they be positive or negative.

The key to great client relationships is great communication. Keep these tips in the back of your mind as you foster your new relationships, and work to maintain old.

What are your tips for potential client relationships?


Make your Homepage a Home Run

September 17, 2015

house home homepage

Creating a website is an intricate task. There are many elements to attend to and some might get lost in the shuffle. An important aspect to stay focused on is your homepage. This is where your clients will see how you choose to represent yourself and it may be their first impression of your business. Make it count. Here are some tips to make your homepage more successful.

  • Simple Headline. The first thing clients will read when they get to your homepage is the headline. Make it strait to the point so they know they’re in the right place and you can offer them what they need.
  • Don’t Get Lost. Make sure the homepage is easy to navigate and clearly allows customers to go to other parts of your site. If they can’t figure out how to get the information they need, they’ll move on to another website.
  • A Picture’s Worth 1000 Words. Make sure your homepage has a picture that supports your business. Real images of you and your company are ideal. Try to avoid boring stock photos. Videos are a great way to introduce yourself to a potential client, so try creating a short video to post on your page.
  • Offer Something More. Have a link to your newest blog post or a free download of your ebook. This gives people incentive to stay on your site and learn more about your expertise. Providing content gives you credibility and proves to client you know your stuff.
  • Brag a Little. Your homepage is where you want to show off! Make a good impression by listing awards and recognitions your business has received. Impress your future clients immediately by putting these on your homepage.

Your website is important, but your homepage is your first impression. Make it a good one by employing these tips. You never know what a good homepage will get you.

 

How did you make your homepage successful?