Advisor Marketing, Part 2: Don’t write a plan

Before we get started on Part 2, let’s do a quick re-cap of Advisor Marketing, Part 1:

a. The ultimate purpose of your marketing is to get people to DO something. (Right, simple.)
b. It’s our human nature to take action and DO something when we see a solution to the problems we feel. (Right, it’s the hungry caveman thing.)
a + b =  The best marketing is about solving a problem that your prospective customers care about, not selling your services.

Great. This new golden rule for everything marketing is logical, clear and concise. You’re eager to get started, but how? You may be surprised by my Part 2 advice.

Too much, too soon

Advice #1 – Don’t plan. Yes you read that correctly. One of my first pieces of advice is to resist your instinct to plan. Planning is important, critical even, but it comes into play much later. It’s too soon to plan.

For now, don’t set anything up – don’t write an annual marketing calendar, don’t hire a marketing intern, and don’t buy a bunch of marketing software. Why? Because you’re developing a habit and I’d argue that planning to develop a habit actually decreases your chance at success.

We’ve all seen it before… think about people who go on fad diets, for example. It’s easy to get hyper-excited about a new program, spend hours and hours laying out the “perfect plan” and drop a ton of money on fancy products to help you execute that perfect plan. You’ll spend the first few days or weeks feeling great. But then your “perfect plan” becomes the enemy. It begins to feel too rigid, you’re overwhelmed by the rules, and you slip back into your old habits. Before you know it, those fitness DVDs you “had to have” are now collecting dust and you’re ordering two double-bacon, extra cheese breakfast sandwiches at the drive thru. It happens despite best intentions.

Planning to develop a habit (in this case, the way you do marketing) feels empowering at first, but later realizing you have to follow the plan will leave you overwhelmed and intimidated. Most beginner marketers give up. Instead, what’s my motto for you? Done is better than perfect.

And the winning number is… 30

Advice #2 – Do a little bit every day. Any sustainable shift in habit is done over time. Consistency over intensity. It takes about 30 days to create a new habit, so exercise your marketing golden rule a little each day – for 30 days straight. It will take practice before this becomes second nature, so just start doing it.

HOW do you start? Simple.

At the end of Part 1 you wrote down a hyper-specific profile of your ideal client and reflected on the unique challenges they face.  Well, start addressing their problems. Do it everywhere you go. Every time you have a client meeting, write a new blog post, or make changes to your website, be sure you’re focused on addressing the problems your ideal prospect cares about. The easiest way to get started is by sharing useful content. I’ve listed several types of content “fuel”, and some “vehicles” you can use to share them with clients / prospects:

 Carpe diem

Today is Day 1. Go out and talk about clients’ problems and how you solve them. Really commit to doing a little every day for 30 days.  Tip: Put a 15-minute event in your calendar if you need a simple reminder to pause and DO it. *Also put a reminder on Day 30 to come back and read Part 3! You won’t want to miss what’s next…

For advisors who want to improve their marketing in conjunction with improved performance reporting, consider a client portal.









Carolyn McRae Carolyn is Blueleaf’s in-house marketing guru. She writes on The Blueleaf Blog to make advisors’ lives easier, offering practice management and client engagement tips where and when they’re useful. Outside of the Blueleaf offices, she can be found running a 10k or cooking her famous chili. Chat LIVE with Carolyn on Twitter @BlueleafAdvisor!