How Automation Can Win New Clients

automationSo the phrase “Content is King” rings true for many industries looking to attract customers.

It’s the same with financial advisors.

Showcasing your knowledge and personality goes a long way to winning over prospective clients. But you could be playing the game all wrong.

Do people visit your website and then leave? Is it completely up to them to come back, learn more and then contact you to learn more about working with you?

Why are you making it so hard for yourself?

What if there was a system where they could visit your website, get a free gift from you, but then be in frequent communication with you until they decided it was time to work with you or find someone else?

And what if this communication could be 100% automated, but still be in your voice? Sounds like heaven, right? Well, the technology is at your fingertips.

How does this work?

The way to get this to work effectively is to follow a 3-step process:

1. Offer a free product that is insanely valuable that no-one will want to pass it up

2. Capture their name and email address in exchange for this gift

3. Use your email marketing software (AWeber, MailChimp) to send them automated emails

I’ll give you the summary on first two steps. You’ll want to create a book, podcast or video series that you would only give to potential clients. Make it so valuable, in-depth and visually appealing that someone would willingly give up their contact information for it.

In their eagerness, they give you their name and email address, click on the confirmation email and receive the information.

Step 3 is where you continue to educate them, diagnose their problems, provide a case study of their problem and offer them your service, maybe at a discount. This 5-6 email campaign is pre-written and loaded into your email marketing software but gets personalized with their name when it is sent out. Each email gets sent on a pre-set schedule depending on when someone signs-up for the freemium, and you can track at what stage someone is in the email chain.

“It sounds too standardized and boring for my potential clients complex needs.”

Don’t over estimate your clients here – everyone needs to see your value and be sold on your services before using them. These can’t just be your standard cut-and-dry emails explaining the financial implications of someone’s situation. That’s boring.

These need to be engaging, fresh and guiding someone towards taking action. I hired a copywriter to write my emails and she was worth every penny.

So what should your email campaign look like?

Educate – the main reason why your visitor opted in to receive your free information was to learn more about their situation or what you were offering. This was incredibly generous of you to share this for free, but offer even more. Explain some of the finer points in your book/podcast/video series, or break down a complicated financial situation in which your ideal clients find themselves. Over the course of two emails, you need to provide even more information that it’s obvious you are an expert at the topic of personal finance.

Diagnose – my hope with this email sequence is that you are targeting a niche market or problem set. Having researched this market, you should be aware of the key problems they are facing – for Illinois teachers that I am looking to attract, it’s preparing for retirement with a pension in flux. You should be telling your reader about their main problems (that they currently have or may be facing in the future) and show them what damage these can cause if not addressed.

Case Study – the 4th email in your chain should show how you’ve helped someone in his or her situation. Use a current client’s situation, changing names to protect the innocent, explain what problems they faced, how you fixed them and how much better the client’s life is as a result. Your job with this writing is to get the reader to see him or herself in your client’s situation and show that they need your help. Again, this is where a skilled writer comes into play.

The Offer – Whether you offer a discount to your original pricing (I suggest you do), you need to be shameless in trying to convert this prospect. If they have got this far in the email chain, they are aware of what problems they face and how you would help someone in their shoes. Now is your opportunity to explain your services and pricing so they can see if they want to move forward. Reduce the barrier further by offering a discount for a limited period of time, so they take action quickly.

(Optional) The Follow-up – I use this “closer” email in some of my auto responder campaigns, but not all of them. Shooting a prospect a quick email asking for a 10-minute phone call can be quite disarming. They will know that you have set a time limit to the call and if they like what you have been writing, they may be open to chatting. I have spoken to people who have opted-in on my site who I would never have spoken to before, so it does work.

The beautiful thing about this whole process is that the emails are written once. Once they are queued up in your software, then you don’t have to lift a finger. All you’ll have to do is respond to the emails coming from prospects asking what time you’d like to call them. That’s a nice problem to have!

Dave Grant Dave Grant, CFP®, is the founder of Finance For Teachers a fee-only RIA in Cary, IL. Dave exclusively serves teachers in Illinois by helping them to organize their financial lives and live a fulfilled life. He is also a columnist at Financial Planning magazine, a ghost writer for various companies, and the founder of NAPFA Genesis, a networking group for over 300 young, fee-only planners.