Your estate or elder law practice can survive a bit of benign neglect during good times, but the current economy places greater demands on your marketing skills. A recession is nothing if not unforgiving. Mistakes today are not easily overcome. Now is not the time to lose your focus. Remember, the economy WILL recover. But relationships that you allow to fall away now may never be recovered, or only at great cost. Maintaining relationships with your clients and key referral sources and building your brand integrity in the marketplace is imperative to a swift recovery.
In This Environment of Change, Build Client Relationships
The best-kept secret about the recession? It is rife with opportunity. Did you know that more fortunes were made during the Great Depression than at any other time in our history? Those who keep their heads and invest wisely can see great results today, too.
Don't let budget worries now undermine your practice development efforts. If money is tight, give us a call and let us brainstorm with you about ways to stretch your budget. We have many options that can relieve your current budget constraints, while still maintaining your valuable relationships and building your brand today for a quick recovery later. This way, you'll not only stay profitable now, but you will be ready to “hit the ground running” when times are better.
The three biggest opportunities you have right now, are:
Build trust-based relationships with your clients, many of whom came to you through a financial advisor relationship that they may have since abandoned. As clients are switching advisor relationships, you have an opportunity to step in as the trusted advisor to keep. This can help you build relationships (and referrals) with their new advisors, AND protect you from having your clients stolen away by these same new advisors who might otherwise be less friendly toward you.
Strategy: Build client relationships with your newsletter. If you cannot afford to mail monthly to all of your clients, then implement a blended approach. Mail quarterly, email monthly. Or mail monthly to your top clients. Let your clients choose whether they want email or snail mail. Court your clients now. Do NOT let those relationships turn cold. Using your SELECT newsletter, you can minimize your time investment, and yet maximize your personalization. Include your own articles, write directly to your clients. Make it really WORK for you.
Go directly to niche markets and target consumers, bypassing the financial advisor relationship altogether. Witness the marketing campaign recently launched by Charles Schwab. Schwab is capitalizing on the fact that many people are dissatisfied with their financial advisors, encouraging to "take the reins" on their own investments. Times of change, uncertainty and transition are OPPORTUNITIES that you did not have before. Step in NOW to take advantage of these “loose prospects” in the marketplace!
Strategy: Implement a consumer marketing strategy. Identify your niche markets and optimize your website to attract them. Utilize keywords to improve your search engine ranking. Add valuable and compelling content to keep visitors on your site. Include interactive components that allow you to capture leads and then drip-market to them. An e-newsletter is a MUST. Targeted web content, webinars, even recorded teleconferences and white papers are all good ways to start capturing leads and turning your website into a marketing workhorse. Remember that your website must attract visitors, retain visitors, and capture lead (contact) information. Then you must have a method in place to drip-market to your leads and convert them into clients.
Caveat: Don't be the last to adapt to recession-induced changes in consumer behavior! Be aware that consumer habits that are changing now, likely will NOT go back to the way they were before. Folks who are dumping their financial advisors and going online to do their own research, or working with discount brokers like Charles Schwab are highly unlikely to EVER go back to their financial advisor relationship. Once bitten, twice shy. You need to position yourself NOW to market directly to consumers.
Team-up with quality financial advisors. Even the best financial advisors are challenged right now by the melt-down in the financial services industry. This is a great time to build (or re-build) quality relationships, bring new marketing ideas, and help your best referral sources thrive.
Strategy: Focus on select referral relationships. There are always a few stand-outs in any industry, and you likely know which financial advisors qualify. Focus on them. Send them your newsletter (preferably to their home) and your e-newsletter (to their office). Bring fresh ideas to them. Keep them close. Use your SELECT customization options to write directly to them. Add content to your website that will help them sell estate planning concepts. Have us build a webinar on your website, give your top financial advisors a password and let them use your webinar in their offices to sell your services.
There are many marketing strategies to help you do this, even with a constrained budget. For as little as $299 a year, you can add topic-specific, engaging content to your website that will drive traffic to your site, improve your search engine rankings, and help you reach your target markets.
Here is an example: http://www.estateplanningpartners.com/IMS_Content_Modules.htm
To learn more about website content modules, or other recession-savvy, budget-friendly marketing strategies, call us at 1-877-352-2021. Ask for James. We are more than happy to brainstorm with you and come up with the best marketing solutions for YOUR practice NOW.