Your 7 step marketing plan

Everyone knows that the beginning of a new year calls for a review of the past 12 months and planning for the future… We hope our 7 step marketing plan will help you gain a head start for the year. Good luck!

1. Set your goals

The TOP 3 things you will need to achieve your goals this year will depend on your current phase of business.

Growth phase – you will need

  1. Lead generation strategies
  2. Training for top conversion
  3. Additional resources and/or technology to manage new enquiry

Maintenance phase – you will need

  1. A professional client education and communication program
  2. A range of communication and touch points
  3. Systems to ensure low maintenance

Diversification phase – you will need

  1. Accreditation and training on your new products
  2. Strategies for cross-selling to existing clients
  3. Client education on new product and services

Retirement phase – you will need

  1. Everything in the ‘maintenance phase’ above
  2. A planned exit strategy (succession planning, systems, procedures, accountability)
  3. Marketing results analysis to improve the pending sale price or to maximise the ongoing retention of your businesss

2. Find new business

Everyone seems to be looking online for their next lead. AND spending a lot of money trying to achieve this: Google AdWords™, SEO, Facebook advertising…

We suggest you start by examining where your clients came from last year, then increase your activity in those areas that were most successful.

Most finance businesses survive on referrals from existing clients.

I always find it to be an interesting exercise when I ask this question in my workshop sessions. Over 99% of people tell me they get 80+% of their business from referrals, however when I ask them to do the calculation of how many of their client base actually refer it is ALWAYS between 2-5%.

MOST of your business comes from existing clients, however most of your client base DOES NOT REFER TO YOU…

So where is your BIGGEST lead generation opportunity THIS YEAR?
From your EXISTING client base and your business partners.

Consider the strategies you can put in place to increase your referral rates. You are actually really good at this already – so just ask more often and put some systems in place to make it easier for you.

If you have a low referral rate then you need our help. If you don’t have a large client base, then you also need our help.

3. Connect with your audience

There are many ways to stay in touch and connect with your target market. Consider a range of these mediums:

Print media

This is now the most ‘cut through’ communication medium you can invest in. Do not dismiss this old but still proven method of client education and engagement.

While everyone’s inbox is cluttered, why not stand out and pop something in a letter box directly to your clients? At least it will get opened!

Email marketing

A must for all businesses.

Explore how YOU can be different this year and cut through all the online clutter. Think about the content you need to create to gain a better readership and open rates. How good are your calls to action (CTAs)? Investigate the system you use to analyse your open rates and learn about how you can get more action from email marketing.

SMS

Everyone has a mobile permanently attached to their hand. Think about creative ways to engage your clients this year via SMS to fill your diary with a click.

YCM has a range of SMS campaigns to fill your diary fast!

Website

I am sorry to say that if your website is 4 years old or more it’s time to dump it and get a new one.

What content can you use to create downloadable factsheets for your website? Remember to request client details before they access it. Name, email address AND their mobile number.

Digital and online marketing

You will need to obtain great content and graphics (with copyright privileges), engaging CTAs AND a way to capture data from your online followers.

Plan your education to keep up to date this year with social media and technology to increase your digital footprint.

Audio

Podcasts are becoming popular amongst brokers and planners to connect with new audiences. Research how can you turn your great content into awesome podcasts.

Videos

I’m backing that videos will be another winning client communication medium that will get even bigger this year. Start thinking about how you can use videos to gain more business awareness and activity.

4. Educate your clients

We have all heard that ‘content is KING’. THINK about how YOUR CONTENT will stand out from the crowd. Why will your readers want to connect with you? What don’t they know that you can teach them? How can you help them with their finance challenges? Learn strategies to use content in ways that no one else does.

Is your content different to your other 2,000 broking friends?

5. Plan the activity required for success

Who will do the work?

YOU? If so:

  • Block out time to learn what to do and how to do it
  • Block out time to do the activities
  • Develop a plan to ensure that the marketing activity will still be actioned, delivered and followed up when you get busy…

The easiest way to lose a client is to NOT call them back!

STAFF? If so:

  • Block out time to build the processes and train them
  • Create and develop systems in case of staff turnover and illnesss
  • Make sure they are working on the day you want the marketing delivered and followed up
  • Plan your marketing around your holidays if you can

OUTSOURCE? Ask yourself:

  • Should I use a professional company that has the knowledge, experience AND understands your industry (know anyone?)
  • Do they have the knowledge, skills, resources and time to produce and deliver on your behalf?
  • Will they maintain consistency when you are busy and your staff are away?
  • Can they help and support your business when times are tough? (But you need to let them know you need help!)

6. Track and measure your results

ALWAYS measure your responses and results. Remember not all business will come from the first campaign or marketing activity.

Education and relationships take a while to nurture. A call today that may lead nowhere has a higher chance of conversion later on IF you STAY in touch on a regular basis and via many methods.

But don’t over communicate!

Put yourself in the shoes of your clients. How many times would you want to hear from your broker/planner?

7. Set up accountability structures

If you don’t have someone to hold you accountable there is greater risk that you will not achieve your goals.

Find someone who will keep you accountable to your goals this year!

Who will it be?

You? Your partner? A staff member? An industry colleague? Your coach or mentor? YCM???

The key to writing more loans – educating your clients

As business owners, it is a juggle to generate leads, process loans and think about how and when to engage with clients for future income.

In the world of finance, it is easy to assume our clients know what they need and when they need it. It is easier to believe clients will call when they need you than it is for you to pick up the phone and ask them how their circumstances are going and if they are reaching their financial goals.

If only there were more hours in the day

If you had more hours in the day, would you call your clients and say….

“Now that your kids have left home, how about we get you into that investment property you have always wanted?”

“Now that you have paid off that car loan, we can help you start your investment portfolio.”

Most loan writers feel uncomfortable about ‘chasing the loan’. BUT what if there were an easier way to bring your business forward? Well there is…

Through educating your clients

The key to writing more loans is to educate your clients, be relevant and stay top of mind. This is important for future repeat business. It is easy to lose touch with clients and lose future income. We regularly see property owners switching brokers over time when their circumstances change and they are ready to re-invest or upgrade because the broker has lost contact and they are no longer top of mind with the client.

While staying in touch may sound obvious, it is not as easy as you may think – otherwise everyone would be doing it.

We all try to educate our clients by sending newsletters or articles of interest.

With all of these things we do, how many of us stop and think about what messages and information we should send as opposed to sending something that that sounds good and is within our budget?

How many articles are simply that – articles?

  • Do your articles educate your clients sufficiently that they start to challenge their own thinking, but not too much so that they go away and make their own decisions with you?
  • Do your articles back your education with a good ‘call to action’ to get that phone ringing?
  • Do your articles encourage clients to educate themselves further, leaving them begging for more information and support in their decision making?

A really good education process is one that:

  • Encourages engagement from your client
  • Creates enough interest to enquire more
  • Generates business for you – perhaps even bringing the business forward before it was going to happen

Do you have the time and the right content?

We know as business owners it is hard enough to get the loans processed, let alone having to think about how and when to engage our clients with good education and calls to action.

While you keep doing what you are good at, let us take the worry out of your marketing and client education. If you need some help in this area, we would be delighted to have a chat with you.

If you already have someone doing your marketing for you, then you need to pose the question to yourself… Are they creating the engagement you are looking for, or are they simply sending out articles and posts?

Your Client Matters has been providing marketing and education services for the finance industry for over 13 years and we have proven results from our marketing initiatives and processes.

We go beyond posting industry announcements and press articles. Our unique content, education and training is why we are different.

If we can be of any help, we would love the opportunity to speak with you. Otherwise, good luck with your business. We hope you are achieving your desired results from your marketing activities.

If you would like to know more about educating your clients, contact your YCM marketing team on 1300 926 000 for a personal chat.

 

 

Building your database – Over 30 different ways

Your Client Matters works with many brokers on a daily basis. Every single day we talk to many brokers who are considering our program AND who use our program. We meet brokers at events, we speak to aggregators, associations, training providers and industry partners – and they find the same challenges for brokers that we do.

Our observations about how brokers take care (or not) of their client base are very common.

The biggest challenge, whether you are new to the industry OR have been here for years like us, is that MOST (no not all) are guilty of NOT putting everyone they know on their client communication program (that’s your newsletter service) and are also guilty of not adding to your list each week/month/quarter.

Why?

You

  • are too busy?
  • have forgotten?
  • don’t train your admin person?
  • don’t really understand WHY you should?
  • don’t want to bombard your friends with your marketing?
  • don’t want to ‘sell’ to family and friends?

This is how I look at it.

For every person you know and don’t put on your list – someone else is marketing to them – and that’s another broker or a bank! This is costing you a commission on their loan every 3-5 years, not to mention your trail. Add that one up over a 5 year period!

It’s also costing the people who you know, love and care for the risk of going directly to a bank! Shocking!

So I’ll give you some basics that you should all be doing, then join YCM on our webinar for the other 25+ channels of people you already know! You’ll be surprised how quickly we GROW your database!

5 Database channels that are a MUST!

  1. All your immediate family (no judgements here please)
  2. Your extended family – yes those as well
  3. All your friends
  4. Your interstate friends
  5. Previous work colleagues

If you just add 10 people in each of these categories you’ll add another 50 people to your list.

What if 20% of them needed to refinance? Had too much debt? Needed a new car? Wanted to get an investment property? Had children buying their first home?

That’s 10 loans just sitting there in that list of people you are not communicating with.

And we’re only at number 5. We have over 30 ways you can add people you already know to your contact list.

So how do you get access to our great database building strategies?

Join us for our webinar on Wednesday 27 April at 2pm AEST for the most valuable webinar you will tap into this year.

Just because you give them a sausage don’t expect a loan!

In the January issue of your marketing matters we introduced you to a young gun of the industry who is achieving fantastic results. His key strategy is simple – get out and meet lots of people. Using a combination of open homes, networking and sponsorship of community events he meets up to 300 new people per month!

Of course, sponsorship of community events is a popular strategy for many mortgage brokers. Tossing a few snags on a barbie and chatting to locals would SEEM to be a good way of raising your profile and generating leads within your community. My observation is that sponsorship CAN be a good brand awareness exercise – if done correctly – but it’s NOT necessarily a lead generation exercise. It can take a long time before leads AND loans start rolling in.

I have seen many brokers use this strategy only to eventually lose hope – and interest – after a lot of lost weekends and very few income opportunities.

If brand awareness is your sole aim then sponsorship can be terrific – if you have the time and money to invest in making it work. But I doubt brand awareness is the primary driver for most businesses that enter into sponsorship arrangements.

It’s great to provide the sausage sandwiches at an event because you get to meet everyone. Who doesn’t love a sausage sandwich? But it can be hard work too. You’ve been up since the crack of dawn, the BBQ is fired up, you have your signage, umbrellas and brochures to hand out and there are people lined up around the park…

But where does it go from there? Well usually… nowhere. Why? Because you didn’t give them a reason to call you.

After all, just because you give them a sausage don’t expect a loan.
You really have to do more than just feed them!

So what SHOULD you do?
Firstly, why do you WANT to pursue sponsorship? Is it simply to be an involved parent? That’s great. Enjoy! Or perhaps you want to build your profile in the community? That may also be a worthwhile exercise – but you generally need to take part regularly and promote your brand consistently.

However, if generating income is your primary aim then you need to consider the following:

  • What is your time worth? Time is money. How many loans do you need to write to make the hours and financial outlay at sponsorship events worth your while? 1 or 2 loans per month? More? If you’re happy giving up weekend time to get 1-2 loans a month you need to estimate how many leads you need each week to:
    • create the enquiry, to
    • lead to appointments, to
    • deliver those 1 or 2 loans.
  • Then – and this is often the missing link – you need to collect their details to capture every possible lead!
  • Even more importantly, you need to have a communication system in place so you can follow up every lead – with a friendly reminder of how you met to stop them from OPTING out of your ongoing communication.
    PLEASE NOTE that I said ongoing communication!

That’s right! The missing element I see in most sponsorship strategies is 1) an easy, effective and non-threatening method for collection of names and contact details and 2) a marketing strategy and established communication system for initial follow up PLUS ongoing communication for further engagement with your leads.

Your new leads may not need a loan right now but chances are they – or someone they know – will need one in the future!

So what IS the best way of collecting leads AND turning them into loans? Well that’s a whole new subject. And, I have some fantastic and original ideas!

Want to know more? Then you don’t want to miss our upcoming webinar…

Will brand awareness send me broke?

Date of webinar: Wednesday 30 March 2:00pm – 3:00pm AEDT

Most businesses are told to ‘sponsor the local footy club’, ‘attend the school fete’ or ‘have a sausage sizzle at nippers’ etc to gain more community awareness and generate leads. The problem is that this can be quite expensive to set up and attend. Then you can very well leave without any new names for your database.

Join YCM to hear about what not to do and what you can try next time you’re running a community project.

While you’re here we will also talk about ‘social networking’ and how to gain headway in the online social world.

Would you like to know more about our program?Call the office TODAY on 02 9526 9999 to speak to Linda. She will tell you HOW you can use the YCM marketing program to generate NEW leads and long term clients.

Shine bright like a diamond and let’s ‘get engaged’ this year

Upon entering a jewellery store to find the perfect diamond for your special someone you see a cabinet full of beautiful sparkling diamonds. They all appear to have what you are looking for but they have different pricing. The sales person greets you and starts to talk to you about a few that have caught your eye. They explain the 4Cs:

  1. cut
  2. colour
  3. clarity
  4. carat

That’s when you realise that not all diamonds are created equal.

It is an overwhelming decision. You are investing your hard earned cash in this diamond.

How will you know:

  • your diamond will be accepted and loved by your special someone?
  • the quality is as it is sold to you?
  • if there are any imperfections?
  • whether the size of the diamond matters, or if the quality is more important?

Why are we talking about diamonds you may ask?

Well, choosing the right diamond is very much like choosing the right marketing program for your company.

These days there are many options and at face value many seem to be the same. But upon closer inspection there are BIG differences. HUGE!

So how do you know what program is the right one for you? And more importantly the best one for YOUR clients, YOUR business and the engagement YOU are wanting from your clients?

Let’s explore the 4Cs of marketing

1) Commitment

Firstly, are you committed to making a change in 2016? This may mean stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something different. After all, the finance industry is very different than it was a few years ago and so are your marketing options. But you can’t just swap and change all the time – this brings inconsistency. You need to research thoroughly then make a commitment to your goals, objectives and the decisions you have made based on your research. Just like a partnership…

2) Consistency

Are your marketing communications being sent consistently to your clients or are they sporadic? Do you have a consistent look and feel, message, style, follow up and engagement – or is it a little hit and miss? Are you allowing time on a consistent and regular basis to develop and implement your marketing plan or are you hoping it will just send itself out and the phone will ring? Is your marketing consistent regardless of whether you change aggregators or businesses?

3) Content

Does the content in your communication give your clients a reason to call you? Does it trigger a response with your readers to take action and call you? Does it give them something different to think about? Is it content that can’t be found on the internet and different to most of your competitors? Is it relevant to a range of demographics and not simply the basics of finance?

4) CLIENTS on YOUR CRM

Past, present and future. They must all be contacted. Last year you may have helped them review their mortgage but this year you may need to talk about other life events that could happen and prepare for them in advance. Do they have kids leaving day care and going into primary school? Do you have clients heading back into the workforce full time? How many of your clients will be paying off their car loan and could now invest?

These are only a few opportunities to discuss with clients on how they can invest the additional savings they will now have because of their changing circumstances!

If your current marketing program doesn’t include the 4Cs of marketing then perhaps it is time to review and make 2016 YOUR year!

Call the diamond marketing specialists for the finance industry – Your Client Matters – to gain perfect clarity on WHY the YCM marketing program will provide you with consistency, content and client engagement, then commit to a quality communication program for your someone special (your clients) this year!

Let’s get engaged!

Engage with YCM so your clients can engage with you, and we can all live financially happily ever after.

The hidden marketing secret – PS: SMS

QUICK QUIZ:

What is the one thing everyone has at least one of, that we would never be caught out without, that’s permanently attached to our body, that’s the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we look at each night (we even take it to bed with us) AND we can’t live without?

Yes – it’s our SMART PHONE

NEXT QUIZ:

What do you always check as soon as you know its there?

   Your email?
   Your letter box?
   Your social media feeds?
   Your text messages?

Correct – your text messages!

Most of us do some form of marketing. Whether it be direct mail, email or social media. All of these have different results.

One of the most powerful marketing tools we have sits in our pockets or handbags all day every day and it is the most underutilised method of marketing.

Here are some SMS tips for you this month to increase action and engagement from your clients!

Send an SMS:

DAILY
1.    to all new contacts you meet to save your contact card so they have your number at all times
2.    to your client on their birthday (there are services that will do this for you)
3.    to remind clients of your appointment the day before or morning of
4.    to thank them, nice to meet you, looking forward to working with them
5.    when you can’t call them but need to let them know of an update urgently

MONTHLY
6.    to collect email addresses (it’s cheaper and faster than calling them or paying someone else to call them for you) YCM has strategies for this – please call us and ask for them.
7.    to ask them for new email addresses when their email bounces
8.    to all past clients so they have your number handy in case they have any questions or want to call you
9.     when you’ve sent them an important email that you want them to read
10.    with a tiny URL to register for your next event (Please click here https://tinyurl.com/nu543k4 to join us for our next webinar on ‘Maximising SMS marketing with your clients’)

QUARTERLY
11.    early in the week before your quarterly magazine is going out – look out in your letter box this week!!! Or – Your magazine

[will be in the post/was sent in the post] this week. Call me if it didn’t arrive.
12.   To remind your clients to ENTER YOUR COMPETITION. (Use one of the referral code snippets we provide you to track results.)

AND OUR BEST AND NEWEST BIGGEST SECRET
13.   But you’ll have to watch our webinar to find out. Aw shucks!

Click here to register for our next webinar.

Click the secret password to book a private chat with Linda at YCM about our hidden range of marketing tips and resources. These are provided as part of the YCM marketing program.
THE PASSWORD FOR PREFERENTIAL ACCESS TO LINDA’S DIARY IS… PS: SMS.
Or you can call Linda on 02 9526 9999


Webinar overview

We all have a SMART phone so it’s NOW time to BE SMART with it!

Join YCM to learn how brokers and other business owners are using SMS marketing to gain attention, increase engagement and ensure better results from their clients.

A nice short one this month, so be sure not to miss it! We have a ‘super duper’ new SMS idea to create more engagement from your clients. Not to be missed! Results will happen when you use these strategies.

Limited places so register now.

Wednesday 25 November 2pm AEDT