We all want the same things. You want to add new clients, and you would like them to come to you. You have someone on your staff who understands technology. You want a system that doesn’t cost much, if anything at all, in monetary terms. Fortunately, that's not too much to ask.
This strategy is not for everyone. There are accountants who avoid social media or only use it for personal, not business purposes. Let’s assume you buy into technology and social prospecting.
You will seek to add clients through the gateway of financial planning. Taking on new clients for tax preparation only can be a difficult game to win. Financial planning is a much bigger portal. Your aim will be to provide comprehensive financial planning as an advisory service that carries a cost.
You are uniquely positioned. Financial advisors and insurance agents advertise similar services. Their objective is to sell product. Pure financial planners often operate on a fee only basis. They provide a plan, you buy investments where you choose. Most people in the financial services world make a big point of explaining “We don’t provide tax advice.” You do.
Here’s the Plan
When 2021 dawns, every taxpayer will be wondering, “How is the new administration going to change the tax code? Will I be paying more? Clients who wait to see are acting, not reacting. Embracing financial planning put them in the driver’s seat. They see the big picture.
You will put together a series of at least five simple webinars, backed by print versions that address different aspects of this question. They will be short and to the point. They don’t need to be made for TV quality. Zoom or a similar format is fine.
Step One: You need a plan. The object will be to get people to contact you to learn more. You will be casting a wide net. You want prospects to watch a video or read a written version. You want them to reach out. You want to engage with them immediately, introducing financial planning.
Step Two: Choose topics. Compelling contact will have two characteristics. It’s something people need to know. It’s information they would otherwise pay to learn. You can find several “what if” scenarios addressing different segments of your target market. No one knows what the future holds concerning tax changes, but the building blocks of financial planning are pretty constant. List logical concerns, like the effect on retirement planning. Using if/then scenarios, consider possible outcomes. Your aim is to release a new one each week.
Step Three: Design content. You are creating short videos, 3-5 minutes in length.. People have short attention spans. You will be on camera, but also create some Powerpoint slides. Add an interesting photo or two. People like visuals. Consider including a subject matter expert as an interviewee. Two heads are better than one. Your tech savvy team member can help.
Step Four: Produce and distribute content. Using Zoom or another video platform, record and produce each segment. You will have a video link along with a white paper text version for people who don’t like watching videos. You might post the videos to YouTube.
Step Five: Promote on social media. You should have a company page on LinkedIn and a Face Book business page. You have an extensive network on connections on both platforms plus membership in several LinkedIn groups. You also have a website. Through a series of posts, group posts and individual messages, you promote each new video every week. Make things as easy as possible. People can access the link through the message. They can visit your company page. They can gain access through your group posts. This last category is key, because it gets the message out to a wider audience who aren’t your connections.
Step Six: Additional promotion. E-mail the link to clients and prospects. Include the link in your e-newsletter. Consider running a series of print ads in your weekly local newspaper. If this sounds too “old school” read your local paper. You will see financial planners staking out this space. Drive traffic to your website. Provide links to the previous week’s videos on your site.
Step Seven: The call to action. You are educating while looking for business. You need action steps. Preparing for the future requires a financial plan. It’s a dynamic document. You are well placed to provide this service because you are a fiduciary. 2021 is the year they need a comprehensive financial plan. Give reasons. Provide several ways to get in touch.
Step Eight: Follow up. All this time and effort had one goal: Get the viewer to reach out. They might comment on your LinkedIn group post or send an invitation to connect. They reply to your message. They might send an e-mail response or they might call. You need a system to acknowledge every inquiry and a way to follow up almost immediately. Technology can provide a canned response. This should buy you a few hours, one day maximum. You need to call or message them back, treating them as an interest prospect or at least a warm lead.
Step Nine: Keeping leads alive. Some people will become clients. Others will ask questions and disappear. With their permission, engage in a drip campaign. They receive your eNewsletter. They get notifications of future videos. You send them a LinkedIn message with the next video link. When they conclude they need financial planning, you want to be the first name that comes to mind.
Lots of people are prepared to sell you social media marketing strategies. Many can be impersonal. You are developing your own content, controlling distribution and following up. Outside of your time or a staff member’s, the out-of-pocket cost is virtually zero.
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