As a financial advisor, you can’t always be there when a client or prospect has a need. You can only hope that you’re the first person they think of when they want to discuss it or when one of your clients is asked to recommend an advisor. That’s where top-of-mind awareness comes in. If you can develop it effectively, your name is more likely to be the first to come to mind when they have a need.
Chances are, when you crave a cola, you think Coca Cola. That’s because Coke spends hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising to ensure you do. You want that same reflexive thought to occur with your clients and prospects, but you don’t have to blow out your budget to create similar top-of-mind awareness. The objective of a top-of-mind strategy is to be remembered, and you can accomplish that with five easy steps.
#1. Step up your email marketing
Email marketing is a crucial pillar of a top-of-mind awareness strategy. Using email automation tools like MailChimp, you can effortlessly create campaigns targeting different segments based on their personas. Your email content should be relevant and add value. In addition to a monthly email, you can send out audio or video clips of you discussing a timely topic. That will position you as an authority and a resource that can be trusted and make you more memorable.
#2. Create a Reliable Follow-up System
While email marketing can help you set up systematic touchpoints, a follow-up system enables you to create more targeted and personalized contacts with your clients and prospects. Using a CRM system, you can create segmented lists with varying follow-up timeframes and contact methods. The system can pull up names with notes, so all you need to do is block out an hour or two each day or week to make the calls. A quick Google search or social media check before each call may reveal a recent event involving your prospect you could use to open the conversation.
You can also mark special occasions in your CRM, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and college graduations, notifying you when to send a special, personalized note, preferably handwritten.
Your follow-up system should also include an autoresponder with appropriate responses to incoming emails. You should respond to all inquiries within eight hours. People remember those who get back to them in a timely manner.
#3. Engage on social media
Where appropriate, you should be connecting with all your clients and prospects on social media. In doing so, you need to become an active participant in their conversations, adding comments where appropriate, sharing their posts, and posting interesting and relevant content. Do not make your content about you or your products and services. Posting a helpful tip or a blog post is a way to engage with your audience without looking like a sales predator.
Even if you don’t get a lot of feedback, at least you’re showing up in their feeds, which is an excellent way to stay top of mind.
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#4. Hold client appreciation events
Make your clients feel special by holding client appreciation events and invite your top prospects. Client appreciation events enable advisors to express their gratitude, build engagement, and leave a memorable impression. Done right, they can create raving fans out of your clients who will reciprocate your appreciation with referrals. Examples of highly successful client appreciation events include:
- Wine or beer tastings at a winery or microbrewery
- Ice cream socials during the summer
- Cooking classes around themes (i.e., sushi rolling, handmade pasta, Spanish tapas, etc.)
- Golf clinic with a golf pro
- Sporting event viewing party at a local restaurant
#5. Create an exceptional client experience
Make providing your clients with an exceptional experience a top priority. It’s one area where advisors can truly differentiate themselves, making them more memorable and referable. You can make your prospects’ and clients’ experience more memorable by streamlining your onboarding process, providing them with unfettered access to you, quickly responding to emails and calls, personalizing communications, and making a point to check periodically. Anything you can do to instill a sense in your clients and prospects that their interests are paramount will leave a lasting impression.
Relationship marketing should be a cornerstone of your business development strategy. But the key to an effective strategy is to incorporate top of mind awareness at every level. You may be an excellent financial advisor but, if you aren’t constantly focused on differentiating yourself, you may not be memorable enough when it counts.
Related: Why Financial Advisors Matter