Working Smarter: Marketing Your Business For Growth

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1 Working Smarter: Marketing Your Business For Growth

2 Working Smarter: Marketing Your Business For Growth A strong marketing plan can be essential to business success, allowing you to capitalize on your strengths, focus on your highest potential clients and relationships, and deliver your message effectively. A successful marketing plan achieves these goals in a manner designed to increase both practice productivity and profitability. Contents 3 The Importance of a Marketing Plan 4 Identifying Your Niche 6 Positioning Your Value in the Marketplace 8 Choosing Appropriate Tools and Tactics 10 Developing Your Marketing Plan and Budget 11 Tracking Results and Making Adjustments 12 Broker/Dealer Tools 15 LPL Financial: Smarter Marketing

3 WORKING SMARTER The Importance of a Marketing Plan If you ve ever experienced frustration after spending good money on marketing efforts that produced poor results, you re far from alone. Marketing can be one of the most costly aspects of running your business when strategies, tactics, messages and actions are not properly aligned throughout your practice. In fact, the proper alignment of your marketing efforts is a critical determinant of business success over time. According to the 2010 Investment News/Moss Adams Financial Performance of Advisory Firms study comparing advisory firms, the top performing firms have: Deeper insight into their cost structure and manage it with more skill; applying human capital to activities that produce the most value, such as gaining and managing clients. A deep and sharp instinct for aligning the entire practice around creating and delivering value and they understand the power of that alignment in driving financial performance [at the practice level]. Source: 2010 Investment News/Moss Adams Financial Performance of Advisory Firms Study. 5 STEPS TO DEVELOPING YOUR EFFECTIVE MARKETING PLAN 1. Identify your niche 2. Position your practice 3. Choose appropriate tools and tactics 4. Develop your marketing plan and budget 5. Track results and make adjustments The challenge you face when it comes to marketing your practice is not in determining your message, but in driving that message through every aspect of your practice from client servicing to print, online, and other communications. And that requires a well-constructed plan. Similar to the financial plans you develop for your clients, a marketing plan will not only help you achieve your goals, but propel your practice forward. Your marketing plan is your blueprint for continued success and a tool for measuring and monitoring your progress so you can make any necessary corrections along the way. 3

4 Identifying Your Niche Before developing your marketing plan, it s important to think through and determine how narrow or broad a market niche you want to serve. As a successful financial advisor, you already know how difficult it is to be all things to all people. Choosing to specialize will allow you to use your time more effectively and serve your clients better. It can also be key to differentiating your practice and providing a competitive edge in Identify Your Niche Before developing your marketing plan, it s important to think through and determine how narrow or broad a market niche you want to your local market region. serve. As a successful financial advisor, you already know how difficult it is to be all things to all people. Choosing to specialize will WORKING SMARTER allow TIP you to use your time more effectively and serve your clients Clients like to work with better. advisors It who can also be key to differentiating your practice and providing understand their business or lifestyle. a competitive edge in your local market or region. Specialization can enhance your ability to quickly develop a repeatable book of business by focusing on and promoting within a given market or niche and becoming the local go-to expert. Your area of specialization will have an impact on how you promote and market your practice and how large or small you set your marketing budget. It will also help determine your networking activities, the amount of travel required to attend local and out-of-state conferences or speaking engagements, and how you will communicate with clients and prospects. Define Your Target Market A target market can be any group of people who share a set of characteristics or investment needs. Here are some examples of target markets that other financial advisors have pursued successfully: Centers of influence (i.e., attorneys, CPAs, veterinarians, doctors, chiropractors) Small to mid-sized charitable foundations Ethnic groups Small business owners Retirees Women investors Executives Teachers 4 WORKING SMARTER: MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR GROWTH

5 WORKING SMARTER Create a Profile for Your Target Market Evaluate whether the target market you ve identified is large and profitable enough to support your business growth. Compile as much data as you can find about the type of relationships you are targeting. You may be able to get more insight into the market you plan to serve through information sources like these: Key attributes of existing clients who fit this profile Professional directories Corporate directories Local newspapers National publications Associations and interest groups Social media/online networking Below are examples illustrating how choosing a primary audience allows you to expand or narrow your scope from a broad cross-section of your population to a very focused subsection of that population. Niche Areas of specialization Services Wealth management CPAs Taxation analysis: High-Net-Worth clients Sudden wealth planning Private client services Attorneys Divorces: Division of assets Trust and estate planning Structured settlements Business owners Manufacturing plant owners Employee benefits Business interruption insurance Liability insurance Doctors Life and disability insurance Retirement income planning Succession planning Franchise owners Employee benefits Succession planning Tax planning Retirement Retirees Retirement distribution planning Retirement income planning Estate planning 5

6 Positioning Your Value in the Marketplace Positioning your practice is largely a matter of articulating and delivering on a meaningful value proposition a clear and realistic explanation of how you run your practice and serve your clients. Your value proposition is the foundation of your consultative process. It should help your clients draw solid connections between your value and your fee structure, and differentiate you in a compelling way. WORKING SMARTER TIP Delivering a strong message about your value not only helps you justify your fee, but it can also give your clients compelling reasons to do business with you, rather than your competition. The 2010 Investment News/Moss Adams Financial Performance of Advisory Firms study noted that at a fundamental level, focus is critical to [a firm s] financial performance because it supports retention of asset-based revenues. The more focused and well-articulated the firm s value proposition, the easier it is to deliver on. A focused service model also supports disciplined business development, which contributed to the success of the top performing firms evaluated in the study. They not only showed overall higher growth in new clients, they added larger clients than their current client base.* * 2010 Investment News/Moss Adams Financial Performance of Advisory Firms Study. Median Revenue per Client $8,000 $6,000 $4,000 $6,633 $4,971 $6,242 $4,919 $5, $4,246 $2,000 $ Top Performers All Other Firms Source: 2010 Investment News/Moss Adams Financial Performance of Advisory Firms Study. 6 WORKING SMARTER: MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR GROWTH

7 WORKING SMARTER Components of a Well-Crafted Value Proposition Your mission statement/elevator speech Your mission statement is a brief and simple summary (1 2 paragraphs) that can be used to introduce you and your practice in conversation, in printed materials (such as the opening section of a brochure or pitchbook), and on your website. An elevator speech is a 1 2 sentence version of your mission statement. Your approach to working with clients (client experience) A description of the process of how you engage with clients at the onset of the relationship. Your investment management process The process you use to help clients identify their goals, determine their asset allocation, select investment managers and vehicles, and manage and monitor their accounts. Your wealth management services The strategies and services you offer your clients such as business succession planning, charitable giving, intergenerational planning, estate planning, insurance, credit and lending, etc. Your service offering A menu of services that can be customized based on your client segmentation. When developing your value proposition, make sure you believe in what you deliver to your clients and can actually deliver it. It you don t believe in it, your client isn t likely to believe it either. Communicating Your Value Proposition PROVEN BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS 1. Low cost method to develop and control your brand 2. Establish and control your online reputation 3. Convert a higher percentage of referrals and networking activities to appointments and sales 4. Impact search engine rankings and visibility 5. Increase number and quality of professional referrals from strategic partners and COIs 6. Expand your ability to find new prospects 7. Enhance communication with existing clients 8. Utilize simple, easy to use technologies that do not require a technical background Your online presence. A professional website validates you in the eyes of clients and prospects. Think of it as a showroom for you and your services that is open 24/7. Social media is another important aspect of your online presence. Tools including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can help you increase brand awareness, make and retain important connections, develop relationships and further your networking efforts in a cost-effective manner. Your bio. In addition to professional achievements and credentials, your biography may also include some general information about your family and personal interests. Consider graphic illustrations in some areas (e.g., a visual description of your investment management process). Your brochure. Your value proposition should be showcased in a brochure (or pitchbook) that can be used as a tool during meetings with prospects and clients. A professionally-designed and well-written brochure is the gold standard for marketing your practice. The core of the brochure should be your value proposition, with additional information on the key attributes of your firm. It should also include biographies for you, and, if applicable, your team. 7

8 Choosing Appropriate Tools and Tactics Once you ve accomplished the heavy lifting determining your area of specialization, target audience(s), marketplace differentiators and value proposition it s time to determine which strategies and tactics will best reach your audience and provide the return on investment you seek. Below is a list of common marketing tools and tactics and their benefits. Tactic Advertising Bylined articles Direct mail Networking (wine clubs, book clubs, sport groups, online professional networks) Newsletters Public relations Seminars Social media Special events (by target audience) Website Benefits A good way to build your image Raises awareness among a wide audience Communicates simple messages Free (if you write them yourself) Demonstrates expertise Articles can be reused in direct mail and Web advertising Standard & Poor s articles such as Independent Investor are a free resource you can use Targeted Easy to track results Inexpensive because there are no production/mailing costs Targeted Easy to track results No production/mailing costs Discover shared interests Meet on a social level Easy introductions Demonstrates expertise Easy to implement regular contact with clients and prospects Prepackaged newsletters like LPL Financial Newsletter OnDemand are easy and cost effective Gain local and industry-wide recognition Differentiates your practice from competition Creates a credible sense of trust Implicit third-party endorsement Demonstrates expertise Strengthens relationships by dealing with client/prospect challenges in person Easily customizable for specific audiences Grow and expand your market reach Build and control your reputation Increase networking scope Low cost of entry Builds relationships with clients and prospects who have shared interests Positions you as a leader in your community Supports organizations that are important to you Provides basic information about you and your business Flexible can incorporate many different types of marketing messages and materials Inexpensive compared to traditional advertising Establishes credibility Cost-effective way to provide up-to-date information and celebrate accomplishments 8 WORKING SMARTER: MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR GROWTH

9 WORKING SMARTER Public Relations Public Relations (PR) can be a very effective method for increasing awareness and credibility in the marketplace. Many financial advisors hire and retain dedicated PR resources while others manage their own efforts. Either method can be effective if approached properly. Consider these guidelines when launching your PR initiative: If you don t have the budget resources to hire a PR firm or director, cultivate relationships with editors and journalists at local publications, offering your services as a subject matter expert. Make yourself available to editors and journalists; if you re repeatedly hard to reach, you may be dropped from the list. Remember that anything you say can potentially appear in print there is really no such thing as off the record. When targeting a publication, determine if its audience fits your ideal client profile; if not, find other outlets. Make sure your story or idea is truly newsworthy does it have a unique angle or hook? Is it timely? Does it respond to a current market need or event? Don t routinely send press releases to publications announcing new hires or new clients unless they have a specific section for that information; otherwise, you run the risk of newsworthy press releases being overlooked. Use your website to archive press releases and link to articles where you have been quoted. Your firm will have specific compliance guidelines regarding how and what you can provide or link to your site. Be sure to check those guidelines before posting or linking to PR materials. 9

10 Developing Your Marketing Plan and Budget An effective marketing plan doesn t have to be long or overly detailed, but it should provide a succinct overview of your business, your challenges, your goals for the coming year, and the strategies you ll use to pursue those goals. Most experts say that a solid marketing plan should have six basic elements: 1. Business analysis Describe your business objectives and focus, sales, and profitability history. 2. Market environment Provide an overview of the market in which you are operating. 3. Challenges and opportunities Describe the opportunity you re targeting and evaluate possible obstacles. 4. Objectives Set objective, measurable goals by which you will gauge your success. Be as specific as you can, stating not just more business, but how much more business. 5. Marketing strategy and programs Refine what you know about your clients and prospects needs, as well as your own strengths and approach to financial advice, into a few key messages. Then describe how you intend to communicate these messages. 6. Marketing budget The amount you allocate to marketing is largely dependent on your profitability. As a guideline, consider 5% to 7% of your revenue as a starting point. 10 WORKING SMARTER: MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR GROWTH

11 WORKING SMARTER Tracking Results and Making Adjustments Marketing is never an end in itself. It should drive tangible, measurable results such as new client relationships, additional business from existing clients, increased assets under management, and higher revenues and profits for your practice. By tracking results, you can assess the success of your marketing plan, make adjustments, and allocate your resources to the most effective tactics. Measure Return on Marketing Investment by Client Profitability The success of your marketing efforts is measured by how well they translate into profitability for your practice. It s important to clearly understand the tangible return on your marketing activities. This knowledge can be an important driver of your marketing strategy and help you position your resources more effectively. Use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools to Track Results A good tracking system will tell you how much each marketing initiative costs, both directly and indirectly, and how much total cost is associated with the activities to bring in new business. By comparing return on investment across marketing tactics, you can determine which ones are your strongest performers and concentrate your time and money on those with the highest potential. WORKING SMARTER TIP Improved efficiency and productivity for you and your staff are key considerations in selecting a CRM tool. When comparing tools, ask how each tool has performed in the categories most meaningful to your practice. Is the tool easily integrated into other systems you rely on daily to access client or broker/dealer information, account information or programs? How will it enhance staff productivity, effectiveness of your customer service and help optimize time spent on business development activities? Most importantly, how will it improve profitability in an efficient and costeffective manner? Implementing an effective CRM tool can also help you track and follow up on client and prospect calls in a highly efficient manner, helping you track the effectiveness of your campaigns and spending. Conduct Surveys Online surveys can be an easy and cost-effective means for tracking results. Tools like surveymonkey.com, for instance, offer prepackaged surveys for seminar evaluation, client service feedback, or website feedback or you can create your own survey with questions tailored to your business. 11

12 Broker/Dealer Tools Ensuring your marketing efforts provide the return on investment you seek requires access to the right tools, knowledge of best practices and professional support. This is where the right broker/dealer can play a significant role in helping you achieve your productivity and profitability goals. Effective marketing is a critical aspect of business growth and development. A successful plan will: Attract new clients Retain existing clients Increase assets under management Raise your profitability 12 WORKING SMARTER: MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR GROWTH

13 WORKING SMARTER Where are Today s Financial Advisors Focusing Their Business Development Efforts? The 2010 LPL Productivity & Profitability Report, found that LPL Financial affiliates spend most of their day on client-service related activities. Their peer group, however, reports spending more time on marketing and new business development. Daily Time Spend Client service - proactive client communication Portfolio management Client service - reactive client communication Marketing and new business development Administrative and operational tasks Investment research 9 10 Professional development (training yourself) 6 7 LPL Financial Professional development (training your staff) 4 5 Non-LPL Financial 0 10% 20% 30% Source: 2010 LPL Productivity & Profitability Report The study was initiated to help financial advisors determine the benefits of affiliating with an independent broker/dealer. The survey focused on the efficiencies and operating cost savings that advisors gain through their broker/dealer s support infrastructure. As expected, those in the industry less than 10 years dedicate more time to new business development and self-training, whereas more established practices spend more of their time maintaining and strengthening client relationships. Overall, higher revenue businesses spend a greater amount of time on business development and client communication. 13

14 LPL Financial Advisors Lead Industry in Profitability and Productivity LPL Financial affiliated practices show an overall higher profitability than their broker/dealer peers, as pretax profit per owner averaged $178,168 for LPL Financial versus $170,487 for non-affiliated advisors. On a per client basis, profit 1 earned by LPL Financial affiliates also exceeded profits earned by peers. While the average profit per client for LPL Financial affiliates was $825, non-affiliates realized significantly less, at $454 in profit per client. Profit per Owner $180,000 $178,000 $176,000 $174,000 $172,000 $170,000 $168,000 $166,000 Profit per Client $178,168 LPL Financial $170,487 Non-LPL Financial $900 $800 $700 $600 $500 $400 $300 $200 $100 $ $825 LPL Financial $454 Non-LPL Financial Source: 2010 LPL Productivity & Profitability Report In addition to overall profitability, LPL Financial advisors have more productive assets, as indicated by not only the profit per client comparison but also in overall return on assets (ROA). LPL Financial affiliates have an average ROA of 91 basis points, compared to 64 basis points for non-affiliates. ROA (basis points) LPL Financial 0.64 Non-LPL Financial Source: 2010 LPL Productivity & Profitability Report 1 Profit defined as pretax net profit, including owners draws and base compensation. 14 WORKING SMARTER: MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR GROWTH

15 WORKING SMARTER LPL Financial: Smarter Marketing LPL Financial is committed to the success of independent financial advisors across all aspects of their business. We have built a robust marketing support infrastructure for our advisors featuring custom and turnkey programs and materials, multimedia campaigns, on-demand client newsletters and pre-packaged seminars, among others. Dedicated Marketing Consultants Provide Hands-On Support LPL Financial provides a dedicated team to consult with you on how best to market your practice. The LPL Financial Marketing Consultation Team is committed to helping you develop and achieve you marketing goals and support your efforts. Our Marketing Consultation Team consists of: Copywriters Production/print managers Editors Project managers Graphic designers Web designers Marketing specialists Web content writers 15

16 LPL Financial Marketing Consultation Services Our Marketing Consultation Team partners with you to offer three types of consultations, each designed to help grow your practice. Our experienced team works with you to help create your brand and promote your practice. Branding Consultations Website Consultations ClientsFirst Consultations Your materials are packaged in a convenient kit for use with clients and prospects. Each package consists of: Logo development or refresh Eight-page capabilities brochure Pocket folder Stationery (includes business cards, letterhead and envelope designs) Letter to clients introducing your new or updated brand identity Our interactive team helps you design a custom website that complements your new brand. Your website consultation includes the following: Domain name search Custom website design, no page limit Completed hosted website (one-time setup fee, and low monthly host fee) A senior marketing consultant walks you through our client acquisition and retention program to help you maximize the resources to grow your business. You will understand: The tools and resources in ClientsFirst How to create a marketing campaign with easy-to-implement actionable ideas How to develop an online marketing strategy that meets compliance guidelines, including a step-by-step guide for setting up social media profiles. How to purchase a prospect list The workbooks available in the ClientsFirst Institute and how to use them 16 WORKING SMARTER: MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR GROWTH

17 WORKING SMARTER Marketing Tools and Resources LPL Financial marketing tools, programs and resources are reviewed, tested, and piloted by top-producing advisors before they are broadly released to ensure they re meeting our advisors needs. We invite you to discover the broad range of marketing tools and resources designed to help you attract and retain clients while building a more productive and profitable practice. AdvisorFirst Access industry-leading tools and resources for building practice value. ClientsFirst Attract and retain important client relationships using the latest programs, letters, seminars, and more, all designed to help you find new clients, convert prospects to clients, and keep your current clients. All materials designed for use with clients have been compliance-approved. Direct Mail Strengthen relationships with existing customers and attract new ones with direct mailings tailored to your target market. Through Marketing On Demand, you can select from a variety of customized letters, postcards, brochures, and more. Marketing On Demand can make execution even easier by mailing your materials for you. Letter Library Access compliance-approved prospecting and client letters available through the ClientsFirst website. These letters are designed to resonate with key investor profiles, including retirement, unique niche markets, and investors interested in market analysis and opportunity. 17

18 Marketing On Demand Our Marketing On Demand online ordering system provides convenient access to compliance approved, pre-printed and customizable marketing materials including stationery, ads and educational mailers. Newsletter OnDemand Monthly electronic newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with clients and prospects, and they re easy and cost effective to maintain with Newsletter OnDemand, hosted by Standard & Poor s Financial Communications. This program lets you choose up to five marketrelevant articles for your newsletter and customize it with your photograph, company logo and colors, and contact information. Public Relations Our public relations kit can help you broaden your audience and communicate the benefits of your firm more effectively. Salesforce CRM Salesforce CRM tools significantly improve client management and office efficiency, while maximizing profitability. Through the partnership of salesforce.com and LPL Financial, you have access to an industryleading customer relationship management (CRM) solution that is designed and customized for both independent and institution advisors. Seminar Library We offer a full library of seminars to support your business. Access ready-to-use presentations as well as support materials like invitation mailers and flyers, worksheets, seminar evaluation forms, thank you letters, and more. Social Media Our comprehensive guide to managing your online social media presence introduces you to tools and resources that can help you grow and expand your market reach, control your online reputation and build and deepen relationships in a highly cost-effective manner. Website Creation In today s digital age, your website is often the first impression people have of you. That s why we ve partnered with LiveOffice AdvisorSquare to offer our advisors all the necessary tools for powerful online interactions with clients and prospects. With an AdvisorSquare website, you receive ongoing customer support and effective marketing strategies to help make your website a successful part of your financial services practice. 18 WORKING SMARTER: MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS FOR GROWTH

19 WORKING SMARTER A History of Commitment to the Independent Advisor LPL Financial brings decades of industry leadership and innovation to serving the growing needs of the financial advisor and broker/dealer communities. We are committed to being the premier independent broker/dealer in the country*. This goal drives every decision we make, from the hiring of talented and experienced staff, to our investments in technology, communications and sales support. We invite you to learn more about our commitment to technology innovations and our dedication to superior service a formula that has helped more than 12,000 financial advisors build smarter, more successful independent practices. We are proud of the significant business growth we have achieved as an organization and of the resulting sound support we are able to provide our advisors. *As reported in Financial Planning magazine, June , based on total revenue. For more information about LPL Financial, please visit us at joinlpl.com or or simply contact an LPL Financial representative at (888)

20 Member FINRA/SIPC A Registered Investment Advisor. BD Tracking # (exp. 06/13)

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