They say "An old dog who refuses to learn new tricks shouldn't be allowed to raise puppies."
I don't remember who first said it, but it makes sense.
Yes, there are always going to be new things to learn.
There are always going to be new challenges to growth as you continue to build your practice.
You can't get back lost time, yet the one constant that you can depend on…
The one eternal asset you have is your perspective, or better said…
What you've been through, seen, life lessons learned and experienced first hand…
This is one of your most powerful, if not THE most powerful asset you have as an advisor.
So, the good news (whether you consider yourself an old dog or not) is that you if you focus and are willing to roll up your sleeves a little…
You can leverage your expertise to help you generate better leads so you can grow your practice.
You're going to love this article if you're serious about using what you already have to get more of what you want.
In a recent coaching article, we suggested you ask yourself the question…
"Is your pipeline stocked with worthwhile prospects?"
As a first step in answering this question, we recommended a simple strategy for cleaning up and leveraging your current prospect database.
Yet a logical next question becomes…
"What if I don't have a good sized prospect database to leverage?"
If this is the case, we recommend ongoing, consistent lead generation. But not just any type of lead generation…
We recommend that you get specific about using your expertise to begin generating leads.
Expertise based lead generation, when organized properly and run consistently, is a low-cost technique for quickly building a database of qualified prospects.
What's more, these prospects are looking for professionals with YOUR specific know-how.
You simply offer a demonstration of your knowledge, a magnet, and let your niche market(s) know you are accepting new clients.
Done correctly, this helps create desire and begins to set the stage for follow-up calls or appointments and ultimately puts you in a position to close the business.
Lead generation, as we will describe it, is NOT a direct mail or email campaign. It's not a Facebook ad or something you post on your website.
In fact, you don't even need to use the mail or the internet. But when you choose to use the mail or the internet, your response rate should be significantly higher than the typical letter, postcard, online ad or website post.
You are not doing 'me too' promotion by trying to sell the same product or service as your competitors. The same way they do.
When you position yourself as an expert by offering something of value (your magnet), qualified prospects will raise their hands and let you know they are willing to spend time with you.
Below is a screenshot of the cumulative lead growth we experienced from promoting just one new lead magnet of our own in August.
(It's possible that you're here now reading this article because you took us up on that offer.)
So let's dive into the 5 Steps that will help you build or improve your own expertise based lead generation campaign(s)…
5 Steps That Will Lead To A Successful, Expertise Based Lead Generation Campaign
1. Determine your niche market - Regular readers of these articles know we constantly stress the importance of beginning all marketing campaigns with a niche market. Expertise based lead generation is no exception.
In truth, you should probably stop reading right here if you are not willing to spend some time clarifying a target audience for your lead generation campaign.
To help with this process, consider the simple example of a successful campaign we helped construct for a financial advisor who was focusing on capturing large IRA rollovers.
When we viewed the make-up of his current rollover clients, we determined he had the most success with senior executives who were retiring from major corporations in his community.
All of his efforts as we built his campaign centered on this niche, not the more general 'pre-retiree' market he initially identified.
2. Create your magnet - Your magnet should be a valuable resource that positions you as an expert with qualified prospects.
It tells prospective clients you are open for new business and encourages them to let you know when they are ready to begin a dialogue.
You are giving away information…a real solution, but not a complete solution.
A well-designed magnet must also pass the 'best client quality test'; it is something you would be willing to send even your most important current clients.
More specifically, a magnet is an article, case study, white paper, book, interview or presentation you have created to both demonstrate your knowledge and cause your reader or viewer to ask questions. Articles and white papers can be published or unpublished.
Interviews may be written or recorded as audio or video.
Presentations could be printed slides and notes from your latest seminar, a video recording of the same presentation or a PowerPoint with audio you record on your PC.
Though this may sound complicated, there are creative and simple ways for even non-writers to develop articles and white papers.
Consider the 'David Letterman Technique' in which you create a 'Top 10' list of do's or don'ts for your target market.
In the case of the advisor we mentioned above who built an IRA rollover campaign focused on retiring executives, we designed an FAQ style (Frequently Asked Questions) paper with '20 Key Questions'.
We merely listed 20 questions this advisor regularly receives from his top clients along with answers that would compel the reader to seek additional help.
Please keep in mind, you're selling the value your prospects will get from the lead magnet…not you, your firm or a product or service.
3. Offer your magnet to your niche market - As mentioned earlier, offering your magnet does not necessarily mean sending mail or advertising online. Creativity in this step can serve the dual purpose of keeping costs down and increasing results.
One of our favorite ways to use lead magnets is to bolster referral results. Introductions from clients, COIs and personal connections become easier when you include a lead magnet. You're adding something tangible to an intangible process.
In addition to a letter or a postcard, you can place ads in trade publications or use email where permission-based lists are available.
You could position it front and center on your website. Or look for opportunities to place banner ads.
And don't forget social media. Think of the easiest ways to get in front of your niche market. Where do they hang out?
We worked with an advisor who lives in a small, upscale town that has a gourmet grocery store frequented by the town's wealthiest citizens.
And though to some this may sound 'tacky', she has a small poster near the coffee bar with tear off coupons. Right next to ads for "free kittens", "babysitter needed" and "carpet cleaning".
Her magnet is an audio interview on wealth management she recorded with a local news personality.
Though the leads come in slowly, each week she is surprised by the number of people who request both a copy of the interview and an appointment.
For your offer of a magnet to be effective, you must use an attention catching style that encourages the recipient of the message to request the free resource you are making available.
We coach advisors to use 'headlines' and stress 2 or 3 benefits of reading, viewing or listening to the magnet.
Again, you are 'selling' the magnet, not you, your firm or a product or service - that will come later. Your message should reflect both the importance of what you do as well as the personality and professionalism of your practice.
4. Deliver your magnet with a next step - When you send your magnet in the mail or email, be sure to mention a next step.
Perhaps it will be a follow-up call to answer additional questions, send further information, invite to a seminar or schedule an appointment.
Remember, you are stressing your practice is open for new business and you are willing to meet with qualified people in your niche market who have an interest in your area of expertise.
5. Follow-up on your leads - The last and easiest step should be to follow-up on your leads.
And though this may sound obvious, we know many advisors 'forget' to call their leads on a timely basis which nullifies all prior efforts.
Either you or a member of your team should follow-up within 5 business days of sending your magnet.
Again, this could be anything from a phone call to answer questions to an invitation to a seminar on the same topic to an email offering a second opinion on a financial plan or investment portfolio.
Expertise based lead generation is a powerful tool for building a prospect pipeline full of qualified future clients.
If your prospect database isn't where you think it should be, take some time to build a simple campaign.
When you do this with consistency, you will find it much easier to keep your calendar full of appointments and your business will grow.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.