One easy way to stand out from other financial advisers

By Helen Fisher on August 13, 2018

A popular marketing model can help financial advisers attract prospects.

One of the biggest challenges facing you as a finance professional, whether you are offering simple financial advice or working on complex client portfolios, is knowing how to stand out from your rivals.

This can be especially hard if you are doing your own marketing or have little or no funds to put towards campaigns. However, there are several relatively simple marketing methods that you can use to create your own individual profile and gain an advantage in both finding and converting new leads.

DRIP

The DRIP model can play an important part in planning your marketing communications as it can be used to launch a new business, product or service as much as it can for repositioning or reconnecting an existing one.

The acronym stands for Differentiate, Reinforce, Inform and Persuade. Chris Fill created the system, and it is included in his classic Marketing Communications text.

Communications flow

Each of the four DRIP elements revolves around a communications flow model:

  • Differentiate by defining your product or service
  • Reinforce your message
  • Inform and make people aware
  • Persuade by encouraging further positive purchase-related behaviour

DRIP is a strategic model, so it is up to you to tailor it for your own specific needs by taking a more tactical approach, but this is one of the reasons that it can be applied so well to a variety of uses.

Trust

One of the biggest challenges for anyone working in the financial sector, especially an adviser offering financial planning help, is the issue of trust. Showing your trustworthiness and building a relationship based on it is perhaps the single most important thing when it comes to both attracting and converting new leads.

Lead generation now takes so many forms of inbound marketing, including using social media, search engine optimisation and content marketing, but email campaigns still play a big part. Email marketing provides a direct route to your target audience, and if you adhere to GDPR regulations, then you will literally have their permission to communicate your message to them. Knowing that they have already “opted in” puts you ahead of the game in terms of trust, so now all you need to do is make the most of the situation.

Differentiate via email

Email marketing is frequently misused, and if you want to maintain your connection and avoid unsubscribes, then trust is your ongoing helper in this department. One of the best ways to use a DRIP campaign is to achieve this very aim.

For instance, a typical email DRIP marketing process would contain a scheduled set of emails sent out at intervals of your choosing, which is essentially where the “DRIP” acronym comes from. If a visitor to your website has filled out a form, downloaded some content, or given you permission to contact them on a prior occasion, then you simply create a set of pre-written scheduled emails following the DRIP protocols, which are then automatically sent to them.

The aim of these mailings is to help the customer to travel further down the sales road to a conversion of higher value, a purchase, or some other desired outcome. DRIP helps leads become clients by nurturing prospects along after they have been brought on board by SEO, social media or other campaign elements.

Sales cycle

Money advice and planning services are different from other more everyday services that someone may use. Finding a plumber, a dentist or an interior designer may all involve research, investment and ultimately considerable cost to achieve an aim, but when someone is looking to a professional to help them plan for their financial future, it takes on a whole new dimension.

A well-implemented DRIP campaign can illustrate that you provide value and offer a standout service that beats your competitors. Knowing where a lead is positioned in your own sales cycle is essential, and a DRIP campaign can make that easy. Using calls to action at the right time also becomes simple, and no hard sell is needed until the end of the process.

Old-school touch

Of course, a DRIP process doesn’t only apply itself to email. The importance of DRIP can also be found in a far more traditional approach, namely physical letters sent via post. New potential assets and leads can benefit, but existing clients can be taken further down your own particular sales funnel very effectively by using regularly scheduled letters.

Encouraging top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) is a way of staying current and standing out from rivals. Simply by seeing your name on a regular basis keeps you literally “in mind” of your clients, and any form of keeping a discourse ongoing serves to build on existing trust.

A physical letter campaign can be costly compared to sending mass emails, but today people get numerous emails each day compared to fewer and fewer letters, and thus they tend to stand out. A letter is something tangible, and in this increasingly virtual age, it can really be a differentiator and a great way to start the DRIP.

Simple steps

Whichever delivery method you choose, using a DRIP approach can help you to stand out from competitors. You could even adapt the process for use in your financial adviser blog.

When you have used any kind of online profile to set out your stall and define yourself, your product or service in its own terms, reinforcing your message using scheduled communications is a simple way to follow on. Of course, being able to give people the information they need can be a key part of making them aware of what you can offer, making the job of persuading them to take up your offering easier.

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