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Branding Yourself: A Waste Of Money For Small Business And Solopreneurs | Financial Advisor Leads
You read a lot of articles about the importance of branding yourself to gain clients. These articles are written and inspired by people who want to sell you branding services such as brochures, social media services, and public relations. The problem with personal branding is that you can spend a ton of money and earn nothing from it.
What's a far more effective and financially smart way to grow your business?
You want to focus your business marketing on direct response activities.
Direct Response means that:
•You always ask the prospect to respond to your marketing
•You can always measure the result and profitability of a campaign
With direct marketing, you can immediately see your return on investment. You invest a dollar and you immediately known if you're getting a response.There are no wasting thousands of dollars and then praying for a result.You get the result immediately. We've done direct marketing for over 20,000 clients since 2003. It works and you can read the proof.
So rather than invest thousands of dollars to brand yourself, an activity that may never pay off, would it make more sense to try direct marketing for under $200 and see the results before you invest more? I will provide plenty of tips on how to create profitable direct marketing campaigns.
Professionals Financial Advisors new to marketing make the mistake of taking their cues from big business to so-called marketing experts. Don’t market or advertise your services as big businesses do as your context is not the same. The main issues focus on the difference between “push and pull” and “branding.”
Brand Yourself After You’ve Exhausted Direct Marketing Options
If you serve a community of fixed size, you could exhaust your opportunities for direct marketing. You can only bombard the same audience a limited time before direct marketing activities become excessive and ineffective. But until you've exhausted your direct marketing work, there is no need to have a known identity or reputation for great success.
Push and Pull
Large companies use the “pull” method of marketing. General Motors runs ads to make their cars look enticing to pull you into the dealership to take a test drive. Intel advertises “Intel inside” to have you come to the computer dealer and ask for an Intel machine. This type of advertising, to be effective, requires A LOT of money. You don’t have that much. You cannot run full page ads in your daily newspaper day after day to generate sufficient business. Even if you did, it would be a very inefficient use of your money.
For your context, you want to “push” people to you. “Push” technologies include
•Radio and TV
Notice that pull marketing is passive: the advertiser runs the ad and hopes for something to happen. Push marketing does not leave things to chance. You make direct contact with the prospect and push them into action with a time-urgent appealing offer. The cost of this marketing is lower than pull marketing and more effective.
Direct Response vs. Branding Yourself
When you attempt branding yourself with an ad in the newspaper, the seller will always tell you that you cannot measure results directly because you don’t know how many people saw your ad and the “cumulative build up” of name recognition. This is an argument to keep you advertising and the seller making a commission.
If instead, you run a direct response ad, an ad offering a free booklet “Six Strategies to Cut Taxes Your CPA Never Mentioned,” you can count the number of calls you get which further leads to Financial Planning Leads. You can now calculate your cost per prospect, factor in your conversion rate to clients and then calculate your cost and profit per new client to determine the profitability of this ad campaign.
Consider that direct response marketing provides a branding benefit anyway. So why invest money branding yourself and not ask the prospect to take action? General Motors spends a lot of money on television ads showing you their cars. They could increase profitability by including a call to action such as, "Register at GM.com by xx/xx/xx. If you buy and if we offer a lower price anytime during the next 12 months, we'll give you a rebate." GM could then market to these folks by email, direct mail or have dealers’ phone the prospect. Why ever try branding yourself and not include a call to action?
Use push not pull. Forget about branding yourself and make direct response your mantra.
Direct Response Examples
The Free Report
One of the most widely used, mentioned above, is the free report. You can use this same tactic for any business. A well-known marketer, Joe Polish, used it to distinguish is carpet cleaning business above all others. Rather than run an ad in the phone book or classifieds (this was pre-Internet), Joe offered a free report "The 7 Insider Secrets -- Know Before You Hire a Carpet Cleaner." He had a phone number on the offer. People would call. He would automatically capture their phone number (caller id can capture 100% of phone numbers when the caller dials a toll-free number) and address.
Joe could then follow up by calling, sending the report with a coupon, drip emails, etc. This is the way a business can grow with limited resources.
Here's another example. I have seen seminars used successfully by a real estate agent and have done over 200 seminars to build my business as a financial advisor. The steps are simple:
•rent a list of your target market (in my case, people age 60+ in specific zip codes)
•send an invitation (the invitation must obey certain rules to be compelling)
•people call to reserve a seat
•you give an informative and entertaining presentation
•2/3 of attendees set an appointment with you (when you offer the right type of appointment)
Seminars are self-financing as your profit from the first seminar can fuel others and so on. I make this sound easy because I already know the psychology or marketing and copywriting. Here you can find several seminar articles that can assist you.
For many businesses, direct mail is the least expensive lead generation method. While costlier than email, direct mail gets a better response rate. It's easy to see why direct mail shines. With email, you are very lucky to get 20% of your email opened. The major reason for the low open rate is the low delivery rate. Much of your email will likely be filtered out before it reaches the recipient.
As long as you design your envelope correctly, you will get 100% of your direct mail opened.
So above are the methods for generating great investor leads by seniorleads.com with no wasting thousands of dollars
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