Marketing Methods-Free and Almost Free

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Sep 28, 2008 4:54 am

Marketing is Key to your beginning and ongoing success so I thought I'd open this thread with a list of effective methods and commentary. Please share yours along with recommended books, magazines and links for those providers you receive quality and a good 'bang for your buck.' Your marketing is an extension of your salesmanship and ideally will be designed to grow your business consistently 24/7. I have found a wealth of resources through http://www.tradepub.com/ by receiving or visiting the websites to read their webzines for the most current trending in marketing, demographic marketing management, tools and technology.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


1) Seeing people 'belly to belly.' The least expensive way for those starting out ‘cold’ or ‘warm’ (‘warm’ as in a book of contacts from prior business, circle of friends or alma mater.) Tips for targeting your markets: Knowledge of the 'neighborhood' be it visiting business owners or 'cold walking' residences. Refine your efforts with business owners by 'cold calling' through use of reverse directories easily obtained for a small fee of about $80 from your local phone company to make appointments. For residences, acquaint yourself with a couple of realtors and offer a free consultation and services to them and their clients in exchange for the realtor obtaining a 'farm kit' (that's what they call it) and obtainable at no charge through title companies the realtor has a working relationship with for neighborhoods where you know clusters of people reside who are most likely to meet your criteria in terms of assets. Supply the realtor with all of the streets in the desired neighborhoods, a Thomas Bros. map will be good for this. High-end apartment complexes are another matter, you will need to 'cold walk' them and will be generally unable to obtain the occupant names and phone numbers unless you find a good source for apartment dweller lists that also includes income/assets/big-ticket purchases, a phone number and a credit score, for anyone who has worked apartment dwellers, please include any resources since this is an area that I have never focused on. One easy way of identifying areas of affluence when you are not familiar with an area is http://www.claritas.com where you can key in a zip code on their free resources portion-one of their statements is ‘You are your zipcode.’ The area of demography is a great one to be aware of for any marketer looking to narrow their target.


 


2) Tie in the residential contact area/s and any favorable contact made whether business, residential or other with your newsletter and seasonal campaigns ie: for every holiday throughout the year you can have various themed events, prizes and giveaways in addition to the newsletter. Halloween is just around the corner, if you are already 'working a neighborhood' and well into it by 5 to 10 years how about creating an account with the local pumpkin patch operator and creating a coupon good for one free pumpkin courtesy of your company. The same can apply to Thanksgiving, contact a restaurant owner, with both of these businesses, establish an account with them to bill you for each one that is turned in and make sure you have a section on the coupon where the recipient must fill out their name, address and telephone number and retrieve them so you can track them and make sure the business owner knows that you will need them for your database since many times the coupons are passed along to friends and family which can lead to more business for you. Tips for newsletter: each one should have a postcard sized cutout sheet or postage paid card with a checkbox section for the reader to check-off their areas of interest for that newsletter and correspondingly, the information requested will provide just enough additional info. And prompt the recipient to call for a consultation to receive more information-of course, you or your assistant will call them back before mailing the additional information to ask qualifying questions so you can make an appointment to get more business.


 


3) Local media-Press releases, local radio shows and local tv channels. For the press release you will need to craft it in the form acceptable to the editor, radio or tv station-the Internet is rich with information on how to write a press release. FAX it to the appropriate editor for the financial section of your local/regional paper, radio show or local tv channel-it's the discretion of the editor/s whether or not to use it, that's why this method is 'Almost Free' marketing and it's a 'hit or miss’ thing. You can do things like articles on trends, technology, opinion and offer to answer any questions your readers have.


 


4) The Internet-Your website. Make sure you have it professionally created; unless you have the skills of a webmaster anything less will look like it.  It’s important your site is lead generating too and is completely coordinated with your other media: your newsletter, press releases and radio/tv spots if any must all include the link and a free e-newsletter which to receive, the visitor must supply their key information. The ROI will more than compensate for the initial investment.


 


5) Other Internet Media directed at Networking-There’s an abundance: here are some to give you an idea, use them to your advantage! http://www.plaxo.com (check out the features-weekly emails to your subscribers is one I like.) http://www.linkedin.com which is like www.facebook.com for business!


 


 


5) Educate-Offering seminars goes without saying as a great way to generate new business and solidify your current client’s relationship. You can also create your own books or offer a free book of the month written by a popular or respected financial author to one lucky winner at the end of the seminar.


 


6) Business ‘roasts’ ideal for someone with a well developed group of regular clients who may also know each other and whom you thank for long term loyalty and then allow to ‘roast’ you with thankful, humorous and chiding tales of your business and other endeavors-at the end, have all who came vote for the best ‘roaster’ who wins a trip for two or whatever prize you can think of! Great for that group of clients with whom you may have developed friendship and mutual outside interests involving activities such as ocean fishing, sailing, golf, hunting etc… Of course, variations apply- if this is not your style, then something more modest is just fine.


 


7) For younger crowds ie: teen and college age children of clients, you can offer Pizza night-a free seminar to create your next group of clients.


 
8) Business cards-both paper and multi-media. For paper use a non-standard size with a foldout so you or the client can make a note on one side and a time for an appointment on the other. Multi-media or cd-cards are great, they can include a few publications designed to make your phone ring so you can have more appointments 'belly to belly.'

 


9) Have I missed anything? Maybe so, but I’m ready to turn in now that my insomnia seems to be passing!


 



Oct 1, 2008 8:33 pm

Have you tried Myspace?

Oct 1, 2008 8:37 pm

I use LinkedIn extensively. One of the employers in my area employs a large % of technically-oriented people that use LinkedIn extensively. I have effectively networked with many of them and picked up a few clients this way. This population also likes to research advisors and other "service providors" online before they make decisions. Try Googling yourslef to see what comes up.



I also use my local Chamber's e-blast system to get articles, events, etc. blasted out to 1,000 or so businesses each week. Most probably ignore it, but they see my picture, my article, my event, whatever, each month. Repetitive messages help get exposure.



Have updated profiles in all of the business networking sites: LinkedIn & local Chamber (as stated above), Zoom Info, Jigsaw (make sure your info is accurate), etc. This way, if people do searches on you, they will find accurate, timely, and informative data on you. I hate when I try to do research on someone, and all I can find through Google is the amount of their last local campaign contribution .



I try to talk to my local paper's Business Editor as frequently as possible. I send him articles, story ideas, etc. He never uses them, but I have had 3 calls in the last several months for quotes on stories they are doing on the market, etc. And I have gotten calls from 3 different people at the paper - so he gives out my name. I haven't had any huge quotes, but each article was a front page, or Business section front-page article, and I had at least 1 paragraph in each. It's free, and it lends credibility to me.



I teach classes. Their free, and the marketing of the classes is free.

Oct 3, 2008 7:55 pm

If you can find a wealthy person and make them huge amounts of $$$$ you can get more business than you can handle. Month fourteen (Sept.) did just under $20K grosse & wrapped $700K and some change. I did have to make 25,000+ cold calls to get in the doors but I'm here to tell you it can be done.

Oct 3, 2008 7:58 pm
Gaddock:

If you can find a wealthy person and make them huge amounts of $$$$ you can get more business than you can handle. Month fourteen (Sept.) did just under $20K grosse & wrapped $700K and some change. I did have to make 25,000+ cold calls to get in the doors but I'm here to tell you it can be done.

 
 
Typo, that's just under $22K grosse
 
Oct 4, 2008 3:55 am
Gaddock:

If you can find a wealthy person and make them huge amounts of $$$$ you can get more business than you can handle. Month fourteen (Sept.) did just under $20K grosse & wrapped $700K and some change. I did have to make 25,000+ cold calls to get in the doors but I'm here to tell you it can be done.

 
....Persistence and Consistence,
 
              ....110% Plus Effort to build your foundation clients (in your first 3 to 5 years)
 
                       ......Investing 10 to 20% (or more as necessary) to meet goals
                                          
                                          .....Over Time
 
                                               ......Equals Success!
Oct 5, 2008 9:35 am

Marketing has been my toughest challenge. DK'ing prospects was easy enough. Selling is not easy but I'm learning. Building portfolios is enjoyable. Managing clients, even in these recent months, has gone well. Most clients sign up with you because they like you, and presumably are doing better in this market than they would had they been managing their own money.
But it's a constant struggle to let people know exactly what I do, and then to find those people. My job right now is to 'gather assets', but that's not something you can market to potential clients.
One of my challenges is that most of the people I contact do not have a clue as to what a financial advisor does. We don't have great reputations, as a group, either.