For this section, make sure you have the Marketing Plan Builder nearby. It'll help you to capture the actions you're going to take for each of the channels that you roll out for your marketing. You'll notice it has space to remind yourself of your niche and your brand and a section for before, during, and after phase for each activity. And that's so that you can think through the preparations that need to be made, the actual experience, itself, that people have. And most importantly, the follow-up that's going to happen afterwards. These short explanations aren't going to tell you exactly how to do it, but it's going to give you enough to move. I promise you that. If you want to dig in further, ask us in the Advisor Growth Journey Facebook group. We're happy to fill in some of the blanks.
So here are the immediate marketing channels. First channel: social events. When you host social events of some kind, whether it's a small gathering with a simple theme, people get a chance to see how you behave with others. They get to see if they like you. They get a chance to say a few words. You get a chance to say a few words and they get to hear what you've got to say. You can run all kinds of social events from barbecues to exotic outings of some kind, but they should be big enough to allow people to mingle and small enough that you can spend a little time with everyone. This is an active marketing channel, so you should be ending the event knowing that there are some people you'll be able to talk with further afterwards, and your list should expand because of the event.
Second channel: seminars, webinars, and live casts. These can be really, really time efficient, and cost-effective, too. You're able to cast a wide net if you want a large group, because email invites to 10 people take about as much time as email invites to 10,000. And it doesn't diminish the experience when there are more people on a digital call. If it's a live event, large events can generate a lot of energy and create critical mass. But even if they're small, the goal should be to teach. Now, you don't have to be the teacher. Bring in an outside expert that would be a good draw, that's speaking about something that matters to your niche. It doesn't have to be about planning or insurance or investments or living benefits. It could be about family dynamics or cybersecurity or any number of topics that are linked to your work, but not directly related to it.
Ensure you have an action for people to take. What's the next step after the event? If you're going to follow up with phone calls, tell them you're going to do it and why you're going to do it. Make and keep small promises and then build your niche list so that you can generate active leads. Also, follow-ups for anything you invite people to should always fall into three groups: follow-ups for those who attended, follow-ups for those who said they would attend but they didn't show, and follow-ups to those who didn't respond at all. Sometimes people are overloaded when they got your invite, but now they have some space later when you choose to follow up. So follow up with them. Don't miss out on this because these are your people. This is your niche you're talking to.
Third channel: direct mail. Send mail to people. Direct mail works. It's a multi-billion business for a reason, and frankly, people don't get a lot of skillful mail anymore. And when they get packages, they are interested. So there's two kinds of direct mail you can use: lumpy mail or sales letters. Lumpy mail means mail where you're sending something to someone. It might be a set of the legacy values cards, or a book, or a publication, or something you know that the niche will value. The big plus about lumpy mail is that people open it. And books, especially, have a high perceived value. So I encourage you to think about what would be good for your niche to be reading. Make sure that whatever you send connects to your message somehow. You don't have to be salesy about it, but do make sure that there's a quick note that says that you'll be following up with them. It creates some permission through reciprocity.
With respect to sales letters, don't underestimate them. They used to be very popular. Then they got over done, but there is still room for a good sales letter. Now, how long should a sales letter be? Wrong question. There's no set length for a sales letter. The issue is whether or not people will read it. And we've written six page sales letters that niche leads have read because we're speaking to exactly what they were actually thinking about and concerned about. If you send just one paragraph that's not speaking to your niches, there's a good chance they won't even finish that. But if you're dialed in on their world, their concerns, aspirations, wants, desires, they'll read it. It takes a lot to craft a good sales letter, but I encourage you to send them as part of your marketing campaign because they work. They create an opportunity to follow up and they've become uncommon again.
Next one. Fourth channel is Google Alerts. Now this is a passive channel, so it's not generating niche leads, but it's a way for you to keep your list warm and to help them know that you're thinking about them. Here's how it works, and this is pretty cool. Through some of your interactions with people, whether on a call, a webinar, an in-person conversation, or email exchange, as you become aware of the things that are interesting to them, a hobby, a business interest, a life concern, whatever it might be, head to google.com/alerts and create an alert.
Now, here's how. Go to google.com/alerts. Type in the search query that you want to monitor. So the issue that's top of mind for them. Choose what type of events or results you want. So everything, news, blogs, videos, discussions, or whatever. Choose how you want to receive updates. As it happens, daily, or weekly. Choose if you want only the best results or all results, and then choose the email address you want the alerts sent to. Click, "Create alert." Google will scan the web constantly for that search term. And when it finds something, it will send you a link about it. If it's something you think will be useful to your niche or to that prospect, just forward it with a really simple email that says, "Hi, first name. I saw this and thought of you. All the best, your name." And then make sure you include the link.
What happens because of that? You become the person who cares about the person, not the sale. You become the person who is thinking about your niche constantly without actually having to do all of the thinking. Google's going to do it for you. This is highly underutilized, and as a result, creates a great opportunity for you to have a start with your clients even before they're clients.
Fifth channel: your website. Your website should be a confirmation of your validity as a great resource to your niche. Keep it niche-specific. And here's a few things to have in mind: smiling, happy faces. You want to have happy people that are preferably you and your team, if you have one. Stay away from stock photography of people. Use yourselves. When people see people smiling, mirror neurons in the brain fire off, and they're more prone to be smiling and feeling good, too. They also get to see you and get to see who you are, and that's what they're looking for.
Second is don't have deep navigation. Try and keep all the key information on the main page so that people can scroll through it easily, especially with the progression to mobile browsing where clicking on links gets tougher. Use second person language. Start sentences with the word you. "You have decisions to make. You need a good team. You want someone with expertise backing you up. You've had success. You have a family to worry about," and so on. Starting with you makes it about them. Interestingly, they do not want to know about you nearly as much as they want to know that you know about them. All right?
So next, have a download. Create something that will be useful to your niche. Make it really niche-specific so that only people that will download it will be in your niche. A PDF that has something really powerful to them. That's key here. And then search engine optimization. SEO matters. People search. Now, the key is what do you want to be found for? Ideally, you want to know what your niche is looking for and then tune the language and design of your site so that search engines prioritize you for that. It takes some work, but knowing your niche makes this a heck of a lot easier. Build a website that matters to your niche and start to see some different results that come from it.
The sixth channel is your social profiles. Social media, it's its own world and it's too big to handle in this space. But social profiles are something you do need to handle. You need to be findable and your social profiles need to be specific. When you create a profile on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or otherwise, here's a few simple keys that you just have to have. First, your photo needs to be clear. Your face should be visible and the look should be consistent with your brand. If you're friendly and approachable, don't be all serious and vice versa. If you're real serious, don't be looking like you're joking.
Second, put your name the way you use your name. My name is Christopher, but I use Chris. So my social profiles say Chris. Third, for your title, use your Bridge Talk™. Have your name, and then I help or we help, and then the name of your niche and the problem you solve for them. When you create a company page on a social platform, follow the same approach as the website in terms of its design, and then work to keep it full of content that matters to your niche. If people comment on posts you make, comment back. Your goal is to always move to an offline conversation from an online interaction. The goal of social platforms is to create enough interaction that people will make decision one, agree to meet.
Action Task. Here's your action. Complete your Marketing Plan Builder and map out your immediate next steps for each of these channels. Take some time now to get clear on what you'll do to generate niche leads.
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