Doing Feast & Famine Marketing the Right Way as a Financial Planner
Being too busy is a nice problem to have.
If your marketing works as well as it should, then you are likely to reach a point in your business where you no longer have the capacity to engage new clients. That’s a good thing.
In the current recruitment environment where Paraplanners are more scarce than one of Willy Wonka’s golden tickets, it’s no surprise that this capacity crunch can cause you to slam the brakes on your marketing efforts.
Last week I was speaking to a Financial Planner who faced this challenge.
With his back office team at capacity, and his business on track to achieve its financial goals for the year, he was keen to stop all marketing activity.
I’ve seen this before. It doesn’t usually end well. Here’s why.
Everybody here knows the story
Imagine a Financial Planner called Tom. He’s a one-person band, working hard to grow his client list and assets under advice.
Tom has a strategic marketing plan and carries out some different marketing activities.
After six months of following his marketing plan, and investing a decent chunk of his time each week on high-impact client prospecting activities, Tom experiences a sudden influx of new clients.
To provide a high-level of service to these new clients, and of course, to his existing clients, Tom calls a halt to all marketing activity. He gets his head down to focus on engaging with the new clients, constructing their Financial Plans and making them feel happy about their decision to work with him.
A few months later, Tom looks up from his desk, with the work to onboard the flurry of new clients happily completed. It’s time to start marketing again.
So Tom picks up from where he left off. But rather than immediately receiving new client enquiries from those same prospecting activities, there’s an ominous pause.
With his marketing momentum lost, Tom has to endure three more months of prospecting activity before another small flurry of new client enquiries appears.
Once again, Tom slams the brakes on his marketing and diverts all of his attention to servicing his new (and existing clients).
He repeats this cycle, and again, and again.
Tom has mastered the art of feast and famine marketing.
And all the chatter and the smiles
Mary is a self-employed Financial Planner working just down the road from Tom.
Like Tom, Mary is working hard to engage with new clients and build her business from scratch.
She’s got a similar approach to marketing and, after several months of hard work, a flurry of new client enquiries comes through the door.
Unlike Tom, Mary keeps her marketing engine ticking over as she allocates more of her time to engage with the new clients.
She doesn’t take her foot off the marketing gas entirely during this time. Instead, she reduces her marketing activity to a base level for a few months, freeing up the time she needs to work with her merry band of new clients.
For Mary, this means allocating about 20% of her time to marketing throughout, but not starting any standalone marketing projects when she’s busy with client work.
She still does the basics; publishing a fresh blog post each week on her website, tweeting once or twice a day, and sending our her weekly email newsletter to new clients.
She decides not to attend that networking lunch on Thursday or say yes to the opportunity to sponsor a classical music recital next month.
The decision to continue allocating 20% of her time to base level marketing activity means Mary doesn’t experience the same feast and famine marketing cycle seen by Tom.
When she has a little more capacity, after working with her new clients, Mary picks up the pace again, and the results are experienced much faster, with only a short wait before the next new clients arrive on the scene.
For the benefit of Tom and Mary
Here’s what we can learn from Tom and Mary; it’s essential to keep your marketing machine moving, even when you reach capacity and need to focus on client activity.
Falling into the trap of feast and famine marketing is common for Financial Planners, in our experience.
Marketing is one of those activities they can cut right out when things get busy.
Instead, by continuing to allocate a consistent amount of time each week to marketing-related activities, and by performing a basic level of marketing at all times, it becomes easier to pick up from where you left off.
Rather than starting again from a stationary position, you maintain your marketing momentum and quickly regain your client generating success.