How to Create an Initial Marketing Offer That Converts

Presenting the initial marketing offer is one of the most important overtures financial planners can make to prospective clients. Just like a high school dance, elevating a first meeting to a more personal encounter takes courage. It’s the difference between making eye contact and walking across the gym to ask someone to dance. You want to make sure the person you’re about to approach will be receptive, and you want to think about what you’ll say so you don’t end up sounding like a dork.

Our FiComm Marketing Masterclass was privileged to speak with popular financial advisory podcast host and founder of Define Capital, Taylor Schulte, to explore how to create an initial marketing that appeals to your ideal client and highlights your company’s unique selling points.

Simply inviting website visitors to “schedule a meeting” and assuming they will reach out is so 2018. We’ve seen it on every site we visit, and it’s easy to ignore. If you’re putting in the work to maintain a strong website, network, and solicit referrals, it makes sense to squeeze every drop of marketing value out of it by giving interested prospects valuable information that induces them to engage with you on a deeper level.

Or, as Taylor bluntly puts it, “We have to tell people what we want them to do. We have to draw it in crayon and create a journey for them. Thousands of people could visit your website every day, download your podcast, and tune into your YouTube channel. That’s a great way to build an audience, but if you don’t have an offer to encourage them to act, you’ll have an audience that doesn’t do anything. You can’t just put out good stuff and sit back and watch the phone ring.”

Create an initial offering – a lead magnet, free introductory session, or something else of value – that is both compelling and aimed precisely at your target market niche. It’s a big piece to the conversion puzzle that helps people  interested in your services inch closer to committing to you as a client. When they take you up on your initial marketing offer, they send a big signal that they are intrigued and want to know more about you, your experience, and what you can do for them.

Talk to the Right People

Taylor explained that quality connections obtained from an offer, unlike the lukewarm prospects who may click a website’s “schedule a call” button, increase conversation efficiency and deliver maximum bang for the time, money, and other resources invested in your marketing. 

 “‘Schedule a call’ still works if we define success in terms of quantity,” he said. “But I’m focused on quality over quantity. I want to create a really good experience for those who reach out. I don’t want hundreds of people scheduling phone calls if they aren’t a good fit. So, we need to get clearer about what our offer is and who we do our best work for and creating that journey.”

Taylor’s method captures two distinct target audiences: Warm leads are referrals, podcast listeners, and others who are already familiar with Define Financial, and cooler leads come from people who land on the site from a Google search or a link from another website where Taylor has been featured.

The Define Financial homepage – digital real estate that Taylor calls “the most valuable space on the website and one that most advisors don’t take full advantage of” - guides these two segments down separate paths to conversion using distinct initial offerings. The stronger prospects will be intrigued by a free retirement assessment.

Give Them What They Want

Taylor knows he has 10 seconds or less to captivate these visitors, so “we use it to illustrate who we do our best work for, how we can help them, and the benefits they will get from taking the next step with us.”

He notes that the details drive results higher, so he makes sure to make ample use of keywords like “taxes” and “retirement,” including images that represent the demographics he wants to attract, summarize the offer, and make the call-to-action button stand out. Clicking that button takes prospects to a page containing more details about the offer. Taylor doesn’t want to jump into “schedule a call.” He wants to introduce friction along the way to ensure people who get to that point are truly motivated. The details page includes an image of the deliverable – a hard copy of a “light” financial plan. The image shows that the assessment is real and tangible. It’s not a video course or a PDF. It explains how the report is organized, how to use it, and how it will help them evaluate Taylor’s services. Visitors can scroll to find out if Define Financial is right for them and understand that their free assessment includes an introductory call, a follow-up team meeting, and an assessment review.

“It’s not a quick transaction, and I want them to know it,” Taylor said. “Only after all that can they actually take the initiative and schedule the call.”

Cooler leads are invited to download a free tax guide, listen to Taylor’s podcast, and join the mailing list. Submitting their contact information enrolls them in a weeklong email campaign – the subject of a future Masterclass!

Candice Carlton, FiComm’s executive vice president of Advisor Growth Marketing, loves how Taylor’s site combines the offer and audience segmentation to boil the buying journey down to “a series of micro-actions rather leaps of faith into the unknown with no guarantee of what the potential client going to get. “Financial advisors should guide their prospects to take baby steps with mini rewards along the way to where you know they want to go versus asking them to trust you and walk down a blind alley.”

As polished and comprehensive as Taylor’s organic online growth plan is, it is critical to make yours conform to your company’s strengths and your ideal client. Your best approach will be tailor-made, not Taylor-made!

Join FiComm's Next Masterclass

Marketing Masterclass is FiComm’s monthly online seminar, delivering practical advice on the hottest topics in financial advisor promotion, outreach, and business development. The live sessions include helpful interaction and real-life examples you can put to use immediately. Ready to join in? Register for our next session.

FiComm’s experts record free video mini-consultations in response to marketing questions from financial advisors submitted at Dear FiComm. Ask us about social media, blogs, podcasting, or other digital marketing efforts. You can catch previous episodes here.

Carolyn Dalle Molle

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