You don’t have to wait for the beginning of the year, or even the month, to start creating an advisor marketing calendar. Any time is a great time to get your marketing efforts organized.

But financial advisors are not usually also professional marketing experts, so marketing is not always second nature. As a result, the marketing calendars advisors build can often miss important features.  

A financial advisor marketing calendar does more than simply plan out the year’s events. Successful advisors take the time to build a marketing calendar that focuses on the bigger picture.

And when it comes to designing your day-to-day, there are several things you can do to quickly and easily create a schedule to meet your goals. 

9 Steps to Creating an Advisor Marketing Calendar

Here are the 9 steps you need to create a financial advisor marketing calendar:

1. Write Down Your Biggest Goals

Sure, financial advisor marketing plans should contain daily objectives. But, there is something that happens when you take the time to write down long-term goals. 

They no longer float around as mere thoughts. It’s as if the act of writing goals makes them real. 

Including larger goals on your calendar makes sure they are no longer wishes; they become mile markers, allowing you and your team to maintain focus. Make sure to include long-term objectives for your business, team, and clients. 

2. Build Your Advisor Marketing Calendar Around the Company’s Purpose

A financial advisor marketing calendar is built around the team’s rally cry and keeps everyone believing in the team’s purpose. And when the team is motivated, they are quick to take action. 

But the first step is to find out what the team’s rally cry is. What is the reason the company exists in the first place? Beyond products and services, what is the company’s purpose for being? What would clients lose if the business ceased to exist tomorrow? Simon Sinek would ask, “What’s your why?”

Next, what strategies can be done to enhance your firm’s purpose? If the purpose is to give clients a stellar life after retirement, how can this be achieved? 

Then, build your schedule around these strategies. If your objective is to connect with your clients more, then schedule more opportunities for one on one calls. If your “why” is to provide security and comfort to retirees, then include more educational communications to enable peace of mind.

Any financial advisor marketing plan focused on purpose is a win-win for everyone.

3. Always Include Variety

There is no such thing as a silver-bullet strategy where doing just one type of activity will always grow your business (i.e., only sending emails to communicate with clients or only doing public seminars for an event strategy).

To better illustrate this, think about how an advisor might describe to a client the benefits of a diversified portfolio to reduce risk. The same is equally true for marketing. 

The most successful advisors use different communication channels and mix up the types of events they do. A multi-channel presence can improve the effectiveness of your marketing overall and ensure your message is heard.

4. Spread Out Your Events

Imagine having four events scheduled for this week, two charity events set for the weekend, another educational event next Thursday, and another Friday morning, all while planning to create, design, and send your seasonal newsletters and weekly commentaries. 

Oh, and don’t forget, many advisors are business owners and still need to run their business’s day-to-day operations. 

No doubt the team is going to be overwhelmed. 

But spaced out throughout the year, this same workload becomes far more manageable. The best advisors can proactively balance their marketing so they do not push their team to extremes.

The best financial advisor marketing plan provides dispersed and continuous activities so clients always have their advisors on top of their minds when the opportunity for a referral becomes available. 

5. Provide Opportunities for Feedback

A common misconception is more activity is better – more emails and drip campaigns, more seminars, more wine tastings. This is simply not always the case. Quality marketing is far superior to quantity marketing.

One way to determine what strategies are the most relevant for your clients is to incorporate client feedback into your marketing schedule. 

Annual client surveys, client advisory board meetings, event feedback forms, and face-to-face conversations are among the many powerful tools advisors use to gather feedback for their clients’ events and communication preferences. 

The most successful advisors do not assume they know what is best for their clients. Instead, they take the time to ask.

6. Focus Your Advisor Calendar on Niche Markets

It seems like every advisor under the sun is doing a public awareness strategy. But how can advisors break away and stand out from this sea of advertising?

Once you have organized your marketing events on a calendar, analyze your endeavors to see if your actions are focused on a specific niche market and adjust where it’s necessary. 

Rather than aiming to be the advisor for all retirees and pre-retirees, aim to be the best advisor in your area.

7. Identify Trends to Maintain Success

Sometimes marketing works out brilliantly. The financial advisor gets a lot of referrals, happy clients, new leads, and plenty of public awareness. And sometimes, the advisor learns a new way not to do an event.

Although every activity should be tracked in minute detail, a marketing calendar should provide the financial advisor with a bigger picture.

By examining a large number of events and communications at once, you can identify trends. What types of events are successful? What types of communications have the most resonance? Then you can laser-focus on the details of each and start making adjustments.

As you create your calendar, do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. 

8. Share Your Advisor Schedule to Improve Accountability

Financial advisors are dreamers. They want the world for their clients, employees, and businesses. Sometimes, it can feel like there are more dreams than actions. 

Where should advisors start? How does this event get planned? How much work needs to be done by the advisor, and how much can be done by someone else?

Marketing can become chaotic quickly.

Accountability is one of the best ways to measure the success of a financial advisor’s marketing plan. A marketing calendar, when shared with the team, can help ensure that progress never stops. Everyone holds each other accountable. Plus, it’s harder to abandon a great marketing campaign when other team members are in the loop.

9. Give Yourself An Adequate Budget

“If a business owner says she can’t afford to market her business, she truly can’t afford to be in business.” – Sherr DeMao

One advisor that I work with told me about a great way to do more with clients without paying more out of his pocket. He loved the idea of doing frequent social, intimate, and educational events, but at some point, he had to draw the line because it became cost-prohibitive.

What this advisor found was that completing a marketing calendar with an estimated event budget allowed wholesalers to pick which events they wanted to support.

A marketing budget is entirely dependent on what your goals are, but here is a quick suggestion:

Often, the actual budget does not align with the overall marketing objective in the chart above. In my experience, many advisors are spending less than 3% of their production level on their marketing budget and still expect their business to skyrocket in growth. Perhaps they feel they can simply
will the growth into reality, but these advisors are not spending the appropriate time, energy, or resources to get there. While nothing is impossible, this expectation is unrealistic.

Performing an Advisor Marketing Calendar Checkup

Once you’ve created the perfect financial advisor marketing plan, it is important to perform the occasional checkup. 

Some might argue to do monthly marketing pushes and never plan out a calendar beyond that. Some might argue for creating an annual calendar and only revising it once every year.

Both can work, but neither works 100% of the time for everyone.

Here’s the best practice: Start with an annual calendar that lays out a plan for some long-term goals. Then, set up some times throughout the year for regular checkups. How long the meetings should be depends on how frequently throughout the year checkups are done. The more times an advisor meets with the team to review their marketing, the shorter the checkup meetings can be.

For most advisors, I would suggest a quarterly marketing calendar checkup. Here are some tips to make the most out of your marketing calendar checkups:

Once per quarter, schedule a marketing meeting with your team.

Cover topics like:

  • Why the team exists. What’s the team’s rally cry?
  • What are the goals (both short-term and long-term)?
  • Is the business still on track to completing those goals?

Review all of the communications, client strategies, and public strategies from the past few months that have worked and try to understand why they worked.

Ask questions like:

  • Why did this email get a higher open rate?
  • What made our clients enjoy this event over this other one?
  • Why did clients invite more guests to this event?

Additionally, review everything that did not work and try to understand why it didn’t work out.

Ask questions like:

  • Were the client events on the wrong day?
  • Was there enough notice given before the event?
  • Was there something happening elsewhere in the community?
  • What feedback have we received from our clients that we should incorporate?

Once the team understands what worked and what didn’t over the last few months, take a look at what’s coming up.

Ask questions like:

  • Do any changes need to be made?
  • Should any events be adjusted, removed, or replaced?
  • Are there any trending ideas or topics that need to be added?
  • Is there any new technology available that makes our day easier without compromising our quality and reputation?

When the team is happy with the adjustments, take a few moments and make the necessary revisions to the marketing calendar.

Some suggested actions would include:

  • Pull any necessary checklists from the FMG downloadables library for new events.
  • Schedule any new communications.
  • Book the next round of event venues that have not been reserved already.

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