The back-to-school season is a great time of year for advisors to do some good old fashioned research and re-evaluate their marketing and communication opportunities with clients.

Your Marketing

Rather than rely on the new year to review your marketing efforts, consider a quarterly review. Take a look at the marketing tools you’re currently using and what you’re evaluating for future use. What’s working well? What isn’t getting results? What consumes the most time and energy, and are the results worth it? By reviewing your analytics, you can determine where to focus your efforts. If something isn’t working, consider changing tactics.

If you aren’t seeing results from posting once a week on social media, try increasing to three or four times a week and see if that makes a difference. If your monthly blog posts are doing well, consider blogging twice a month for even better results.

While reviewing your marketing, evaluate the technology you’re using. Are you content with your CRM? Have you identified any other options that may serve you better? What financial planning software are you using? Is it helping or hindering your clients?

As marketing is an ever-evolving industry, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest strategies and opportunities available. Over the years, I’ve read some great books specifically for financial advisors. Here are a few of my recommendations:

The Art of Inbound Marketing, by Craig Faulkner
Sure, I’m a little biased, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t an incredibly valuable resource for financial advisors. The Art of Inbound Marketing is the definitive resource on how financial advisors can build their practice with digital marketing. The book offers step-by-step, actionable ideas for connecting with clients and prospects online. From building a dynamic website to getting social on social media, advisors can easily amp up their digital marketing efforts.

The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors: Mastering the Online to Offline Conversion, by Kevin Nichols and Matt Oechsli
LinkedIn is a great platform for connecting with affluent clients. When properly used, advisors can make social selling a core part of their business development efforts. This step-by-step guide transforms a LinkedIn novice to a master. Nichols and Oechsli use in-depth research to create a LinkedIn roadmap for advisors.

Don’t Keep Me A Secret: Proven Tactics to Get Referrals and Introductions, by Bill Cates
Bill Cates literally wrote the book on how to gain referrals. In this book, he developed a guide to help advisors identify and meet high-quality referrals, shorten their sales cycle, increase profits, and expand their network of contacts.

7 Simple Steps to Reach Your Ideal Clients, by Susan Danzig
This free report is a great, quick read on how to pinpoint and attract ideal clients and, as a result, help advisors build their business and satisfaction.

Your Clients

Communication is key for maintaining solid relationships with clients and their family. The back-to-school season is a great opportunity for advisors to re-connect with clients and talk about college planning. The start of the school year means they’re one year closer to college. Is their college savings on track? Do their children know where they are applying yet? If so, what are the average tuition costs? Send out a reminder to clients to meet and discuss college planning strategies, or consider hosting an educational seminar or event at your office or public location regarding the topic.

The back-to-school season quickly leads to Thanksgiving and the holidays. As everyone is focused on family, now is a great time for advisors to discuss gifting strategies and estate planning with clients. Is their estate plan up-to-date? Have they considered gifting, either to their children or charity? This could be a great time to start a Roth IRA for their child or grandchild or gifting to a 529 college savings plan.

The back-to-school season is a great time of year for advisors to re-evaluate their marketing efforts and reconnect with clients. Not only is it an opportunity to get a head start before the busy new year transition, but it is also a chance to remind clients of the necessity of planning for the future, whether it’s college funding or gifting strategies.