How to Create Marketing Messages that Convert

Ever struggle with marketing?

Ever feel like just throwing in the towel and giving up on ever attracting a steady flow of newly qualified appointments each month?

Of course, you do.

We all do from time to time. Financial services marketing can be exhausting. It’s something that most of us have invested significant time and money into, but only a few of us can say we’ve achieved measurable results.

So what’s the secret?

You might be wondering … what makes the difference? Why is one campaign wildly successful while another campaign seems to flop?

While there are a number of variables that impact a marketing campaign’s success, I’ve found there are four common denominators among the unsuccessful ones. In no particular order, here they are…

Four Common Denominators of Unsuccessful Marketing

  • Problem #1: We focus on our products, our services, and ourselves. We all know that we’re supposed to focus on the client. But if you look closely at the ads and campaigns most advisors publish, you’ll often find that they speak to the benefits of a particular product – not to what’s really driving our ideal clients.
  • Problem #2: We haven’t identified our ideal clients. Identifying your target market requires more than just defining zip code, income and asset range. These qualifiers don’t get to the heart of what’s really driving your ideal prospects and clients.
  • Problem #3: The message doesn’t resonate. If you haven’t taken the time to identify who your ideal prospects are and what’s really driving them, your messages aren’t going to attract them to you. A marketing message that speaks to the ultimate desired end result of your target market is what draws them.
  • Problem #4: We ignore the four key motivators. If you want your marketing to resonate and generate a response, you have to tap into some basic key psychological motivators. The motivators should be the foundation of every marketing campaign you deploy, whether it’s direct mail, radio, online ads, or any other kind of marketing implementing the following four motivators is mission critical.

The Four Key Psychological Motivators that Generate Response

Now that you know some common mistakes to avoid let’s unpack the four key motivators that must be incorporated in each marketing campaign…

  • Key Motivator #1: HAVE – What does your ideal client want, but not have? What do they have but wish they didn’t?

Maybe they have too much risk, and by working with you, they can have less. Maybe they want a higher return, and you can help them achieve that.

Here’s an example. Let’s paint a before-and-after picture for this motivator of your ideal prospect…

BEFORE. The prospect has no investment plan. They’re paying high fees, and they have too much risk and volatility in their portfolio.

AFTER. As a client of your firm they now have a tailor-made plan developed just for them. For the first time, they have a definitive strategy, as well as a guide to help them on their journey to (or through) retirement.

The above example used appropriately in your marketing messages resonate with this ideal prospects desire to be rid of the things they do not want and speak to the desired end result of what they do want.

Now, while “have” is an important motivator, it’s the least effective of the four keys. When it comes to marketing, this is where most of us stop. It’s leveraging the next three motivators in your messaging that’s really going to begin to move the needle for you.

  • Key Motivator #2: FEEL – How does your ideal client feel about their specific challenge or situation, product or service, or event current life events?

Emotions are powerful, and because they are powerful, you need to be speaking to them in your marketing. Let’s look at a before and after example of “FEEL”…

BEFORE. Your ideal prospects are scared. They don’t know what the future holds, and market fluctuations leave them constantly stressed out and in a state of anxiety.

AFTER. After hiring you, your new client now feels confident. They feel calm and peaceful for the first time in a long time. Regardless of what the markets are doing, they feel excited about their future.

Big difference, huh?

Moving someone from fear to confidence is a huge transformation, and prospects and clients will pay a lot to work with an advisor they believe can help them make this transition. The distance you can move your clients from their before state to their desired after will ultimately also determine the level of fees you can charge.

  • Key Motivator #3: AVERAGE DAY – What does your ideal client’s average day look like before they hire you? What about after? This key motivator speaks to creating a better life for your client. We all want better experiences in life, and we’re all constantly trying to eliminate what we don’t like in order to move ourselves forward. Your clients are no different.

Here’s an example of how you can leverage “Average Day” in your marketing messages…

BEFORE. Your clients roll out of bed and head to the office, worrying about the news they just watched during breakfast. They stress about the markets, interest rates, the dollar, and inflation as well as all the fear-laced stories the media feeds us.After a stressful day at work, they go home aggravated and irritable. They argue with their spouse yell at the kids and go to bed depressed all because of the undercurrent of uncertainty that’s driving their fear of the future.

AFTER. Thanks to their relationship with you, they now feel confident and trust they can ignore the scare tactics on the news because they know that you’re there to help them manage their concerns. They wake up refreshed, looking forward to their day, enjoy breakfast and are energized for the day ahead because they’re not carrying the fear with them everywhere they go. They are able to come home, and enjoy their spouse and kids, and enjoy an evening relaxing without the stress of what the future holds.

Changing the quality of someone’s average day is huge! Our marketing should speak to their current reality and then communicate the type of average day they could be experiencing… If they’ll simply hire you to help them.

  • Key Motivator #4: STATUS – How do your ideal clients perceive themselves before and after they hire you?

If you can help them elevate their status, and incorporate the new future version of themselves in your marketing, you’ll be leveraging the most psychologically powerful key of all.

Here’s a quick before and after state example of Status…

BEFORE. Your prospect feels uneducated. Most Americans feel this way, as they simply aren’t educated on the things we specialize in. They feel outside the inner circle. Maybe they even feel like a poor provider because they don’t have a handle on their investments, retirement plans, and retirement. They feel like less of a person because they don’t have these things figured out.

AFTER. Your client feels educated and even smarter than most after working with you because now they’re in the know. You’ve taken the time to educate them and thus elevated them to the status of respected leader, someone who’s sought out by their peers for advice, and appreciated by their spouse and family for doing a good job.

For each of these key motivators, the goal is to define the before, and after state of your ideal prospects. Then to paint the picture of each into your marketing. Taking the time to connect with your ideal prospects in all four of these categories will ensure your marketing resonates with their core desires and compel them to take action!

This type of marketing and messaging has nothing to do with investments, tax strategies, insurance products, etc. It’s not about comparing IRAs to non-qualified plans, or mutual funds to managed money accounts. Those things are not motivators – they don’t matter. What’s driving your prospects – what’s going to attract them to your practice – are these four keys.

Identifying The 4 Key Motivators For Your Ideal Prospects

To help you begin to identify your ideal prospects key motivators, we’ve developed the “Client Transformation Grid.” This easy to use exercise is designed to help you with this important aspect of your marketing, so please feel free to download it, and print it out, and use it as a tool to ensure your marketing messages are on target.

Take a few minutes now while it’s fresh on your mind, print it off and jot down some key thoughts in each before and after category to use as a reference later when you’re planning your next marketing campaign.