(Brookstone) For advisors looking to scale their financial advisory business, retirement workshops or financial seminars (done correctly) are a great way to attract new clients and grow your business. This blog post will provide some valuable tips on maximizing your workshops to ensure you get the most potential return on your investment from all your hard work.
Benefits of Hosting a Successful Seminar
Not all educational seminars are created equal - there are various types to choose from, each with its benefits and challenges. The three main types of seminars include; educational workshops, dinner seminars or lunch and learns, and online webinars. Every kind of seminar has its pros and cons. Still, there are some inherent advantages to adding seminars to your marketing mix.
Establishes Credibility For You And Your Practice
Upon arrival, attendees will become instantly familiar with you and your practice. As you present, you can share your expertise and experience with the audience and gain instant creditability by establishing yourself as a retirement expert in the various disciplines of retirement, including; income planning, investing, Social Security, Medicare, long-term care planning, estate planning, etc. You can quickly connect with the audience and demonstrate your value as a fiduciary advisor. By offering primary education (not products), you can create a positive outcome for everyone in the room.
Workshop Tip: Offer solutions, not products, to build relationships with the audience.
Generates Appointments, Quickly
The potential to generate quality leads is high, and the ability to speak to multiple potential clients in a single session is an excellent opportunity for you to optimize your time. Seminars can help you reach a targeted audience of qualified prospects interested in your services and more likely to convert into clients. The ability to interact face-to-face with qualified candidates is paramount and a much different experience than traditional marketing (radio, newspaper, or TV) or digital marketing channels like email, social media, or even videos and podcasts. At the end of the workshop, you can transition and ask for an appointment to take the next step in your retirement planning.
Workshop tip: Pass out a course evaluation/feedback form requesting an appointment.
Financial Advisor Seminar Marketing Ideas
Investing in marketing is crucial to any successful campaign. Many advertising options and strategies are available for financial advisors seeking qualified leads to get more clients.
One of the most common advertising options for seminar marketing is direct mail campaigns. These campaigns can be highly targeted, allowing you to reach the right people with your message. Most direct mail providers can target by geography, age, income, home ownership, and even investable assets. Using these specific demographics can significantly increase your chances of success by targeting your ideal client. However, direct mail marketing costs are typically higher than other digital marketing channels covered next.
Seminar marketing tip: Send a reminder direct mail piece to your prospects in addition to the initial invitation.
Targeted Social Media Campaign (Facebook)
Paid social media campaigns are another excellent option for event-based marketing. Typically you can reach a larger audience for less than you can with direct mail or traditional marketing. With Facebook, you can still target by age and geography (zip codes or radius from the venue) and even by hundreds of interests that Facebook has available in Ads Manager. You can also create look-a-like audiences inside of Facebook to find other similar prospects to your existing clients. With the right marketing partner, you can generate a lot of registrations for less than the cost of some of the traditional channels.
Seminar marketing tip: Read our previous post on using Facebook Ads to generate more registrations.
Leverage Email Marketing
Email marketing is another popular advertising option when hosting an event. By building an email list and sending out regular newsletters and updates, you can keep your clients and prospects engaged and informed about upcoming workshops. Hopefully, you have been doing some listing building and have a prospect list receiving your emails. When sending emails to prospects, be sure to invite your current clients. It will help fill the room, if needed, for an educational event. It will serve as a good reminder of your expertise and create an opportunity to talk about long-term care or estate planning if covered in the presentation.
Seminar marketing tip: Invite current clients to educational workshops.
Post it to Your Website & Social Media Accounts
On your website or landing pages, have a dedicated event page and regularly post on your social media account to drive traffic to this event page. An informative webpage is suitable for people considering your practice but who want to avoid committing to coming in for an individual appointment. With this option, typically, there is little to no cost, just some time setting up the landing page and posting.
Ideas on How to Run a Successful Seminar
1) Do the work
Make the calls to limit the number of no-shows
With any event, educational or dinner seminar, making confirmation calls once someone registers is vital to achieving a higher show rate. Have someone from your office touch base within 24-48 hours of registration and make multiple calls if you still need to get ahold of the person on the first attempt. Provide your staff with a script to ensure consistency and mastery. Also, reach out the day before, or the morning of the course, to remind your prospects to help get an accurate sense of expected attendance.
Always follow up
Prepping the potential client is one of many reach-out campaigns you must complete, but your team must follow up afterward. Checking for questions, booking appointments, and collecting feedback after your event are all essential, and to your benefit, to creating an enjoyable experience for attendees that leads to lasting success.
Practice, practice, practice
Be sure to know that material. Even though that seems obvious, ensure you go through the presentation in presentation mode to ensure everything works properly. Public speaking and giving presentations don't come naturally to many advisors, so if you are new to seminars, try recording yourself before the seminar to ensure you are comfortable with everything. On the day of, be sure to show up early enough to run through the presentation again and check all the audio and technology.
2) Make the seminar interactive
Hosting a successful seminar involves more than knowing your material - fully engaging with and getting attendees' feedback is critical. Make sure you set aside moments that specifically allow for audience participation; this enables everyone present to contribute their knowledge, experience, or expertise towards making the event even more enriching.
Your primary goal should be to educate the attendees. Still, making the class a dialogue versus a monologue is critical. Making the class more interactive and engaging will put the audience at ease. Most people are probably already skeptical that this will be some sales pitch, so whatever you can do to lighten the atmosphere and connect with the audience, the better off class should go. Here are some presentation hacks to make your next class more engaging.
- Include multiple-choice questions (and slides) for the audience in your presentation.
When was the last time the federal government had a surplus?
a) 1999 b) 2001 c) 2006 d) 2012
What was the approximate ratio of workers to Social Security beneficiaries in 1945?
a) 41 to 1 b) 35 to 1 c) 27 to 1 d) 11 to 1
- Give branded swag, prizes, or gift cards for correct answers.
- Give attendees a workbook with fill-in-the-blanks to follow along with the seminar.
- Use some animation in your Slides or PowerPoint
- Ask for questions and feedback from the audience - time permitting (be careful not to talk about 1 particular thing for too long though).
- Have fun!
3) Don't be afraid to test something new
Once you have the proper process, modify it slightly to see if you can get even better results. Try a different close at the end of class, use a separate evaluation form, or tell a different story to see if that resonates with more people. Some advisors need help transitioning from educator to instructor and asking for appointments. Try a few other closing techniques until you have something that works for you.
The same goes for marketing. Once you have established what marketing channel works, try some new strategies besides your core marketing. Carve out some budget to try a new idea for local digital/online marketing with newspapers (emails, banners, etc.), Linkedin ads, direct mail, etc.
4) Focus on what works - until it doesn't
Every advisor has a disappointing class or two or three, but you should ride it out once you find something that works. If the venue and marketing produced good results, and you were happy with the outcome and ROI, run another class or two until the number doesn't make sense. As we mentioned before, it is essential to test and evolve to get even better results but don't make dramatic changes. Take your time thinking about it - once you have the proper process (combination of venue, marketing, and content with the right partner), stay the course.
5) Find the right partner
Numerous seminar companies offer workshops for financial advisors, and even more companies and vendors think they have the best marketing programs. Be sure to ask the right questions or ask other like-minded advisors what they use. Once you have a program that works for you within your budget, stick with it and ride it out before switching to something else. Your partner should be able to share their expertise and advise you on what venues, days, times, and even months you should be running classes. For example, December is a difficult month to run a course due to the challenges of the holidays and the increased cost of Facebook (due to more advertisers running ads for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas). The right partner should be to share what other advisors in your area are doing and what they are experiencing. Every location is different, so that Tampa will pull differently than Detroit, and Detroit will be different than Nashville, so be sure they share relevant results and expectations.
Retirement Wealth Academy
The Retirement Wealth Academy is a comprehensive lead generation program exclusive to Brookstone Capital Management advisors. We offer educational retirement-focused classes at universities, libraries, and community centers across the country. Our courses teach a disciplined approach to financial planning and retirement investing. Together we combine a comprehensive digital marketing campaign with premier retirement education, led locally by our advisors, for a complete inbound seminar marketing solution.
Click here to learn more about our financial advisor seminar marketing program.