As a content marketer and marketing coach for financial planners, I get this question a lot —
What part of my marketing should I outsource first?
In most cases, the business owners I’m talking to don’t like any aspect of DIY-ing their marketing. Or, more accurately, they probably enjoyed it when they were new to being a business owner, but have long since run out of time, energy, or desire to handle these tasks themselves.
Predictably, when time is limited, marketing endeavors slowly screech to a halt. This creates a dangerous situation where an advisor coasts on referrals or organic business that comes in, but doesn’t have a fall back plan to continue growing and hitting their goals when the pipeline inevitably dries up. (And believe me, without a strategy in place, the pipeline will dry up eventually.)
Luckily, there’s an easy fix for this problem – outsourcing! Of course, I don’t believe that an advisor has to start by outsourcing the whole marketing kit and caboodle. Instead, focusing on hiring out different elements of a marketing strategy that are high-impact can ensure that advisors get the most bang for their buck when they first start outsourcing to a marketing firm or freelancer.
These five pieces of your marketing are elements that I have found to be the easiest to get off your plate, have a positive impact on your calendar and/or peace of mind, and have the highest ROI. Keep in mind that every business owner is different, so what works for other advisors (or me!) may not work for you. Take this advice with a grain of salt, and consider speaking with a few professionals to get a sense of what you can personally outsource to help yourself market more efficiently and effectively.
#1: Blog Writing
Last year, I wrote this blog post on why blog writing should be the cornerstone of your marketing plan – and I stand by it. Of course, a blog on its own doesn’t do you any good. There are no “if you build it, they will come” results in the world of small business blogging. However, outsourcing your blog writing is a huge win because –
Blogs have a lot of tangible benefits. Nurturing leads, boosting your website’s SEO, amplifying your “why”, and honing your brand voice – just to name a few.
There are many, many things you can repurpose your blog for. We’ve had clients use our ghostwritten blog content as the foundation for presentations, webinars, and podcast/video scripts. We’ve also had clients use several of our blogs combined to create eBooks, lead magnets, or email campaigns. You can take snippets from your blog to create custom social media graphics or captions. Your blog posts can be sent to clients to continue conversations or act as one-to-many, scalable touch points in your client service calendar. The list is endless.
The average person takes several hours (3 hours, to be exact, according to recent studies) to write a single blog post. That’s right – hours. If your goal is 1-2 blog posts a month, that’s up to 6 hours of time that can be spent doing literally anything else.
Another “win” is that blog writing is relatively affordable on the outsourced marketing scale. You aren’t going to pay an arm or a leg to have consistent, high-quality content written. In fact, some teams even will help guide you through content strategy, or help you with Google Analytics tracking to see results.
#2: Content Promotion
I view content marketing as two worlds – content creation, and content promotion. Outsourcing the creation (like blog writing) is only one half of the job. The other half (promotion) is a lot more labor intensive, even if it’s not requiring as much effort all at once as sitting down to write a blog post might. Content promotion might include:
Social media marketing
I usually recommend that advisors get choosy about what kind of content promotion they want to do, because outsourcing this element of your marketing can start to add up. Personally, our team assists with social media marketing and newsletter writing as part of our Create & Connect service. We chose to go this route because we felt it was the most effective way to help advisors get their content out into the world to connect with their clients, nurture prospect relationships, and show up for their audience in general.
However, there’s a lot to be said for other methods of promotion! Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google ads, for example, can have an incredible impact if you’re promoting a lead magnet or event, or are just looking to increase brand awareness. Email campaigns that focus on promoting your content to prospective clients can also move the needle significantly, especially if the list you’re promoting to is niche-specific (example: you have an email list for local guidance counselors, and you offer college planning services to parents). PR can also be a fantastic piece of your marketing puzzle to outsource if you want to get your name or content out there to specific publications.
Again, content promotion can have a huge impact when outsourced. It’s just important to decide exactly what type of promotion you want to pursue before signing up for a variety of services.
#3: Collaborate on Strategy
Marketing coaches who specialize in working with advisors (or who know your niche really well) can help you to put together a comprehensive strategy with easy, actionable steps to take toward implementation.
If you don’t have the time or desire to research marketing strategy, or you just want an expert’s guidance (but know you and your team can easily implement their advice) this option is for you. I find that most advisors who are either just starting out and have time available to implement strategy and ideas, or larger firms who have a team available for implementation, thrive with consulting or coaching.
#4: Dig Into Your Website
Your website is often the first impression people will have of you – so make it count! High performing visuals and impactful copywriting can go a long way toward converting more of your ideal prospects into long-lasting clients. I always recommend outsourcing your web design when possible to someone whose general aesthetic and portfolio match what you’re looking for. Here are a few design firms I recommend:
#5: Develop a Lead Generator
Did you know that you can make your website more “sticky” by offering a lead magnet or freemium to your audience? Whether you choose to create an eBook, checklist, or email course, a free offering on your website can help you gather the contact information of prospective clients for ongoing marketing and lead nurture.
In today’s digital world, you can’t afford *not* to have a lead generating tool on your site – it’s a key part of your marketing funnel. To outsource this, you could have a marketing firm help you to create a lead magnet that’s unique to you.
You can also work with a business such as DataPoints to implement a quiz-type assessment on your site and leverage it as a lead generation tool. I’m consistently impressed with their assessments, and with how well they convert for advisors.
Get the Most Bang for Your Buck
To decide what element of your marketing you want to start outsourcing, I recommend doing an analysis of your time. Take a few weeks (or up to a month) and track your time using a tool like Toggl. Then, keep a daily journal where you jot down a few sentences about what work tasks you enjoyed, and what you didn’t enjoy.
At the end of your predetermined time frame, ask yourself:
What marketing tasks are taking me the most time? And what do I hate doing?
Most often, I find that advisors take the longest doing the tasks they hate. If that’s you, consider outsourcing those tasks to start. You’ll immediately see an ROI because your time will be freed up to focus on business development, operations, client work, or just taking an afternoon off every once in a while.
The next set of tasks I’d consider outsourcing are the tasks you hate but don’t take much time. These are usually somewhat administrative tasks such as scheduling social media posts, or posting your blogs to your website. Even if they aren’t time consuming, they take up a lot of unnecessary brain space as a business owner – so get them off your plate. The good news is these tasks are often easily outsourced to a virtual assistant or marketing firm.
Have questions about what to outsource? Not sure where to start? Let’s chat! I’d be happy to help. You can schedule a call with me by clicking here.