Prevent marketing paralysis in 2014

Following a road map can give momentum to your outreach efforts this year

Jan 15, 2014 @ 12:01 am

By Kristin C. Harad

Overcoming inertia may be the No. 1 obstacle financial advisers face when it comes to marketing. How many times have you started the year with a new marketing plan, chock full of initiatives, only to find yourself overwhelmed and uncertain where to begin? Or maybe you set off with vigor only to abandon half-finished efforts along the way when you realize you've taken on too much and cannot follow through.

How can you prevent this marketing paralysis?

Focus on one initiative for 2014. Yes, just one. One at a time, that is. This is how you will build momentum — and more results — with your marketing.

Imagine if you had absolute clarity on which marketing effort to set in motion in any given moment. What if you knew exactly how to direct your resources each hour, day, week or month? And what if you knew how and when to say no to the latest surefire marketing tactic so you could actually achieve more?

With momentum marketing, you will. Here's how it works:

1. Clear the roadblocks. Momentum slows or halts when it encounters obstacles. What are you hanging on to from 2013 that disappointed you? Write it all down and then tear it up. It won't serve you. Now, with wide-open space, you can apply your force to move forward.

2. Set your destination coordinates. Once you get rolling, it is harder to change direction. Make sure you head the way you want to from the start. What is your primary business objective for the year? Be sure to quantify what you want to achieve. What numbers define your destination?

3. Select your first push. Turning a flywheel takes more effort in the beginning than it does once it completes a few cycles. The same thing happens with marketing.

Choose one marketing strategy for which you feel energy or enthusiasm. Is it sharing content to generate leads? Deepening client relationships? Communicating systematically with prospects? Pick one to start. Don't worry, you can revisit other options when you complete this one.

4. Get directions. Take your one strategy and write out the “turn by turn” directions. What are each of the steps you need to take to launch your strategy? For example, if you take on content marketing, you may first need to set up your LinkedIn profile. Then develop your company page. Next, you join communities of your target audience. Then you write one article and post it. Then you write your next article.

5. Follow the map. Each step you complete on your path will accelerate your marketing results. Soon you cruise along, feeling the momentum build from completing a task, energizing you for the next one. The acceleration builds and you roll faster and faster.

Create marketing momentum one step at a time this year. The cumulative efforts of each single action can produce surprising results. You may even arrive at your destination early.

Kristin C. Harad is a certified financial planner and a marketing coach for entrepreneurial financial advisers (www.kristinharad.com and www.themercato.net).

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