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3 Ways to Find Out if Your Web Marketing Is Paying Off

Results are priceless. There are literally thousands (or more!) way to market your firm to achieve business growth and success, but how do you know which tactics actually work? The age old problem with marketing is that it’s kind of a gray area in terms of its effectiveness.

Well, it used to be.

Part of the beauty of a strong web marketing strategy is that, in today’s tech-savvy world, we can literally track and measure what works and what doesn’t work. Google Analytics is a powerful resource that reveals many details about our web visitors and what actions they take online.

Setting goals and measuring your performance is key to any good business strategy, and in marketing it can be used to test whether your current initiatives are reaching the right audience and meeting your goals. Here are three measurements that can determine whether your web marketing efforts are paying off or not.

For all three of these measurements, I suggest reviewing the numbers on at least a monthly basis. Create a simple spreadsheet and input the numbers of a monthly basis. This is one really simple step that will help you visualize the effectiveness of your marketing strategy and spot trends.

1. Web Traffic
A great website isn’t so great if no one uses it. It’s sad, but it happens more often than you can imagine: a great-looking, user-friendly website that virtually generates no traffic because nobody knows the site exists. A great website generates a healthy and growing amount of traffic on a monthly basis.

The more qualified visitors you have to your website, the more likely you will be to convert the visitors to leads or clients. After about a month of data, you can begin to see patterns in what is working and what isn’t.

3 ways to increase traffic:

  • Above all, provide value. Web visitors are savvier that ever and won’t waste their time browsing your site unless you’re giving them something in return (like a white paper).
  • Include your web address in all marketing material (newsletter, business card, etc.).
  • Use social media to drive traffic back to your website.

2. Bounce Rate
A web visitor “bounces” away from your website after viewing only one page of content. For example, if 10 visitors arrive on your website and seven of them leave after viewing only one page of content, your bounce rate is 70 percent.

A high bounce rate indicates that the content on your website isn’t what web visitors are looking for. As a result? Nine times out of 10, web visitors will leave and not return.

2 ways to reduce a high bounce rate:

  • A clean, professional homepage design. Web visitors form an impression really fast; they are likely to bounce away if the site is outdated or unprofessional looking.
  • Clear navigation. If your web visitors can’t find the information they’re looking for, don’t expect them to stick around.

3. Form Submissions
The best adviser websites play a role in earning new business and sustain meaningful, strong relationships with existing clients. Your website can be your most powerful marketing tool, generating leads and helping your firm reach its growth goals.

Allowing web visitors to request information from your website can be a powerful lead generation tool. This can be a simple process: ask web visitors to subscribe to your newsletter or request a meeting.

2 ways to increase form submissions:

  • Place valuable content (like a white paper or educational video) behind a form. Word to the wise: keep the form fairly short and simple; don’t make people feel as if they’re signing their lives away to access your content.
  • Advertise content with an enticing calls-to-action.

Maggie Crowley 1Maggie Crowley
Marketing Coordinator
Advisor Websites
Vancouver, British Columbia

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How to Secure Speaker Spots

Introverts rejoice!  Guest speaking can be a perfect venue for you to come alive – you can plan your message, deliver it, answer questions, and be done.  The bigger challenge is how did you line up these coveted opportunities?

The following steps will help secure speaking engagement as part of your marketing plan:

  1. Know Your Target Client - All marketing starts here.  If you don’t know whom you want to attract, you will not be able to determine if the organization with the speaking opportunity is a worthwhile match.
  2. Know Your Signature Topics – Title and summarize three topics that you could teach to your Target Client.  A decision-maker is more likely to consider you if you package up your presentation.
  3. Create a Speaker Request Form – Do you have a dedicated page on your web site for speaking?  If not, it’s time to add a tab.  Include your signature topics and a “Speaker Request” form to capture speaking engagement leads.
  4. Create Your Speaker Kit –Design your ‘Kit’ to include an introduction letter, your bio (see “The 5 Essentials of a Bright Biography”), your speech topics (#2), and other visuals or information that is relevant.  Have printed pieces you can mail as well as downloadable pdfs.
  5. Find Outlets with Your Target Client – What organizations, clubs, memberships, and companies have an audience that closely matches your target client?  Build a list of prospective partners.
  6. Identify Specific Opportunities – As you research, take note of the specific meeting, conference, webinar, or other content-sharing opportunities available.  You want to ask for a specific event and date when you request a spot. 
  7. Reach Out Systematically & Intelligently – Direct your resources for distinct periods of time to campaign for speaking spots.  Send out your Speaker Kit to 10-15 organizations at once, customizing your letter with the group’s pain points.  Request the privilege to speak at the event date (from #6).  Follow-up three times over the next two weeks.  No response? Add a tickler to email them with a link to your form (#3) in 3 – 6 months.
  8. Promote – Once you’ve secured your spot, you want to share the news.  The organization will appreciate your efforts, and you reinforce your expert status.  Tweet, post, update, and share with your followers, prospects, and clients!
  9. Show Up – I mean SHOW UP.  You’re there to educate their audience, whether it is two people or 200.  Bring your best game and deliver incredible value to their members. No exceptions!
  10. Appreciate – A hand written thank you note or a small gift to the organizer(s) goes a long way as a gesture of appreciation. 
  11. Circle Back – Strike while the iron is hot.  Inquire about additional content sharing opportunities such as guest blog posts, newsletter articles, or webinars.  Be sure to indicate your interest in participation in the next scheduled date of the event you just finished.
  12. Update Your Website – Make sure you update your speaker page with this new experience and make note of the results of the event.  You’ll want to weigh this opportunity with others as you begin to secure more spots!

Structure and follow this system and you eliminate the angst that often accompanies your requests for consideration.  When you reach multiple organizations at a time and adhere to the process, opportunities to share your knowledge will start to emerge!

Kristin Harad 2014Kristin Harad, CFP®
Marketing trainer for advisers
San Francisco, CA

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Tips for Making Your Vacation Count

For those with an overactive work ethic, taking a vacation—and really enjoying it—can be a challenge. (You know who you are. You come back from vacation needing a vacation.)

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m a big advocate of Stephen Covey’s principle of “sharpening the saw.” Just as a sharp saw cuts more wood than a dull one, taking time for self-renewal promotes efficiency at work. We should embrace vacation as an opportunity for mental, spiritual, emotional and physical renewal, helping us boost productivity upon our return.

For many advisers, though, following that advice is more difficult than it sounds. Even if we manage to schedule a vacation, actually taking our mind off work and enjoying it is another matter.

Before my recent trip to Europe, I perused a number of blog posts and articles for tips on how to unwind on vacation. (You’d be surprised how many are out there!) Here are a few of the nuggets I found most useful:

  • Finish work in progress. Before you set off on vacation, wrap up your most critical tasks. Tying up loose ends and clearing your desk will prime your mind for relaxation.
  • Start strong. Whatever helps you relax—whether it’s drinking green tea, practicing hatha yoga, or doing a Sudoku puzzle—be sure to implement it on day one of your vacation.
  • Set aside your to-do list. Before you know it, vacation can become a frenzied rush to do all the things you don’t have time to tackle in your everyday routine. To really recharge, leave your to-do list on your desk chair before you head out of the office.
  • Consider unplugging. While some people prefer completely unplugging from technology on vacation, others find the prospect of coming home to thousands of e-mails incredibly stressful. On my recent trip, I discovered an effective system: checking e-mail for 15 minutes at the same time each evening. This helped ward off inbox anxiety but was enough of a break from the norm of constant e-mail checking that it still felt like vacation.

Remember, the extreme of any strength tends to become a weakness. A strong work ethic will serve you well most of the time, but never leaving work can come at the expense of self-renewal and, ultimately, efficiency.

Long story short: When you go on vacation this summer, don’t just change your work venue. Really be on vacation.

Joni Youngwirth_2014 for webJoni Youngwirth
Managing Principal of Practice Management

Commonwealth Financial Network
Waltham, Mass.


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