News article

6 times feeling the fear and doing it anyway will improve your marketing

Giving in to fear damages your marketing, but facing up to it can reap huge rewards.

Here’s a quick story to demonstrate the point.

Earlier this week, I held one of our regular marketing meetings with a planning firm we’ve worked with for several years. In January, we ran a project to collect more Google and VouchedFor reviews for them.

It’s fair to say they’d been nervous, worried about how successful it was going to be and what clients might say.

Hats off to them, they put their faith and trust in us. They felt the fear and did it anyway. And the results were excellent:

  • 22 Google reviews (having previously had none)
  • 53 more VouchedFor reviews.

And they’ve already seen the benefits:

  • Their position in the local Google search results has improved significantly.
  • A couple of prospective clients contacted the firm last week, explaining they’d chosen them because they had “the best and most recent reviews”.

This success story started me thinking about other times when feeling the fear, and doing it anyway, will pay off.

1. Client videos


Trust us: if you ask the right clients, in the right way, you will always find enough who agree to appear.

The longer version

Videos are incredibly powerful. The simple fact a client has agreed to appear sends a strong message to potential clients even before they’ve watched it.

But there’s a barrier: advisers/planners. Many of them refuse, point blank, to ask their clients to take part. Over the years I’ve heard every excuse under the sun:

  • “My clients won’t do that”
  • “My clients are different to those of other firms”
  • “Markets are down, it’s the wrong time to ask them”.

And that’s exactly what they are: excuses made up by advisers, planners and business owners who don’t want to leave their comfort zones.

But when they do, magic happens. Many clients are very happy to take part. In fact, we know planners who have a waiting list of clients to take part in videos, while another client once said to me that being filmed was his way of “saying thank you to Nick (his planner) who has changed my life.”

2. Google and VouchedFor reviews


Only good things happen when you ask clients for Google and VouchedFor reviews.

The longer version

In our experience, advisers and planners are worried about the wrong things when it comes to Google and VouchedFor reviews. For example, advisers/planners tell us they’re worried that:

  • “We might get negative reviews”
  • “Our clients won’t leave reviews for us”
  • “We don’t want clients to feel like we’re bothering them”.

These are only problems in an adviser/planner’s head. They are not an issue in reality, where the real issue facing firms is that they don’t have enough reviews to impress potential clients on their digital journey to an adviser/planner’s door. This reduces lead flow, including from people recommended to you by existing clients.

Click here to learn more about how to run booster projects and keep your reviews “topped up” after review/planning meetings.

3. Referrals and recommendations


In our experience, clients are very happy to recommend you to other people but need help understanding who to recommend you to, how to do it, and when to do it.

The longer version

85% of clients have never been asked by their adviser/planner for a recommendation, according to VouchedFor. And in our experience, most firms don’t have a wider strategy to maximise the opportunity.

That’s a massive, missed opportunity, especially when we consider that referrals and recommendations from existing clients are the best type of new enquiry because they have the highest conversion rate and the lowest cost of acquisition.

The problem again is rooted in fear:

  • “I don’t want to bother my clients”
  • “My clients won’t recommend me to other people”
  • “Why would my clients recommend me to someone else?”

Again, none of those things are actually true but they live rent-free in many adviser’s/planner’s heads.

4. Client surveys


Despite initially feeling fearful, every advice/planning firm we’ve helped to run a client survey for has said the project was worthwhile.

The longer version

Running a survey shows your clients that you care, and you’re interested in their opinions. Plus, it’ll provide ideas that’ll improve your business and supply data to use in your marketing, it can also underpin your referral/recommendation strategy.

Yet I know many of you reading this will feel nervous about running a client survey:

  • “Won’t we get complaints?”
  • “What if clients say negative things?”
  • “Our PI insurer says that we can’t do it.”

All of these are valid concerns, but none outweigh the benefits of running a survey.

5. Using the Chris Voss “magic email”


I’ve heard countless success stories from people who’ve used Chris Voss’ “magic email”. Conversely, I don’t know of any adviser/planner who’s had a prospect react negatively after receiving it.

The longer version

All the evidence shows that Chris Voss’ “magic email” is an excellent tool for waking up prospects who’ve been ghosting you by not replying to emails or phone calls. However, when I suggest it, some advisers/planners push back:

  • “It’s rude”
  • “It’s too blunt”
  • “I’ll need to tweak it a bit”
  • “I don’t want to annoy the prospect.”

I’m often surprised by the resistance some people have to it, especially when I know how effective it is. Then, I remember the concept of “limiting beliefs”.

So, let’s remind ourselves of a few things:

  • You only send the email when nothing else has worked and the prospect has ignored all other communications. It’s your last throw of the dice and you have nothing to lose.
  • The email is short, but it’s not rude, and remember it’s the person you’re sending it to who is being rude by ignoring your previous emails.
  • Every reply I’ve ever had to it is always polite and generally says a variation of the same thing: “No, I’ve not given up, yes I want to proceed, I’ve just been too busy”.
  • I wouldn’t be telling you about it if I thought it was going to get you into trouble.
  • The email works! It’ll unstick projects and lead to more business – what’s not to like?

So, if you have doubts about the magic email, follow the evidence, feel the fear, and send it anyway.

6. Sending monthly newsletters


If you’re worried about sending newsletters every month, data shows that you have nothing to be anxious about.

The longer version

Let’s take a data-driven approach to this. We started working with a new client in the middle of 2022. Previously, they’d sent newsletters every three months.

Their open rates from the first half of 2022:

  • January: 48.99%
  • April: 43.57%

We moved them to monthly newsletters in September 2022. Here are the open rates since:

  • September: 76.76%
  • October: 76.84%
  • November: 72.07%
  • December: 70.21%
  • January: 74.04%
  • February: 79.32%

Still not convinced? Click here for six more reasons why you should send newsletters monthly.

In our view, there are only three reasons why advisers/planners should ever consider quarterly newsletters:

  1. Cost (although we charge just £195 a month plus VAT for our newsletter package, so is that genuinely a barrier?)
  2. Believing the myths that clients, prospects, and professional connections don’t want to hear from their adviser/planner every month (most of them are very happy to, and those who aren’t can opt-out).
  3. Not having the time to build the newsletter (in which case, outsource the problem).

Fortune favours the brave

We’ve supported countless advice/planning firms to face all six of these fears, and their bravery has:

  • Improved their business
  • Developed some great social proof
  • Generated more referrals and recommendations
  • Increased enquiry numbers and allowed them to take on new clients.

But, if you need a hand to hold while you conquer your own marketing fears, we’re here to help. Email or call 0115 8965 300 for a chat.

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