I don't know about you, but I've never felt there was a shortage of good communications ideas in my life. Some are mine, many are from others and all vie for my attention each and every day.
With so many ideas to choose from you might feel like a kid at a candy store, picking and choosing from the best. Or, like so many of us, you might choose to do nothing. It’s as if we have a distinctly human setting that causes inaction in the face of too much choice.
The only thing worse than too few ideas is too many. Both lead to inaction.
We can chalk this phenomenon up to a form of decision fatigue which, by the way, is a real thing. In a nutshell, the theory suggests that our ability to make effective decisions deteriorates with the number of decisions we need to make. As a result (and in the face of too many opportunities) we might do one of two things:
So what can you do to focus your client marketing efforts in the face of our flawed, human decision-making capabilities? In a world of unlimited possibility, the answer is to narrow your focus and cut out the clutter.
Instead of focusing on the range of possibilities, think about executing on a single, meaningful, client communication campaign and leverage that with prospects and centers of influence.
A campaign comprises a theme that you select and a series of defined activities that help you take action. Now, instead of mentally juggling how you should educate, appreciate and add value, you do all three through a focused campaign.
Let’s assume you work with high net worth clients who have moved beyond building wealth and are seeking more meaning in the next phase of their lives. You choose to focus on legacy planning. (I’ll use this for my example, but you could just as easily insert multi-generational planning, making your retirement meaningful or tax strategies for business owners – whatever resonates with your clients.)
Here's a sample process:
1. Invest an hour of your time and identify three great articles, from credible sources, that relate to your theme. As you're reading those articles, identify the five most common questions the authors are answering (e.g., how do I define my legacy, how does charitable giving fit into a financial plan, which charities are right for me).
2. Send an email to clients, highlighting those questions and linking to one of the articles.
3. Two to four weeks later send the next article, summarizing the key message.
4. Two to four weeks later, send the final article with the summary.
5. Two weeks later send an invitation to a small event. For legacy planning that might showcase several charities or a speaker that helps clients think about their own legacy. If possible, video tape the presentation.
6. One week after the event, send a summary of the key take-aways from the event and send that to clients, prospects and COIs.
7. Follow up with key clients, prospects and COIs to see if they have questions or want to meet.
The entire client communication campaign takes 7 to 12 weeks to execute. If you did nothing else you would have added significant value for your clients, prospects and centers of influence.
The big difference is that you focused your energy on a single theme, which makes you more efficient. And, you now have a defined process that you can repeat once or twice a year, with a new theme.
The key here is that instead of weighing yourself down with the possibility of what you can do for clients, you drew a line in the sand and took action. Instead of testing a range of unrelated communications, you've taken the concept of a workshop and expanded it to include multiple communications and all key audiences. You’ve created a highly focused campaign.
Personally, I think there are two things that will ensure this is a successful plan.
If you can leave the long list of client communication potential ideas aside and focus on getting one campaign executed with excellence, you'll lay a strong foundation and save your sanity in the process.
And with a repeatable process in place, it's like the shampoo bottle says. Shampoo, rinse and repeat.
Thanks for stopping by,