Welcome to part two in our Content Marketing series, where we’re exploring how financial advisors can use consistent, quality content to reach their business goals and gain new prospects.
Our last blog covered how and why you should create content marketing goals before you make any major moves. Today, we’re ready to put those goals into action by creating a fancy li’l thing called personas.
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Learn how to create a totally unique persona for your firm, or stick around for the (ahem, free) persona templates we’re giving out for our favorite Three Crownies 😉.
A persona is a profile of your ideal client that helps guide your marketing and business decisions. So how do you build a persona?
Think of your favorite clients that you already serve – people whose personality, goals and demographics line up best with who you want to be as an advisor. Building a persona involves breaking down what makes that person such a great client to work with and creating a guide so you can target more people like them.
As our beloved Three Crowns founder Johnny Sandquist so eloquently said: “It’s the type of person who needs your services most, who you enjoy serving best.”
Maybe it’s not a current client – maybe it’s someone you know and would love to work with. We recommend basing it on a real person rather than creating the perfect fantasy client, because then you know people like that actually exist and you can find out a little bit more about them.
Let’s walk through how to pinpoint your personas one step at a time.
First up, we’ve got five questions to help you flesh out your number one persona.
You want to build your personas around people you really enjoy working with already.
Think of the problems you’ve really enjoyed solving: Do you feel butterflies when someone asks you about retirement accounts? Does your heart flutter when you get to help someone start their own business from the ground up? Maybe working with young families really jives with your style.
The first step in this process is to list out your favorite clients. Who do you truly enjoy working with?
After you have a few clients in mind, it’s time to narrow down their key demographics:
How old are they?
Where do they work?
Where do they live?
What is their family life like?
What hobbies do they enjoy?
These are the types of questions that you can use to niche down and identify a segment of people that you can serve really, really well.
A lot of times, the focus right now is on advisors being able to serve people nationwide. Casting a wider net means a larger catch, right? But another great way to grow and find clients that fit really well with your firm is to specialize in something you’re already good at doing. Finding your niche can help you narrow down your audience and connect more with your ideal clients.
Ask yourself, “What’s their financial situation?”
Are you trying to work with HENRYs, or are you trying to work with just people who are in retirement?
The answer to this question informs the services you offer and the way you charge fees, in addition to your marketing and communications.
Understanding this is also going to change how you communicate to people through your marketing materials. A blog written for a Gen-Z’er working in tech will look very different from a blog written for retired divorcées, because they have different financial and life goals.
Take a look at the last six months of new clients that you’ve brought on. What were their pain points? What were their long-term and short-term problems?
Was there a specific event that occurred in their life that moved them to believe that they needed to take action and seek financial advice?
Whatever it is, identifying those problems will play a large role in how you address and speak to your ability to solve those problems.
After you’ve identified those problems that people bring to you, go a step further and take a look at how you added value into their lives – how you helped them move past this place of being uncomfortable to being confident in your firm.
If we want to make things super simple with marketing communications, it’s about delivering the right message to someone at the right time that they need to hear it. What’s your solution, and when does it make the most sense for your prospects?
Once you’ve done the work of creating personas, consider which ones warrant the creation of a “Who We Serve” page that speaks directly to them. For example, Clarity Wealth Development out of Corvallis, Oregon, specializes in working with people who work for the state, so they created a page that speaks directly to Oregon PERS-eligible employees. This kind of strategic investment in a niche can have a huge payoff over time.
So how do you put all of that together? Let’s look at some examples!
To help you get started with personas, we’ve created five common persona templates. If any of these personas resonate with you, feel free to use them in your firm’s marketing campaigns. If you’re looking to start from scratch on your personas, we’ve also got a fill-in-the-blank template available below.
You know we couldn’t do persona templates without having a little fun – that’s why we created these five Tinder-style templates. Just as you swipe left or right in the app, choose which personas match up with your marketing goals and which ones miss the mark.
The personas each have a name, age, location and brief description of that particular persona’s lifestyle or circumstances.
Below that, you’ll find pain points – issues that persona is looking to solve. Lastly, you’ll see your firm’s solutions: the reasons why your firm would be a good match for this persona.
Click here to download the complete pack of five investor personas
Before we dive into the templates below, here are a few quick pointers to keep in mind when developing your personas.
Some of the don’ts include:
Don’t name your persona after an actual client. Aim for specificity, but keep in mind that this persona should realistically fit several people – not just a certain individual.
Don’t make your persona so vague your team can’t follow along. You likely have a marketing team or others who will help you create content, so make sure they can understand your persona.
And here are the Do’s:
Do name your persona. It could be Sally Single Lady, or Rodney the Retiree. It doesn’t have to feature alliteration, we just find it makes them easier to remember. Names help your personas feel more real.
Create an action plan for how you’ll use your personas. Developing personas can easily be a waste of time if you just create them and set them aside. How will you and your team remember these personas and keep them front-of-mind when making decisions and/or creating content? Maybe you print them out and stick them on the wall, or maybe you review them every quarter during a quarterly review.
Chances are we didn’t hit all of your personas on the head. Here is a guided worksheet to help you get started – simply open the Google Doc and follow the instructions to craft your own perfect persona.
Before you invest time and money into your content marketing goals, it’s important to hone in on your target audience. Personas give your content marketing focus and help you craft content for clients you really want to work with long-term.
Ready to put your content marketing ideas into action, but not sure how to get started? Three Crowns is here to help. Click here to connect with a member of our team today.