Which Greeting Cards Should You Be Sending?

October 18, 2017

greeting

The answer is more complicated than you might think. Timing, as they say, is everything.

Sometimes the answer is obvious. For example: is there anything more ubiquitous in polite, professional society than the birthday card? Thank You cards should be on your list, too, and welcoming a new client calls for a specific sort of thank you card. (You should be sending a card to those who made the introduction, as well.)

But which Winter Holiday cards should you send? Well, that depends largely on who your clients are and what they value. However, if I were to select one card above all others, it would be the Thanksgiving card. Thanksgiving is a widely celebrated* holiday, commonly seen as the beginning of the “Holiday Season” in the United States. While Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza are also associated with the winter holiday season, they also create a crush of mail.

A Thanksgiving card has the potential of making a big impact. Your clients probably expect a Christmas card, but that card will typically arrive amid a flood of other cards from family, friends, and other professionals like you. A Thanksgiving card is a thoughtful gesture that may stand out more, and allows you to express your gratitude for their business, while wishing them well through the coming holiday season. Of course, sending a card at Thanksgiving doesn’t mean that you should skip the other holidays – it’s merely a strategy to foster a greater connection between you and your clients and contacts.

Sending a card at Thanksgiving doesn’t mean that you should skip the other holidays – it’s merely a strategy to foster a greater connection between you and your clients and contacts.

A card to celebrate the New Year is also in order. A “Happy New Year” card is another great opportunity – not only to observe the Holiday, but to let clients know that you’re honored to be working with them for another year. (Many also choose to use this card as a reminder to schedule an annual review.)

Consider grouping your contacts into three Winter Holiday campaigns. Your “A” clients should receive three Winter Holiday cards… a Thanksgiving card, a Happy New Year card, and a December card (Christmas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, etc.) Your “B” clients and prospective clients should receive a minimum of two Winter Holiday cards (Thanksgiving and Happy New Year, more if you’re able.) All other contacts should receive at least one card (but two is better). Select the occasion you feel is most appropriate.

Marketing.Pro offers beautiful full-color Winter Holiday cards for all these occasions (and more). Your Holiday cards can even be automated to send to the contacts you choose, on the dates you choose. Upload your contacts, select the design(s) you like best, and the system does the rest (sorting, stamping, sending.) You can even upload your own handwriting and signatures for a more personal touch.

What about eCards? Don’t. At least, not for the clients and contacts you value. eCards are largely deleted, while a physical greeting card is a tangible reminder that the relationship is one that you value. After all, if your relationship with a client isn’t worth the cost of some paper and a stamp, you have the wrong clients.

If your relationship with a client isn’t worth the cost of some paper and a stamp, you have the wrong clients.

Don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit with your holiday and greeting card practices! I recommend mixing it up each year with at least one unexpected card to ALL of your contacts. (An occasion like “Talk Like a Pirate Day” is a great example!) The cards you send should reflect the relationship that you want to have with your clients – an enduring and connected presence!

*Many Native American families do not celebrate Thanksgiving due to their cultural preferences. Some religions forego the celebration of certain holidays, including Thanksgiving. Know your clients and adjust your strategies to avoid making an error – be someone who serves the entire community.

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Networking at Your Child’s school: Do and Don’t

September 11, 2017

class

Back to school! Even for a busy professional like yourself, that can mean plenty of activities. School plays, concerts, home and away games, field trips, and let’s not forget Career Day. (Hopefully, nobody in your child’s class has an astronaut as a parent – everything’s a letdown after that!)

While you will be interacting with your children and your classmates a bit, you will also be interacting with other parents, teachers, school administrators, and staff. Are you going to reach out to them professionally? Of course, but you also don’t want to run the risk of making a school function about yourself. Here are some tips for making that effort without “crossing the line.”

DO have business cards. You may not keep your personal number or contact info on your business cards. That’s okay! There are situations where it’s appropriate to give out contact info to teachers, staff, and other parents. Writing it on the back of your card gives them the info and also creates a connection.

DON’T be too forward. Gear any personal conversations toward the other adults. Ask them questions about their professions. Focus on making connections first, clients last – you’ll find that it progresses organically that way.

DO respect everyone’s time. If you are taking part in an activity during school hours, remember that the other parents have likely taken time off from work to volunteer. As for teachers and staff, they ARE at work! At afterschool activities, people are there to focus on their children, and teachers are adding hours to an already long day. Do not try to manipulate conversations toward your business if they don’t go there naturally.

DON’T take on your child’s teacher as a client. At least, not immediately. While educators do have needs that you can help with, you also don’t want to create a situation where your business could conflict with your child’s education. Keep in mind that if you have a younger child, they may be assigned to the same teacher at some point in the future, or that same teacher may move on to teach a higher grade and your child could have them again. If you want to reach out to your child’s teacher, talk to them after the school year is over, and be informed.

Respecting the time and boundaries of school staff and parents may mean developing friendly relationships now, and reaching out to them at some later point, down the road. You can cultivate that relationship and maintain it through occasional greeting cards and other mail and email outreach. www.Marketing.Pro offers vibrant, relevant content that will help you maintain that bridge.

Education as a Marketing Tool

July 17, 2017

The outreach that you provide to your clients and prospects has two roles. It should educate them, as well as provide value – meaning that your efforts do something to enhance their lives. For this reason, any sort of educational outreach is a marketing tool. These outreaches should be carefully considered, so that they are both of value to potential clientele, as well as economical for you.

  • Newsletters
    How frequently are you sending out an informative newsletter? Is that frequency right for your targeted group? How much outreach is engaging to the reader, and how much becomes white noise? Separate your contacts into groups and determine how frequently they would like or need a newsletter, as well as what type of information will be valuable to each group.
  • Blogs
    If not adequately promoted, blogs may sit in a dank corner of the Internet, unloved and unread. Carefully select search terms, and if you cite an author, be sure to include them. Publicize your efforts on social media, email signatures, and even business cards.
  • Gatherings
    These may take many forms. Whether it’s a seminar, “Lunch & Learn,” or an educational dinner series, don’t attempt to ‘pack the house.’ Smaller events, aside from being more economical to cater, allow you to give focused attention to each attendee, and begin forming a professional relationship with each individual.
  • White Papers / eGuides
    These are also an important part of the outreach process. Unlike newsletters and blogs, this is a ‘one-and-done’ exchange of information. These types of educational pieces can be very useful when it comes to lead generation – allowing you to offer something of value in return for contact information.

Whichever elements you choose to utilize, the best guideline is to Keep It Simple. Remember to balance cost and benefit. You can make your marketing much simpler and more cost effective by subscribing to a service like MarketingPro, which offers compliance-reviewed content as well as automation tools. Visit www.Marketing.Pro to learn more.

Value for Value – Generating Leads in the Age of Reluctance

June 13, 2017

Hands holding tablet computer with free download concept on screen. All screen content is designed by me

When seeking to expand your business, the name of the game is LEAD GENERATION. But these days prospects are becoming increasingly disinclined to share their information – and with good reason. From SPAM to ‘phishing’ schemes, inboxes are constantly bombarded with unwanted content and clutter.

So how does one go about generating new leads at a time when so many are holding their contact information close to the vest? Read the rest of this entry »

Brand, Connect, Nurture.

May 16, 2017

Beautiful woman with tablet, communication

Establishing and cultivating successful relationships is key to making your time absolutely productive and creating a network of valuable, long-lasting clients. These three, simple steps will help you along the way…

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Using a Blog to Generate New Leads

March 31, 2017
Blog Weblog Media Digital Dictionary Online Concept

Using a Blog to Generate New Leads

Blogging remains a fast and vital way to connect with your community. That means both your geographic community, (your city or area in which you operate and do business), and your professional community – the people with which you maintain business connections and relationships with.

But how can a blog help to grow your business? Three simple ways:

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Competing with “Robo-Advisors” Means Investing in Technology

January 26, 2017

Financial advisor with client

Those in the Financial Industry are no doubt aware of the so-called “robo-advisor,” algorithm-based portfolio management that removes much of the human interaction from the process.

Should Financial Professionals be concerned? Is this the beginning of the end for the human advisor? Certainly not. While some investors may feel comfortable letting this sort of technology ‘crunch the numbers’ for them, it’s likely that many will feel far more at ease when they know that there is also a human factor guiding them along the way.

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Preparing Your Practice for 2017

December 13, 2016

Business strategy in 2017, 3d render, white background

It’s that time again. Getting ready for the New Year means creating a to-do list of what’s vital, considering new options, and reevaluating things that might not have worked so well in the previous year.

What’s vital? Staying in touch with your clients, cultivating opportunities to work with them, and helping them work toward achieving their goals. Read the rest of this entry »

Navigating the DOL Fiduciary Ruling

November 16, 2016

Advisor discussing retirement plan

If you’re a Financial Professional, or work in any capacity in the Financial Industry, you’re no doubt aware of the recent new Department of Labor rule relating to retirement plan accounts. While there are rumors that the incoming administration may revisit or eliminate the new requirement – that all Financial Professionals helping retirement savers will be held to a fiduciary standard – nobody ever accused Washington D.C. of doing anything in a timely manner. The change is not scheduled for full implementation until 2018, so there is certainly time for the slow churn of politics. For now, though – the industry is preparing for the change.

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Client Categories and Segmentation

October 26, 2016

segment

You’ve probably heard a great deal about “segmenting” your clients, meaning to divide them into different groups. Doing this can help make your contact with these individuals count, and improve relationship nurturing.

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