Our preference is always to build our prospect list through personal referrals, but we also find that educational seminars work very well in our area and draw the demographic our firm is interested in. Seminars are cost-effective and an efficient use of our time as they draw a fairly large audience. I enjoy giving the presentations and the social interaction that goes along with hosting a luncheon or dinner, so it works on many levels for me.
Our broker-dealer, USA Financial, is very supportive in all matters directed toward clients, and the educational seminar process is no exception. They have a pre-approved menu of topics and compliance-reviewed content templates. We can then add some of our own content if we choose, customizing the presentations to our needs and our audience.
They also provide an excellent resource on the marketing side, providing a third-party resource that allows us to target certain demographics via direct mail to specific geographic areas. The marketing pieces are pretty much packaged and ready to go—we just have to order them.
Our process is to have an initial mailing and then a reminder mailer. People can call in and respond to an 800 number indicating they would like to attend. A member of our staff follows up closer to the event to make sure everyone is confirmed and has all of the seminar details.
So, for example, if I want to target female investors over the age of 50 in my local area with topics that are of potential interest to women, the entire program is basically turnkey. I just need to build out and add my own specific insights to the presentation.
If we have a topic that we want to talk about that is not on the materials menu, we can create that presentation, which would then go through a standard compliance review. USA Financial still handles the same marketing function.
I have been conducting a seminar recently about the current state of the U.S. economy. It touches on some very specific concerns, such as our current national debt load and the potential issues with Social Security and other entitlement programs. It’s not meant to scare people—it’s just a reality check.
So we share topics with potential clients and investors that are timely and important. And at the same time it allows them to learn about us and how we think, and to see our focus on taking a very personalized approach with clients. If that appeals to them, we can then move forward and have a private consultation in our office.
Disclosure: Cheri Johnson is an investment advisor representative of and securities are offered through USA Financial Securities, Member FINRA/SIPC. A registered investment advisor. 6020 E. Fulton St. SE, Ada, MI 49301. Strategic Wealth Advisors LLC is not affiliated with USA Financial Securities.
Photography by Steve Mason