I graduated from Penn State University with a degree in civil engineering. My first career of 17 years was spent working on major structural engineering projects, including the design of nuclear and fossil-fuel power plants, hospitals, airports, and various other projects.
The analytical and quantitative side of the advisory business came relatively easy to me, although I have put in a tremendous amount of personal and formal study in many areas of the business. It was more difficult for me to develop an effective, personal communications style with clients and prospects. I have worked equally hard at mastering that side of the business.
In building my practice, I have developed several strategies that have allowed me to develop a strong communications effort and reach my target audience with a consistent message about myself and our firm’s capabilities. These strategies include the following:
- A robust website—Our firm’s website clearly articulates our firm’s mission and how we would like to serve clients, and outlines our planning process. The website also features biographies of each team member and two videos that I appear in so that prospective clients can get a good sense of our backgrounds, personalities, and belief systems.
- Using business coaches—I am a member of Ed Slott’s Master Elite IRA Advisor Group and have also studied various aspects of business development with nationally recognized coaches such as Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach, Brian Tracy of Brian Tracy International, and Norm Trainor of The Covenant Group. These coaches have helped me refine my value proposition and approach to communications.
- Taking advantage of our broker-dealer’s marketing expertise—USA Financial provides excellent marketing resources for advisors, and I use several of their programs. For example, they provide support for financial seminar marketing, content for our website and email marketing, their own radio program that educates consumers on financial topics, and lead-generation programs.
- Public relations and media outreach—I have used external consultants who facilitate interviews and quotes within the media and feature articles on our practice. I have appeared in U.S. News & World Report, TheStreet.com, Financial Advisor, and several times in The Reading Eagle Business Weekly, including in its cover story, “How do you know when you’ve saved enough to retire?” I have also been interviewed on Enterprise Radio for the Entrepreneur Podcast Network (EPN) on how to make a successful career change and will be featured in an upcoming issue of The Wall Street Journal. These efforts, I believe, enhance the credibility of our firm as we conduct financial education seminars and otherwise meet with new prospective clients.
Disclosure: Earl Schultz is an investment advisor representative of, and securities and advisory services are offered through, USA Financial Securities Corp., member FINRA/SIPC. A registered investment advisor located at 6020 E. Fulton St., Ada, MI 49301. Strategic Wealth Advisory is not affiliated with USA Financial Securities.
Status as a member of Ed Slott’s Master Elite IRA Advisor Group does not imply a certain level of skill.
Photography by Michael Branscom