One of the most fundamental tools for financial services marketing is a white paper. Your white paper (or report) will do five important things for you. It will:
- Attract new leads.
- Encourage your current clients to send you more referrals.
- Make it easy for professionals to refer you.
- Position you as an expert.
- Gain you media exposure.
A client-getting white paper lets you leverage your time. It’s created once, and then brings you clients week after week, month after month. So, let’s talk about how you can use this powerful document.
More leads with your white paper
The first thing you should do with it is post it to your website and start giving it away to everyone who signs up for your list. You’ll want to let website visitors know why it’s so special-tell them straight up what value they’ll get from reading it.
The easiest way to give away your white paper to new subscribers is to put the download link in their welcome message (the email they receive, automatically, once they’ve signed up for your list).
Of course, this alone will help increase the number of leads you’re currently generating. That’s because, right now, people visit your website and click away before they get in touch. They may get distracted, or they just aren’t ready to pick up the phone and they think they’ll remember you later. But, we all know what happens next-they forget.
Most visitors, once they click away, are unlikely to come back on their own. That’s why you need to get their names and email addresses-so that you can keep in touch with them and bring them back to your website again and again.
That your report means you’ll be able to stay in touch with website visitors would really be a big enough benefit all on its own to justify having one. But, there are a number of other benefits to having this powerful white paper, too.
What are some of these other benefits?
Referrals from your clients
The first is that it encourages your current clients to send you more referrals. Many financial advisors have trouble coaxing their clients to send them as many referrals as they’d like. And you may find that you don’t enjoy having to constantly ask in order to receive those referrals. A client-getting report can change that.
Here’s how this works. You have your white paper professionally printed and bound. It looks great. Powerful. Engaging. Then, you either mail or hand-deliver a copy to each and every one of your current clients. Whether those clients are currently AUM clients or they’d just hired you for hourly services, they all get a printed copy of this white paper.
(By the way, the more white papers you can hand-deliver, the better, but for the ones that you simply have to mail, make sure to include a hand-written note.)
For those clients you know are likely to talk about you, give them an extra copy and encourage them to give it away. You can even say, “Please give the extra to a friend-and let me know when you need more copies.”
Giving out these printed copies of your client-getting white paper to your current and past clients will get them talking about you. That’s because the paper is written specifically to give them something to say about you. They’ll be excited to share what they’ve learned with the people they know and this will mean that they actually do talk about you. (Instead of just meaning to.)
Referrals from your network
You’ll also get more referrals from the professionals in your network. Make sure you give these professionals ten (or more) copies of your printed paper and ask them to give them out liberally. Set this up as a way for them to add value to their own clients.
So, for instance, if you have an estate lawyer in your network, you’d invite them to give out this white paper when their clients come in for a meeting. You’d tell them exactly why your white paper will be a “value added” report for them to give away. Because your white paper will look professional (and be chock full of excellent content), that estate lawyer will feel good handing it out, knowing that their client is going to get great value from it.
This is a win-win situation for the professionals in your network-they’re giving away something of high value that they don’t have to create themselves; their clients will get lots of value from reading it. And, what’s more, those clients are receiving it from a professional they trust so they’ll be all the more likely to pick up the phone and set up an appointment with you.
Position you as an expert
Having a high-quality client-getting white paper positions you as an expert. It makes it clear just how deep and wide your knowledge goes and what’s more, the process of writing your report will help you see (sometimes for the first time) just how much you know and just how valuable your services are.
That’s because it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day of offering your services, and you can forget how far you’ve come, and how much you know. (Sure, you know you’re the expert, but trust me, even you’ll be impressed by just how expert you are.)
This white paper will amp up your confidence levels and will let people see you as the expert you are without you having to sell yourself or brag about your accomplishments. In that way, it’s perfect for people who are modest by nature because it builds your credibility but it doesn’t require you to shout “Look at me! Look at me!”
Your client-getting white paper also makes a great tool for taking out into the world to get speaking gigs. If you want to do speaking, send your white paper to the person who does the hiring. You’ll be surprised how often you won’t need to write a specialized proposal-they’ll just hire you on the basis of your white paper alone.
Get media exposure
In addition to using your report to get speaking gigs, you can also use it to attract the attention of editors and reporters. When a reporter reads it, they’ll see clearly that you’re a financial expert. What’s more, it’ll give them context for the article and likely help them to ask really smart, engaging questions-which makes it that much easier to give smart, engaging answers!
You can send your white paper as a way to introduce yourself to editors at trade publications-though they’re not likely to print it as is (although that has been known to happen, if it’s what you want!), it’s very likely to be a helpful piece for them to use. You can also use pieces of it to introduce yourself to editors at consumer interest publications (who usually have less time to read proposals-so you’ll want to just excerpt the parts they’re most likely to be interested in).
What’s more, going back to the credibility it will give you, editors and reporters tend to look for experts who have done a lot of writing when looking for someone to interview. So, having it for free on your website will let them see that you have plenty to say on the topic.
White papers are a fundamental marketing tool
A white paper is a powerful way to market your financial services practice. It will help you attract new leads, encourage your clients and professional contacts to send you referrals, position you as an expert, and bring you media exposure. That’s a pretty amazing ROI for such a short document. Of course, all of this assumes you’ve written it correctly. If you’re not sure how to write one (or if you just want to make sure you do that right) listen to our free teleclass on how to write white papers.
Remember, this report can be leveraged in many useful ways that will help you attract more clients and grow your practice. It’s well worth the investment to get it done right.