When it comes to advancing your estate planning business, one of the best marketing tools you have is right there in the mirror: You. Your knowledge, insight and expertise can be a real marketing asset. But first you have to position yourself as that expert, the reliable source that the media and others turn to for a thoughtful, professional perspective.
With this in mind, here are four steps you can take to position yourself in your community as an estate planning expert and grow your business: 1) Say it! - “I’m an Expert,” 2) Publish, 3) Speak/Teach and 4) Become a media source.
#1 – “I’m an Expert.” Sounds easy? Perhaps too easy? It’s not, actually. There are professional standards (licensure, certification) that apply to the designation of “expert” in our field. State certification in trust and estate planning is one important requirement. National certification through the NAEPC is a valuable next step. But even if you haven’t completed the “expert” certification hurdles, you can still highlight your strengths through your website and other means with a “business focus” message. (Ex., “I have focused my business in the following key areas …”)
#2 – Thought leaders publish. Often. And these days it’s never been easier to do. I would recommend starting small. Create your own blog and connect it to your website. You can also submit articles to professional journals, both traditional and online. For starters, why not submit to our WCI Quarterly? And for local awareness and recognition, write a column for your daily paper, or perhaps a letter to the editor. Note: Each time you are published, be sure to cross-reference the publication where your writing has appeared on your website. (“As featured in …”)
#3 – Public speaking and teaching opportunities are great ways to promote your expert status. Introduce yourself as a resource for events sponsored by your local or state bar association. A seminar or workshop through a local university is another worthwhile avenue. For online, select a topic that’s in your wheelhouse and create a webinar or podcast. You may also be able to bring your expertise to industry–related events sponsored by other professionals (Financial Advisor, CPA, Trust Officer, etc.) and appear as a Guest Speaker.
#4 – Your local media loves an expert. When your television or radio station is working a story and needs a knowledgeable source on a trust or estate matter, why shouldn’t that source be you? It can be and it starts with preparing a media “one-sheet” for the station producers. Your one-sheet should include professional photo(s), bio, credentials and a few (4 to 6) “pitches.” Pitches are story ideas that are timely and relevant to the station’s audience and showcase your expertise. As in print publishing, when you do appear on a tv/radio news program be sure to reference the station/network on the home page of your website.
Want to add real clout and credibility to your marketing efforts? Start today on establishing your expert status. With these four steps, you’ll find you can increase your name recognition, expand your prospective client list and position yourself for real growth.