It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are fast approaching. If you haven’t already thought about how you’re going to market to your clients, prospects and COIs over the coming months, now is the time to do so. The holiday season is an ideal time to reach out and remind people of what you do, often in a more personal and less sales-focused way than at other times of the year.
Why Holiday Marketing?
Unlike a retail business, financial advisors aren’t dependent on holiday sales to shore up their bottom line. For that reason, seasonal marketing may seem less urgent than it does in other industries. But that doesn’t mean that you should ignore holiday marketing altogether. For one, people likely expect to hear from you at this time of year. If they receive a holiday greeting from their attorney, accountant and even their letter courier, but nothing from their financial advisor, they’ll notice—and the impression won’t be a good one.
Second, the holiday season is the ideal time to simply check in with people and say hello. Greeting cards, gifts, parties, emails and other seasonal marketing help to keep you and your firm top of mind. And because many people start thinking about their finances in more detail after the holidays are over, that attention can pay dividends in the form of referrals and new clients after January 1.
5 Holiday Marketing Tips
If your holiday marketing strategy simply involves sending out a nice card to everyone on your mailing list or gifts to your top clients, you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to let people know about your firm. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when developing your holiday marketing strategy:
- Send fewer but more personalized cards: Rather than spending time and money sending holiday cards to hundreds of people you barely know, save your stamps for those who really matter. Make a list of the people most important to your business—the A-list clients, the referral partners with whom you have the best relationships, the vendors without whom you wouldn’t be able to function—and send those people a card with a heartfelt, handwritten note. That’s the kind of message that is more likely to stand out among a sea of generic “Happy Holidays” cards. Then, send a well-designed holiday email to your other contacts.
- Write holiday-themed blog posts: Use the holidays as an inspiration for a blog post. For example, you might write about the concept of thankfulness, the importance of being strategic about your giving (especially around the holidays, when there is extra pressure to be generous), and New Year’s financial resolutions; or even provide a list of gift suggestions.
- Get active on social media: The holiday season is a social time, both on- and offline, and your firm should be participating. Tailor your posts to the season by sharing photos from your staff party or other holiday activities. Or, if you sponsor a food or toy drive, use Facebook and Twitter to let people know about your efforts. You could even record a short holiday video greeting and share it on your social accounts.
- Don’t forget to network: Once November and December hit, your calendar is probably packed with holiday parties and related activities. Use all this socializing as an opportunity to do some low-key networking. At parties, make an effort to introduce yourself to new people and get to know them. If appropriate, mention what you do and follow up afterward.
Holiday parties are also a great way to reconnect with important contacts you may not see that often. But be sure to keep the spirit of the event in mind. People are there to have fun, not listen to a sales pitch, so keep the conversation light and friendly, and don’t focus too much on business.
- Keep it sensitive: When designing your holiday marketing efforts, it’s important to know your clients. Don’t send non-Christian clients cards wishing them a “Merry Christmas,” and unless you know that the recipient shares your faith, it’s best to avoid holiday messages with a strong religious overtone. If you’re worried about giving inadvertent offense, consider sending out Thanksgiving or New Year’s wishes instead.