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Finding Your Marketing Zen

Sales & Marketing

Beep! Beep! Beep! Monday, 5:00 a.m. It’s cold and dark outside. I lace up my running shoes and head out the door sluggishly. One mile complete – and guess what, it was terrible. My lungs are burning, it’s still dark, and I’m cold. Running is just not my thing. 

Tuesday, 6:00 p.m. I fight rush hour traffic and make it to spin class. The music is loud. The energy is exciting. The people are stylish. And off we go! Up and down, wheels spinning fast. Propelled by group excitement, the class flies by. Seventy-five minutes of intense cardio. However, the next morning, my muscles are so sore and I can’t walk. Cycling is also not my thing.

Friday noon. I walk from our office to a local yoga studio. It’s quiet and peaceful. The teacher says, “Welcome everyone, we encourage you to work your ‘edge.’ Everyone’s body is different and you should respect what your body is telling you.” Downward dog to chaturangas through shavanasa. This class is bliss. It’s the type of exercise and a style of class that I can relate to. 

The reason I’m sharing these three different workout experiences is that they are somewhat like your business and style of marketing. You may love cold calling, blog writing, or social media. It’s a personal preference. The important thing is to find the type of marketing you enjoy. Then keep doing it. 

Here are three kinds of marketing.

  • Solo marketing. Similar to running, the commitment is up to you. You have to find the time, plan the route, and take the action. Whether it is picking up the phone 40 times a day to connect with plan sponsor prospects or allocating 30 minutes a day to liking, sharing, and posting on social media, you are responsible for the input of effort and you should enjoy it. 
  • Outsourced marketing. Professional instructors guide you through the ups and downs of content development, campaign management, A/B testing, landing pages, remarketing, and analytics that tone your business’ marketing machine. It’s all about finding a great marketing team that optimizes your performance and zooms you to intense results. 
  • Partner marketing. Stretching you outside your normal activities, yet guided and with alignments to safely bring you to the “edge” of your marketing comfort zone. Partner marketing provides options, so you can use modifications to make it easier or you can challenge your marketing muscles and try advanced campaigns. You find the style and then apply the curated content that works within your specific retirement plan business. 

Starting a Marketing Regimen 

Start by asking yourself, how would I like to receive information? From the following list, circle three ways you would like to receive information.

  • Cold calls
  • Social media posts
  • Email information
  • Webinars
  • Seminars
  • Blog articles
  • White papers
  • Networking events
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Books
  • Newsletters
  • Direct mailers
  • Infographics
  • Additional ways: __________

This is the base of your marketing regimen. If this is how you like to receive information, then chances are many of the people that you are surrounded by (clients, prospects and centers of influence) also like to receive information in the same way. When you communicate in the way they appreciate, they will reciprocate by listening and actively engaging with you. 

Now look at your three circled items. Have you tried any of them before? How did it work out? Were you diligent and committed to the regimen? When you do it again, how are you going to improve? What have you learned? 

Read more commentary by Rebecca Houlihan here.

Getting Meaningful Results

We have all had fits and starts with exercise programs – and marketing initiatives. However, they have in common the regret,“if I had only stuck with it, I would’ve achieved my goals today.” Which is why we challenge you to think of the type of marketing that you enjoy. 

Find What Works for You

Personally, cold calling wasn’t for me, though some people love it. Yet, blog writing, social media, conferences – these are my marketing Zens. Find what works for you. 

Then think about the style. Are you solo-motivated or do you need a little push? If you realize a little help would be nice, find the coaches and partners who can guide you to achieve your retirement plan marketing goals. It’s your business and we encourage you to respect it and work to your own marketing comfort zone edge. 

Thanks for reading – and Happy Marketing!

Rebecca Hourihan, AIF, PPC, is the founder and CMO of 401(k) Marketing. This column originally appeared in the Spring issue of NAPA Net the Magazine