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Financial Planners, Why Advertise When Free Publicity and Marketing Is Better?

Commit this to memory, please: To get in the media, being good is good enough.

You don't need to be perfect, or even the best in your profession. There's no elaborate entrance exam or competition to determine who gets media coverage.

The prize goes to those professionals who are competent or better, and who understand how to play the publicity game.

I have absolutely nothing against advertising as a means of getting exposure and a wider audience. In many cases, it's just what you need, and deserves a spot in your marketing mix.

But (have you noticed?) it is expensive, isn't it? And, in the end, it's still you saying you're great, which isn't as good as them saying it. I just think of it this way:

Advertising - buys you visibility
Publicity - earns you credibility

Sure, you're good. But, let's face it. So are many of your financial planning peers and competitors. But you can be the one who gets into the media. Because you knew how to get a reporter's attention.

You understand that getting in the media doesn't require you to be the best financial planner on Earth.

I am also a big believer in direct mail marketing. It's a superb tactic to build ongoing relationships with clients, customers, and prospects.

But, unless you're ready to cough up big bucks to buy mailing lists, it limits you. You can only reach the people you already know - the ones in your database. All those people will get to know you better, and that's good - but you won't be meeting any new prospects. To do that, it's either spend on lists or advertising, or learn how to get yourself some free publicity.

Ned Steele works with people in professional services who want to build their practice and accelerate their growth. The president of Ned Steele's MediaImpact, he is the author of 102 Publicity Tips To Grow a Business or Practice. To learn more visit or call 212-243-8383.


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