Emergency Plans for Riding Out the Financial Storm

Five immediate, actionable steps for ensuring your business stays afloat despite chaotic times.
March 23, 2020 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following article is written by Ben Angel. Author of the book,Unstoppable: A 90-Day Plan to Biohack Your Mind and Body for Success. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound. And be sure to orderThe Unstoppable Journal, the only journal of its kind based on neuroscience, psychology and biohacking to help you reach your goals.

The economy is like a roller coaster ride right now, and with it, a sense of dread, fear and uncertainty is reigning supreme. When it comes to managing the economic fallout, we have to factor in the data and focus on building emotional resilience, so we don’t make irrational decisions based out of fear that we will regret later.

We’re all going to be impacted by this; the level of impact will depend on whether you have a plan in place. Those that take immediate action will be able to reinvent themselves quickly to cope with the changing times. It’s also these people that will benefit when the economy rebounds again.

Here are some essential areas to plan around now.

Related: 4 Things You Can Do Right Now to Generate Leads and Sales Online

1. Injection of Cash/Loans

Speak to a financial advisor about getting a capital loan if your business isn’t in an essential services market. These low-interest loans can aid small businesses to overcome disruptions in affected states and territories.

If you run an online business, don’t overlook PayPal or Stripe, which offer loans based on your previous sales volume. You can sometimes get a loan via PayPal within seconds, as long as your sales have been strong. However, if you wait too long and your sales continue to drop, they may not offer you one, or they might reduce the amount they can loan you.

2. Assessment of Marketing Assets

Get a quick snapshot of your numbers:

  • How many are on your email list?

  • How many existing customers do you have?

  • Do you have customers who are due to repurchase? (If so, send them an offer/alleviate their fears by letting them know which steps you’re taking to protect them.)

  • Watch your social media numbers, and be aware of the platform that’s getting you the most engagement and sales. Double down your focus on these opportunities.

It’s more critical than ever that you remain in contact with your customers and email list. Radio silence only breeds negative assumptions about how you’re handling this situation. Let them know precautionary measures you’ve taken, or if it’s business as usual. Just don’t stay silent.

3. Pivoting

Great innovation comes through times of hardship, and you may need to do a fast pivot and reinvent your business to adapt to people’s rapidly changing demands. This could include taking out a capital loan and watch the markets as mentioned earlier. Things will go from bad to worse if you’re not prepared. If you are to take out a loan, you may want to do it soon in case banks reduce lending or raise rates. Speak to your financial advisor to assess your options.

4. Building Emotional Resilience

This is arguably the most important step. Revisit and revise your goals, prepare for a worst-case scenario, focus and plan for the best. You may have to do 10 times the work to get the same results as before, but these efforts will put you in a prime position for when things eventually rebound.

Focus on daily meditation and visualization that can help you prepare for your day, and revisit those techniques in the evenings and note your successes. Picture your perfect future, like daydreaming the best possible outcomes. This way, you’re building and strengthening neurons that help emit healthy neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. The more you do this, the happier your brain will be.

Related: Shows to Binge During the Pandemic

5. Removing Triggers That Steal Your Energy and Focus

Energy and focus will become the most valuable resource we have in the coming months. Let’s foster them. Studies show that consuming superfoods can positively impact the symptoms of mental health disorders. This can also be said about the newest research coming out about how consuming a diet high in sugar, processed foods and unhealthy fats is triggering mental health disorders. That’s why it’s crucial to follow a dietary protocol of healthy foods to fuel your mental cognition. Studies have repeatedly proven that those adhering to a Mediterranean dietary pattern (a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish and healthy fats) had a decreased incidence of cognitive decline and illnesses.

Bear in mind that you may have to double down on your health and wellness regime. Be prepared by feeding and fueling your brain in the best possible way by removing inflammatory foods (highly processed, gluten, sugars and sometimes dairy) that will steal your focus and energy. Mindfully choosing what you eat will determine how successful your day will be.

No matter where you put your focus, be sure it’s derived from the best plan possible. Taking stock in your business every quarter is healthy even in the best of markets, and your foresight will pay off in the end. If you don’t maintain the best possible biological stamina to carry you through these times, you will fall flat.

Are you strong enough to ride out these tough times? Take this 60-second quiz now to see how you will fare, and be sure to grab a copy of Angel’s new daily planner, The Unstoppable Journal, today. It’s more relevant than ever.

How to Improve Your Financial Advisory Firm’s Marketing

To get in front of more qualified prospects, follow these three steps.
November 14, 2019 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

This article is written by Patrick Brewer, founder of Brewer Consulting and SurePath Wealth, host of “The Model FA” podcast, and an Advisor in The Oracles.

If you’re a financial advisor, you may be facing challenges when it comes to marketing your business.

There are many tools out there that promise to automate and simplify your marketing. But automation alone won’t solve your challenges. That’s because the advisory business requires a level of trust-building that just can’t be automated.

When you try to automate everything, your outreach ends up being ineffective. It might even burn your audience.

I should know. I’ve helped hundreds of financial advisors improve their marketing techniques with the exact strategies I have personally used to grow my advisory business from $0 to $60 million in assets under management in just three years.

These strategies use technology to more effectively build human relationships, not automate communications with prospective clients.

If you want to improve your financial advisory firm’s marketing today without adopting expensive tech, then read on.

1. Make videos to draw in prospects.

Video is a huge opportunity for financial advisors. The combination of seeing your face and hearing your voice means you create a deeper emotional connection with potential clients than you can through other mediums.

That makes it invaluable for a business like ours that’s built on relationships. You need to be investing in well-sequenced and well-timed videos during the marketing and sales process. Before a prospect walks in the door, they need to have seen you on video at least once.

If you work with smaller clients, you can get away with making your own videos—ones that introduce you, what you believe, and who you serve. The editing of the videos can be outsourced to professionals on sites like Fiverr or Upwork in a cost-effective manner.

If you work with larger clients, you may want to fully outsource the process. Outsourcing video production can be more expensive in dollar terms, but considering the high-value demands on your time, that investment may be wise.

If you’ve never done video before, you’ll benefit from spending time actually storyboarding the content, then filming it for your first few videos—no matter what size firm you are. That will help you better understand the process so that you can more effectively outsource it later.

2. Invest in Facebook advertising.

Facebook gives you the power to reach almost any audience you want with targeted advertising. And right now, video ads on Facebook are cheap.

That means you can get in front of most specialized markets (say, people with specific job titles or in specific industries) and targeted geographic areas, all for relatively little money. For instance, I’ve gotten more than 10,000 people to watch full videos introducing me and my services for less than $2,000.

You can create custom audiences of the people who view your content, then serve them valuable offers—like free consultations or lead magnets—that get them into your sales funnel.

This approach, like many smart marketing strategies, is about solving problems. Your ads need to introduce who you are, who you serve, and how you can solve real problems your audiences experience in their financial lives.

For advisors willing to learn or partner with an expert, this is a massive opportunity to reach large, qualified audiences of prospects in a deeply personal and cost-effective way.

3. Take advantage of organic reach on LinkedIn.

The third big marketing opportunity for advisors is LinkedIn.

Like Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to hyper-target people based on their job titles and geography. For instance, if you focus on a niche like plastic surgeons, you can easily find them on LinkedIn.

Once you do, you can connect with them for free, then share content they will see in their feed. If your content is valuable enough, these highly qualified prospects will engage with it, which creates substantial organic reach.

That means you don’t have to pay for reach, unlike on Facebook where free organic reach of this scale is dead.

For instance, imagine that you connect with 50 percent of the plastic surgeons in your area. Then you could share videos, posts, or other content pieces that are highly relevant and specific to their problems.

After a few months of delivering valuable content to your ideal target prospects, you will have become a trusted resource to them.

Here’s what that might look like:

Begin by sending a free personalized connection request to someone in your niche. Then you send each a personal introduction video. (You can create a free one using a tool like Loom.)

After a brief introduction, you might say something like “I’d love to talk a bit more and see if there’s anyone in my network who might help you.” There are no sales involved yet. You’re just breaking the ice and being of service.

Then you continue to publish valuable content. After a few months of giving, you will have earned the ability to get back in touch with them. You can then ask them if it makes sense to schedule a call or meeting to explore how you can solve their financial problems.

The result?

Highly qualified prospects that know and trust you—before they step one foot inside your office.

All of this can be accomplished for free or relatively inexpensively—as long as the advisor is willing to put in the work.

What’s more, it works.

Want to share your insights in a future article? Join The Oracles, a mastermind group of the world’s leading entrepreneurs who share their success strategies to help others grow their businesses and build better lives. Apply here.

For more articles like this, follow The Oracles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Gain Financial Freedom With Your Own Ad Agency

This online course shows you how to start a marketing ad agency for greater flexibility at work and at home.
July 5, 2019 1 min read
Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

The startup boom made it pretty clear that a lot of people would love to launch their own idea and work for themselves. If you’re craving the creative and financial freedom that comes with your own business but can’t seem to get started, How to Start a Marketing Ad Agency is the online course you need to succeed.

Entrepreneur Justin O’Brien uses his experience flipping affiliate sites and marketing more than 500 businesses to show you how to start your marketing ad agency. In just two hours of lectures, he’ll show you how to pick a profitable niche, then choose a name for your agency and get your website up and running.

Once you’ve picked your niche, you’ll need to conduct extensive research on the industry and related keywords. In the final sections of this class, O’Brien shows you how to attract clients who need your niche marketing, and how to structure your work to make more money and enjoy greater freedom.

How to Start a Marketing Ad Agency has a sticker price of $197, but you can kickstart your agency right now for only $10.99 (94% off).

Even Financial launches tool to semi-automate financial compliance for online ads

The Programmatic Compliance Tool — which Even says is the only one to track compliance after the click — sends suspected violations to human supervisors.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

Compliance-at-scale is a growing need for marketers, given the Federal Trade Commission’s rulings on influencers and the coming of the European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

For the financial industry, which has long dealt with compliance requirements, New York City-based Even Financial is out with a Programmatic Compliance Tool that helps to semi-automate the process of staying within boundaries.

In real time and via an API, the tool looks at the blog, web or app page where a client’s ad for a financial product will appear. Image recognition analyzes daily screen grabs to assess ad placement. The tool also parses the surrounding text on the page to detect any issues that could pose problems with US federal or state regulations, as well as any brand safety content that could be embarrassing for the advertising financial service.

If the tool finds or suspects a violation, the ad placement is scratched, and an Even Financial staff member — from a team of three monitors — takes a look and renders a judgment. Even’s staff can send an alert to the publisher, who could be disconnected from the service if violations continued.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

About The Author

Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.