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The Process

How To Make An Impact using “Perception Architecture”:

“impact n 1. an effect or influence, 2. have a pronounced effect on…”

Creating client perceptions — “Perception Architecture” – consists of three main steps. What are they?

The Knowledge Step, the Content Step and the Execution Step.  Let me give you a quick overview of each and tell you why they’re important.

Knowledge

Specifically “Prospect Knowledge.”

I dont’ care what you’re offering — whatever “It” is, it’s less important that who you’re offering it to.

First and foremost you’ve got to know your prospect. It’s a harder question to answer than you might think.

Sure, you can differentiate solely on the basis of financial needs.  There’s a big difference between someone established in their career with maybe 15 or 20 years until retirement – and someone of the boomer generation with only a couple years left in the workforce. And their needs are different from a college grad just starting out.

But what you really need to know goes far beyond their financial needs alone. Because there are differences in their attitudes and beliefs — even within the same demographic segment.  These are their “biases.” You have to find them. Their concerns, their worries, their fears. Their hopes and dreams. We’re all human – we all have them. And it’s critical you discover what they are.

Because they are what will let you create your prospects’ perceptions.

This kind of information is far more valuable than simple “demographics.” You compile it over time with targeted contact with your market.  ”Perception Architecture” is not something you do once and forget about.  It’s an evolving process that makes your marketing better and better.

Content

Obviously, the content of your message has to fit the market you’re sending it to.  But here’s another important point.

The greatest content in the world is useless unless it gets read.

Well, D’uh!  Why am I compelled to make such an obvious statement?

Because you wouldn’t believe how often it’s ignored.  Especially in the financial services.

Getting read requires two things, positioning and personality.

First, you’ve got to be relevant to your market if they’re even going to notice you.  That’s positioning.  There may be a thousand financial advisers, planners or writers out there doing the same thing you are.  How do you get your edge? How do you differentiate yourself, reach out and grab the attention of the market you’re after?

By how you position yourself.

Second you have to be personable.

Personally I think “brand marketing” is overrated.  Unless you’ve got a billion dollar advertising budget, focusing on “brand – brand – brand” won’t impact response measurably. However, there are brand components that are essential to your marketing and should never be ignored.

The most important one?  Your personality.

Nobody likes reading dry corporate reporting (Well maybe some people do – but I guarantee they don’t get invited out much.)  People like to be entertained.  To be thrilled. To be mesmerized.  Do just a little of that that – plug in some personality – and deliver a valuable message in the process and you’ll have a reader for life.

Execution

Execution is about one thing…  Strategy.

Your strategy has to be more than just ads in magazines or mailings or even seminars. It has to ensure 1) your content reaches your prospective clients and then 2) directs them down the path to YOU.

The first part has to do with your media.  That can range from sales letters, self-mailers, post cards, online sales copy, online video, surveys, books, white papers, space ads, online ads, webinars, tele-seminars, tweets, texts, blogs, newsletters or any combination. It can be a multi-step campaign. It can combine offline and online messaging. Your options for channel combinations are almost unlimited.

The second has to do with something else — frequency.  And the strategy behind every time you touch your market.

Differentiate yourself like this and you’ll see a vast change in response.

Fair enough, but how do I do it?…

Something most people who market their services don’t understand is the order in which the process must be done.

The Knowledge step has to be addressed before a word of copy is written, before a layout is designed, before any strategy is planned.

To help you with all three steps, I’ve tried to fill this web site with explanations, examples, ideas and tactics.  Things you can put to use in marketing your practice right away.

The easiest way to get it all, is to sign up for my FREE e-letter.  It’s three easy steps.

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If you’re interested in getting more out of this unique approach to your market, I offer two “starter” services that will put you on the “Perception Architecture” fast-track.

Click over to my Contact page for all the details.

A few things you should know about working with me…