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How to attract the right client

So, you’re a business owner looking to get more clients? (Trust us, you’re not the only one!)

Every business owner ever:

But hold on – before you go all Heidi Klum on us and start looking to get MORE clients… Have you taken a minute to consider how to attract the right clients? Yes, the right clients. After all, you don’t want to be marketing your products and/or services to every person you walk by…

Not sure where to start? Lucky for you, we’ve got Andrew Marr, CEO and Owner of Digital Storyteller on camera to chat about how to attract the right clients.

Let’s see what he has to say.

Who is Your Ideal Client?

Clients, for any business owner, are obviously extremely important. Without clients, you’d have no business! (But you already knew that).

This considered, building a successful business and getting more clients is most likely one of your primary goals as a business owner.

Before we jump the gun and talk about getting more clients, however, it’s important to first discuss who the right clients are for you. How can you attract the right clients to your business?

Identifying the Perfect Client

The question isn’t, “Do you want more clients?” Of course, you do! The number one thing is, have you identified your perfect client?

Then, after you’ve identified your ideal client, think: Are you willing to create strategies around that particular client?

Our Perfect Client at Digital Storyteller

At Digital Storyteller, we focus on marketing for financial services companies. The realm of financial services ranges from commercial insurance to wealth advisories, commercial real estate firms, the list goes on.

While we love whisky, chardonnay, puppies, and tacos, we don’t market for companies that have anything to do with these elements. Why not? Because we’ve identified our perfect client (financial services clients) and unfortunately, whisky, chardonnay, puppies, and tacos have nothing to do with this industry (a little sad, right?)

We know it’s difficult not to accept whatever business walks through the door. It’s important, however, to hone in on who your ideal client is and not accept anyone else apart from this target audience.

So, to attract more clients, you have to first, figure out who your perfect client is. Put your energy and resources into that.

Interested in meeting one of our ideal clients? Check out this spotlight we did on our client Frank Crivello, founder and CEO of SBMA Benefits.

Woman conducting a work meeting

At Digital Storyteller, we market for financial services companies. This can encompass a lot of different types of businesses that offer different products or services. Think law firms, HR consultants, commercial real estate firms, wealth advisories, commercial insurance, and more.

We know, a little bit random… but we love it! Read on to hear more about why we chose marketing for financial services (hint: this industry is wildly underserved).

Working in the financial services industry means helping our clients might look a bit different from your typical B2C marketing agency. So, how do we help our clients?

Today, we’ve got Andrew Marr, CEO and Owner of Digital Storyteller answering that very question. It’s your lucky day.

But what is the main goal of a digital marketing agency? We’re going to hand things off to Andrew.

What is the Main Goal of a Digital Marketing Agency?

There’s one major goal, and it’s simple. That is to shorten the sales cycles of our clients.

What is a Sales Cycle?

A sales cycle is defined as “the repeatable and tactical process salespeople follow to turn a lead into a customer.”

This includes everything from the first encounter a client has with your business (whether it be through seeing your posts on social media or through receiving an email) to closing the deal and follow-ups.

sales cycle seven steps
A great illustration demonstrating sales cycles, courtesy of Snov.io.

How Do We Help Our Clients Shorten Sales Cycles?

Well, there are a lot of things we do to achieve a shorter sales process at Digital Storyteller. This might look like:

As you can see, there are a lot of different branches that come off of that tree.

The number one goal, however, for any marketing agency, is to use their toolkit to shorten sales cycles for their clients.

Want to hear some more of this Scottish lad ranting? Visit this page on our site that’s decked out, head to toe, with Andrew reviewing chardonnay. (We know, it’s kind of ridiculous—but we promise it’s entertaining!)

Marketing for Financial Services Companies

“At Digital Storyteller, we focus exclusively on [marketing for] financial services companies in the B to B space.”

Above is the text you’re faced with when you first visit DigitalStoryteller.io. Some of you might be thinking, “Great!… But what the heck is a financial services company?”

Most marketing agencies work with brands (think: restaurants, fitness centers, influencers, beauty companies, the list goes on). At Digital Storyteller, we’re a bit different… Here’s why.

Why Do We Focus on the Financial Services Industry?

So, why do we focus on financial services at Digital Storyteller? Well, aside from the fact that our team thinks financial services are wildly sexy (kidding… kind of?), we recognized a need and a gap in industry offerings.

But first, before we go into more detail, what is the financial services industry?

What the Heck is Financial Services?

We’re glad you asked.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the financial services sector “covers many different types of transactions in such areas as real estate, consumer finance, banking, and insurance.”

At Digital Storyteller, we have clients ranging from law firms to HR consulting firms, commercial real estate firms to wealth advisories, and commercial insurance. (Geez, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it?)

Anyway, when we say financial services, that’s really the realm we’re talking about.

Marketing for Financial Services Companies

So, back to why we market for financial services, at Digital Storyteller, we feel like that level of business, and that community of businesses, are underserved from a marketing perspective.

There are plenty of agencies out there who spend their time on biotech, startups, and influencer marketing—but not a lot who spend their time with financial services.

A Quick Aside

How did all of this come to be? In 1997, Amanda Rogers, Chief Creative Officer and Founder of Digital Storyteller taught herself how to code from a book when the actors union was on strike. 

She taught herself to write HTML, CSS, and Javascript before WordPress, Squarespace, and WIX existed. Although Amanda believes a lot has changed in the “how” of creating online presences for people and their businesses, the why is still the same… Tell the world what you do better than anyone else and the right people will be able to find you.

Why is Marketing Important for Financial Services Specifically

The financial services industry is a competitive and unique industry to market for. We know that those in the financial services industry navigate the difficult terrain of regulatory and compliance hurdles while seeking to successfully market their products and services.

Moreover, when it comes to financial services, you must build trust and authority through consistent content that is:

  • Reliable
  • Informational
  • Educational
  • Engaging

This considered—its difficulty—it’s essential that financial services companies seek out the right marketing for their businesses. Interested in learning more? Read on in the importance of digital marketing for financial services companies.

Storytelling

It would feel morally wrong to write an article about storytelling and not tell you how our company came to be… Digital Storyteller starts with our Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Amanda Rogers.

In 1997, when the actors union was on strike, Amanda taught herself how to code from a book. (Yes, these were the days before WordPress, Squarespace, and WIX—scary times…)

Anyway, Amanda’s martial arts teacher was an 8th degree blackbelt teaching amazing Tang Soo Do in New York City—and had only five students. Amanda knew he needed a website—so she taught herself to write HTML, CSS, and Javascript to try to help him build a studio.

A year later when Amanda moved to Los Angeles, the studio was thriving. In fact, 80% of the students came to him through the website. She was hooked.

After a few twists and turns, Digital Storyteller was born—an organic digital marketing agency in Encinitas, California.

Today, the team has grown from one to nearly 15. On our team, we’ve got content specialists, social media experts, a client success manager, SEO team, as well as a website and graphic design team to continue what Amanda started.

That’s our story.
If you haven’t already recognized the importance of storytelling within a business, we’ll continue on for you. Better yet, we snagged the CEO and Owner of Digital Storyteller to chat about storytelling on camera, Andrew Marr.

What is Storytelling? 

At its core, storytelling is (you guessed it!) about telling stories. Yoast tells us that storytelling is “about using stories to engage your audience, or to make something more clear.”

As humans, we’re wired for story. From each of our early days, it’s likely we recall our parents and the people around us sharing and telling stories. We love to read books and see movies and musicals—why? Because people are addicted to stories.

But what does storytelling look like when it comes to marketing for your business? When it comes to marketing for financial services companies, we see storytelling as making what you do and the services you provide:

  • Relatable 
  • Easy to understand by your audience

Why is Storytelling Important in Marketing?

Storytelling builds trust. Here are some of the stories you can share in your marketing strategy as well as how you can share them:

  • Share your stories on your website
  • Share your origin story
  • Share how you’ve grown
  • Share the challenges your business has faced (How did you overcome these challenges? Did any positives come out?)
  • Share how you help your clients (A lot of companies don’t share how they help their clients. Come on, boast a little!)

As the old adage goes, sharing is caring… Communicating your story with your audience.

A Word of Advice from Our CEO and Owner

So, how important is it to share your company story with your digital followers? (i.e. prospects, people in similar industries, current clients, etc.)

According to Andrew, it’s extremely important if you want to build trust and if you want to build a following. We believe in the power of storytelling. In fact, we start all of our partnerships with a Brand Storytelling Session.

Picture this: You go onto a website. For ease, let’s say it’s a digital marketing agency. You’re looking at their services, considering partnering with this company but you don’t find anything about their story.

There’s nothing about their employees or how the company came to be. Does that make you want to partner with that company even more? No, of course it doesn’t. That’s not the way things go.

For those who feel like it’s weird to talk about yourself or what you bring to the table as a business, for fear of coming off as arrogant or boastful, think about it… It’s your website. That’s kind of the point! 

Let go of the taboo you were taught in grade school, that it’s bad to talk about yourself.

In business, it’s important that you share your success stories and tell people how you help them.

Lastly, share your company culture. People want to know what it’s like to work with you. People wanna know if your employees are happy. Are they going to do a great job for them if they decide to partner with you? Share stories, story after story.

Interested in learning how to build more trust with your prospects and clients? Check out this article on how pricing transparency builds trust.

Pricing Transparency

Imagine this: You’re on a family trip, searching for a restaurant to grab dinner. You find a restaurant on Yelp that looks great and go to scan their menu… There are no prices listed anywhere.

Chances are, this restaurant will lose your business immediately.

Let’s talk about pricing transparency. Better yet, Andrew Marr, CEO and Owner of Digital Storyteller is here to answer the question: What are the benefits of pricing transparency?

Let’s see what he has to say in the video below.

Why is Talking About Pricing Awkward?!

So, as a business owner, the question about pricing always comes up. There’s no way around it.

We recognize, however, that there are many reasons why you might be scared to openly talk about your pricing. These fears could range from thinking:

  • Your services are overpriced
  • You’re not qualified or experienced enough to be charging your rates (Helloooo, imposter syndrome!)
  • That you don’t want to face rejection (or acceptance…)
  • That your prospect will raise an objection about your pricing
  • It’s “mean” or you “feel badly” to charge a fair price

Or, you could just be plain shy! Or, you might have grown up with the idea that talking about money is taboo.

Regardless of what your fears are, as a business owner, you need to be willing to discuss your pricing—out in the open.

Our philosophy here at Digital Storyteller is to tell your prospects and/or your clients how much you charge. The fact of the matter is that they’re going to find out anyway.

Not convinced yet? Below, let’s discuss the main benefit of pricing transparency.

Pricing Transparency Leads to Trust

There are many benefits to being open about the pricing of your products and/or services.

Think back to our family trip dinner scenario… You can’t find any prices listed on their site or Yelp.

Chances are, within the course of a couple of minutes, this restaurant will have lost the potential for your business. The same rings true with your business if you fail to disclose your pricing.

Did you know that when a business voluntarily discloses its costs—regardless of what they might be—the prospect is more attracted to the brand?

Why? Because pricing transparency builds trust.

Try Your Best

Now’s the time to ask yourself: How transparent is my business? Be honest. If you were a prospect in your target demographic, who stumbled onto your site, would you be happy with the level of transparency there is (or lack of)? Or, as a result, would you start to look elsewhere for your product or service?

Did you know that, according to a recent survey, 86% of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) felt that a clear statement of pricing or costs was very or extremely important? Moreover, 38% of SMBs felt it difficult to build trust without pricing transparency.

We know, it’s not always possible to give a flat-out number as far as your services go. There’s a lot that can factor into what you charge.

At the very least, however, provide a range. Create articles and landing pages that explain to your prospects, “Even though we can’t give you an exact number, these are the factors that go into what we charge for our services. Here’s what XYZ clients typically pay for XYZ services.”

So, be transparent, it builds trust.

Our Pricing at Digital Storyteller

At Digital Storyteller, aside from our homepage, guess what page on our site is most visited? You guessed it—OUR PRICING PAGE! (See, analytical proof that people admire pricing transparency).

Again, in an effort to practice what we preach, here’s a breakdown of our prices for both ongoing content and website builds.

Speaking of including pricing on your website, interested in learning more about the qualities of a good site? Read on to learn how often you should redesign your website (and why…)

Why is Organic Marketing Great for Financial Services Companies?

When you think of ‘marketing,’ what do you think of?

Chances are the first place your head goes is to advertising—billboards, television commercials, magazines, Instagram ads, the list goes on.

We don’t blame you! We are bombarded by ads every day. In fact, did you know research shows every day the average person encounters between 6,000 to 10,000 ads? This is a massive jump, considering that back in the 70s, “it was reported that the average person saw between 500 to 1600 ads per day.”

But remember, advertising is just a small piece of the marketing pie. Although paid ads have their time and place there’s a better way to market yourself. (Psst… It’s called organic marketing).

Amanda Rogers, Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Digital Storyteller, talks about why organic marketing is great for financial services companies (and all companies for that matter!)

Let’s get into it.

The Mistake Many Business Owners Make

If you’re in the business-to-business (B2B) space and are trying to get more clients under your belt (as one does!), your thought process about doing so might go something like this:

  • “I’m going to put out some ads and tell people what I do.
  • Then, they’ll come to my website.
  • Then they’ll give me a call.
  • And BOOM! I’ll get clients.”

Sigh… if only it were that simple! In today’s world, paid advertising alone is not enough to attract the right clients. So, what else do you need in addition to occasional paid advertisements? Enter, organic marketing.

Paid vs. Organic Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Let’s make this simple.

Ads are about building awareness; organic content is about building trust. While different, BOTH are important to building a successful digital marketing strategy for your business.

As Amanda shares, there are often situations in which the two overlap even. “There are elements of organic content that also build awareness.” For example, integrating boosted posts into your organic social media strategy.

What Does Organic Marketing Actually Do?

Most importantly, you need to know the primary benefit of organic marketing: building trust. Organic marketing might include email marketing, a thought-out video strategy, blog content, etc.

The greatest benefit of all of these things, however, is that organic marketing increases the feeling that people have of knowing and trusting your brand.

Don’t get us wrong, there are certainly strong benefits of paid ads (which you can read more about here) but it shouldn’t be the only marketing effort your business is focused on.

However, as Amanda puts it, “If and when you do decide to do ads, [if] you’ve been doing a strong organic digital marketing push,” the benefit will be much greater.

  • Your domain authority will be higher
  • Your ads will show up in the top three search results
  • And most importantly, your ads will be supported by showing up on that first page of Google with an organic result

“This reinforces in the viewer’s mind, not only do I see their ad, but I also see that they are legitimately what I’m looking for,” says Amanda.

And the best part of all? If you’re paying less for ads, you have more money left over that you can spend on wine! What better motivation is that?

So, are you ready to save money on ads so you can spend it on wine? Us too. At Digital Storyteller, we specialize in organic marketing for financial services companies. If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency that will grow your business better than just pushing paid ads, contact our team today.

Marketing Budget

How Much Should You Allocate?

What if we told you that you can have your cake and eat it, too? Well, today’s your lucky day—because you can! While the world might tell you that you need to pay an arm and a leg for good marketing, at Digital Storyteller we say no thanks! Here’s how much you should really allocate to your digital marketing budget.

The Average Marketing Budget 

At this point, you might be asking yourself, “What’s considered a ‘good’ marketing budget?” or “What percentage of my profits should I allocate to marketing?”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), “small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their revenues to marketing.”

However, there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to digital marketing budgets. Allocation depends on several factors according to the SBA:

  • The industry you’re in
  • Business size
  • Growth stage
  • Profit margins

Most importantly, however, your marketing budget should never be an afterthought, “based on just what’s left over once all your other business expenses are covered.”

Setting Your Marketing Budget

Crafting your marketing budget no longer requires the guesswork it used to. Here are six steps you can take, thanks to OutboundEngine, to set a successful marketing budget for your small business.

  • Step One: Identify where you are in your business journey
  • Step Two: Outline your sales funnel
  • Step Three: List operational costs

(Psst! At this point, you should know how much money is coming in and how much money is being expensed, which is a huge help).

  • Step Four: Set goals
  • Step Five: Identify competition in your industry
  • Step Six: Craft your marketing plan using all your research!

Something to remember: Don’t cling to your plan year-round! It will (hopefully!) change annually and could also be susceptible to change if something shifts in the market or if you launch a new product or service!

You’re Wasting Money on Facebook Ads…

At Digital Storyteller, we will not deny that having a marketing budget is important. It is, of course! But frankly, we’re just seeing too many companies spend ridiculous amounts of money on paid advertising, like Facebook ads.

In fact, did you know that companies spend an average of $200 to $800 on Facebook ads per month? An enterprise, however, may invest up to $5,000 per month on Facebook ads… Holy moly is all we can say!

And this is just on Facebook ads alone. One singular platform. For many companies, if not all, Facebook ads alone cannot carry your business and the success of your digital marketing strategy. (Sorry not sorry, Zuckerberg!)

For companies to succeed, it’s typical to expect both a blend of paid and organic initiatives in the marketing melting pot.

The Affordability of Outsourced Marketing

At Digital Storyteller, we believe that fragmented marketing wastes money and time and reduces impact. We also believe that you should be able to have your cake and eat it, too. Hell, you can go on vacation and still afford quality, effective marketing! 

(We should know since we market for ourselves the way we would any other client AND *cough cough* our owners just spent two weeks at the five-star Chileno Bay Resort in Cabo San Lucas—woot woot!)

At Digital Storyteller, we strive to be transparent, and we don’t think pricing should be a secret. This is why all of our pricing is broken down in full on our website for you to see.

For those in a pinch, here’s what we offer:

Our STARTER tier, priced at $3,000 a month, is perfect for the small business owner who needs marketing support to maintain or build an online presence.

Our most popular package, titled GROWTH, is priced at $5,000 a month and includes content creation, a social media strategy to align online presence with your current business identity, as well as sales enablement workflow assistance.

Lastly, our ENTERPRISE tier is for companies whose growth has outpaced their marketing. We are your outsourced marketing department focused on building your business with you. The enterprise package is priced at $8,000 a month.

We also offer a ​​stand-alone website design product starting at $8,500.

From SEO analysis to organic content creation, from sales enablement workflow creation in Hubspot to online reputation management and social media, we do it all at a fraction of the cost that hiring marketing in-house would be.If you couldn’t already tell, organic content marketing saves you money. In fact, content marketing is 62% less expensive than paid marketing and three times more effective. So, what are you waiting for!? For more on why digital marketing is important for your financial services company, read on.

Digital Storyteller

Modern customers are looking for more than a transactional service. Here’s why the financial industry should be on top of digital marketing.

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So you’re wondering what type of marketing you should implement for your business? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
The two biggest types of marketing are outsourced and in-house. Both want to promote your business to the best of their ability, but they have a few big differences. Learn more about the differences between outsourced and in-house marketing below!

Save Money on Ads (So You Can Spend It on Wine)

When you think of marketing, what do you think of? For many, it’ll include billboards, that one realtor’s face on a bus stop, or the not-so random ads when you’re scrolling through Instagram.
It’s actually much more than that. Yes, paid ads have their time and place to increase your exposure, but let’s let you in on a little secret: there’s a better way to market yourself, and it’s not by relying on ads.
I know, shocking. 

person on iPhone visiting Instagram for financial services company

As a B2B financial services company, you may be questioning whether having a social media presence matters for your marketing strategy. We’ll keep it pretty simple for you: it does. Social media has become a critical part of any marketing strategy. Whether it be organic or paid, B2B or B2C, and so on, social media marketing plays an important role in strategizing for any business.

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Social Media for Financial Services Companies

The use of social media in financial services is often disputed. Some believe that social media does not hold the same value for B2B businesses as it does in the B2C market. This, however, is not the case.

Why Digital Storyteller is a Pot of Gold for Financial Services Companies

At Digital Storyteller, we find the right audience of people that want to follow your tax law updates and we write content that addresses their real-world problem to position you as a thought leader in your industry. Keep reading to learn how Digital Storyteller is a pot of gold for financial services companies!

B2B Social Media

Oftentimes many B2B businesses write off social media marketing based on the consideration that it’s too boring or not effective enough to be worth their while. But this isn’t necessarily the case. While it is true that the top brands that dominate social media are largely B2C brands, social media should be a part of every successful marketing strategy.