Bookmark my friend Rosemary Smyth’s website (and her blog)… and especially buy her book. It will be the best investment you make in your biz. (This is not an affiliate link and I am not getting paid to say this). She’s awesome. (If you want to know more about her book before you buy it, you can check out my review of her book).
Schedule 20 minutes a day to read one or more of the above sites. (Note: Schedule only twenty minutes — no more, no less. If you schedule less, you risk not spending time learning your craft. If you schedule more, you risk making it an easy way to procrastinate).
Get a domain name. Get one at GoDaddy.com. They’re cheap. Use your name as the domain or, if it’s already taken, use your name and your title: JohnSmithFinancialAdvisor.com or JenSmithMortgageBroker.com.
Get a hosting account. You can get this from GoDaddy as well. They are also cheap. A host is your very own place on the internet. If you upload content and pictures and video to your website or blog, it is stored in the host. When someone else wants to view that content, pictures, or video, their computer asks the host to view it. You are reading this because it is stored in my host and your computer is asking my host to let you look at it.
Set up a blog. Get this from WordPress and add it to your host. It’s a little more technical than I’m making it sound but it’s worth the time you spend. Get some help if necessary. (Why a blog and not a website? Websites are static and can feel impersonal but blogs are constantly updated and very effective at positioning you as a knowledgeable professional AND a human being. Blogs require constant updating – at least a few times a week – but don’t let that scare you. It helps encourage people to come back and visit your site more often.
Set up an email newsletter. Get this from Aweber.com, which provides excellent email newsletter/autoresponder services. You’ll need to put a sign-up form on your website. The idea is: You capture people’s emails and you write regular, relevant emails to them to build a relationship. Which leads me to…
Write your first 4 emails. Keep them personable. Invite the subscriber to reply to you with some information about them (non-financial information such as who they are or what they do for a living). Schedule these emails for the next month.
Write and distribute a press release. Distribute it to your local papers and to online distribution sources like PRWeb. Introduce yourself (your background, qualifications, and what motivates you to help others) and invite people to get in touch with you.
Make a list of everyone you know, including name, contact information, lifestage and potential financial needs. it doesn’t mean you are going to hit up each one for business, but it’s a starting point… and it’s GREAT practice to assess the needs of people in different lifestages.
Send out a letter to them, telling them about what you’re doing and inviting them to tell their friends and family about you. This is a great technique because it doesn’t feel like you’re bugging them for business. Rather, you are asking them to do something for you. It feels less invasive. (The truth is, I think it’s less effective but you need a place to start and this gets the word out).
Become a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Register for your local Chamber of Commerce and get a calendar of events into your schedule. Attend. Shake hands. Give out your business card.
Make a list of 25 places in town to advertise: Newspapers, radio, community newsletters, etc. Find out the price and circulation and ad requirements.
Come up with 3 seminar topics and a place to offer the seminars. Advertise the seminars (and make note of which ones are more popular).
Join a volunteer organization: Set aside time to volunteer there. Don’t sell, just be yourself. it will still pay back dividends in your career.
Get ready to prospect: The firm or agency you work for likely has some prospecting methods that they want you to do. Figure out how long it will take to do them and then schedule enough time to do twice as much.