Think back about five years ago.  Remember all these stories about people trying to keep Wal-Mart from coming into their towns?  Even though the giant retailer would bring low prices and jobs, so-called “community activists” fought it on the grounds the company sold goods made in China, was non-unionand,  would put local businesses “out of business.”

Oh, how I miss the more simpler times.  At least back then you could see Wal-Mart.  Today Amazon is doing far more damage to the Mom & Pop stores than Sam Walton ever thought possible.  What’s worse, you can’t see it happening.  Packages just arrive on doorsteps, eliminating one more trip to the mall or to see Mom & Pop.

Our industry is no different.  Every year the number of financial advisors declines, and it will continue to do so.  In the end, the only ones who will thrive are those who differentiated themselves from the industry standard.   The rest will be Amazoned, left to spend their days buying “senior coffee” at McDonald’s and thinking back to how it once was.

Renegade advisors will always survive because their techniques draw interest where their competitors either can’t or won’t.  They will go act contrary to the crowd and will do things not because everyone else is doing it, but because everyone is not.

The advisor who survives will provide each of these and will thrive because of it:

  1. Print Newsletter:  Everyone is going digital, so you fill the empty void.  BTW:  You still get an excrement full of newsletters in your mailbox?  You think JCrew and Williams Sonoma might know something you don’t?
  2. Blog:  One worth reading.
  3. Podcast:  A cheap and entertaining way to communicate to your clients.
  4. Quarterly DVD:  You on camera.  Great way to connect with remote clients.
  5. Webinar:  Ditto.
  6. Website:  Not the boring kind, but one that will actually generate leads.
  7. Client Appreciation Events:  Classy events where you don’t sell, but just thank your clients.  This means no boring presentation, but enjoyable entertainment.
  8. Random Gifts:  It’s amazing how flowers sent during a challenging time create love.
  9. Handwritten Notes:  Assuming you still remember how to write.
  10. Lead Magnets:  Stuff of value that prospects will want so badly they’ll give you their mailing address.
  11. Live workshops:  For those who ordered the lead magnet.
  12. Face to Face Interaction:  More and more advisor “gurus” suggest you can work and never leave your couch.  Let’s hope your competitors follow their advice.
  13. Social Media Advertising:  To create a 24/7 marketing machine.
  14. Book:  Yes, become an author.  Don’t worry, chances are they’ll never read it, but they’ll like the fact you wrote it.