Julie Nipperess is the founder of Step Up Financial Group, financial planners working primarily with people aged 25-45 to accumulate wealth in preparation for retirement. We first met Julie when she was working as a planner in the private sector. She sought us out to build the company website and then chose to take us with her when she stepped out on her own in 2019.
In 2016, Julie wanted to expand the clientele of the financial planning company where she worked. She wanted to include all ages and life stages, teaching financial wisdom to the young, while they had the capacity to change their wealth accumulation and savings strategies.
Julie knew that to reach these demographics, their firm needed an online presence. Julie knew exactly what she wanted.
Julie grabbed her list and began searching for the right digital marketing company to put it together for her.
She searched for two years.
“It was so frustrating,” says Julie. “I wanted something that was original, someone who really knew our business and understood my clientele. I kept getting these website companies telling me they only needed my name, business and DOB to make me a brilliant site. They knew nothing about us or what we were trying to do.
How can you trust someone to manage your marketing if they have no idea about who your target client is or what makes you different?
Every time I found a potential contender, I would ask them to send an example of their work. And every time, I was disappointed. It would be just a cookie cutter ‘financial planning’ website. I’d seen hundreds of them in my searches. Ours would be exactly the same as all the others but with a different name at the top of the page. Maybe a different colour scheme if we were lucky.
Some were just horrendous. Glaring spelling mistakes and clunky for a client to navigate. Nothing that would represent us well in the digital market we were trying to crack.”
“My clientele lives online. They want to check you out online before they set foot in your office or even speak to you on the phone. You are who Google says you are. If Google says you don’t exist, then… in their eyes, you don’t!”
“Two years into my search, I heard Deb Croucher speak at a conference I was attending. She was presenting on Digital Marketing, and BOOM! there it was. Everything I had been looking for, for so long. I couldn’t believe it. I was fidgeting in my seat, waiting desperately for her to finish so I could go and talk to her. Everything she said resonated with me – it was exactly what I had been searching for.”
“Having a website – a really great website – and digital strategy are critical to the survival of a business in this day and age. I needed help because:
A. I didn’t have the time, and
B. I didn’t have the expertise to do it myself.
I needed the skills of professionals. I’d seen the dodgy home-made websites and ads online. I did not want to be associated with any of that. Building websites and digital marketing is a profession in its own right.
If you want to run a professional business, you need professionals to run your marketing. It’s a no-brainer.
The clincher was when Deb sent me a sample of Brilliant Digital’s work. I still remember it. It was a site for a different financial planner, not the same demographic as our business. But it had this huge photo – this insane view of a tropical island from a chopper, right on the front page. I was so impressed.
I knew right from that image who this company was, what they specialised in, who their clients were and what their clients wanted. As a potential customer, I didn’t even have to click on anything to know whether this was the right business for me.
And that showed me that Brilliant Digital understood what we were looking for. They knew how to target OUR clients, to get the leads WE wanted for OUR business.
Brilliant Digital understands the importance of knowing who your client base is and working to that. I market to the 25-45 base. For my clients, my website is my bricks and mortar shop front. That’s where they decide if they want to work with me.”
“Earlier this year, I stepped out to start my own financial planning company, Step Up Financial Group, working primarily with my favourite 25-45 age group.
Considering my demographic, opening my doors without an amazing website and marketing strategy already in place would be insane. It never even occurred to me not to have Brilliant Digital alongside me as I stepped out on my own.
Brilliant Digital had my website built and ready. My marketing strategy was fully developed and waiting for me.
All I had to do was choose the date I wanted to start my new life. I was able to go straight to my prospective clients and say, ‘Here, this is me.’ I had an online presence and digital shopfront from day one.”
“If I had been trying to get off the ground without my website and marketing, I don’t know if I would have made it. But I did have them and, because of that, 95% of my clients came across with me, trusting in me and how my new brand represented me. I pushed the button and I was instantly an established brand with 400 clients.
Brilliant Digital has enabled me to hit the ground running. Since I opened earlier this year, I’ve added over 70 new clients. That’s a client growth of 17% in only five months. And that’s due to my marketing strategy from Brilliant Digital.”
“As for the website itself, I’ve had 12 leads come through as of May 2019. They are all warm, qualified leads and all converted to sales. Looking at just the leads from the website in the first five months, I have already achieved my ROI, four times over.
My website has been critical to my success. It is literally the face of my business. It’s the shop window. In this age of virtual business, the website has replaced the need for a prominent shop-front or a display of your wares in the window to attract passers-by. You don’t have to wait for customers to pass by your physical site. The entire world can find you based on your search criteria.
My website gives my clients a feel as to whether my business is a good fit for them. It’s a two-way street – my website filters out the wrong leads as well as attracting the right ones, meaning I spend my time on the clients who are going to invest with me.”
“I can’t recommend Brilliant Digital highly enough. I’m a huge fan.
It is the only company that has taken the time to gain a deep understanding of me, my business, what I want to achieve and where I want to go with it.
The cost is there, I won’t lie, but I’ve found that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. I am more than happy to pay for the time and the work of professionals in this department.”
“Marketing is not even something on my radar anymore; it just gets done for me by Brilliant Digital. I think I might spend five minutes each fortnight on it. Brilliant Digital tells me what’s working, what needs refining and I’ll tell them to go ahead.
It’s all taken care of. I have full trust in Deb and the team. They know who I am and what I’m trying to do, and they represent me accordingly. I never have to retouch any of their work. It’s always exactly on point. I don’t even have to think about it.
The burden has been taken off my shoulders entirely, releasing me to get on with running my new company.”
“It’s empowering, feeling fully confident in how I’m represented in the digital space. Being proud of what people see is beyond price. I know that just by looking at my website, my customers’ sales process has already shortened.
That’s before I even speak to them. Anyone in the world can search my business and I can rest in full assurance that they will find a professional and accurate representation of what I do.
Too many people count marketing in dollars and cents.
Marketing is seen as something a bit wishy-washy that you can do on the cheap. Well, it will be wishy-washy and completely ineffective if you do it on the cheap!!
If you want to create a million-dollar business, you need to get professionals. No one is going to invest big bucks in a company that doesn’t even invest in itself.
I am less than five months into my second collaboration with Brilliant Digital and my original investment has been returned four-fold.
Brilliant Digital has done everything they said they would do. I am really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for us.”
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