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A couple of questions

RedCRedC subscriber Posts: 2
edited March 2008 in Marketing
Hello all,
I am a lurker but I am challenging myself to become more involved. Thanks DKing for that post. I have a couple of questions that I am nervous about asking. I am building a financial counseling business that concentrates on assisting individuals and families in paying off debt and gaining control of there finances. I help them lay out a plan, confront the issues of why they are in debt, build relationships with them then put the plan into action to start the process of paying off debt and changing their finances. I am currently part time.
1st question- I would like to market to churches as well for speaking engagements. I have sent out letters with a brochure and a couple of business cards. Has anyone ever marketed churches? Are letters or calling them a better option?
2nd question- I am starting and will build the business debt free. So I am building my own website. I have 3 or 4 scriptures on my website. Would this turn the average potential client away? Is it unprofessional? I wouldn`t force my faith down there throat b/c I want to help anyone who needs my service.
I hope this post isn`t to long and I thank you in advance for any comments or responses you have. Thanks
RedonnoRedC3/8/2008 5:54 AM


  • RichardGellerRichardGeller subscriber Posts: 0
    Calling is the best option. Call by phone, or even drop by. You would be amazed how effective some cold-calling in person can be. You will probably get a lot of speaking engagements this way.
  • LiveWiseLiveWise subscriber Posts: 5
    Congratulations!  Your business is a great one and there is lots of potential! 
    First of all, before you get in too deep, check with the Department of Finance in your state to find out what you can and can`t do with and without getting licensed through them.  There are very tight and strict laws when dealing with other people`s money.  If you aren`t licensed and you overstep the boundaries, you could find yourself in a lot of hot water..   It sounds like you really want your business to be BIG!!!  Do it right. from the start and get your licensure.
    Marketing to churches is a great idea.  Many people will turn to their church for help.  I would send a letter and try to follow up with meeting the leader of the church in person.  Maybe talk over lunch and establish a relationship.  Maybe do a lunch where there are 6-12 church leaders--if you feel okay with a small group.  You may want to meet one-on-one until you`ve got your presentation down.  Give a few business cards to each and brochures of your services.  You may need a couple of brochures--one for you speaking engagements and one for your debt relief program. 
    As far as scriptures go on your website, I would likely leave them off.  I`ve known too many hypocrits in religion and it seems like those who preach those most when they aren`t at church are often the biggest hypocrits.  It turns me away from doing business.  When you are speaking, you can tailor your speaking to your audience and include them, but if you aren`t speaking to a religous group, then leave them out.  (Follow the rule, When in doubt, leave it out.)
    Good luck!
    LiveWise3/8/2008 11:55 AM
  • RedCRedC subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks for all the responses. I am going to put the comments into practice.
    I will update my website to remove the scriptures. I want to be available to any potential client who needs my service. I would hate that they be turned away before I can even speak with them.
    Also, I am going to follow up letters with a personal phone call. As well as just stop by. LiveWise, I like the two separate brochures idea. And thanks Winston for that info, that really helps.
    Thanks again
  • WellsworthWellsworth subscriber Posts: 0
    Redonno,I think you need to consider who you want your clientele to be.If you are focused on church members, and feel most confortableusing principles you know are based on faith, then keep the scriptures.I think someone who has a religion (faith) background, and see`s scripturesup front, would feel they found someone of like-mindedness.If you`re wanting to open it up to anyone, then the scripture`s could be a turn-offas stated by Winston2 above. I guess to me it comes down to who do you want to be your market. You can`t have the world at your feet, you need to focus on who you want, who you think you`ll be most successful with, and who you`ll be most comfortable with. I`ve heard it said to "fire" your worst customers. In other words, youre going to have clients that take up more time than you have to give. Spending time with those you "can" help most, and best, are the one`s you "will" help best.In marketing you have to pick a target, focus on it, and you`ll hit it.You can`t be everything to everyone.One thing your site could use is some testimonials, to add some strength toit on the left hand side, IMHO.We`ll, my 2 cents was up 3 minutes ago, I better hang up now.Wellsworth
  • RedCRedC subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks Wellsworth.
    I will seriously consider my clientele b/c you are right I can`t have the world at my feet. I did not think if it that way. That will help me moving forward.
    Thanks again, that was a timely response.
  • SendThemCardsSendThemCards subscriber Posts: 0
    I think you should keep the scriptures.
    There is a large volume of people out there who would be more inclined to check out your site WITH the scriptures included.
    Most people of faith understand that some use their faith to attract buisness and know how to deal with it.
    The people who you think will be driven away with the scriptures may check out your site to see how a person of faith runs a buisness.
    The ones who turn away because of the scriptures would probibly leave as soon as they found out that you are a person of faith and may say that you hid it from them.
    If you remove the scriptures are you also going to change RedC? 
    I hope not.
    As far as mailing info to churches I think you should call and make an appointment to see someone.

    SendThemCards3/9/2008 2:08 PM
  • WellsworthWellsworth subscriber Posts: 0
    I think what CraigL said about getting leads is a vital part of starting up and generating a "list" that you can have to keep in contact with. Your list is very valuable. Generate about 10 - 52 or so content pages just for purposes of emailing. Send one out each week (52) so that you can stay in contact. Aweber.com is a great tool that automates the process. You write the articles, it does the sending, and you can concentrate on what you do best. When someone gets reqular email from you, theyre more likely to consider what you say more valuable. You can have several type of group sendings, faith based content, and basic financial counceling concepts. 
    Another thought I had, if you were wanting to see what kind of response you get from a non-scripture site, then create another domain site, without scriptures, and then you would feel more comfortable who you send to what site. Just keep track on who was generated from what site. Not that you would have anything to hide, but you might get more customers from one or the other, and then you might have something else is your equation as to what target group you want to develop towards. Test, test, test.
  • RedCRedC subscriber Posts: 2
    Yes! I love the idea about the way to grab leads and the weekly content notes. This information is vital because I am just starting and finding ways to get leads and turn them into customers without much money is a challenge. But that`s fine with me, I`m willing to make it happen.
    I have already spoke with the local library and my company must be a non-profit. So starting monday I will contact various community centers to look into hosting classes to get my name out and to get leads, as well as inform the community about ways to get out of debt. Thanks CraigL but public speaking is not a problem for me even though I was nervous about posting here.
    I am still considering the scriptures issue. Everyone made excellent points but it`s about pinpointing my target of who I want to market I have learned.
  • RedCRedC subscriber Posts: 2
    No I had not considered that. I guess for one because I don`t know all the ins and outs of it. I will read up on it. I am starting as a sole proprietorship and once the business grew then see if I needed to switch to Inc, LLC, etc.
  • darrindickeydarrindickey subscriber Posts: 1
    Scriptures can work just fine, so long as they`re not "in your face." Dave Ramsey`s been doing Christian-based financial counseling for years quite successfully and he`s overtly, proudly Christian.
  • RedCRedC subscriber Posts: 2
    Thanks Darrin. Dave Ramsey is one of my major influences.
  • darrin365darrin365 subscriber Posts: 0
    What is your "differentiator" from others like Dave or Creflo Dollar?
  • RedCRedC subscriber Posts: 2
    My business would be geared more towards Dave Ramsey`s style because his counseling is very practical. Later this year I will go through his training to become a Dave Ramsey certified financial counselor. I will follow biblical principles (as he does) but I wouldn`t be quoting scriptures or having "bible study" or "in your face" with scriptures (as darindickey said) with my clients so to speak.
    The other side that I am pursuing is more of a "ministry" side of financial counseling where I service the church and its members. In this setting I can provide financial counseling where I can teach and counsel individuals and families more as a "bible study" or "in your face" with scriptures so to speak. As a ministry I can extend my service to more churches for seminars and speaking engagements.
    I hope not to sound confusing, I am still in the brainstorming stages of both and how/if I can tie them together yet they stand separately. Also, comparing Dave Ramsey and Creflo Dollar is more like comparing apples and oranges.
  • darrindickeydarrindickey subscriber Posts: 1
    It is, but my question was more "how are you going to stand out from the crowd." I do know when you go through Certified Counselor Training, they`ll give you some ideas on how to promote yourself and your business. Maybe Brian or Joy or whoever`s handling Counselor Training there now can help you flesh out your business structure.
    In either case, yes, you can keep the scripture and not scare off the non-believers.
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