Adventure Guide asks Now What?

Christina Frei Adventure Guides, Innate Marketing Genius

This is part of a series of case studies that highlight each Innate Marketing Genius in action. To discover all five Geniuses, go here for a Diagnostic Guide.

One of my clients advises Gen Xers on their finances.  A certified financial planner, Cari left corporate, started her own practice, and now has a full roster of clients. When I first started working with her, Cari looked like a Door Opener, someone who educates folks on financial issues to empower them. Door Openers love to blow people’s minds to reveal new possibilities and Cari is really good at that. (What’s your Innate Marketing Genius?)

But recently I muscle tested her (this is an intuitive tool I’ve learned over the last couple months). As I suspected, Cari is an Adventure Guide.

An Adventure Guide might do TED talks (a Door Opener strategy) or bring color and flair (a Celebrator strategy), but their “why” is always to help people live life to the fullest.

So how does this change her marketing?

Cari reaches out by giving talks, writing monthly articles, and taking a more transactional approach in her prospect meetings.  She does well by this, but wanted more.

Her inner Adventure Guide comes through in the details, and these details make her more relevant and not just more marketing noise.

When Cari is up in front of the room, she can teach a new way of doing something for the excitement of a new perspective (Door Opener) OR she could address the possibilities of living life to the fullest when you get your finances in order (Adventure Guide).

Instead of offering her audience great financial vehicles and next steps, this Adventure Guide needs to detail how a client similar to her audience had a challenge, moved through it by doing X, Y, and Z (a few moments on the actual financial strategies) and then ta-da! This is the adventure they could have.  With a firm financial plan, they opened a new business, took a 2-week trip, bought a house they normally couldn’t afford, went on an adventurous volunteer vacation in Kenya, you name it.  An Adventure Guide focuses on the adventure she is unleashing more than anything else.  

So here is what we came up with.  Cari will focus on the potential life adventures in her talks, her articles, and in her meetings with prospects.  She will listen for what her people are NOT saying in her prospect and client meetings – the life adventure they’re dreaming about having when their finances are sorted out. This shows her at her best. In every touchpoint, Cari will empower her audience to go for it.

The financial nitty gritty is the easy stuff for Cari.  She’s a Certified Financial Planner after all. The reason anyone would read to the bottom of her longer articles is that she stands strongly in the potential of her readers’ life adventures, more than they can in their everyday distractions. It’s mesmerizing.

Cari herself is the poster child for this, since she got her finances in order after grad school and was able to start her own business.

The primary approach Cari should NOT take in her talks and articles: assure people that they’ll be OK (Nurturer), get too excited about the strategies / vehicles she offers (Door Opener), assure people she has their back (Steady Presence), or be entertaining or flashy (Celebrator) in how she presents her material.  If her deepest “why” is helping people live life to the fullest and have adventures, then demonstrating those adventures and how she has already helped folks get there is her M.O. That’s it.

What she SHOULD do:  Share adventure after adventure with her prospects, including their own potential adventure that might only be partially clear for them. This has people begging her to tell them how to make that happen.  Cari answers that question all day long in her work as a certified financial planner.