Business development is a part of any financial advisor’s day - more business equals a bigger bottom line. There are always more accounts to get, more referrals to ask for and more new clients to prospect. The world is yours when it comes to the growth of your business, but only if the reward is worth the work.
Two of the easiest ways to obtain new business are to ask for referrals from current clients and dive deeper into your existing book of business to discover new assets at other institutions that you can transfer in. But what happens when that isn’t enough? If you need to expand your marketing efforts, it’s time to think outside the box and explore non-traditional ways of business development. This includes using the power of the World Wide Web, showing your clients you care and learning from your colleagues. (For more, see: 6 Essential Marketing Tips for Financial Advisors.)
Here are five new ways to market yourself and your business.
1. Host a Client Event
Instead of asking your existing clients for referrals and having to follow up with them, why not let the referrals come directly to you. Hosting a client event is a great way to show appreciation for your existing clients, build a relationship by letting them get to know you on a personal level and meet new potential clients at the same time.
Ask your clients to bring a guest and every plus one could be a new account opening. It’s much easier to follow up with potential clients who you’ve already met in person rather than just being a voice over the phone when you cold call from a referral.
2. Start a Blog
Starting a blog and updating it regularly (at least once a month) is a great way to showcase your expertise, share helpful information and be found in search engines such as Yahoo, Google and Bing. Publishing blog posts on topics that clients are searching for by using keywords helps you be found when clients type those words into the search bar. Having a blog is like having a book, it’s a tangible product that gives you credibility when someone types your name into Google. (For related reading, see: Growth Strategies for Financial Advisors.)
3. Sign Up for Social Media
When you ask for referrals and do cold calls you’re only reaching one client at a time. On social media networks, such as LinkedIn, you’re reaching all of your connections at the same time – with one single action. It’s a much more efficient way to share information and communicate with clients.
As an added bonus social media networks actually suggest new connections for you based on common interests such as location, current and past employers, skills and other connections in common. The phone book can’t do that.
4. Join Small Business Think Tanks
If you have the chance to join a mastermind group, you should jump at the chance. These types of groups usually exist online and they’re the practice management equivalent of a traditional book club. A group of professionals who have something in common (such as financial advisors who work in the investment industry) get together to share best practices, brainstorm new ideas, talk about their business and look for ways to collaborate. It’s a fantastic way to meet new people, mentor newbies and learn new ways to enhance your day to day operations. (For more, see: Top Tips for Winning New Clients.)
If you can’t find a mastermind group, why not start one? Expand your digital marketing strategy and reach out to other financial advisors on LinkedIn to start brainstorming. Set a time each week to meet and pick a topic to share ideas. The benefit of these groups being online is that you can connect with professionals in a variety of locations outside of your local area.
5. Attend Local Networking Events
If you want to increase your centers of influence one of the easiest ways to meet other professionals in your area is to attend local networking events. Contact the small business owners association and local chamber of commerce in your area to see if they have regular networking events for members.
If you prefer to network online, you can search the name of your town on LinkedIn to find local online groups and associations. Every time you ask a question, answer a question or post something in those groups your name and title pop up in front of all the members. It’s a cost and time efficient way to meet new people, market yourself (along with your skills) and grow your professional network.
The Bottom Line
Advisors looking to increase their marketing efforts online and/or in person should consider implementing some or all of these strategies to help grow their practice. (For related reading, see: How Financial Advisors Are Leveraging Social Media.)