In my previous blog post, I outlined an initial set of core points to focus on when you’re ready to take your game to the next level: branding, networking, and follow through.
Once you have these down and are ready to further refine your game, the next set of core points to focus on are: referral sources, client events, speaking engagements, and social media. Remember, 83% of clients are willing to refer a friend, family member, or colleague—yet only 29% do.
1/ The keys to excelling with referral sources is effectively communicating your brand, the value you deliver, how you stand out from your competition, and sharing your vision for growth in your business. Asking existing clients and professional referral sources for referrals who might be a fit for your practice and following up with those people is of course the most important, and last, step! Oftentimes advisors don’t realize the steps they’re missing in this process and simply hope that their current clients and professional referral sources will send them referrals. (And then they’re left scratching their heads when they don’t receive referrals out of nowhere!)
Whether you’re just starting out and have just a few ideal clients or are a seasoned professional and you have 150 ideal clients, it is critical to include all of the critical components of the conversation that will support receiving the referrals you want. For tips on a vibrant referral attraction process, read this blog.
Keep your brand in mind as you’re building relationships with other professionals who work with your ideal clients. Professional referral sources can be a wonderful way to support your practice’s growth, but you have to make sure that the referrals you’re getting (and the time you’ve invested in order to receive those referrals) are in line with your overall goals and business plan.
In my previous post, I recommended not wasting time networking in the wrong pond. The same principle applies to professional referral sources. Don’t network with people outside your ideal client profile, and don’t waste your time with professional referral sources who don’t work with your ideal clients, either. An easy way to build your professional referral network is to ask your top clients who their CPA, estate planning attorney, business broker, etc is and to start there. Since you have a client in common, they’ll be more inclined to schedule a meeting with you.
2/ The key to excelling at client events is simple: create an event that attracts people, follow up on the interest it generates, and repeat!
One of my clients has a wine tasting annually, and with a bit of creativity, she has created a fabulous annual event. Last year she dedicated certain rooms in her office to match different countries where the wine was from. She’s had wine tasting for several years now and the turnout continues to grow each year. The first year she threw it, there was a relatively low turnout, though last year she had over 60 people show up!
Even if the first event you throw doesn’t go as well as you hoped, don’t give up! It’s important to be consistent and to continue the effort to build your community. As interest grows and more people are aware of your events and you learn to communicate the event with enthusiasm, your event turnout will grow as well.
3/ The key to excelling at speaking engagementsis again, to focus your energy on the “right pond.” Look for opportunities to speak at professional associations where your ideal clients spend time and attend events.
In this day and age, webinars can be a great way to get in front of potential clients with less investment than an in-person speaking engagement. You can create your own webinar around a signature topic, or connect with a strategic partner and co-create a webinar that combines both of your expertise. Plus, partnering up with a strategic partner can help you “fill the room.” Another great opportunity these days is to be featured on a podcast with a strategic partner.
4/ The key to excelling at social mediais being extremely clear about your brand and your audience (and taking into account what they’ll be interested in), taking consistent action, and staying organized to leverage and measure your efforts against the specific goals you had set. If it’s completely out of your wheelhouse and you’d like to add it to your marketing plan, I’d recommend bringing in someone to manage it for you. (Many of my clients prefer this route to maximize their time spent on higher level activities.) You can read more on what to avoid with your social media program here.
At this point, you may be wondering what step to take next in order to take action on these items. If you have the bandwidth or you have a team that can support you, you can of course pursue all of them at once, though many advisors with their own practices simply don’t have time (or often, the interest).
Here are the different paths you can take to implement these recommendations:
- Break them up and take action over a long period of time as your schedule allows
- Once you’ve created a strategic plan (for, say, client events or social media), you could outsource implementation of certain projects to someone on your team
- Receive support, guidance, accountability, and structure from an expert business development coach like me to help you efficiently and strategically take the right action to excel at your own game.
Are you inspired by the idea of enhancing your game but overwhelmed and unsure about where to begin? I would love to speak with you about how I can help you take the next step with your business and achieve the success you truly want. Reach out to me today: firstname.lastname@example.org