It’s easy to get lost in the service, administrative, and compliance side your business while pushing aside the work needed to attract more ideal prospects. There are simple strategies and tactics that often get started and stopped over and over. It’s a cycle of marketing misfortune. Marketing is often the weak link in an advisors practice and it’s almost always the first “expense’ that gets cut or the first “task” that falls off the plate.
FOUR proven and easy-to-execute tactics, plus
ONE critical strategy to help you attract more ideal prospects.
FOUR SIMPLE & PROVEN NETWORK EXPANSION TACTICS
1. Invite People to Your Social Channels
Every time I speak with advisors, it amazes me how poorly they execute this simple initiative. Whether it’s a lack of belief in social media or online marketing, it doesn’t really matter. Digital networking is here to stay and if you’re not connected to everyone you should or could be connected to, you’re not properly maximizing this opportunity.
How Many People Do You Know Who You Aren’t Connected To?
It’s a massive opportunity for your practice. Being connected socially helps you:
- Stay in touch with your network.
- Stay top of mind with your audience.
- Build your influence.
- Grow your brand.
- Expand your COI base and reach their audiences (referrals)
- Expand your Ideal Prospect base.
- Encourage and inspire Clients to refer more often and more easily.
- Ultimately, significantly increase referrals.
- Understand your audience segments and be in social networks they use.
- Use personal message when inviting.
- Value of your social network and treat it accordingly.
2. ‘Recommended List’ Social Inviting
Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook all make recommendations for new connections for you. They do this to keep you inspired to continue to use their social network and to help you find new opportunities to expand your business. Respect these “connection recommendations” otherwise you may lose your ability to invite. If you play along and obey the network’s etiquette, you can grow your network by 10-50 new connections every month. It’s a quick and easy way to grow your digital network – just don’t abuse it.
While most social networks have abuse protocols in place they still want you to succeed. Do what they allow you to do and take advantage of their recommendations.
- I recommend only inviting 50-100 per week via LinkedIn.
- Twitter has no limits, follow as many as you wish and hope for reciprocal follows. ‘Unfollow’ when your ‘Following’ list gets too high. Twitter has a ratio of Follow-to-Being-Followed – stay within it.
- On Facebook, add friends of ideal friends.
3. Social Stalking
‘Social stalking’ is by no means new but it’s not often leveraged by the average advisor in their marketing arsenal. I’d recommend implementing a simple ‘social stalking’ tactics in your social media strategy.
‘Social stalking’ starts with finding regional and/or local influencers. Once you’ve connected with them, you monitor their online behavior. When you find a relevant social post you ‘like’, thoughtfully comment and share it with your network. Make sure to tag them or a subject in your comment, it helps you get noticed by their network and people interested in that subject. It’s a fantastic way to expand your reach and get noticed by your audience’s networks. You’ll ignite connection requests, perhaps slowly but, if done well, surely. I get 5-10 connection requests per month on LinkedIn. Social stalking may appear selfish but you’re also helping your target get noticed in your network. It’s a win-win-win situation; peer/you/prospect.
- Help Others To Help Yourself
- Add Value with Your Comments, Don’t Challenge or Embarrass
- Identify 10-20 You Can Monitor
- Share Comments @ 5-10 Per Week
4. Invite Guests To Your Podcast/Blog
Business is about relationships. The relationships you benefit most from are often with people who have influence with your ideal audience. In some cases they can add valuable expertise to your audience’s needs and other times they may be in completely unrelated industries. Obviously, the related industry experts and centers of influence are the real opportunity for you and your business.
When you’ve identified experts to follow and monitor, after having built up some credibility and rapport online, it’s a good idea to consider inviting the most engaged peers as guests on your podcast or blog. You can accomplish several key benefits from this: 1) extract expertise that educates your audience and promotes their business, 2) once posted, gives them a link to promote your podcast/blog to their audience, and 3) shows your audience how committed you are to adding value to your relationship with them.
- Use a thoughtful letter or email to invite local peers.
- Be aware of local influencers in case you meet them out and about.
- Help peers identify topics that will appeal to your audience.
- Package your podcast/blog professionally and make it easy to share
ONE PROVEN MUST-HAVE STRATEGY
A Compelling Brand
Who’d have thought a ‘branding’ guy would suggest the need for a compelling brand in attracting ideal prospects online? I preach this daily. It’s the single most important marketing strategy there is for this profession. Be seen as different, better and relevant (valuable to a specific audience).
A good advisor brand creates intrigue and establishes credibility quickly. Imagine the waste of money and time in creating and implementing marketing tactics without an appealing brand when they finally get to “meet” you. Advisors I talk with experience a lot of pain when they consider the wasted marketing efforts and dollars they’ve spent without a better story and image.