It’s an ongoing challenge for most financial brokers… having a steady stream of new clients. This is one of the most common challenges that I’m asked about when working with advice firms. What’s also interesting is that for those firms that don’t have this problem, there tends to be a common theme.
The theme is that the new clients are coming from referrals from existing clients. While this is great and is obviously an endorsement of the quality of your proposition, a concern for me is that it is a very passive way of getting new clients. I believe that financial brokers also need some more proactive strategies for attracting new clients, in case those referrals dry up in the future. Here are a few thoughts on taking a more proactive approach:
Make sure your website is fit for purpose
This one links back to those referrals… To keep this stream of new clients going, your website will play an increasingly important role as more and more people will check you out online before contacting you. Yes potential clients will continue to listen to their family and friends in their search for a good financial broker, but they are increasingly likely to also Google you before making contact. So make sure your website is up to scratch.
Content Marketing is key
It is hard work but producing (or having produced for you) a regular stream of content that educates and engages clients plays a number of roles. First of all, producing and then sharing the content via an email newsletter or social media enables you to stay front and centre in the mind of your clients throughout the year. However it’s also a great way to demonstrate your value to prospective clients – and you do this by posting the content on your website, building your social media following and sharing your content out. LinkedIn and Twitter in particular offer great opportunities to connect with people that you may otherwise never get the opportunity to interact with.
Stand out in Google search results
Appearing near the top of Google search results, when potential clients search for a term such as “financial broker” is obviously a great position to be in! However, you need to know that these positions are hard earned, and the results are based on quite a number of factors. First of all among these, your website pages need to be set up correctly, with the correct structure of pages used and the pages referenced properly. Of course the particular keywords need to appear in the pages too! However over the last few years, Google have given a lot of recognition to websites that display lots of new and relevant content that in turn is deemed credible, achieved by other people sharing and endorsing your content via social media.
So Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can yield very valuable results, but be prepared to put in a lot of hard yards first!
Stand in the traffic if you want to get knocked down
Networking is a skill that many financial brokers are exceptional at. It is such a valuable skill to have the confidence and ability to walk into a room of strangers, “work” the room and strike up relevant conversations with potential clients.
For others, this is a real chore. But it’s a necessary one… It’s a recurring outcome of our industry that the more people you meet and talk to, the more new clients you get.
Financial Broker list
Initiatives run by networks and representative bodies are really valuable too, particularly ones such as the Financial Broker network, where there is investment in building the brand and in lead generation for members. Apart from potentially bringing new clients to your door, being part of these initiatives demonstrates a greater involvement in the industry that in turn increases your credibility in the eyes of prospective clients.
Building valued partnerships also is a great way of developing new client relationships. The partnerships that work best are exactly that – a partnership, rather than simply knowing someone who might introduce new clients to you. Partnerships mean both you and the partner (usually an accountant) working together for the benefit of both of your businesses. This might be through joint communications, co-hosted seminars etc. This is a far better approach than passively hoping for a few leads to emerge from the introducer.
What are the main routes that you use to attract new clients to your business? All comments are welcome below!