Years ago financial services firms spent their time cold calling by phone, knocking on doors (literally door to door – it was called ‘going on the knock’), sending unsolicited mailings, advertising in local newspapers and magazines, running stands at shows (and supermarkets – it’s true), attending networking events. The list goes on.
Fast-forward to the present day and the marketplace looks very different. These old ways of finding new clients can still work, but they’re less effective when used in isolation. There’s an old saying, ‘you have to make sure you fish where the fish are’. Nowadays that’s online, on social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook, and in search results from the likes of Google and Bing. You might be saying, ‘I already know that, but everyone’s trying to get new clients that way, and it doesn’t work,’ right?
Not really. 60% of adviser firms don’t have the time or the skills to catch the fish swimming in these waters. The other 40% of advisers work for big firms, firms that have the scale and correspondingly big budgets to throw at marketing. Not all big firms do it, but those that do now have access to an eye watering mass of new business opportunities.
If you’ve read this far you obviously want to do something about it and, if all you do is read on, I promise you’ll pick up one or two valuable tips for how to start off on the right foot.
Optimising your website, Facebook Page and LinkedIn profile is analogous with the old-fashioned stand at the show. But what does ‘optimisation’ really mean?
First, think about what kind of fish you want to catch. Then, what type of bait to put on your hook. This is the essence of optimisation. Think about who your audience is, what’s important to them, and make sure your content reflects their aspirations, wants, needs and concerns.
So, your rod could be a well designed website, your LinkedIn profile or your Facebook Page. Remember to ‘fish where the fish are’. Are your clients mostly found on LinkedIn, or mostly on Facebook, or both? Or on some other marketing on all social networks? It could be all of them, and more besides. If they seem to be on everything, maybe go back and try to refine your target audience.
Your bait is the content on your pages. It’s what attracts your potential new clients to you and your firm. Ideally it makes them stop and have a chat with you, instead of just swimming about in the pond. Once they’ve stopped to have a chat you have an opportunity to convert their passing interest into a new business opportunity.
Running a financial services firm. Getting to know new people. Hearing their stories. Learning about their financial goals and helping them to get there. All these things might rank as the most enjoyable part of the job for you.
Finding new clients and getting leads is crucial if you want to grow your business, and for firms, this is one of the, if not THE very hardest part of the job.
I worked as a financial adviser for more than 30 years. I’ve worked in companies, small and large, at the coalface and on the board. Along the way I’ve also built web retail businesses, worked as a political campaigner and a copywriter. These life and business experiences have helped me to develop my marketing expertise.
I don’t know many people who think of financial services as an exciting pursuit, but I get a real kick out of it. I guess you could say I’m a bit of a weirdo (and you could be right) but in the end, I realised that I kind of enjoyed the lead generation side of the business more than the consulting and advising, and that’s why I started Finskey.
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