News article

5 reasons why you should connect with your clients, prospects and professional connections online (including social media)

In many ways, marketing for advisers and planners is simple:

Build/own an audience + add value + demonstrate knowledge = positioning yourself as a go-to expert.

In this blog, we’re going to look in more detail at building an audience, because we’ve noticed a mistake that most advisers/planners are making. It’s something that’s:

  • Easily fixed
  • Costs almost nothing
  • Will help turn clients into advocates
  • Will drive growth in your business.

When it comes to building an audience, your thoughts will probably turn to your email database. And that’s fair enough – email is still a hugely effective marketing tool. Consequently, building, owning, and nurturing a list of clients, prospects, and professional connections should be a core part of your marketing strategy.

But in your quest to build multiple audiences, you shouldn’t stop there. As well as your email database, building a secondary audience online will drive growth in your business.

However, we’ve noticed that many (perhaps even most) advisers and planners are making a simple mistake: They aren’t connected with their clients, prospects, and professional connections online, including:

  • Messaging services like WhatsApp
  • Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Online networking platforms such as LinkedIn.

Here are two examples to demonstrate that point, based on research we’ve recently done for planning firms:

  • Firm one has three planners and works closely with local professional connections. They already have a database of over 100 solicitors, who they add value to (with some help from us) by sending a monthly newsletter. However, when we checked, we found they were only connected to 44.75% of the solicitors on LinkedIn’s database.
  • Firm two works with expats and they also have three planners. We checked the proportion of clients they were connected to on LinkedIn. The first two planners were doing pretty well, having connected to over 70% of their clients. However, the third was lagging a long way behind at 32.23%.

Where connections haven’t been made, that’s a massive, missed opportunity.

Connect to improve advocacy, increase engagement and learn more about them

There are five main reasons why you should connect with your clients, prospects and professional connections online:

1. More touchpoints = greater client advocacy

Research shows that increasing the number of touchpoints you have with your clients improves client advocacy. And, as we’re talking about in our next webinar, advocates are vital to your growth plans.

Connecting with your clients online, naturally creates additional touchpoints because they will see your posts, which will (hopefully) add value and demonstrate knowledge.

It’s important to remember the 90:10 rule of thumb here: 90% of your posts should add value and provide insights, 10% should be about you and your business. By doing that, your posts will:

  • Reconfirm why your clients choose to work with you
  • Help to turn your clients into advocates
  • Improve the chances of them recommending you to others.

There’s more on easy touchpoints that will turn your clients into advocates in our next webinar. Click here to register your spot.

2. Sharing your posts

You want as many people as possible to see and engage with your social posts by adding comments, liking and, most importantly, sharing them with their network.

If you’re not connected with your clients, then the people who’re already your biggest fans won’t see your posts and therefore can’t engage. Connecting to them solves this problem.

3. You get to see their posts

By connecting with your clients online, they get to see your posts. Of course, the reverse is also true, you get to see theirs too.

That’ll give you a better understanding of what’s going on in their lives. That’s information you can use to improve the service you deliver to them and create small ‘wow’ moments, which again will help turn a client into an advocate.

Plus, you can make yourself useful to them, especially if they’re using social media and professional networking platforms to advance their business or career, by engaging with their posts.

4. Nudge and add value to prospects

Most advisers and planners convert 25-40% of all new enquiries. Some of the 60-75% aren’t the right fit, others you will want to work with.

That means you need to position yourself as the go-back-to expert, so it’s you they return to when the time is right to engage, not someone else.

You do that by (you’ve guessed it) adding value and demonstrating knowledge.

One way to do that is through a regular newsletter (sent monthly, quarterly isn’t enough). Another, of course, is online by connecting with them on social and networking channels. By doing this, they will see your posts, get value from them as well as receive a regular nudge from your brand.

5. Remind and nudge professional connections

Recommendations from existing clients are always the best type of new enquiry. Those from a professional connection are a close second. However, it can sometimes be hard to maintain the momentum in these relationships.

Connecting with them online can help.

By connecting with them, they will see your posts, which (just as they do for prospects) will add value and provide a touchpoint with your brand. Of course, you can also be useful to them by engaging with their posts.

“My clients aren’t online!”

This is one of the key myths holding financial advisers and planners back from improving their marketing.

The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

Research from Statista shows that in the final quarter of 2021:

  • 74.8% of the UK’s internet users use WhatsApp
  • 73.5% use Facebook
  • 56.3% use Instagram
  • 45.1% use Twitter
  • 28.9% use LinkedIn.

Many of these are your clients. And it’s not hard to find out who is using these channels.

Get connecting

If social media and online networking are a key part of your marketing strategy, ensuring that you’re connected to as many of your clients as possible is simple and effective.

Begin by producing a list of your clients. Then, depending on which online platforms you use and how you use them:

LinkedIn: Send a personalised connection request from your personal account. If they accept, drop them a message, asking them to follow your corporate page.

Twitter: Follow them from your personal or corporate account (or both). Providing they have a public profile, you’ll be able to see their content right away. If it’s private, they’ll have to approve your request.

Hopefully, they’ll follow you back, which means they can start to engage with your posts.

Facebook: Send a friend request from your personal account. If they accept, drop them a message asking them to follow your company Page.

Instagram: Follow your client from your personal profile. Again, how much of their content you will be able to see will depend on their privacy settings.

If they accept (and, hopefully, follow you back), message them, asking if they would be happy to follow your company profile. Alternatively, you could send them a follow request directly from the company account.

Simple, but hugely beneficial

When you think about it, connecting with your clients online is such a simple thing to do, which makes it all the more puzzling that so many advisers/planners haven’t done it yet.

So, what are you waiting for? Start connecting and get posting. The sooner you start the better.

We love your feedback, if you have any thoughts about this blog, or have questions, please get in touch by emailing or calling 0115 8965 300.

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