How to find clients and build your client base
Kathryn Knowles, award-winning protection adviser, shares her tips to help you find clients and build your client base.
This is something that every adviser wants to know. Building your client base and retaining clients is essential to the longevity of your business. The best thing to do is build some short-term and long-term goals, and never put all your eggs in one basket.
You need to have multiple strategies for reaching out to clients, because you never know when or if these channels might break. You could have a top-ranking website, but then Google changes its search algorithms and you are suddenly on page 2 or 3. You might have a brilliant social media following but get an impersonator and people get confused as to which of you is the right one.
A mix of strategies might seem quite daunting at first, but it’s a good idea to get a plan in place.
- Lead generators - you could use a lead generator to purchase leads from. There are a number of legitimate lead generators that you can use, but you must make sure that you do your due diligence. A lot of advisers don’t realise it, but the onus is on you to make sure that you are getting someone’s data from a credible source.
- Social media - brand recognition on social media is quite hard to gain in our sector, there aren’t many people outside of financial services that are going to go out of their way to follow a financial firm. Focus upon educating upon why the products and services you offer are important, don’t be too ‘sales’ and show off your corporate social responsibility activities.
- Sponsored adverts - you might do specific ad campaigns targeting specific audiences, but don’t assume they will remember who you are. These are costly and they work for some people, but there are also people out there who get pretty ticked off with being bombarded with adverts, and this can lead to your brand recognition going the opposite way and becoming negative.
- Word of mouth - we all know this is what we want. We want happy clients that tell everyone how great we are, the ultimate goal. The more that you can build this the better, as people like people that their family and friends say are good. You can even work proactively on this by asking your clients if you can contact the Trustees on their policies, check that they fully understand their role and make sure they have financial plans in place too.
- Professional introducers - this can open up a whole world of opportunity to you. Are you just protection, mortgages, pensions, investments? Then why not build a network of advisers you trust that you can signpost your client to if they need something outside of your skillset. Referrals work two ways and you will be surprised at how much this can build your client base. Don’t forget to reach out to local solicitors, accountants and estate agents, to make sure they know who and where you are.
- Brand recognition - this is your personal brand, you. People like people. We want to know who we are speaking to and we are much more likely to go and stay with a service where we feel a connection with someone. The best place for this is your website and social media. Your website should be accessible, easy to navigate, it should share your vision and mission, showcase your success stories and have a very clear way for them to engage with you. Your absolute time to shine is on social media, this is where your personality can really stand out. Chat about your love of a specific red wine, the walk you did at the weekend where you lost a shoe in a mud puddle, include your pronouns to show that you are an ally to the LGBTQIA community. This is what will make people remember you.
We all need clients, we all want to keep our clients and not lose them to a competitor or, even worse, a scammer. Your ability to stand out from the crowd and be remembered is what is going to win you business and mean that when a client needs more advice, your individual story and personality will quickly pop up in their mind.
Kathryn Knowles is an award-winning protection adviser and managing director and owner of Cura Financial Services. She founded and hosts the Practical Protection Podcast and recently launched Advice for Advisers, offering training to help advisers better their understanding of protection insurance.