Winning referrals from accountants, estate planning attorneys, bankers, and even advisors with non-competing target markets can grow your business as a financial advisor. One of the best ways to deepen your relationships with others is to do something that benefits them. Your blog can help.
1. Feature your referral sources
If your referral sources are seeking opportunities to spread their names and share their expertise, they may feel grateful for the opportunity to appear on your blog.
You have options for how to feature them. You can:
Run a guest post written by the expert
Interview the individual in writing or a podcast or video
Write your own blog post about an interesting article or presentation by your potential referral source
Whatever format you choose, it’s good to request a brief biography and photo to run on your blog.
Assuming that referrals will flow both ways, these blog appearances will benefit you, too. When you introduce these experts to your clients, their faces and expertise may already be familiar from your blog.
Can you feature more than one accountant or one attorney on your blog? Sure, as long as each offers something distinctive that the other could not.
2. Solve their clients’ problems
No accountant, attorney, consultant, or other referral source has handy all of the answers that his or her clients need. If you offer those answers, they’ll send clients to your blog as a first step in a referral process. Alternatively, you can offer to guest-post on your referral sources' blogs.
How do you know what their clients need? Ask them. You can ask in one-on-one conversations, in discussions at conferences and other gatherings, and in polls or surveys on your blog or in emails.
Of course, you can’t treat topics exhaustively on your blog. This presents an opportunity to deepen your relationship on the path to a one-on-one meeting. You can offer to send readers a more detailed special report if they sign up for your e-newsletter. You can also allow your potential referral sources share that report directly with their clients as long as your name and contact information are included in the report.
3. Show that you're a real person
People want to make referrals to professionals whom they like (and whom their clients will like). In addition to solving problems for your readers, as we discussed above, give them a sense of who you are as a person. You can do that by telling stories or sharing your personal reactions to topics on your blog. Some advisors write about their hobbies or favorite charities to make themselves come alive as individuals. For more ideas, check out my post on "How to add personality and warmth to your financial writing."
If you’re ready to boost your referrals, it’s time for you to take this three-pronged approach to making yourself more attractive as a referral.
Susan Weiner, CFA, is the author of Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients, which is tailored to financial planners, wealth managers, investment managers, and the marketing and communications staff that supports them. Read her blog or follow her on Twitter, Google+ or the Investment Writing Facebook page.
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