8 Ideas to Help You Grow Your Business in 2023February 28, 2023
Your time is valuable – and likely already spent delivering top-tier service to your existing clients. But scaling your firm and your AUM requires a dual focus on retention and acquisition. If you’re ready to actively start prospecting, we’ve got a few ideas to help you get started.
1. Define Your Target Audience
This is first on the list for a reason – the foundation for a good prospecting program is knowing exactly who you are trying to reach. What’s your target audience? Who have you had the most success with in the past and are they your best candidates for future business? Are there opportunities to expand your book with niche groups – Gen Z-ers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, etc.? Define the characteristics of your desired audience and use that as a guide for everything you do to help ensure what you’re delivering aligns with their needs, values, and expectations.
2. Build a Referral Program
One of the best places to start when looking for new clients is your existing clients – those who already value your advice and can serve as your best advocates. Start by openly telling your clients that you’re accepting new business and reinforcing that sentiment when it makes sense – in meetings, in email communications, etc. Then make it easy for them to share your information with their network. Make sure they have access to your website, a brochure, a calendar scheduling tool, a brief elevator pitch – arm them with the resources you want them to leverage. If your initial prospecting meetings are free of charge, share that too! You may also want to consider offering an incentive to your existing clients for their help; for example, a discount on their fee for a year, a gift basket, or some other form of appreciation.
3. Refresh Your Website
Your website is how prospects will find you – or where they’ll go to learn more about you before reaching out. If they don’t like what they see, it could be a dealbreaker – before you can even engage in a conversation. As a general rule of thumb, you should consider a full redesign of your website every 3-5 years to stay in line with best practices and help ensure a good user experience. But, your website should never be stagnant. Take the time to review and refresh one-to-two times a year, focusing on key sections like your services, your team, your homepage, and your contact information. It’s also worthwhile to examine your website through the eyes of your target audience – does the language speak directly to them and are the services they’d be looking for easy to find?
4. Build Your Social Media Presence
There’s a wide range of social media platforms available today. Consider where your target audience may be the most active and start posting, from your personal or business profile (or both). The key is to be authentic, offer value, engage when you can, and, of course, stay within compliance guidelines. Set a calendar reminder to post and engage with others once or twice a week. You may find that you’ll strengthen your existing client relationships and connect with potential partners and vendors, while also growing an audience of potential prospects.
5. Community Involvement
If you’re hoping to attract local clients, community involvement is a great way to make connections with like-minded individuals. Pick a cause that’s meaningful for you and find ways to get involved with some level of consistency, whether it’s an annual drive, a seasonal activity, or a regular meeting you attend. As you get to know your fellow volunteers, discussing your personal or professional lives, business opportunities will likely manifest in an organic way.
6. Host Webinars
Share your expertise in a virtual environment – a low-risk opportunity for your prospects to get to know you and what you have to offer. You likely already have the equipment you need to execute a webinar (Zoom or a similar platform), so pick a topic that you believe will resonate with your target audience, build a simple PowerPoint deck with a few visuals, and send out a series of email invitations. For example, investors are often looking to increase their financial acumen or would appreciate reassurance in a turbulent market environment. Invite both clients and prospects and encourage them to invite anyone they know who may be interested. Make sure you do a dry-run to work out any technology issues. Then, when the webinar is over, send a brief recap to all invitees via email and encourage questions, feedback, and suggestions for future topics.
7. Host an Event
An in-person event is another way to help you connect with people on a more personal level. The opportunities for structuring the event are seemingly endless. Here are just a few ideas: A holiday party, a March Madness or World Cup viewing party, a guest speaker on a topic unrelated to financial services (health, college prep, buying a home, etc.), a paper shredding event – again, consider what your target audience will enjoy! A successful event will need to be planned two-to-three months in advance in order to account for a venue, food and drinks, invitations, decorations, giveaways, and any other logistics.
8. Partner with Centers of Influence
Centers of Influence (COI) – the CPAs, attorneys, bankers, real estate agents, personal trainers, etc. who work with your clients and prospects – can be a great source of referrals. These are reciprocal, mutually beneficial relationships, so once you identify a COI, you should sit down and build an understanding of each other’s businesses, who you work with, what you specialize in, and how you differ from the competition, so you’ll each be able to identify a good potential fit for a referral. Make sure to connect regularly to stay top of mind – and to fulfill your side of the relationship by sending quality leads whenever possible.
Prospecting doesn’t have to be complicated. Focus on one or two strategies and see what works – or doesn’t. Your ability to be personal, demonstrate how you can help others, and build trust are what will likely help you succeed.
Harbor Capital Advisors
Harbor Capital Advisors is an asset manager known for curating an intentionally select suite of active ETFs from boutique managers. Advisors looking for distinct and differentiated investment options for their clients’ portfolios often connect with our passionate obsession to find what we believe to be the best – bold solutions that have the potential to produce compelling, risk-adjusted returns. For more information, visit www.harborcapital.com.
Investing entails risks and there can be no assurance that any investment will achieve profits or avoid incurring losses.
These views are not necessarily those of the Harbor Investment Team and should not be construed as such. The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation to purchase or sell a particular security.