If there’s one question all financial advisors share it’s this: How can I bring more of the right clients in the door?
Every business needs a pipeline of new opportunities, but no business owner can afford to spend too much time prospecting. The first priority is always to serve existing clients.
Wanting a better way to establish genuine relationships with new prospective clients, more financial advisors have turned to book writing as a source of professional marketing and lead generation.
By sharing their unique knowledge in a book, financial advisors can differentiate themselves, raise their credibility, and build a sense of trust with people they’re never even met, connecting with potential new clients in a profoundly meaningful and effective way.
A book is a tool. And, like any tool, it doesn’t do anyone any good if it sits in a corner collecting dust. The first step is to write and publish your book. The second, and equally as important step, is to put that book to work.
After working with over 1,600 authors to write, publish and market their books, I’ve pulled together the top five ways financial advisors can leverage a book to generate referrals and establish new, trusted connections with prospective clients.
1. A full pipeline starts with one reader
That might seem obvious, but here’s the trick: the point is not to get that first person in the door. The point is to solve that first person’s problem—one very specific problem.
The problem your book solves should stand at the intersection of your own specialty and a significant need. People don’t visit Amazon and randomly buy financial planning books.
They enter their problem in the Amazon search bar, and they look for books that can solve that problem:
- How to invest in a Roth IRA
- How to trade in the oil market
- How to make money in real estate
Identify the exact problem your book solves and then make sure Amazon knows what that problem is—and what searches people might run when they have that problem.
If your book walks readers through the process of funding their retirement, your subtitle could be something like, “How to retire as a millionaire in 8 easy steps.” It tells people what they’ll get from the book, and it tells Amazon that words like “retire” and “millionaire” are words those people will look for.
2. Your relationships are your greatest asset
Once you have a book, you actually can do something to encourage your clients (and your friends and family) to recommend you more often. Give them a stack of your books to hand out to people who might need it.
Your top clients, appreciative of the work you’ve done for them, will be happy to share something they see as valuable and helpful with their network. And anyone who gets a book from them will be much more likely to read that book because it came from someone they know and trust.
That said, it can be a stumbling block for some authors to give a book away. They worked hard on it, and the traditional model was to use a book to make money by selling that book. But that’s not the model anymore—not for a financial advisor who’s using a book to grow their business.
You worked hard to create a brilliant marketing tool. Giving your book away is putting that marketing tool to work, paying off in a pipeline of new clients that other people will go out and find for you.
3. Your book can expand your connections
Clients, friends, and family aren’t the only ones who will be happy to use your book to bring you new business. Other professionals will too—if you choose the right ones.
Start by identifying other professionals and businesses that serve the same people who need your book the most. If, for example, your book is aimed at helping young tech-driven professionals to think about retirement early, figure out who else serves that audience.
Tech-centered conventions have hundreds of speakers trying to talk about tech topics, but how many retirement planners do you think they hear from? Probably not a lot. Any time you can find organizations where your expertise intersects with their specific, target audience in an unusual way, you’re going to get some attention.
Pick organizations that fit your book. Think about who needs it most, and then about what those people do. Where do they work? What conventions do they attend? What media are they watching, reading and listening to?
4. Your book can expand your reach
In my last example, I imagined a book targeted very narrowly at young, tech-driven professionals. That’s an important part of using your book as a marketing tool.
The more specifically your book is targeted, the easier time you’ll have getting in the door to reach that specific audience.
There are a million books about retirement planning. So having a great retirement book of your own is still good. It can still raise your general credibility. But it doesn’t fully differentiate you from the rest of the retirement planning market.
On the other hand, having a retirement planning book that’s aimed at tech-savvy professionals opens a lot more doors. What podcasts do those people follow? What blogs do they read? What SiriusXM radio shows do they listen to?
The content planners who are responsible for choosing the content on those channels will all be interested in your book. Why? Because it’s something they don’t see every day. You’re not just another person with a new tech idea wanting to get on a tech show.
You’re a professional financial advisor with a book about retirement that’s designed specifically for their audience, and chances are good they’ve never seen that before. It’s interesting.
The more specifically targeted your book is, the more doors it will open. If you choose an audience that you’re especially interested in working with, your book will open the right doors to build your practice in that direction, attracting the clients you really want.
5. Your book can work for you while you’re doing other things
Everything I’ve mentioned so far does require some work. (If it didn’t, everyone would do it.) But here’s the great thing about using your book as a marketing tool: once you’ve done the things I’ve laid out, you’ll have an automatic pipeline that keeps creating new connections while you’re doing other things.
To get to that point even faster, be sure to fully integrate your book into your digital footprint:
- Add your book to your email signature (including your book cover)
- Add your book, and its media credits, to your website
By adding your book to your email, you’re not trying to make everyone buy it. You’re trying to make sure that if one of your emails ends up in the inbox of a tech-savvy professional, they’ll know who they’re talking to and what you can do for them—so they don’t miss that opportunity.
That’s what all of this is really about: helping you create the right connections and attract the right people, the ones you can help the most, so you can feel great about going to work every day and doing what you do best—building wealth and security for people you care about.
Zach Obront is the co-founder of Scribe Media and the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller, The Scribe Method, a step-by-step guide to go from idea to published book.