As a financial professional, you’re accustomed to utilizing the power of networking to grow your practice. You already know that CPAs and other professionals are often valuable sources for referrals, but did you know that you can use your blog to reach out to them directly?
Hopefully you are already using your blog to provide valuable information to current and prospective clients. The process for reaching out to potential referral partners works in very much the same way. You just have to change your approach so that you appeal to a different target audience.
When you use highly personalized communication to connect with CPAs and other professionals, you show them the person behind your business name. Your blog allows you to showcase your expertise to your peers, build a highly respected reputation, and increase your referral rate.
First, you should create engaging blogs that will appeal to your target audience. Ask yourself about their concerns, and provide information that they will find helpful. In particular, you should highlight areas of your work that overlap with their specialties. Doing this allows you to point out the benefits of working together to better help all of your clients.
Next, contact your peers via email and invite them to read your blogs. Address each one by name, and you will increase your open rates.
Social media is another important component to this campaign. LinkedIn is the ideal platform for connecting with other professionals, so create a profile, join local groups, and post links to your blog. This will help you to make new connections and build relationships that eventually move offline.
Facebook offers another terrific avenue for connecting with other professionals in your area. Search for CPAs, estate planning attorneys, and other desirable connections, and send them friend requests to build your following. You should post links to your blog on your personal and professional Facebook pages, but keep in mind that Facebook members often do not see posts from all of their friends. With Facebook, the best course of action is to “boost” your posts, so that you can select the audience that you want to view them. This allows you to directly target your viewers and pull in the exact audience that you want to view your blog.
All of the above methods help you reach out to professionals and offer them content geared toward their interests. But how do you know they will follow the links and actually read your blogs?
First of all, remember that your content is central to your digital networking success. If you want CPAs to read your blog, then you have to offer them something they want to read. Blogs should focus on topics that interest them, and be engaging and easy to follow. Remember that your peers spend a majority of their time analyzing numbers and reading legal jargon; a friendly, conversational tone is more likely to keep their interest. Avoid getting too technical in your blogs, and write as though you were speaking to your contacts directly.
Another rule to remember is that you should avoid sounding like you’re selling something – even if it’s just an idea and not a product. The primary point of each blog should be to share ideas and make a positive impression of your expertise. Suggest that CPAs and attorneys partner with you, without pushing the idea so hard that you turn them off.
Finally, remember that practice makes perfect. Check your analytics programs regularly to investigate statistics such as open and click-through rates. Over a few months, you will begin to learn which topics appeal to your target audience, and which distribution strategies are working best for you. Use this information to hone your blogging skills to perfection.
With most professionals spending a significant portion of their daily time on the internet, the importance of online networking is steadily growing. As you know from other types of networking strategies, it is always smart to go wherever you can find an audience. Your audience is online right now, offering you a valuable opportunity to develop mutually beneficial relationships. Use your blog to establish yourself as a knowledgeable expert in your field, and you will attract loyal connections who will help you grow your practice.