Have a section on your company website to give information about what you do? Got testimonials on there from former clients? Turns out you’re doing it all wrong.
Business tip guru Baz Gardner of The Social Adviser told advisers at the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia national conference last week how to get more clients in less time and little cost.
Gardner, who started his own advice business based around insurance and retirement planning in 1997 at age 24 and spent the following 14 years building a successful advice firm, gave those at the conference a reality check.
“It’s not hard to get clients, it’s easy – you could have them lining up at the door. But a false idea of professionalism restricts you and holds you back,” he said.
First you must define your purpose and craft your language of influence and then you must build trust, rather than just talking to people about what it is your company does, he said.
Gardner, who left financial advice in order to pass his tips on to others, puts it bluntly: “Let’s talk about why most business websites suck.”
“The first 10 seconds on your website is critical because 99% of visitors go straight to the ‘about us’ page. But their average time on website is between three and seven seconds.”
The reason people click away so quickly is because your dry company proposition bores them.
Because potential clients will most probably Google you – not your company – Gardnersuggests building up a strong SEO and social media presence.
He said advisers should make sure LinkedIn profiles are full and updated, and “YouTube up a storm” by making 30-second videos about who you are, what your passions are, and subjects you are knowledgeable on.
“Now if someone Google’s you, they see a real person.”
Gardener also recommends “actually being social” on social media by starting conversations, offering advice and tagging people in – because giving value in this way builds trust.
And website testimonials? Only “okay”, said Gardner.
“What should be on your website is stories about your clients, rather than stories about you from your clients. Because that reduces fear, they can relate to these people.”