Centers of Influence are found inside and outside of your niche. It's time to think beyond CPAs and Estate Planning Attorneys and truly create relationships that will help you grow your business.
A center of influence is just a fancy way of saying “Someone who is connected to the people who you want as clients.” You’ve got to get relationships with these folks, as you are going to need them for referrals, and as resources so that you can send you clients to work with them. It’s a long process so don’t just jump into this expecting instant gratification.
I want you to think about two big categories, I want you thinking in and outside of your niche
By outside, what I mean is the old stand-bys: Folks that you always get connected with, CPAs, estate planning attorneys, that sort of thing. These are the folks that your clients are going to need to work with. So you need this stable of resources and you need to build relationships with them so that you can refer to people that you trust.
Now if you get referrals back, all the better. But this particular category is a hard on to connect with it’s a slow one to connect with, and it doesn’t always pay off. My God I’m sorry, I’m such a bummer!
Let’s move on to the next category and maybe you’ll feel better.
Thinking inside your niche means think about the people who are working with the same people you want to work with. For instance, are you reaching out to cyclists? If that’s your target market, then get to know folks that run the bike shops in town. This offers you an opportunity to collaborate because you’re both reaching the same group of clients. The more creative you can be in this section, the better. And it’s a fantastic way to connect because you’re not competing for the same clients in the same sector. Sometimes those CPAs can get a little nudgy about referrals. These guys, they know you aren’t gonna try to sell a bike, so they’re going to want to work with you.
Don’t disregard other advisors as centers of influence. You want to get connected with those other advisors who have minimums who have minimums higher than yours or perhaps a target market that’s different than yours. Because both of you will have clients who you don’t want to work with, you want to be able to have someone good to refer them to so that your clients are in the very best, most capable hands.
I wish I could tell you that center of influence marketing is quick and easy. It’s neither. It's’ slow and it is sometimes painful, but be patient, stick with it, and eventually, it will pay dividends.
See ya next time! And always feel free to call me if you have questions!