September 25, 2017

September 25, 2017 | Risk Pulse

Intergenerational Advice Part 2: building your tribe

In the first part in this Intergenerational Advice series, we looked at the threat of not having an intergenerational advice strategy – not just for advisers but also for clients, and the resulting risk of familial breakdown, lost assets and a dissipating client base.

The fundamental lesson lay in tapping into the Gen X and Y market, with a staggering 85% in this group who expect to receive an inheritance in the future saying that they plan to seek advice.

In the second part of our series, we look at real-life examples from leading advisers who are already reaping the rewards of a fruitful intergenerational advice strategy within their own businesses.

The first steps to intergen success

It is a two-part process. Industry-leading intergen advisers show that success resides in how naturally you can facilitate introductions to a client’s next of kin, and how you ensure this new generation can find and understand the value in the services that you provide.

It makes sense when you think about it. What you value at 20 or 30 years old is going to be very different to what matters most to you at 60.

Advisers who have established successful intergen processes all talk about the importance of ditching a ‘one-size fits all’ engagement model, finding much more value in offering tailored XY  engagement strategies that tap into what matters most to this new demographic.

How do you do this?

Build a tribe

This is sort of like the modern day version of prospecting. Instead of knocking on doors, these advisers are setting their online, and for good reason. The fundamental problem with a door knocking approach is it’s a lot of work. On top of that, you are interrupting people when you don’t even know if they have a problem in the first place – or more importantly if they realise they have problem in the first place. This is not the best way to motivate someone to make a buying decision.

Rather than trying to convince potential customers to choose you or your product on the spot, a more effective way to attract a much more discerning generation of clients is to influence them.

This can be done through a blog, podcast, or social media platform. But really, the medium is irrelevant; what matters most is the trust you establish with people who are – on one level or another – are interested in the service that you provide.

Rules of the game

There are no strict rules to how you approach this strategy however there are three high-level guidelines that successful influencers stick by:

  1. Find a niche - your value that sets you apart.
  2. Speak directly - to just those people.
  3. Exclude all others - focus on only your tribe, it makes them feel special.

Adele Martin from Firefly Wealth has built her own successful tribe through this approach. Her advice, “make sure that every blog post, update, or podcast appeals directly to your ideal client.”

People don’t care about what matters to you; they care about what matters to them. So if you want to attract an audience, you need to stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about how you can help people.

What people really want is the ability to connect with each other

An online tribe helps like-minded people find each other. It gives them a story to tell and something to talk about. What you want is for them to be talking about you, so be generous. Over-the-top generosity is the best marketing you’ll ever do. And nothing builds an audience faster than giving freely without expectation of compensation.

Consider something as simple as a giveaway. For the small cost of a voucher, an eBook, or a one-on-one consultation, you have the opportunity earn something even more valuable: trust. When you help people get what they want, they’ll often return the favour.

Birds of a feather stick together

By promoting the value your current ideal client gets from your service, you have the potential to draw out other like-minded prospects to engage. A great example comes from Wealth Enhancers, who do this very well. They call their tribe the ‘Tall Poppies’ and they actively promote the success and wealth of their ideal client within the community to bring everyone together with a shared aspiration.

This strategy is proving much more effective than more traditional ‘prospecting’ methods because trust has shifted in the digital age. Oxford academic, trust expert and technology author, Rachel Botsman believes that a new era of trust is emerging – a bottom up approach that now lies in the hands of the individual and their own social network, rather than in the big bellies of institutions, such as financial services and the government. This presents advisers with a wonderful opportunity to harness the powers of “distributed trust” across networks of people, organisations and technology.

Old school rules apply

When it comes to commoditising your online tribe however, the old school sales rules still apply. You wouldn’t go the hard sell with a physical prospect first without first justifying your value. And it’s no different when engaging with your online tribe.

Drip marketing is the preferred strategy of advisers with successful online tribes. This is a communication tactic that sends, or "drips," automated, pre-written content to customers or prospects over time.

Seeded in the concept of reciprocity, the idea is that if you consistently deliver your clients high-value, quality content over time, you should see an uptick in your engagement metrics. These are things like opening rates, active users and retention curves, which can be measured for you. Once this starts to happen, it is time to seize the opportunity to sell or promote your services.

Slow and steady wins the race

This engagement strategy is all about making these Gen X and Y prospects feel good about themselves and as a result, feel good about their relationship with you.

A slow and steady approach is favoured by successful advisers in this space. According to Adele Martin, it takes an average of 8 -12 touchpoints for a tribe member to transition from total stranger into someone who might be willing to engage, so stick with it.

Quick tips to get started

  1. Harness your passionate clients
    The objective of building an online community to get like-minded people to engage with each other. If current clients aren’t genuinely interested in your business or services, and willing to act as advocates, starting an online community could be like throwing a party and no one came.
  2. Make the community a rich experience
    If you take a look at social media platforms today, you’ll notice that many online communities re little more than product support forums, producing very little in terms of engagement. While your own presence may start out small, make it worthwhile for people. Try to incorporate things such as a discussion forum, a place for clients (or potential clients) to provide their own insights or ask their own questions, or even a knowledge base and personal wealth tracking tools.
  3. Be prepared to invest
    An online community doesn’t happen automatically.  Invest in resources and the right software on which your community runs because user experience is crucial. Above all it needs to be pleasant to use and rarely if ever go down if people are going to want to use it.

This information is dated September 2017 and may be subject to change and does not take into account any personal objectives, financial situations or needs. You should consider these factors, the appropriateness of the information and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making any decisions or recommendations.

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