By Herb Braley
You probably have hobbies that you’re passionate about that don’t necessarily intersect with your daily practice.
For example, I’ve always loved music and going to concerts. Instead of keeping those passions separate from my job, however, I use them to connect with prospects who have a similar interest. By combining your professional life with your personal passions, you can build stronger connections and deepen your prospect pool, ultimately expanding your practice.
Strengthen Your Connections
The majority of the relationships we build with prospects stem from a referral or a connection that you’ve made with someone else. This includes our relationships that, on the surface, seem to have nothing to do with our careers and earning clients.
I have built lasting relationships with musicians, bands and music lovers alike by attending concerts and other local music events. In building that bond, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with people with similar interests, and begin building a personal and professional relationship with them.
If you take the time to curate relationships that are based on shared interests, you’ll deepen your connection to your community, and you may also get the opportunity to connect with like-minded prospects. Strengthening your relationship with people who share your same passions also increases your likelihood of referrals.
When you receive a referral from a personal connection, show some appreciation in a professional but personable manner. The more you show your appreciation for someone sending prospects to you, the deeper your relationship with that person will become.
For example, if this relationship was built off of your shared love for basketball, offer them tickets to a local game as a “thank you” for thinking of your practice. A small gesture like this can go a long way, help you cultivate a long-term relationship and ultimately lead to more referrals.
Engage Your Audience On A Personal Level
Another way to bring your passions into your professional life is to interact with your target audience outside of the office, in a way that allows both you and your prospects to enjoy the time spent connecting. This helps show your prospects a different side of you and allows you to cultivate strong relationships that bridge the gap between personal and professional.
Consider hosting an event that involves something you enjoy doing outside of work, and invite prospects and referrers alike. For example, I like to hire a band or DJ for a networking event and invite friends and prospects with similar interests.
The only requirement is that they have to bring one person with them! Creating a more light-hearted feel to the event ensures your prospects don’t feel pressured to sign anything, and they are able to enjoy the event while connecting with others who share similar interests. Building a connection over something unrelated to your practice also helps you form a more genuine relationship with prospects.
When you begin bringing more of your personal interests into your work life and marketing, you expand your network beyond just your colleagues. By curating a more expanded network who relates to your shared passions, and by utilizing a marketing technique that’s integrated with your passions, you can generate a larger prospect pool and create long-term client relationships.
About the author
Herb Braley is the founder of Braley Financial Advisors Inc., a financial service company. Herb has been a member of MDRT for more than 20 years and has more than 30 years of experience working as a financial professional.