How Advisors Can Use the Center of Influence for Marketing Strategy

As a financial advisor, networking is one of the most beneficial ways to grow your practice, and one of the ways to have a great network is to have Centers of Influence, or COIs for short.

What is a center of influence?

Centers of Influence are well-connected individuals or groups who can build your credibility through referrals, testimonials, and word-of-mouth. A strong partnership with a Center of Influence allows both of you to expand your networks, grow your business, deepen relationships with existing customers, and continue to gain traction.

Conflicts of interest are important to establish because they allow you to strengthen and expand ties with customers and prospects in your area. A center of influence in an area holds trust within that community, and when you earn the trust of a COI, your network can multiply.

Ideally, you should be in the network of several centers of influence to improve your marketing reach.

Who should you choose?

Think about your ideal customer personality. Now think about the professionals in the community who regularly interact with your ideal client.

Types of centers of influence for financial advisors can include:

  • accountants
  • Real estate agents
  • bankers
  • Life coaches and personal trainers.
  • Lawyers
  • Insurance agents

How to gain centers of influence?

Leveraging conflicts of interest is another avenue for building, creating, and maintaining relationships to help your financial business grow. To know if a person or organization is a good COI for you, make sure their brand is the one you would like to align with your brand. Take a look at their mission statement, does it match your own goals and beliefs? What is their role in the community? Can they help your practice? Are they trustworthy or easy to work with? All important questions to find a COI for you.

You can also connect with them on social media. They are able to see you and your brand, which will allow that person or group to recognize who you are, what you do, and part of your mission. To take it a step further, you can tag your COI in your social media posts, once you’ve established a connection. Tagging partners will also show this content to their followers and get more traffic to your page.

When you connect with someone on social media, it’s like the new version of a handshake or opening the door to your office. What your social media connections see from the moment they connect with you is what your brand stands for and who you are, or at least what you share on social media about yourself.

That’s why it’s important to use social media to connect with influencers in your community. A consistent interaction between the two parties will strengthen the influence they will have on your brand and help build customer trust, it will also lead them to recognize who you are. It’s a good idea to interact with their content as well, even when attending in-person events like holiday parties or monthly client events.

How do you maintain strong relationships with centers of influence?

Marketing doesn’t always have to be virtual. It’s great to meet at events, big or small. When seminars or customer events are approaching, invite thought leaders – the centers of influence in your community.

You can try partnering with local CPAs or attorneys, as they work with people who might connect you with new centers of influence.

Follow-up conversations are one of the most impactful/helpful pieces of prospecting you can do. Whether it’s an email, a handwritten card, or a phone call, you need to follow up to nurture those relationships.

You can also check out LPL Financial’s Tools and Resources for ready-to-use customer materials on social media pages, emails and websites.

Questions and consultations

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a one-on-one consultation, or would like to subscribe and receive email alerts when new articles are available, contact LPL Marketing Consulting at (800) 877-7210Choice 9option 5, option 1or email Marketing Consulting.

If you are interested in having a digital marketing strategy executed on your behalf, please visit LPL Business Solutions Discover Marketing to complete the form, and a member of their team will contact you directly.

Consult with your compliance department for information on social media rules and usage and review of all advisor marketing materials.