Learn what works in winning clients

Are you about to embark on a new marketing campaign that will cost you a lot in money or time? Take a step back! It’s time to assess what’s already working for you.

There are marketing firms that will help you conduct an assessment. But you can get a quick sense by analyzing your most recent new client wins. After all, as Shakespeare said, “What’s past is prologue.” In this case, it means you can learn from your history.

Create a table of new clients

To illustrate what I mean, I created a table analyzing some of the new writing clients that I picked up in 2012. I looked at the following criteria:

  1. Client type
  2. Initial contact
  3. Whether they subscribe to my e-newsletter, which has been a key element of my marketing strategy
  4. Social media connections
  5. Time from initial contact to hire

Here’s a screenshot of my table:

 What worked for me

So what was most important for me in gaining new clients? On the basis of this table, plus some notes that I haven’t shared, I decided on the following:

  1. Word of mouth from people who know me well–In two (possibly three) of these cases my colleagues played a key role.
  2. LinkedIn visibility complemented by my blog/newsletter to keep me in front of prospects until they’re ready to move–The role of social media would be greater if I analyzed how I’ve found students for my blogging class.
  3. Clearly defining my target market on my website–I nearly missed my shot at one of these clients because it wasn’t clear that I worked with vendors to the asset management industry. I’ve since modified my website copy to make that more evident.

What about YOU?

Have you tried analyzing your recent new clients to identify trends? What has helped or hurt your new business development?


4 replies
  1. Emilie Goldman
    Emilie Goldman says:

    Thanks for the format Susan – this is a terrific idea. I have done something similar in the past but not recently. I tried several new marketing initiatives last year and your post reminds me to review their effectiveness.

  2. Suzanne Muusers
    Suzanne Muusers says:

    Susan, this is a great illustration of how to track your ROI. The visual you provide is essential to understanding how powerful this process can be. I’ve been doing a similar process for many years by using an excel spreadsheet. I look at where my clients come from, where my product sales come from, and the percentage of my total income from various tactics. It’s really an eye opener. BTW – I provide the ROI spreadsheet in my mini business plan program as a bonus. Susan, thanks for bringing this to light.

  3. Susan Weiner CFA
    Susan Weiner CFA says:

    Glad you liked it. I think many advisors would prefer the Excel format that you offer. The main thing is to do some sort of analysis rather than blindly charging ahead.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment!

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