The Power of Creating Community Among Clients

I’m not sure if you’ve thought of your client base as a community before, but I’m hoping you’ll start.

Here’s the thinking.

We all want to feel a part of something bigger, perhaps now more than ever. Some communities form naturally and profoundly out of deeply shared values or goals. Others are created to share ideas - to help each member become better (or smarter) through the power of the group.

But like all communities, someone has to be the catalyst to bring it to life. And that’s you.

What if you tapped into the collective insights of your own client base in a way that made everyone better and helped them to feel like part of something helpful or important. Today I wanted to share one idea that is simple and yet powerful in helping you do just that.

I call it a “Hidden Gems” poll.

Mining for Hidden Gems

The idea is this. Conduct a brief poll across a defined segment of your client base and ask them for their one-best idea on a very specific topic.

The goal is to keep it light, so I’m not talking about their one-best idea for living a more fulfilled life, but rather their one-best restaurant, book, resource, app, blog or class.

You’re looking for the hidden gems.

By asking the question and sharing the results, you’ve found a fun and helpful way to add value for your clients while creating or reinforcing community. Oh, and there's a good chance your clients will share those results with others in a similar situation.

Your Action Plan

To conduct a Hidden Gems Poll there are six steps.

1. Identify a Client Segment

This idea is only truly helpful within defined segments of your client base because you'll be asking for ideas relevant to their lives.

Among the potential segments could be clients who:

  • are within five years of retirement
  • work within a specific industry
  • share a passion or hobby
  • have young children or grandchildren
  • share a profession

You don't need many clients - perhaps 20-25 to make this work. You’re not going for statistical significance, but rather a list of good ideas.

2. Position the Poll

Invite clients to participate in your 1-2question poll and position it in such a way as to highlight the value you're adding in bringing it all together.

For example...‍

3. Craft the Question

Now consider what kind of information might be helpful to clients in the segment you're targeting. The best type of question will be one that leads to something very specific, like a resource, a vacation spot, a website, a book, etc. The reason these types of questions work well is that they allow you to create a resource list that will be very focused and, of course, it makes the poll easy to complete.

The simplicity of a resource list means it will get used – and will get shared. If your questions are too general the results will be less compelling.

Here are a few examples:

  • Retirees: Best vacation spot to bring the grandchildren or best book you have read lately  
  • Business Owners: Best app to improve productivity or best publication, website or blog
  • Legacy Planning Clients: Best ways to support local charities in your community or best ways to teach children/grandchildren about giving back
  • Families: Best book or website on financial literacy or ways to structure allowance for maximum impact

You get the idea…

4. Execute the Poll

We execute these kinds of polls as part of our platform, however you can a tool like Survey Monkey which is easy to use or Google Forms. You can create a one-question survey and include the link in an email that you send to invite clients to participate.

5. Summarize the Results

Take the results you receive and create a simple list that includes a description of each idea. And that’s it - you have your resource list.

6. Share Your Hidden Gems Resource List

Share the list with your clients (in that segment) including those who participated and those who did not. The process can be as simple as sending the list via email or you could create a quick video to accompany the list to add something personal.

It’s key that you highlight why you are doing this as a way to showcase the support and value that you provide to clients. And you might use the opportunity to ask them for other questions they would like to see asked of your clients.

The Growth Connection

You know this already, but it's worth saying it again.  We all like to help our friends and family, and sharing resources is one of the best and easiest ways to do that. By creating this resource for your clients, you've created something simple and easy for them to share with others.  

Be careful, this might lead to more referrals so don't forget the little details - like including your contact information on the list.

This is one of many simple ideas that you can put into practice to surprise, support and engage your clients. In this case, the source of the value is being part of your community, something clients may not often think about. It’s just one more reason to love you.