Virtual Practice Management for Financial Advisors – The Advisor Lab

virtual practice management for financial advisors podcast

Practice management for financial advisors is and always will be the process of equipping financial advisors with the tools and processes required to not only run an advisory business, but more importantly achieve optimal results now and in the future.

Enter COVID-19, where brick and mortar advisors are left dead in their tracks without an effective way to build or run their practice.

Why? Because financial advisors are still stuck in, as well as being taught the outdated traditional methods of 1985 (with a minor software update here and there).

virtual practice management for advisors here to stay advisor lab

Is Virtual Practice Management for Financial Advisors here to stay?

Derek recently featured on the Advisor Lab podcast by the Seven Group and explored the future of practice management for financial advisors. The podcast explores how Derek runs his practice, how he manages it completely remotely, as well as how he uses digital marketing to connect and engage prospects.

Listen to the podcast below

Long Term vs Short Term Financial Practice Management

The truth is that the days of cold calling, being a prospecting pirate, and focussing on short term sales are gone. Now more than ever, short term prospecting produces an eat what you kill environment that is really stressful – it just isn’t sustainable anymore.

Advisors need to shift their attention from the sale to their audience. Building a brand over time and providing genuine value to clients at multiple online touch points will result in your brand working for you over time. When your brand works for you, you’ll see an influx of more clients. The secret to virtual practice management? Relationships, relationships, relationships!

With this in mind, Derek has created a Virtual Advisor System that operates as an inbound client acquisition model for building a robust digital footprint.

Practice Management for Financial Advisors Using a Robust Digital Footprint

The Virtual Advisor System has made practice management easy for advisors by making the pillars of inbound client acquisition accessible in the form of valuable course content and more. These practical pillars include:

  • Social Media Marketing & Management.
  • Hosting Live Virtual Seminars.
  • Website Build and Optimisation.
  • Email Marketing.
  • Paid Advertising.
  • Referral Partners.

If you want to learn more about how the Virtual Advisor System can work for you, then we recommend getting started with our free e-book.

How Technology is Transforming the Financial Advisory Practice

technology for your financial practice

COVID-19 has forced us all into an experiment.  A “virtual” experiment where all of us had to go digital. We have had to embrace communicating virtually and have no choice but to conduct business online. The effects on the traditional financial advisory practice are obvious.

Whether a result of the pandemic or younger generations coming of age, according to the founder of The Rudin Group, April Rudin, in a recent article in ThinkAdvisor, 64% of high-net-worth individuals are counting on their future financial advisor relationship to be entirely digital.

For the financial advisory industry & practice, technological disruption is actually a positive thing; we are no longer limited by location, or, in fact, the high capital demands of the traditional brick & mortar office model.

As a driver toward the adoption of digitalisation, coronavirus has allowed us to test some of the digital processes that were more than likely only part of future plans – and guess what? It works well – incredibly so.

I took the leap over six years ago, being one of the pioneers of virtual financial advisory, and back then there was a lot of trial and error – many were not onboard with the idea. Slowly but surely though, my clients soon realised how much simpler it is.

Receiving advice or giving advice from the comfort of your own home is easy, and you save a great deal on overhead.

Embracing digitalisation has certainly been the silver lining amidst the these trying times. Here are some of the major transformations I have seen, combined with some insight from April Rudin.

embracing digitisation

You Have the Ability to Shape Your Next-Gen Clients’ Perceptions

For the next generation, the financial & societal impacts of the pandemic are the first monetary relationship crises they have ever been through.  How will they react? How will it impact how they perceive planning, investing, and saving?

Their future is in your hands; you have the power to influence their perception. You can shape it virtually – more like a partnership as opposed to the advisor/client relationship we have seen in the past.

This power, or influence rather, is a great responsibility. By becoming more accessible to your clients, your relationship grows deeper – meaning your approach needs to be more holistic.

Relationships Are More Important Than Ever

When strategizing for the future, virtual financial advisors need to focus on building relationships. Relationships are no longer based on financial return only – they are based on overall advice; giving clients direction – how they should spend their money and what decisions are best for securing their ideal future.

zoom call with financial advisor

Your Online Presence Needs to Be More Compelling

As I have mentioned in previous articles, your presence online is the most vital aspect of being successful as we emerge into the new normal.

Your website cannot simply state your service offerings and a bit of a background like before. If you are to survive as the next generation comes of age, your story, what you offer and how you advise needs to resonate with your audience. Your website is where you live – your new head office, your digital storefront, and the internet is where your client’s shop. Your website is essentially your practice now, and all your communication and activity online needs to align with that. This is what the next generation requires.

You need to tailor your approach to make your clients’ experience more personal. It is time to revaluate your brand.

Further to this, social media has become social selling and is a great opportunity for you to grow and expand your business. It is more about building relationships rather than acquiring clients.

You will Need to Help Your Clients Build A New Kind of Life

Gen Xers and Millennials are opposed to working tirelessly now, only to live life to the full in their twilight years. You will be required to help them build a life that looks a lot different than previous generations.

Next-generation clients are accustomed to moving quickly, switching jobs almost annually, and using technology in absolutely everything they do. They want to build lives centred around a combination of exiting life experiences now while balancing for the future, rather than working hard now and retiring at age 65.

Try Conneqtor

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the impact technology is having on your business, consider Conneqtor. My virtual advisor system offers a hand-in-hand, step-by-step guided migration to a virtual financial planning practice that operates like a virtual sales engine, bringing in leads to you through a robust digital marketing footprint.

It is time to adapt. Afterall, the impact technology has had on the financial advisory practice is permanent; there is no going back.  Human behaviour has changed.

Stay ahead of the curve.

I hope you enjoyed reading.  Want more?  Check out my eBook, The Virtual Movement Proclamation.

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

Serving Financial Advisors Around the World – CapIntel Webinar

capintel how to build a virtual financial practice webinar

Conneqtor Serves Financial Advisors Around the World

Building a successful virtual practice will become the norm for financial advisors as we move into what can be perfectly described as the era of the virtual financial advisor. 

Derek sat down with James Rockwood from CapIntel to explore how financial advisors came make the transition to the virtual model and how they can successfully build a virtual financial practice.

As advisors battle with the future of growing their business in a post-pandemic world, Conneqtor’s virtual advisor system provides a gateway to becoming a Next Gen advisor. Next Gen advisors are not only able to survive, but have the knowledge and tools at their fingertips to thrive amidst, and after global pandemics like COVID-19. CapIntel is one such tool!

What is Capintel?

Much like Conneqtor, Capintel exists to empower advisors. CapIntel do this by providing a market leading sales platform that allows advisors to compare client portfolios and investments with ease. The ability to do this, coupled with the infrastructure to produce world-class proposals has resulted in advisors selling 50% more of their assets compared to advisors who don’t use the CapIntel system!

Taking Your Practice Digital

In this webinar Derek covers the hows and why’s involved in going virtual including:

  • The first step financial advisors need to take to go virtual.
  • Building and leveraging a robust digital footprint in a post COVID world that allows you to find more ideal clients and better service existing ones.
  • The possibility of a semi-virtual vs fully-virtual model.
  • The biggest lessons Derek wish he had under his belt when he went virtual in 2013.

Watch the webinar below:

5 Tips for Becoming A Virtual Financial Advisor During & After the Covid-19 Pandemic

5 Tips for Becoming A Virtual Financial Advisor

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses of all kinds to rethink how they work and interact with clients, including financial advisors.

We have had no choice but to turn to video for communication, and we are learning very quickly why this is the preferred method of interaction with younger generations.

With video, you can communicate with anyone from anywhere in the world, and as a virtual financial advisor, this is incredibly beneficial.

Building and maintaining relationships with your clients over video is just the first step, though, as there are other important factors to consider for a successful virtual financial practice.

As you transform your practice into a virtual or semi-virtual business, use these five tips to drive success.

1.  Invest Time into Your Practice’s Future

Business may be slow at first during the pandemic, and as you migrate online, but I see this as the perfect opportunity to use this time to determine how you can streamline your business for when you’re back in full action.

How about embracing business process automation? Thanks to technology, you can now have the administrative side of your business (the mundane tasks) fully automated! Here are some examples of the work you can automate:

  • Jobs you do every day or on a schedule
  • Functions that involve capturing and moving data between applications
  • Mundane tasks that do not require problem-solving
  • Tasks that distract you from what you love doing

As you migrate online, automating your processes will help you as you build a virtual staff.

financial advisor mailchimp rss feed automation

2.  Marketing For The Next Gen Financial Advisor

If you look at your competitors, you will have noticed that many of them have cut down on marketing during the pandemic.

My advice is to put even more emphasis on your marketing efforts.  People arguably need our advice and services more now than ever.  You’re offering them a solution for during this time, so make it known.

As you transform into a virtual financial advisor, your overhead can drastically be reduced, I have dropped mine by ~60%!  Consider using some of this to invest in your marketing – this is how you can gain a competitive edge in the months and years to come.

You also will free up a significant amount of time by embracing the virtual or semi-virtual model which can now be allocated in part to spending more time on creating content for free social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn which are a great way to increase your marketing reach while not costing you a penny!

facebook ads for financial advisors

3.  Use Conneqtor To Get You Started

Yes, I created Conneqtor to help advisors around the world.  But first built my virtual practice for me, to make more money while getting my life back and having an awesome life/work balance!

So yes, I admit that this is a little marketing plug from my side, but Conneqtor is a system I have created to help you migrate your financial planning practice online. More specifically, it’s a system that will help you generate leads 24/7.

It will teach you how to build a virtual or semi-virtual financial and insurance practice that will empower you to:

  • Make more money while expertly managing risk
  • Find and work ideal clients through predictable lead generation
  • Work from anywhere in the world while expanding your reach
  • Leverage your money and time to improve effectiveness while achieving an excellent work/life balance

I have successfully run an MDRT* Court of the Table financial practice, almost 100% virtually since 2013, so I have a deep understanding of what it takes.

the virtual advisor system for financial advisors

4.  Build Stronger Personal Relationships with Your Clients

So, you can no longer take your client out for dinner or a coffee, but you can use video to connect with them.

When people need to be selective about who they work with, they will commonly approach those who identify with them on a personal level. As a virtual financial advisor, you are dealing with arguably the most intimate aspect of a person’s life – their wealth and future.

Your catch-up calls don’t have to be all-business though. Introduce them to your loved ones and pets. Share your challenges and what you have been up to during the crisis – how you’ve been keeping sane. Talk to them about their problems and what they’ve been up to, and ultimately use this time to connect and develop stronger bonds with your customers.

Even little things like sending them a short video to wish them a happy birthday can make all the difference and show them you are thinking of them.

5.  Financial Advisors Should Create Valuable Content

In the meantime, as you transition to a virtual practice, take this time to create valuable content that will attract prospective clients.

Your audience lives online, even more so now, and the best way to get them interested is by giving them something of immense value for free. You are an expert in your field, so share some of your insight with your audience online. Be it through blogs, an eBook, explainer videos, or infographics, show your prospective clients why you are their best bet.  It could even be as simple as basic posts in places like LinkedIn and Facebook.  Be present and drive value!

I hope this helps and that you found my article insightful! If you would like to find out more about Conneqtor, get in touch with us.

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors During Coronavirus

digital marketing for financial planners

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is a trying time for all industries, it has also brought billions of people together online. Being confined to our homes has forced us to engage with others through social media. As a result, businesses are scrambling to reshape their offerings for virtual needs.

This is definitely a major positive for financial advisors as it has pushed us to embrace the virtual model. For those of you who were holding on to the brick and mortar approach, you have no choice but to take your businesses online now and believe me when I tell you, the benefits are incredible.

I’ve covered why taking your financial planning practice online is a smart move and how it can save you thousands of dollars every month, so in this article, we’re going to take a look at digital marketing for financial advisors.

women visiting virtual advisor website

Why is digital marketing for financial advisors important?

Embrace an old marketing trick – go where people already are and then be present.  People are online so you better be there too.

A digital marketing strategy can make or break the success of your business in the digital age. Your audience lives online, especially the younger generation, so you must put time and energy into ensuring you have a powerful strategy.

Digital marketing for financial advisors increases SEO ranking, drives traffic to your website, enhances your social media presence and converts prospects into clients through inbound marketing.

Even before coronavirus, and especially once we overcome this pandemic, for financial advisors to stay in business and serve clients efficiently in the future, the way we interact with and attract new clients must shift. We need to embrace technology and use it to our advantage. Digital marketing allows us to reach leads and prospective clients where they already are online, giving us the tools to develop relationships, establish connections, and trust in a virtual space.

What type of content works?

Digital marketing for financial advisors starts with a website, a blog strategy, top of mind social media topics, and being engaged with those that engage with your content.

According to Lyfe Marketing, 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are more likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family. So, instead of going out and seeing prospective clients, you will use social media to do that.  Talk about leverage, efficiency, and effectiveness!

The use of video is best to harness a younger audience as this is the most engaging type of media, especially for social media. Still, writing and publishing insightful blogs is imperative to rank in Google.

By conducting keyword research around your service offerings and writing articles relative to those keywords, you can start organically ranking on search engines. Let’s take this article that you’re reading, for example. The keyword is digital marketing for financial advisors.

This is a term that people, such as yourself, type into the search bar on Google or Yahoo, looking for valuable information. I have that information, and so I’ve written a blog about it. As a financial advisor, you could use your years of experience to write articles on tips for investing, the best ways to save, and so on.

The same goes for the videos you create and post to your social media channels. These can be explainer videos, but they must offer value and unique insight to the viewer.

remote digital marketing for financial advisors

Tools to help financial advisors with digital marketing

There are a bunch of articles, guides, and tools available online that will help you understand digital marketing. From Hubspot and Neil Patel to even taking short courses on Udemy, which are relatively inexpensive.

As a financial advisor myself, and after taking my business online years ago already, I went through a lot of trial and error. To get to where I am today, I had to be open to starting from the beginning. During the journey of becoming a virtual financial advisor, there weren’t many other people doing it at the time. My approach to financial advising remains the same; it is just the medium that has changed.

I’m now in a position where my business is flourishing, and I have designed a virtual advisor system to help others do the same.

My proven method will teach you how to start or transform your practice into a virtual powerhouse, enabling you to obtain and work with your ideal client from anywhere in the world. Whether you are just beginning as a financial professional or want to transition your brick and mortar business to operate virtually, this system is what you need. Watch our intro video to find out more.

Thanks for reading!

Kind regards,

Derek Notman

Remote Work in the Time of Corona

remote work for financial advisors

As I briefly covered in my last article, remote work is the way to go during this global pandemic. COVID-19 has shown us that working from home is possible for multiple industries and businesses. All you really need is the right infrastructure and digital footprint and the world is your oyster!

I’ve been a Virtual Financial Advisor for 6+ years now and have found so many benefits to working online. Adapting my brick and mortar approach to the online space has made my business flourish.

According to Forbes, some studies show that there has been a drop in productivity as the world embraces the remote work model, but this is because we’re amid a pandemic and because friends and family are at home with you. At this moment, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed, scared, and even distracted.

There are ways to get around this, though. Here are some tips for staying productive if you are new to remote work.

3 simple tips for remote work

  1. If you’re doing administrative work, try to add a deliberate distraction. For instance, listening to classical music with headphones. By blocking yourself out from the rest of the world (and your family), you can get a lot more done. Or even better, outsource it to a virtual assistance who probably can do it better than you and is a fraction of the cost of hiring a traditional staff member.
  2. Take a moment or two throughout the day to get lost in your thoughts – something unrelated to the task at hand; this is known to refresh focus – like stepping outside the office for 5 minutes. Take a brisk walk to get the blood flowing, take in some deep breaths of fresh air, and then get back to work and crush it!
  3. Another way to take a break and boost activity is by making yourself a cup of your favorite brew. Taking a coffee break isn’t just about taking a few minutes away from your work task, but caffeine actually improves physiological arousal and less inclination to be distracted.

Now that you know how to be more productive and maintain your concentration levels while working from home let us look at some of the benefits of remote work.

how to work remotely from anywhere

4 Benefits of remote work

In the financial services industry, more and more financial advisors are embracing the remote (virtual) model as clients’ needs, wants, and expectations change with the times.

There are many benefits to remote work, here are 4 reasons:

1.   You’ll save on fixed expenses

You will save a considerable amount by not having to pay for the fixed costs that usually come with running a traditional brick & mortar financial planning practice. Think office space, employee salaries and of course, commuting to meet with clients. These savings (amounting to thousands of dollars a month) can be reinvested into your business through more budget for marketing, or even be profit in your pocket!

2.   You can meet with clients anywhere in the world, for free

Yip, that’s right! There are countless free online apps for video conferencing, and with remote work, you can meet with your clients regardless of their location. As a result, you expand your reach into a global market – giving you the opportunity to make more money and gain more experience regardless of your physical location or theirs!

3.   You can work on your own time

When running a traditional office space, you usually have to be there from open to close. The beauty of remote work is that you can run your own schedule, affording yourself a better life/work balance in the process. It also means that you choose when to serve your clients. If you have something personal to attend to, or simply feel like going for a jog, or surf, you can.

4.   There are brilliant online tools that facilitate remote work

From Skype, G Suite, and FreeConferenceCall, to Conneqtor and Trello, there are incredible tools and systems to help you take your financial planning practice online. You can communicate, stay organized, and thrive by using the right tools for you.

So, besides the fact that we’re going through difficult times at the moment, remote work makes sense in general.  It did before the pandemic and will after. The tools are available, and it’s what the new generation of clients require.

Will you be left behind, or embrace working remotely and become more successful and happier than you’ve ever been?

If you’d like more insight on how to become a Virtual Financial Advisor, get in touch with us at Conneqtor, or download our free e-book for an introduction on how our virtual advisor system can help you take your business online.

work from anywhere in the world with these online tools

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,

Derek

Lead Generation for Financial Advisors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

how to generate leads during covid19

Lead generation for financial advisors in an online space requires an overhaul of your approach to communication and marketing (see how I didn’t say “prospecting”?). As many professionals try to adapt to remote work, we find ourselves in a unique situation due to COVID-19.

people having a video call with corona protection masks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not the first time we’ve had to endure a worldwide pandemic, but it’s certainly the first time we’ve needed to in a time where we are all connected through technology.

According to We Are Social, out of the 7+ billion people in the world, there are 4.39 billion internet users worldwide.

So, as awful as this situation is, we can count ourselves lucky due to the online tools available for conducting business. As a business owner, however, the real challenge lies in lead generation.

Transforming into a Virtual Financial Advisor

After being a Virtual Financial Advisor for years now, I can tell you that running a financial planning practice online has brought me more success than in my brick and mortar days. As a financial advisor, you must’ve noticed the increased interest in clients wanting to meet over a video call as opposed to in-person? Have you noticed that the need for running your business out of physical office space is slowly declining?

With Millennials and Generation Z now making up over 38 percent of the US workforce and predicted to make up 58 percent within the next decade, transforming yourself into a virtual financial advisor makes total sense.

Lead generation for financial advisors in an online world means you need to transform yourself and join fellow financial advisors in the virtual movement of the future.

Being one of the first financial advisors in the US to successfully take my business online, I decided to create a system to help other advisors do the same. Let’s take a brief look at how my virtual advisor system works and how it can help you generate leads.

Conneqtor – The Virtual Advisor System

In short, Conneqtor empowers financial advisors like you to have the ability to achieve the following:

  • Exponentially make more profit while efficiently controlling risk
  • Work with more prominent and more ideal clients
  • Work from anywhere while expanding your reach, opening yourself up to an international market
  • Leverage your time & money to increase your impact on the market
  • Achieve an excellent life/work balance while helping your clients do the same

Conneqtor helps with lead generation for financial advisors by teaching them everything they need to know and do to drive inbound leads without having to pick up the phone to do it. Our system offers a defined virtual sales process, and shows you how to build up a virtual financial planning practice, covering an in-depth guide on the following crucial aspects:

  • Hiring a team of virtual assistants
  • A virtual client contact/service module
  • Learning email language for younger clientele
  • Creating your business’ website
  • How to blog and the importance of it
  • How to use social media for brand awareness and client question
  • Using SEO to maximize your reach online (an essential strategy used in the lead generation for financial advisors)

In today’s market, financial advisors need to create a virtual presence that drives inbound clients to them while enhancing the client/advisor experience. Consumers expect this, and they look to social media and search engines to find us.

The Virtual movement is about creating a meaningful impact and building client trust and relationships before a word is ever spoken.

virtual financial advisor generating online leads

A word from one of my advisor clients:

“The strategies you provided go deeper into truly becoming a credible source in the virtual world versus simply having a social presence. While Conneqtor does take diligence and will certainly force many out of their comfort zones (myself included), it can be a true differentiator for any financial services professional utilizing the system and will set them apart from both the brick and mortar and kitchen table agents. There is no question this is a form of communication clients are hungry for, and the impact the Conneqtor has can change the lives of the clients who embrace it as well as the lives of the agents.” – Kristin Stutz, Financial Services Professional

If you’re interested in taking your financial practice online, then download our free eBook or get in touch with us today. A brighter future awaits.

Thanks for reading!

Regards,

Derek Notman

The Age of The Virtual Financial Advisor and COVID-19

The Age of The Virtual Financial Advisor and COVID-19

As we wrestle with a new way of life or try our best to adapt, one thing we have already learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that many industries can operate remotely.

That’s the thing, with all that is happening in the world, time stands still for no one, and we now have to look at alternative ways to carry on with life, to make a living, but most of all to do everything we can to get through this together.

I like to think of myself as a bit of a pioneer as I embraced operating virtually some time ago already, and I can confidently say that running a virtual financial practice is a viable option in these trying times.

Up until a few years ago, financial planning was mostly based around face-to-face meetings, sitting across from clients, and providing them with financial planning and investment advice.

From client acquisition to client retention, building relationships was done in-person. Now, as we find ourselves amidst a global pandemic, this way of work is no longer possible.

Even when COVID-19 is one day behind us, meeting face-to-face will still seem like an unnecessary aspect of our role in people’s lives. Why would we need to? The rise of technology is creating a new service model for financial planning – the virtual financial advisor.

After transforming my company, Intrepid Wealth Partners, from a financial practice of the old mold into a fully functioning virtual financial practice, I noticed that every part of a financial planner’s role could be fulfilled online.

It makes total sense to use web-based tools and technology to serve clients. In fact, it opens you up to an international client base, because the location doesn’t matter. Further to this, there are huge cost savings, and my work has become more efficient due to the use of incredible technology.

In this article, I’m going to give you an overview of how to build a financial planning practice online. I will highlight the benefits of remote work, not only in the time of Corona but in the 2020s, and I will give you insight into some of the brilliant online tools you can use to make it happen.

Let’s start with the benefits of remote work.

Remote work in the time of Corona and beyond

remote worker

Before we get into building a financial practice online, let’s look at why remote work is the future of many industries, why it’s so beneficial and easy to embrace.

Firstly, remote work affords you the time to focus on yourself and your family a bit more than when running a traditional financial practice.

Secondly, most people love the idea of remote work because it means freedom to run your own schedule; it means being able to get the job done in your own time. Gone are the days of a standard 9-5, 5 days a week way of working. But thirdly, and most importantly, it means that work does not need to be done in a specific place to be executed successfully, which is perfect for serving new-age clientele like millennials generation z.

So, how does this impact the financial planning industry?

Picture this: instead of commuting to an office each day to work from a designated desk, you can execute your projects and design your days so that you can obtain and maintain an awesome life/work balance. In essence, it also makes it a lot more affordable to start your own financial planning practice. With remote work comes a substantial decrease in fixed expenses—the main ones being office space, in-house staff, and money spent on commuting.

You can choose to go forward as a one-person operation, cutting costs significantly, or you can employ people on a part-time basis, virtually, of course! The beauty of remote work is that you only work on-demand, which extends to your employees too. If you only need someone for a few hours a day, then this new way of work has made that possible. You no longer need to commit to giving people full-time employment; you can pay them on an hourly basis.

According to Flexjobs, an employer can save $22,000 per remote worker per year.

So, let’s look a little deeper at how the benefits of remote work will add value to building a successful online business.

Less time commuting

women and men on train platform

Being a virtual financial advisor means less time and money spent commuting, which means you can spend more money on building a stronger, more efficient service, and spend more money on marketing your services. This way, you can surely spend at least 10% of your gross revenue on digital marketing.

Think about how much time you can save as well. For example, let’s say you spend 1 hour a day in the car (driving to and from your office and client meetings), you do this 5 days a week, and you do this 50 weeks a year. Add it all up, and it equals approximately 250 hours a year in the driver’s seat. That is the same as 6.25 40-hour workweeks a year.

Think about this, over 6 40-hour workweeks a year; you are wasting time sitting in your car, that’s crazy!

Think about how much money you spend on gas or even domestic flights to meet with clients in-person, never mind what you spend on accommodation when meeting with clients in other cities? That sum can now go into client acquisition. Plus, marketing a virtual service is much more attractive to younger generations than the brick and mortar financial planning services.

Not having to pay for office space

Ok, so this is a big one. Arguably the most expensive part of running a company is renting office space to accommodate yourself and your employees.

By going virtual, you won’t have to consider the following:

  • Private kitchen
  • 24-hour access
  • Lounge area
  • Meeting rooms
  • Video conferencing
  • Parking
  • Janitorial services
  • Technology for employees such as computers, cellphones, and the internet

As you may know from experience, the price of renting office space varies. An office space per person can start around $300 per month in the US and goes up drastically depending on location and the facilities included.

By working remotely, the money you would have spent on office space can either go directly back into your business, your pocket or even just renting a smaller office for only you. The reality is that one of the first things that cripple a business when money is a little tight is not being able to pay overheads, such as employee salaries and office space.

With remote work, and more specifically by being a virtual financial advisor, you won’t have to worry about any of the above. Yet, you will still be able to deliver the same, if not more efficient and tailored service to your clients.

It quite literally is a win-win option for the future of your business.

Using the tech available to provide better service

Remote work is impossible without the incredible technology available at the click of a button or the swipe of a finger. Technology is what makes being a virtual financial advisor viable.

Here in the US, our Wi-Fi connections and internet infrastructure are the best in the world, so staying connected shouldn’t even be a concern. It is also very affordable.

Thanks to smartphones, cloud computing, instant messaging, and project management software, we can communicate and collaborate instantaneously from most anywhere in the world.

By getting your hands on the necessary technology to operate a virtual financial practice, and keeping up to date with the latest tools, there is nothing that can stop you from being successful.

This leads me to the next step in getting your head around how to build a financial practice online.

Online tools you can use to embrace remote work

virtual financial advisor on a video call

Before we get into some of the spectacular tools available, it is essential to remember that as a virtual financial advisor, you are not changing the advice and services you provide to your clientele. All you are doing is changing the way you communicate with prospects and clients; you are swapping out the kitchen table for a webcam, same advice, and relationship, different medium.

To take your financial planning practice online successfully, all you need to do is convert the brick and mortar way of communicating to a new way of maintaining relationships. You will then need to support this way of communicating with online tools to help you provide your services virtually.

So, let’s look at how you would conduct meetings virtually.

All your meetings are done over means of video chat, and here are some of the most popular tools for communication.

FreeConferenceCall

FreeConferenceCall is a really great tool that I use as my primary virtual meeting tool.

It is easy for me to set up and easy for my clients to click a link and join a meeting. It allows for multiple participants and does not cut the meeting off after a certain amount of time. I can screen share and even give the client control if they want to show me something on their computer. What is also nice is that if for some reason, a client can’t join via a computer, this service also has a call-in number so people can still be part of the conversation.

By far, this is my favorite virtual meeting tool. And yes, as the name implies, it is free!

Skype

You’ve probably used Skype before. As the original video conferencing software, it is the most well-known and widely accepted tool. With Skype, you can make free online calls, use free messaging, and very affordable international calling to mobiles or landlines. What we love most about this tool, though, is it’s Skype for Business feature – the best tool for internal online communication.

So, if you were to build a virtual team in the future, this feature combines instant messaging, video conferencing, calling, and document collaboration into a single, integrated app for effective collaboration.

Zoom

Zoom is excellent for external communication outside of your company. Zoom offers a full-featured Basic Plan for free with unlimited meetings, and there is no trial period. Just keep in mind that the basic plan has a 40 minutes time limit on meetings with three or more total participants. If you decide to pay for it (recommended), you can conduct meetings for as long as you like – perfect for that initial meeting with new clients.

The beauty with Zoom is that you can schedule meetings well in advance and send the exclusive meeting link straight to your clients, or if you have Office 365, you can send them a calendar invite, which automatically syncs with their calendar on their smartphone.

Skype and Zoom are the most widely accepted tools for video communication. Still, you will probably find that for younger clients, FaceTime or a WhatsApp voice call will also work, especially for check-in meetings.

Any other client communication can be done over email or even short video messages via cool tools like Loom.

At the end of the day, as long as both you and your client have a decent internet connection, you can conduct a video meeting with a client – whether it’s from a home office, or even on vacation if needs be.

This way, you can build a business around your life and not the other way around.

Now, let’s look at some of the online tools available for doing the actual work of a financial planner.

Office 365

When it comes to writing and compiling documents, crunching numbers, or creating a presentation, I recommend Office 365 simply because you won’t have to adapt too much. It’s an online version of all of the administrative tools that would usually come with a Windows PC or laptop.

It includes MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and more, but what makes it truly valuable is that it’s a brilliant collaboration tool for remote teams. You can have up to five members on one subscription, and with that comes an all-inclusive, synchronized suite for running the administrative side of any business. From email and Skype for Business to OneDrive – which makes the work you do available to you from anywhere—and to others when you collaborate or share. With a subscription, you are also able to download all the apps to your desktops for those that prefer working offline and uploading later.

To understand the extent of what you can do with Office 365, read this in-depth article – there’s a whole lot.

Conneqtor – The Virtual Advisor System

Now that I’ve explained the benefits of remote work and taking your financial planning practice online, ask yourself this: are you ready to join fellow entrepreneurs in the virtual movement of the future?

Conneqtor empowers financial advisors like you to have the ability to:

  • Exponentially make more money while effectively managing risk
  • Work with more prominent and more ideal clientele
  • Work from anywhere in the world while expanding your reach
  • Leverage your time & money to increase performance
  • Live the life of your dreams while helping your clients do the same
  • Achieve and maintain a remarkable life/work balance

I’ve created a turn-key system designed to show you (step-by-step) how to transform your business in a digital world. If you’re wondering what infrastructure you will need to run a virtual financial practice, then this system is your answer.

Conneqtor includes comprehensive guides on the following crucial factors for a successful virtual financial advisor:

  • How to market your virtual financial planning business online
  • How to build a virtual team
  • How to work with your compliance team
  • How to define and vet your “ideal client”
  • How to create an online presence that will drive inbound leads to you 24/7

The new world of work is right before your eyes and at your fingertips, will you take the opportunity? Download our free e-book to find out more.

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,

Derek